171123 – My Back Story


Apparently it is important for my ‘brand’.

My back was born at the same time as the rest of me. The top part wanted to become an architect after pester power as a child got a visit to Portmeirion during a family holiday in Wales in the mid 1960s. The architect was born in Northamptonshire. That led to visits to the buildings in the County that had inspired him and I came away with a similar impression that architecture should be fun. Portmeirion is a fabulous and fun place that operates as a hotel where we stay annually after having honeymooned there. Loads of visual tricks, rescued buildings and a short walk from the Ffestiniog Railway, Snowdon, Castles, the Centre for Alternative Technology and other buildings by Clough Williams-Ellis the architect of Portmeirion.

During the mid 1970s I got side-tracked by my Physics master into ‘tracking’ Soviet nuclear powered weather satellites which meant we were, basically, spying. My contribution was assisting, with a schoolfriend, in discovering that one of them was going to crash on Canada. It did. Which got a mention in the press, the New Scientist and in a US Senate report into the Soviet satellite missions.

Then got back on track with the long University training to be an architect through full time study, part time study and distance learning over more than seven years resulting in more letters after my name than in it. Didn’t stop learning though and I got into 3D CAD and BIM from the early 1990s and stopped using 2D ‘electronic drawing board’ software such as AutoCAD. I also developed an interest in working with existing historic buildings and sustainable living

The World was going digital and for the past decade ALL my designs and projects have been prototyped in cyberspace before drawings are issued to the contractor to build from. Now the model can be issued to the contractor and the client / building owner so that it can be used for Facilities Management.

I also have an interest in the oddness that is the British canal network. Where else can you float on water underground for over a mile or high above a river valley with the ability to stop at a pub each night as you cruise around.

A love and appreciation for oddities, Portmeirion and the idea that art can be fun also got me married to my photographer / secondary school teacher wife who has managed to keep me entertained as well. Discovering that for 3 or 4 generations our family history crossed in both Leeds and Whitby living as neighbours is pure coincidence!