Sparkes, Curtis Albert 1905
Born to a farming family in Altrincham. His early education was gained at technical schools. After completing his early education, he briefly worked for Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Co and then H W Kearns in 1919, where he served his apprenticeship. He entered the Drawing Office of the company and enrolled at Manchester College of Science and Technology, where he gained his Higher National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering in 1926.
He worked for Kearns, later known as Kearns & Richards after a merger with another local machine tool maker. He went on to become firstly Chief Designer in 1938 and then eventually Managing Director of the company in 1969. After his retirement, he continued as a consultant with Staveley Industries Ltd, who had taken over Kearns & Richards, until 1971. Following this he became a consultant to Budenberg Gauge Co Ltd and Fairey Engineering of Stockport.
Dr Sparkes gained an MSc at Victoria University of Manchester in 1988 and at the age of 86 gained his PhD, the oldest person in Britain to do so.