I was born in Plymouth and lived there until I was 19, except for part of the second world war, when my mother and I lived with my great aunt in a quiet part of Shropshire.
I did national service from 1956 to 1958, mostly in Germany, and took advantage of the opportunities for travel that this presented. I then took a degree in PPE at Oxford and followed it with a Cert. Ed. at Exeter University after marrying in August, 1961. They were kind enough to make every effort for me to do teaching practice at Exeter as I had recently married and this meant Exeter Tech.
Having tasted further education, I wanted nothing else and applied for a number of jobs in colleges, landing one in what was then Bradford Technical College. After two years I obtained a promoted post at what was St John's College of F.E, Manchester, where I was to remain for 20 years!
During this time I became increasingly active in the lecturers' trade union, ATTI - renamed Natfhe after a merger. After a spell on the NEC I applied for a Regional Official's job with Natfhe and was successful at the age of 47, becoming Regional Official for the Yorkshire and Humberside region. After 10 years I obtained a new promoted post as Fieldwork Co-ordinator, still based in Leeds but travelling a lot round England and Wales with one visit to Northern Ireland. [Since I finished, NATFHE entered into a long-sought merger with AUT to form UCCU.]
I fully intended to retire at the age of 62 but in fact I had to leave 5 years earlier on health grounds after flu followed by a heart ailment that nearly finished me off. I had travelled extensively in France and we had spent a month in Zimbabwe with an ex-student who was one of the first to come here after independence. We had also managed a month trip to nine different countries of Europe [12 by today's forntiers but Yugoslavia still existed then, although Tito had died. I had always planned to travel much more after retirement.
When I needed the support of two nurses to walk at Manchester Royal Infirmary, my chace to travel seemed to have vanished. However, after a slow start, my health improved considerably and I have managed trips to Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Belgium, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Prague and Peru. Some of these have been alone and some with my wife, Pam. I am currently waiting for a short independent break in Marrakesh in November, 2007.Davidx 08:46, 14 October 2007 (EDT)