William Hamilton was born on 16 March 1931 and brought up in Kilwinning, Ayrshire. After leaving school, he worked for R.K. Gemmell as an apprentice gardener at Blairside nursery in Kilwinning. By the 1960s, he was employed as Production Controller at the Hyster Forklift Company in Irvine. While in post, Mr Hamilton enrolled for the Certificate in Administrative Studies course, offered on an evening and day release basis by the Glasgow School of Management Studies, which was a joint venture between the Department of Management Studies at the Scottish College of Commerce (SCC) and the Department of Industrial Administration at the Royal College of Science and Technology (RCST). This two-year course was intended to provide a general introduction to the study of Management, with the first year curriculum consisting of classes on 'Business Law' and 'Economics I', which took place at the SCC; and 'Introduction to Management Principles' and 'Production Organisation I', held at the RCST. The second-year curriculum comprised classes in 'Accounting I' and 'Statistics', both held at the SCC; and 'Introduction to Human Relations' and 'History of Industry, Science and Technology,' held at the RCST. Mr Hamilton completed the first year of the course in session 1962-1963 and progressed to the second year in session 1963-1964. He repeated some of the second-year subjects in session 1964-1965 at the University of Strathclyde, the SCC and the RCST having merged in 1964 to create that institution. He subsequently attended a two-week course in Supervisory Management at the Chesters Management Centre, University of Strathclyde, in session 1966-1967. He went on to forge a successful management career in the whisky industry, retiring as Material Manager at William Grant and Sons in Paisley in 1992. He later came out of retirement to serve as Operations Manager for the Alloway Scotch Whisky Company Limited.