He held various posts in the Ministry of Transport until 1959 when he transferred to the new Ministry of Aviation, becoming its Under-Secretary in 1966 before moving to the Ministry of Technology in the same year.
In 1970 the Ministry of Technology was absorbed into the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Shovelton was a leading member of the UK negotiating team for entry into the European Economic Community 1970–72. When the DTI was broken up in 1974 Shovelton was posted to the Department of Prices and Consumer Protection. In 1976 he moved to the Department of Trade and led the UK negotiating team for the Bermuda II agreement in 1977 and the so-called "Bermuda 2A" agreement in 1978.
In 1978 Shovelton retired from the Civil Service and was Director-General of the General Council of British Shipping 1978–85; later he was a UK director and then UK vice-chairman of the Maersk conglomerate. He also wrote obituaties for The Independent.
Shovelton was appointed CMG in 1972 and CB in 1976.
- "Patrick Shovelton obituary". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
A scholar at both Charterhouse and Keble College, Oxford, Shovelton joined up on graduating in 1940. He served in the Royal Artillery and the Honourable Artillery Company, then in 1945 was appointed deputy assistant adjutant-general at the War Office.
- SHOVELTON, (Walter) Patrick, Who's Who 2012, A & C Black, 2012; online edn, Oxford University Press, Feb 2012, accessed 5 March 2012]
- Patrick Shovelton: Senior civil servant and obituarist for 'The Independent', The Independent, London, 3 February 2012.