I was born in Balham, South London just after the end of the war in Europe. Two weeks to the day after VE Day. My family consisted of three older sisters, a mother and a father who was just home from the war, although still in the Royal Air Force.
We lived in Haverhill Road, Balham.
Later, just after my younger brother was born, we moved to Kensington.
It was a city full of bomb damage and confusion.
Very exciting for a four year old.
After a few years we moved out to Croydon and a successful
eleven plus exam took me to Archbishop Tenisons School which was, at that time,
based in South Croydon.
The school moved to brand new premises at East Croydon in 1960.
It was a grammar school of the ‘old school’ with the teachers wearing gowns and we boys were convinced that our Latin mistress, the awe inspiring, but now much appreciated, Miss Taylor, was at the school opening in 1714.
Of course, the girls thought she was wonderful simply because of the terror she instilled in the boys.
While Miss Taylor was the senior mistress of the school, our headmaster was Mr Norman Cresswell, a man, who like Miss Taylor, was passionate about education. It was Norman Cresswell who took the school to grammar school status and that is something I will always be grateful to him for.
The curriculum was all embracing. Geography was the world with plenty of red on the map. We were taught to be proud of our country and its achievements on the world stage. History was chronological from the ancient Greeks, to the Romans, the Dark Ages, The Middle Ages and on to Victorian England. Physics, Biology and Chemistry were all taught as separate subjects with their own 'O' levels and 'A' levels at the end.
Alongside all this there was plenty of extra curricular activities, with a debating society, crafts and sports.
Like I said, a school of the 'old school'.
As I was coming to the end of my time at Tenison's, fate brought me in touch with a certain police woman. She was new on the Force and we got talking while she was on her beat in Cherry Orchard Road. She told me a lot about the police force in Croydon at the time and I nearly considered that for a career. The things she told me I've never forgotten and I certainly owe her a debt of gratitude. Her name was Jill and I told her story with the fictional Jill Bennett, in the Jill Bennett Detective series. The 'Books' button will tell you how you can read it for yourself.
After leaving school I joined the Royal Air Force as an Aircraft Apprentice and
was trained as an aircraft electrical technician.
The training was intense at RAF Halton where we were known as Trenchard Brats.
I was in the 99th entry.
We graduated in July 1964 whereupon I was posted to
RAF Honington near Bury St Edmunds.
I served for twelve years and worked on such diverse aircraft as Victor and
Vulcan ‘V’ bombers, Lightning Interceptors with 92 sqdn at Gutersloh, Beverly Transporters and Andovers of
the Queen’s Flight at RAF Abingdon.
I had experiences that my school friends, who had opted for civilian life, could only dream about.
I was demobbed from RAF Sealand, in North Wales and we were living in Cheshire, on the Wirral. I had two children, Karen and Gary, who were my world and my priority, then, was to earn a living for them.
I entered the rat-race of the insurance industry and settled down to a nine to five existence that I soon discovered wasn't me at all. Something was missing…
I knew I wanted to write when I began making up stories for my children. They wouldn't go to bed without a story and my son had a very retentive memory. I couldn't get away with an old one. It had to be a completely new story.
We were living in Sussex at the time and I even managed to get one or two of my stories read out on South Coast Radio. To my regret, I let earning a living take up too much of a priority. Early retirement, at last, gave me the opportunity and my first novel, Overseer, was born.
I have a page on this site dedicated to my writing and I hope you will take a look. We have, also, traced the family tree back to 498. It’s fascinating stuff and, again, has a page of its own.
The part of novel writing that, for me, is the most fun is the research. I guess it was Norman Cresswell who inspired in me a love of learning. How I wish the internet had been available when I was at school. I often think of my teachers at Tenison’s and how I would love to have been able to confront them with facts that I have since discovered. Especially the physics teacher, a certain Mr Frederick Pratt.
Not the best name for a teacher.
Not with the kids in my class.
They say that you shouldn't believe everything you read about on the internet,
and that's very true. But that should apply to everything and it’s never sat
well with me that so much modern science is based on unproven theory.
As a consequence, whenever anything comes to light that flies in the face of the theory, it is swiftly swept under the carpet.
Try my 'Food For Thought' button.
There will be regular updates of things that, because they don't fit in with modern scientific theory, are never heard about.
Since retiring, God only knows where I found the time to go to work, I have realised my ambition
to write (four books, one anthology and counting).
I also became involved with Hospital Radio in South Wales.
What an eye opener that turned out to be!
The joy for me was that, unlike commercial radio stations, like the BBC, I was able to select the music that I played for the patients. My love was the music of the forties, fifties and early sixties and I was thrilled to find out, from feedback from the listeners, how much that music was appreciated. I also included a short story and snippets about life that would bring back happy memories to baby boomers like me.
For now, we're living in Australia, on the Gold Coast, and enjoying the fabulous climate. I fill my days with writing and helping others get their writings converted to e-books so that others may enjoy them. Go to the Books page and you can read about the services I offer.