Antony Paul Watkinson, known as Paul Watkinson, was born in 1940 and joined Preston District Operating Superintendent's Office in 1960. He became a Traffic Apprentice in British Rail: London Midland Region from 1962 to 1964. He then undertook various area management roles, becoming the Assistant Area Manager in Uttoxeter and the Area Manager for Long Eaton. He then became Trains Assistant on the Nottingham District, as well as working as the Area Manager for Wigan and in area management in Warrington, Wigan, and St Helens. In 1977 he was appointed as the Assistant to the General Manager of British Rail: London Midland Region, until 1978 when he began work as the Management Services Manager for British Rail: London Midland Region until 1981. He then moved to Leeds where he was employed as the Divisional Manager from 1981 to 1984. He then moved to the British Railways Board in 1984 to serve as an Assistant to the Managing Director Personnel, serving in this capacity until 1986 when he was appointed Director Employee Relations until 1991. Staying with the British Railways Board, between 1991 and 1993, he worked as Group Personnel Director. He then sat as Board Member on British Railways Board with responsibility for personnel, undertaking this role between 1993 and 1997.