Biographical Info

Born 26.2.1943 in Solihull, near Birmingham (now West Midlands).

          Evacuated to Newquay in Cornwall for first two years (until WW2 was over) returning to

          live in Sheldon, a district of Birmingham until I was 18 when I relocated with my parents           and Sister to live in Knowle, a small village a few miles south of Solihull.

1961 - 1975

          After leaving Central Grammar School (with 5 'O' Levels and 'A' Level Maths) started work

          at Cincinnati Milacron Ltd. (Machine Tool Manufacturer) as a Student Apprentice and

          began a four year Higher National Diploma Course in both Mechanical and Production

          Engineering. After graduation became a Machine Tool Designer until accepting voluntary

          redundancy in October 1975 in order to acheive a personal ambition of undertaking a                 'Round the World Tour'.

1975 - 1976

          Departing from London (Gatwick) in late November on first leg of world tour. Arrived Perth

          (Western Australia) a week later after a stopover in Singapore and a 6 day cruise on a

          Russian Ship (MV Khabarovsk). Travelled by Greyhound Bus across Nulabor Plain to

          Adelaide (South Australia) then after a few days rest sight seeing carried onto Melbourne

          (Victoria). After dat trips to Ballarat and Bendigo (old gold mining towns) moved on again

          to Sydney (New South Wales) passing through Canberra (Capital Territorry) on the way.

          After a few weeks sight seeing and recuperating flew to Auckland (New Zealand) to stay 

          with my Uncle & Aunt who had emigrated from the UK some 20 years ago. After Christmas

          flew back to Sydney then travelled by train up to Brisbane (Queensland) from where I

          visited Sufers Paradise and the Sunshine Coast. Returned to Sydney via Newcastle for a

          week then flew on to Hawaii (via Fiji) for a brief stopover before arriving in Los Angeles

          (California, USA). Spenty the next 21 days travelling by train (Amtrak) across America

          visiting San Francisco, Chicargo, New Orleans, Denver, Washington, Boston and New York

          (15,000 miles in all). Almost broke and very weary flew from New York (Kennady) arriving

          at London (Heathrow) in mid February (84 days in total).

1976 - 1983

          Soon after returning home I met Catherine, my wife to be, so I decided I needed to get a

          job. Began working as a Contract Designer located at Kings Norton, Birmingham (Triplex

          Safety Glass) and purchased a new house in Redditch, Worcestershire. Got married in

          October 1976 and moved into new house after spending our honeymoon in the Lake

          District. The birth of our first son, Richard in October 1979 co-incided with redundancy.

          Started a new job asa Design Draughtsman at Fife Controls based in Redditch in January

          1980. Second son, James was born in February 1982. A year later I was again made

          redundant due to Company closing down (and re-locating to Germany). Had to move south

          to High Wycombe, Bucks to find work due to deep recession in West Midlands, starting

          work at Rye Machinery as a Machine Designer in May 1983.

1983 - 1990

          Finally sold house in Redditch and moved Family to new house in Downley, High Wycombe

          in November 1983. Promoted to Chief Draughtsman in December (quite a year!). Life

          finally settled down into more of a routine with very little of an exiting nature happening

          until the Spring of 1990 when we moved to a larger house at Bicester, Oxfordshire.

1990 - 2000

          Despite moving 30 miles to the North I continued working in High Wycombe but travelling

          got a lot easier in 1991 when the M40 Motorway was finally opened throughout from

          London to the Midlands. Life again settled down until 1993 when in a moment of madness

          we purchased a Timeshare Apartment (located in Costa Del Sol, Spain) but as we also

          joined an Exchange Scheme (RCI) we could enjoy luxurious hollidays for evermore

          (provided we keep paying the annual maintenance fees). In 1997 we decided to have a

          conservatory built so we could now sit and admire the garden any time of the year

          whatever the weather. In 1999 Richard started his BSc (Hons) Engineerig Course at

          University of Western England (UWE) in Bristol whilst James started a BA Graphic Design

          course at Coventry University in 2000. This cost us a small fortune as we had to pay their

          Fees (thanks to current Government Policy).

2000 - 2001

          The year 2001 was nothing like the film (apart from being a disaster story). In February the

          UK began to suffer from its worst outbreak of Foot & Mouth Disease which lasted for over

          six months and drvestated both the farming and tourist industries. Regretably my mother

          became ill and died in April, following this I was made redundant again in June when Rye

          was taken over by an Italian Competitor whose first action was to get rid of most of the UK

          workforce. Fortunately, after just a few weeks of un-employment I was able to find another

          design job with Winchester Engineerin, a small family run company base in Aylesbury,

          Bucks., just 15 miles down the A41, Of course the shocking events of 11th September will

          always remain as a grim reminder of the horrors of this world caused by mankind. One

          happier event occured in October when my wife and I celebrated our Silver Wedding

          Anniversary with a nine day visit to the Far East including a trip on the world famous

          'Eastern & Oriental Express' Train from Bangkok (Thailand) to Singapore via Malaysia -

          quite an experience.

2002 - 2003

          In order to preserve my job I reduced my working week to 4 days. Enjoyed an exchange

          holiday in Madeira in May. Quite an experience landing and taking off at Funchal Airport 

          (simila to the deck of an aircraft carrier). In October had an interesting holiday in Holland

          (with 'Thomas the Tank Engine' on his first ever visit to mainland Europe). Early in 2003 my

          Stepdad was admitted to hospital and regretably died on 1st April. However, shortly

          afterwards our first Grandson (Rhys) was born in Banbury on 11th April to James  &

          Michele (his Finance). In May we had another exchange holiday in Scotland (Loch Awe)

          which was an area we had not visited before. Catherine decided to retire from working at

          Tesco to look after Rhys as both his parents had to go to work. In September I reduced my

          working week to three days (the conveyor insustry being very quiet) and to prepare for my

          forthcoming retirement. November was a busy month as James Graduated from

          University, Rhys was Christened and we purchased a new car (MG ZS180).

2004 - 2006

          In march we took the plunge and had our house fitted with double glazing (no more

          condensation - hopefully!). Rhys celebrated his first Birthday in April and James & Michelle

          purchased a new house in May then they split up! In November Catherine & I went on a

          holiday to Italy, flying to Venice then visiting Rome, Pisa & Florence by coach. Not too

          much happened in 2005 except for a family holiday to Minehead in July followed by

          another to Ibiza in September. In 2006 James had anew girlfriend (Milly) and we all went

          to Centre Parcs at Thetford in May. We visited our Apartment at Bena Vista, Spain in


2007 - 2008

          In May we took yet another holiday in the Lake District and stayed in a Caravan at a

          Holiday Park next to Lake Windermere. In July (with retirement looming) we moved house

          (downsizing from 4ms to 3) but only moving hs mile within the same village. At the same

          time Richard decided to leave home and with our help purchased a 60 foot Narrow Boat.

          The boat was located at Braunston on the Grand Union Canal and it took some three

          weeks to move it to a new mooring on the Oxford Canal due to severe flooding in the

          Cherwell Valley. In early December Catherine & I went to visit the Christmas Markets in

          Cologne, Germany for a long weekend travelling by train (Eurostar from London St.

          Pancras to Brussels then Talys TGV to Cologne). On 23rd December I finally finished work

          - Forever! In January 2008 Rhys moved up to Gramtham (with his mother and stepdad),

          but James had arranged to have custody two ouit of three weekends and all school

          holidays. However, we faced the prospect of having to travel up to Grantham every third

          week (over 200 miles there and back). In February I finally arranged to get most (90%) of

          my pension paid (just 2 weeks prior to my 65th Birthday) after a long struggle with the

          Rye Pension Fund Trustees (the fund being wound up). In May we enjoyed a family holiday

          in Denia, Spain with James, Milly & Rhys.

2009 - 2012

          In May Catherine & I went on a Long Haul Tour of the Far East, Australia and New Zealand

          organised by Newmarket Holidays. We departed from Birmingham Airport via a KLM

          connecting flight to Amsterdam (Schipol Airport) where we boarded a China Airways

          Boeing 747 to Bangkok (Thailand). After three days sightseeing we boarded another China

          Airways flight to Sydney, Australia (via Taipei in Taiwan). After a further three days

          sightseeing we caught another flight to Christchuch (New Zealand) and spent a rather

          exhausing 6 days exploring both South and North Islands of New Zealand. This part of the

          tour was by coach stopping at different hotels (and locations) each night including

          Dunedin, Te Anau, Queenstown, Twizel, Auckland and Rotorua. We then flew from

          Auckland to Gold Coast (Australia) where we stopped for another two days with a trip into

          the Queensland rain forest included. We then departed from Brisbane on yet another China

          Airways flight to Hong Kong (China) again travelling via Taipei. Another three days was

          spent exploring Hong Kong Island before flying back to Amstedam (this time via

          Bangkok). We just about caught our connecting flight back to Birmingham to end what can

          only be described as an exhilerating if not Guelling 21 day holiday - we certainly needed a

          rest on returning home.