I joined the RAF on the 17th November 1976, as a direct entry Airframes Fitter, which meant that after initial training at RAF Swinderby and trade training at RAF Halton I passed out as a Junior Technician ATechA in November 1977.
My first posting was to RAF Brize Norton and I hated almost every minute of it ... I was on base three Major servicing VC10's which I found really boring. Whilst at Brize I went to Bristol to cover the fireman's strike Nov/Dec 1977.
I eventually got myself an exchange posting to RAF Abingdon and was posted there in early 1978. I was promoted to Cpl about a year after arriving at Abingdon and spent the next 8 years there and had a fantastic time doing Category Three Airframe Repairs (Cat 3's) and Aircraft Modifications. Most jobs were detachments and many involved staying in local B&B's on rates which was a great way to live! Whilst at Abingdon I managed to work at just about every operational RAF station in the UK and on just about every aircraft type too, literally from Spitfires and Lancaster to Vulcans, Harriers, Jaguars etc. The only mistake I made was to get married (in 1983) - a marriage that was bound for disaster from the start, but dragged on for seven years. We lived in married quarters for a short while at Hawkins Way, then bought a house in Shrewsbury as my wife, who was a nurse,wanted to work at Shrewsbury Hospital.

All good things must come to an end and I was eventually posted to 111 Squadron at RAF Leuchars towards the end of 1985 working on Phantoms.
Things started off well enough and I enjoyed the change of working environment enormously having never done first line stuff up until then.
Unfortunately I had an accident whilst out running (I fell down a railway embankment) and injured my back. After many attempts at bedrest and phisio and suchlike I ended up being sent to the joint forces hospital at RAF Wroughton, where they discovered that I had split open an intervertebral disc and eventually I had a 'discectomy'. There then followed several months rehab at Headingley Court before I was able to finally return to Leuchars, but medically downgraded and only able to do light duties and with no chance of promotion. Not a happy chappy I ended up on OOPS (Out Of Phase Servicing) flying a desk doing nothing but paperwork for the rest of the tour. To make things worse my wife refused to relocate to Scotland and I had to commute up and down to Shrewsbury whenever I could ...
In 1988 I was posted to RAF Cottesmore on T.T.T.E. (Trinational Tornado Training Establishment) and reclassified as medically fit but with a 'medical marker' which was to continue to deny me any chance of promotion. I was doing Tornado 2nd line servicing which was marginally better than the VC10 majors at Brize, but still mindblowingly boring to me. Recurring back pain caused me many problems still and I had to move off the hangar floor and was made NCO i/c Toolstores ... To me this was the final straw, my wife still refused to relocate even as far as Leicestershire and I was still commuting most weekends to an increasingly unstable marriage. The only way out that I could see was to PVR. I applied and was basically talked out of it by the Engineering Officer i/c the section and instead was offered a posting to RAF Cosford as an Instructor. Cosford is only 20 miles or so from Shrewsbury and so I accepted the 'compromise' and attempted to save my marriage.
I was posted to RAF Cosford in April 1990 as an Instructor on CFST (Composite Flight Servicing Training). Initially a little reluctant to do something that I had sworn I would never do I took to the job like a duck to water and enjoyed every minute of it. We had our own little Empire on the airfield at Cosford and this was the closest I had come to being back on the MU at Abingdon, I even did some restoration work on one of the Museum's WW2 aircraft during quiet periods. (A Mitsubishi Dinah Bomber).
My marriage finally collapsed at this point and we seperated. (We were eventually divorced in January 1994).
One good thing that came from being at Cosford was that I became very good at working with computers and went on many computer courses. Towards the end of 1992 the RAF began offering Voluntary Redundancy packages. Unlikely to get promoted due to my medical history it looked too good to be true, but I applied and was accepted and was out of the RAF in February 1993 having done 16 years of my 22. I did a resettlement course in Diesel Engine Maintenance at Catterick. (I took that course with the idea that I could service diesel engined cars which I intended to use as taxis).
I used some of the redundancy money to pay my ex-wife off, keeping the house, and continued to live in Shrewsbury, where I set myself up as an owner-driver taxi operator and worked at two Taxi firms in Shrewsbury, first Central Taxis and then Vincents Taxis.
Whilst working on the taxis I became friends with a singer/songwriter called Stuart McColl.
This led to the formation of several bands:- ‘2 Bloody Rite’ and ‘Jump The Gun’ (both with Me on Keyboards and Stuart on Guitar & Vocals),
‘Blue Memories’ (with Me on Bass, Neville Pass on Vocals and Ken Evans on Guitar)
and finally ‘Two’s Company, Three's The Crowd’ (with Me on lead Vocal and Flute and Ken on Guitar).

It was whilst working with this band that I met Sheila who was one of our three backing singers.
We were married on the 17th of May 1999.
I had to stop work as a taxi driver after having yet another back operation and another discectomy
, my doctor citing the constant aggravation of driving as being the cause and effectuvely ending my short career as a taxi driver.
Working with the various bands had led me to build a recording studio, initially just for the use of whichever band I was in at the time.
This eventually became ‘Soundscape Studios’, which I ran initially by myself and then in partnership with Gair Davies.
The Studio effectively closed in November 1999 after moving temporarily to the SAHA club in Shrewsbury, and I sold all my interest in it to Gair,
who subsequently re-opened the studio initially at Whitehall Manor in Monkmoor, Shrewsbury, moving to Derfeld House in Shrewsbury and finally to Oxon in Shrewsbury, where it still operates today.

These days I spend my time playing Ukulele and recording music, making videos for YouTube and tinkering with computers, both at home and at the studio.
Apart from music my other great passion is growing and eating chilies, and yes I am still a curry monster ...

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