Plastics pioneer visits Wilton International


One of the pioneers of polyethylene development in the UK has returned to his roots.

Gordon Morrell, 90, worked for ICI at the Wilton Site from 1958 to 1965 on research into autoclave technology in the production of polythene.

Now retired and living in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, Mr Morrell’s sons Godfrey and Jonathan requested the visit to Wilton International as part of a return trip to their father’s former home at Saltburn.

Following a site tour organised by Sembcorp, the group was taken by SABIC to see the world’s largest Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) plant at Wilton which utilises the next generation of technology in its giant compressor.

Godfrey Morrell said: “My father found it both extremely interesting. It was an experience I don’t think he ever thought he’d have and I would like to thank both companies for making it possible.

“His years at Wilton were by far the most enjoyable and rewarding of his career – a period of real invention, truly innovating and ground breaking. They laid the foundation and made possible the commercial manufacture of plastics as we know it today. ”

Gordon Morrell’s career with ICI began in 1948 and continued through to 1983. After leaving Wilton he took on a global role in which he was responsible for ensuring that the ICI Group of companies was up to speed with the latest polyethylene technology and production techniques.

He said: “It was marvellous to re-visit Wilton after so long. When I was there I couldn’t believe I was so lucky that people paid me to do such fantastically interesting and rewarding work. I wish the Teesside workforce every success for the future.”


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