Mike Sharman

Mike SharmanMike Sharman is an enthusiast, as revealed by his vast personal collection of railway memorabilia which contains more lamps than he can count. He has already filled his home to the point where he has had to build two extensions to accommodate them. No doubt it was this enthusiasm over many years that led to the success of the ACDMM, a course which Mike set up at the request of John Reddaway in 1965. Mike received an MBE in recognition of his stirling efforts in 1994.

Brought in from Hatfield Regional College in 1966 where Mike had been running a workshop technology course, he set to, to make it work for Cambridge. Many students will remember his 'no-nonsense' approach, as he insisted they all dress as professionals (including ties) and anyone daring to turn up late was left behind. The logistics were a nightmare with at one time over 50 graduates and twelve minibuses to co-ordinate. Six teams of graduates, usually working in pairs, each had to deliver a feedback to management and to their colleagues at the end of a factory project period, as well as write a joint report.

From the start, the year ended with an optional overseas tour, initially in Europe but as time went on to more exotic locations such as India, South Africa, Taiwan, Brazil and the USA.

Records show that the majority of graduates from the course end up in top level management positions in industry, or owning their own companies.

Mike Sharman eventually retired in 1995, when the course was taken over by John Gatiss. He still has a unique collection of course memorabilia - course ties, tee-shirts and of course many photographs, some of which are shown on these pages.