Travelling the world:
Growing up in a military family meant I spent much of my youth travelling around the world with my parents. At age 10 days, I was shipped off with my brothers to the far east. Malaya became our home for nearly 5 years.
After leaving Malaya, we moved back to London. From there we went to Northern Ireland (1969) then back to Colchester, then onto Germany. At the age of 16 I joined the British Army as a junior apprentice Carpenter & Joiner. My service saw me in places such as Wales, England, Scotland, Germany, Cyprus, Beirut, Norway, America, Belgium, France, Canada, Austria & Italy.
Since then I have travelled with my wife and on my own to the Canaries, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Bavaria & the American mid west.
So I think its fair to say I have seen a bit of the world!
After joining the British Army I spent nearly 8 years serving with the Royal Engineers as a City & Guilds Carpenter & joiner. This is where my skill with wood came from and I spent nearly 25 years working in the wood industry both in the Army and after leaving the regular forces.
After being discharged on medical grounds from the Regular Army aged 24 from injuries received during the Falklands war. I started work in the civilian building industry, at the age of 28 I realised I missed the Army. So after checking with the medics I re-enlisted this time into the Territorial reserve forces. This meant I could get the best of both worlds. I then spent 14 years with a Royal Signals unit and finally retired at the age of 42 as Warrant officer class 2. I had very many happy years in the Army plus a few tough ones.
After breaking my neck in 1996 in a building accident. I was forced to switch careers. It was my wife who suggested that I use the skills I had learnt during my service with the Royal Signals and put them to good use. I signed up for a college course at my local Regional college to learn computer programming. After attending the course for about 4 weeks my lecturer quickly realised that my skills in ICT were more advanced than a lot of the teaching staff at the college. She suggested I apply for a job lecturing in ICT. So as they say the rest is history! I spent 12 years teaching old and young alike. However, all things come to an end and after a spell of ill health I was forced to take early retirement. So at the age of 54 I needed to find something to do.
This is where I fell back on my old skills as a Carpenter and Joiner. A friend mentioned to me one day about wood turning as a hobby, so after a bit of investigation and a bit of persusion to the better half. I started producing beautiful wooden items on my lathe.
Only one problem! I started getting rather a large amount of stuff. Again my friend stepped in and suggested I might like to sell some of these items at craft fairs. So after some more investigation and a bit of persusion from friends I signed up and did my first craft fair. I was truly amazed by the response I got from the public to my craft items. I have now been selling craft for nearly 4 years and I am still amazed at the response I get each time.
I now take a lathe to some of the fairs and shows and give demonstrations which people seem to like. I have been approached about teaching the skill and I am open to this but it has to be on a small scale and at the individuals own risk.