Clive Kessell was born in 1949 and joined British Rail: London Midland Region as an Engineering Student in 1961. Between 1970 and 1971 he served as a Deputy Telecoms Engineer on the Nottingham Division of the London Midland Region. He then worked for the British Railways Board as a Telecoms Engineer General from 1973 to 1975, when he became Telecoms Engineer Radio for the British Railways Board until 1979. In 1979 he became Regional Telecoms Engineer for British Rail: Southern Region until 1984. He then was appointed as Assistant Director (Telecoms) for the British Railways Board until 1991 and then became Engineering Director for British Rail Telecommunications from 1991 to 1995. After the privatisation of British Rail Telecommunications and sale of the organisation to Racal, he worked as Director Engineering Services for Racal Telecoms between 1996 and 2001.