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Page last updated at 15:31 GMT, Saturday, 15 August 2009 16:31 UK
Inventor inspired by good works
Ron Hickman
Ron Hickman was brought up in a religious household

Ron Hickman's name may not be familiar, but his work is known to millions. He designed the Lotus Elan and patented the Black & Decker Workmate.

Jersey resident Ron was brought up in a religious household but takes his inspiration from the classical music he listens to and creates.

Although not a religious man, Ron believes in the power of good.

"I can't kid myself that I have a real belief, but on the other hand I am not an atheist, I am an agnostic," he said.

Ron counts himself fortunate that he can work and do things better with some classical music in the background.

He said: "It relaxes me, it motivates me and it certainly inspires me. It is an old fashioned thing, but I believe anything worth doing is worth doing well.

"My Father was church of England my mother was Dutch Reform church and as a compromise they sent us it the Methodist church.

I am motivated by proving that I still have it in me to to invent new things that will benefit mankind and me.
Ron Hickman, inventor and engineer

"I can't say that I really developed or became particularly convinced that everything relied on a man up in the sky having created everything, but I enjoyed enormously the music and the company."

After moving to London, Ron found the church going experience very different.

"You go to church, you knew nobody you did not meet up afterwards or anything like that. They played hip music, I don't even now what to call it, singing ultra-modern songs and accompanied by guitars and ukuleles. And to me it just wasn't a form of religion," he said.

"I am not very religious person. I believe my god has an extra O in it. I believe in the power of good, the spirit of good. I think things are either fundamentally either good or a bit evil, and of course there are things in the middle of the road."

Prototype Black and Decker workmate
The Black and Decker workmate enabled millions to get into DIY

"If you look around there are wonderful good things people do for other people. I don't believe that is a matter of pure happenstance, I think there is a spirit of good lying behind all of it.

"I still believe that I will invent new things. My credo there is that they have got to be utilitarian and they have really got to function and do a useful job. I am motivated by proving that I still have it in me to to invent new things that will benefit mankind and me," Ron concluded.

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