Meet Jimmy Hendry EngTech FCIPHE RP

The ultra-marathon running lecturer at Inverness College knows what life is like on the bottom of the world

What do you love about your job?

I’ve always been a practical kind of guy. It’s getting down to the technical part of something. And 90% of the people you meet in the trade are really open and friendly.

How did you get into the industry?

I fell into it by mistake. I left school at 16 in 1992 and my friend said there was someone who was looking for a plumber. The only questions my boss Alan King asked me were: “Will you stick at it?” and “What size boots do you take?” His firm became one of the biggest housebuilders in Scotland and I became a plumber for 26 years and counting.

How did you get into your current role?

In October 2014 I returned from working abroad and came up to Inverness, supposedly for a six-week job, and I’m still here. I teach the first and second year plumbers and the ones who are not entirely sure what they want to do.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned?

A guvnor once said to me that you don’t have to earn a fortune to be happy – you can help someone along the way. When you can help someone, that’s one of the highlights of the job. Take a step back and look at yourself to make sure you’re not getting bored. If you’re not enjoying it, do something else.

What are the benefits of a CIPHE membership?

They’ve been great with me. Contact with and support from peers such as CIPHE Past-President, Tony Brunton, can be invaluable. His professional expertise in assisting me with a legal issue was irreplaceable, especially in his capacity as Master Plumber which then inspired me to achieve my own Master Plumber status too.

Tell us something people don’t know about you

I run ultra-marathons. I started running when I was 29 and thought, ‘This is getting easy’ and I’ve run 12 of them now. The furthest I’ve done is 43 miles.

Have you got a standout moment?

I loved teaching in Namibia for VSO at the Namibian Institute of Mining Technology. I had a beach condo and it rained once in two years. Antarctica was a place I’d always wanted to go so I was thrilled to get a job there. They put you down in the summer – October – so that if you don’t like it, there’s a relief boat that can get you out. Only six of us saw the contract out with the British Antarctic Survey.

Would you do it all over again?

I’ve met some fantastic people, so definitely. With a few tweaks…

This article first appeared in the May/Jun 2020 issue of P&H Engineering, the magazine for members of the CIPHE. Find out how to join here.

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