Robert Williams was born in Middle Herrington, County Durham in 1909. He began work at Wearmouth Colliery at the age of 15 and studied at Sunderland Technical College. He qualified as a mine surveyor in 1930 and in 1931 became Assistant Surveyor at Wearmouth.
In 1939 he became Surveyor at Sandhole and Brackley mines near Manchester and the following year moved to Hartley Bank Colliery, Wakefield. He gained his First Class Certificate of Competency in 1945 and became Undermanager at Emley Moor Colliery near Huddersfield. Following nationalisation he was Manager of Shuttle Eye and Caphouse Collieries in the same area.
In 1954 he returned to the North East as an Assistant Area Agent in Co. Durham, then moving to Horden Colliery as Agent Manager until 1958 when he was appointed an Area Group Manager. In 1967 he became a Production Manager in the South Durham area until his retirement in 1970.
Williams was NEIMME President in 1970-71.
His brothers George and Arnold were also mine managers in Durham.
Robert Williams died in December 1971, aged 62.
Williams, R. The recent past and the challenging future [Presidential address – NEIMME] Mining Engineer 130 1970-71, 397-398