On Monday 9 October 2023, Brothers, Ladies of North Warwickshire celebrated one of their own in the presence of the Provincial President Joe Martin of Leamington Spa circle Lawrence Conway 40 Years in the Association
Brother Lawrence was born in 1937, and grew up in Gateshead on Tyneside, attended St. Cuthbert’s Grammar School in Newcastle. He studied Fuel Science at Leeds University where he also met his beloved wife, Margaret. He moved to the Gas Research Centre in Solihull where he was involved in large scale experiments to seek new methods of making gas from coal and oil. This led to cooperation with a Japanese gas company and Lawrence spent much time in Japan. Later he was chairman of an international working group preparing technical contributions to the triennial World Gas Conferences. This involved…globetrotting but this time Margaret joined him on many occasions and enjoyed visiting new countries and making new friends.
When British Gas decided to concentrate all its research on one site at Loughborough, Lawrence became General Manager responsible for completing construction, fitting out the laboratories and offices and moving staff from London, Solihull and Newcastle. He was then appointed Head of Research Services until he retired early in 1996.
On the 10 October 1983, was introduce to North Warwickshire Circle this was in Brother Richard Bird Presidency, his sponsor was Bill Carthy who he and Margaret was great friends with Bill wife Nuala.
In the year 2000 – 2001 Lawrence was President they organised Circle visits to The Black Country Museum, to Sudeley Castle and to Buckingham Palace.
They also hosted a Millennium celebration in their house and what became for many years an annual visit to the theatre in Solihull followed by refreshments in their house. Lawrence was a member of the St Augustine’s Musical Theatre Company and played many of the leading parts in their productions.
He also organised, with Brother Kit Morton’s guidance, the Circle “At Home to Province” event at the Allesley Hotel in Coventry celebrating our 65th year and that of one of our founder members, John Bowen.
With recruitment and retention of younger members in mind, Lawrence arranged a range of events including a Circle meeting and Ladies’ informal on a Saturday lunchtime, a “lads and lasses” Circle meeting and an evening meal at a local Chinese Restaurant the former Shirley Temple.
Margaret and Lawrence had four sons. They had great fun as they grew up, enjoyed family camping holidays across Britain and Europe and frequent trips zigzagging across the country to keep in touch with families up North and in London. They were immensely proud of all their sons and their five grandchildren.
Retirement has been almost as busy: camping and travelling including a 10 week holiday visiting family in Australia and friends in New Zealand, some 20 long distance walks with friends, Catenian activities and Margaret gaining a second degree via the Open University. The last venture was a holiday home in France shared with one of their sons.
Lawrence has said that he has seem manage changes in the association, province and circle including the involvement of Ladies, very grate to Bill & Nuale Carthy for introducing Lawrence to the association.