Born in the heady days before WWII in the City of London, where coppers wear red and white checkered bands rather than the normal blue and white for greater London, everything looked rosy from my Silver Cross pram, that is, until Mr Hitler decided to change the world for his idea of Utopia.
After negotiating a few close shaves in the blitz, a period of camp follower occurred when my mother (and I) moved around the country to be near to my father. Then was he posted abroad and I was packed off to Cardiff to stay with my mother’s parents.
I was duly returned to London and spent several years at school studying the Classics with English, French, Latin and Greek thrown in for good measure. Lot of good that did me as I went to work in a bank in the City.
Career change followed with my being called up for National Service and from there signing on in the regular RAF, during which time I discovered tape recorders, recording the Thameside 4, Long John Baldry and others and tape correspondence clubs – the sixties forerunner to today’s Social Media, I suppose.
I started my broadcasting with the Aden Forces Broadcasting Association at RAF Khormaksar as a presenter, controller and record librarian, where the tape recorder played a big part in providing interviews and news stories with the editing done by the unfailing cut and splice, not quite as sophisticated as today’s highlight and delete, but just as accurate! Presented the Top Twenty Show, Children’s Requests, Family Favourites and the odd Roaring Twenties music show
Back in the UK, my time on a pirate radio station was doomed when the necessary financial requirement to equip a boat to sail out of the Humber didn’t materialise. In a way I wasn’t too disappointed as I was allergic to boats/ships rolling around in heavy seas and chummed on a regular basis.
Service life ended with limited exposure to excessive noise which simply meant my job, involving close proximity to multi-engine jet aircraft during take-off and landing, had made me deaf. Civvy street loomed and after several years in the Cambridge area, I moved to Huntingdon and then Godmanchester where I met my wife Heather and I finally settled down and spent the 25 years prior to my retirement in the quality department of the largest plastic injection moulding company in the UK.
I met Bill Hensley in St Neots during an RSL and hours later left with the details of Hinchingbrooke Hospital Radio. Still have my ID card and free parking permit, sadly no longer eligible for use. As I worked shift work, the slots that I could have worked weren’t available, so that died a death.
Several years later (2013) I met Ray Godby at a Huntingdon Gala Day, became a volunteer with HCR104fm encompassing a large number of caps to wear and this is where I am today.
Hobbies, well I’m a bit of a nerd, loved computers since first buying a Sinclair Spectrum ZX and learning to programme hexadecimal! Amigas followed, fantastic computers, before finally going to the common or garden PeeCee.
I do a bit of photography. I press the button and the camera does all the work. Then it’s my turn to turn a masterpiece into rubbish!
I cook, especially curry, but am probably more experimental then Heather when it comes to our culinary delights.
Not a great beer drinker these days apart from a decent pint of proper beer occasionally. Main tipple is a good Irish whisky, bourbon or Cuban rum – strictly within the recommended daily measures, of course!
Favourite place – Cuba – we love the country, the people, the music, the sun, sand and pale blue seas. Hurricanes excepted!
Music – favourites are Santana, Queen and Status Quo, 50s and 60s pop and pretty well everything else apart from the modern ‘featuring’ – aren’t they good enough to sing by themselves? And why do we have to have to suffer radio edits, why is it so necessary to swear or include obscene material? I must be getting old.