Biography of Bill Ballingall
Bill Ballingall was born in Edinburgh and educated at the then Daniel Stewart’s College. ‘Stewart’s’ later amalgamated with Melville College and the combined school, along with Mary Erskine’s is now the largest school in Scotland, and possibly in the UK.
Bill was keen on rugby, and was captain of one of the class team in his 4 years of senior school. On leaving school, he managed to gain a marine engineering apprenticeship with the BP Tanker Co. Ltd in 1958, attending Stow College of Engineering in Glasgow, subsequently spending time in Yarrow’s shipyard on the Clyde, and South Shields Marine and Technical College before ‘finishing his time’ at sea.
For some 20 years or so Bill worked his way through the ranks, eventually sailing as Chief Engineer for about 6 years. He held a ‘combined’ Certificate of Competency for both motor and steam ships, and at 27, was probably the youngest person to sail as Chief Engineer in the history of BP Shipping.
In 1977 he transferred into BP’s fledgling North Sea operations, and became Senior Offshore Installation Manager in BP’s Forties Field before joining their Safety Department. After accepting redundancy from BP in 1996, he set up his own consultancy in health, safety and the environment (HSE), and worked in several parts of the world.
He recently (2013) retired, and is pursuing his interest in sailing.