“I was born and raised on the Wirral Peninsula in the mid 50’s. It is located on the north west coast of England between the river’s Mersey and the Dee. I left school at 15 with no formal qualification. During my working life I worked on The Mersey Pilot Boats back in the early 70′s for a few years. We would spend 2 weeks out on the water and then home for a week off. The first week was out in the Irish Sea at the Mersey Bar waiting for the deep sea ships to come in to Liverpool so we could put a Pilot on them. The second week we would be stationed just off Amlwch on the Isle of Anglesey North Wales for ships coming up from the South. At the age of 18 I joined and then spent 12 years in the Forces working in Communications. After leaving the forces I then worked for a couple of Thatchers one down in the South of England and one up in the North for a number of years learning the basics of the craft of Thatching which I loved doing but a recession hit and I found myself out of work.
So in 1992 I decided to do something totally different. I applied for and was lucky enough to be accepted onto a two year diploma saddle making course at Cordwainers College Hackney London. The College was at that time unique in providing vocational courses in Footwear, Saddlery and Leathercraft under one roof and was world famous.
It was only a short time before I was hooked on working with leather. I found that I really enjoyed being able to make something out of a material that is very practical, durable and tactile . I decide to stay on at the end of the course as one of a handful who volunteered to do a further 2 years on their brand new HND saddlery course, the first of it’s kind in the country. This I did so I could gain as much experience as possible. I put my time to very good use making sure that I got as much as I could out of each course. I even did a few part time courses in the evenings on different aspects of leatherwork so as not to waste any of my time while at the College. After leaving Cordwainers I have continued working with leather and still do so till this day.”