About

Since I  first launched my talks in 2013 they have been very well received, and have grown into a substantial body of work. As of early 2022 I have given over 250 talks to 150 different groups, and I haven't lost my voice yet.

Some background:  I am a retired town planner, born and raised in Sheffield and educated, with little distinction, at King Edward VII grammar school.  I went into town planning straight from school, working mainly in South Yorkshire, but also for several years in Edinburgh.

From an early age I have been fascinated by aircraft and flying, and I was lucky enough to have a pilot’s licence for some years. I no longer fly, but an abiding interest in airships led me to write a novel, The Goddess of Freedom, which I self-published in 2013. That went the way of most self-published novels, but my research into airships provided me with the knowledge to produce my first talk, “Hotels in the Sky”.

My wife and I lived on a narrowboat for many years and, after retiring, we cruised extensively around the inland waterways. We no longer live afloat, but those wonderful experiences led directly to my second talk “The Slow Road”, a journey along many of the canals and rivers that we cruised during those years. 

I am no ardent royalist but I am interested in history, and there's no doubt the monarchy has played a crucial role in our national history. Looking into the gaps in my knowledge of the royal family’s lineage led me to produce “The Seed of Kings”. This talk follows the bloodline of the monarchy from King Alfred the Great to King Charles III and the princes in waiting.

In 2016 all the news about plans to refurbish the Houses of Parliament prompted me to go to London and do the tour of the buildings, and then to produce my talk “A Palace by a River”. It is one of my most popular talks, although it has to be said that during 2019, when Parliament was paralysed by Brexit, people were so fed up that I didn't get a single booking for the talk! 

My interest in historic and famous buildings also led me to my talk about skyscrapers. “The Sky’s the Limit!" examines how these massive buildings came into existence, and looks in a light-hearted way at the impact they have had on our cities, our culture and our imagination.

Aviation history is the basis of my latest talk, “Beyond the Blue Horizon”. A companion to “Hotels in the Sky”, it tells the fascinating story of the so-called Golden Age of Air Travel in the 1920s - 1950s, when air travel was glamorous and exciting (also very expensive, and risky with it).

Six talks, on six very different subjects. Something for everyone?  I hope so.