This is a sort of CV, but not one designed to appeal to a future employer as I have no intention of finding an employer in the future. Instead this is the top level of a more truthful reflection of the places I have learnt and worked.
Over time I will add more detail to the various elements of my life itinerary, but for starters this post provides an outline of the places and institutions involved.
Starting with formal education. Up until 1961 I attended various primary schools as we moved around a bit. For the last year or two I was at Wallhampton School near Lymington in Hampshire. A traditional boys prep school (boarding)
From age 9 to 17 (until Dec'69) I was at Christ's Hospital near Horsham in West Sussex. A middle rank boys public boarding school (that means private if you are reading this outside the UK). I loathed it but did get A levels in Maths, Physics and Chemistry sufficient to take and pass the entrance exam to get into Cambridge University.
From Oct'70 until June'72 I studied Engineering at Emmanuel College, Cambridge University. I pretty much failed my Tripos Part 1 exams at the end of the second year and dropped out.
I took a year out, growing up a bit and deciding what to do, then got a place on the Film & Photographic Arts degree course at Central London Polytechnic. (now Westminster University). Graduated in June 1976 and went looking for a job in the film industry.
Worked for a few months for the BBC as a "Positive Assembler" at TFS Ealing - although in fact I was sent to BBC Enterprises at Villiers House where my job was to tack leaders and tails onto prints (16mm) which were being sold overseas. Mostly I remember spending the time watching old episodes of Horizon on a Steenbeck
Early 1977 joined ICECo (Independent Camera & Equipment), a subsidiary of AKA (Alan Klein Associates - a partnership of freelance 16mm camera and sound people) in Broadwick Street, Soho. ICE had been set up by Nick Knowland and Stephen Mellor to be the UK agents for Aaton cameras. I was recruited as the camera technician.
By early '79 I had got married and we wanted to get out of London so got a job as a Camera Engineer with Southern Television in Southampton. Taken on to look after their 16mm film cameras, but being in the Electronic Maintenance department this soon morphed into being a full Broadcast Engineer.
Southern TV managed to loose their licence to print money in 1982 and newcomer TVS (Television South) took over the studios and technical staff lock stock and barrel. Still nurturing vague ambitions to make programmes I applied for various trainee director posts but ended up as a Technical Coordinator with TVS instead.
A couple of years later and a combination of reasons led us to move to Cornwall and a job as a Supervisory Engineer (just a grade, no supervision involved) in Electronic Maintenance at TSW (Television South-West) at Plymouth. This was a shift job, working the late (midday-closedown) shift on a modified Ally-Pally 7 day fortnight pattern: very family friendly
Both at Southern and at TSW I became active in the union (ACTT) being at various times Shop Chairman (not -person) and Shop Steward. By sticking my head above the parapet and successfully negotiating one of the last local collective bargaining agreements on the introduction of ENG (electronic news gathering) I was "encouraged" to join a management training progarmme they set up in house to deal with troublesome staff.
TSW in their turn lost their franchise and this time the incomer refused to take on any assets or people from the old company so we all lost our jobs. The six management trainees who had been groomed to take over in the succeeding years as senior management were all near retirement age were a little pissed off, but had had some useful corporate skills inculcated. After a month or so I found a post as a lecturer at Saltash College - a FE (further education) college and taught computing A-level and BTec for a year.
Wanting to get back into broadcast engineering I was taken on as Engineering Manager by CCT Productions in Westminster who provided the broadcast facilities for the Houses of Parliament. Working in the heart of Westminster with a pass that allowed access almost everywhere from the voids under the chambers (Guy Fawkes territory) to the roof tops across the parliamentary estate.
Remained living in Cornwall as children settled into schools so commuted weekly. Eventually managed to swing this to working from home on Fridays but finally had enough of it and looked for local jobs. Accepted a post with a software distributor but then was offered a more interesting sounding post with Wandel & Goltermann.
Started as a product marketing engineer (on half my London salary) for WG knowing nothing about their products (telecoms test equipment) and even less about marketing. Marketing wasn't a problem as my new boss assured me that it was just about making SWAGs (silly wild-arsed guesses) and taking the credit if you were right and having a plausible reason for being wrong (another SWAG usually does it). The products (telecoms test equipment) seemed pretty basic by broadcast TV standards so that was ok too.
WG took over (merged with) Wavetek to become WWG thus expanding our portfolio and offering me the chance of moving to Indianapolis which we visited as a family for a week (they paid) said yes to on a Friday and then backed out on the Monday (thanks goodness we did). Bosses came and went and I seemed to drift upwards.
WWG then merged with (were taken over by) TTC triggering another round of movement which saw me given a big retention bonus and becoming head of marketing in the division - ridiculous. Eventually the new company named itself Acterna with a new logo and we struggled to rationalise competing and overlapping product lines between 8 major sites all with their own R&D, production, marketing. Fortunately within 18 months the fallout from the bursting of the dotcom bubble saw a massive shakeout in the Telecoms industry and the yanks yanked the plug on us - redundancies all round. I went first with 6 months of inflated salary and 3 months free use of the high end company car including all petrol.
After pissing around for nine months wondering whether I wanted to try and be some kind of freelance marketing consultant (12 years later I wonder what on earth made me think that was even possibly something I might like to do) I decided to get another 'proper job'. This meant back to London and a role in technical maintenance at Thames Televsion who had lost their franchise in the round after TSW & TVS did but carried on as producers of The Bill from a warehouse in South London (Merton)
This was excellent familiar territory - the technology had moved on a bit - digi-beta cameras and recorders, computer based editing (Avid) but the old familiar issues still applied. Money was good enough (though nowhere near my peak-money year at Acterna) to be able to afford the double life and with children mostly off at uni was a bit less stressful.
After a year or so started to look to move on, within TV industry, and got a job as a shift engineer in electronic maintenance at APTN. Money a bit up, and the shift hours were excellent - back to the old TSW pattern of a late shift on a modified AllyPally rota.
London is a pain though - who would ever want to live there when they could have a far better quality of life on lower pay in Cornwall. Not me. Eventually a job came up at the University of Plymouth (until recently Plymouth Polytechnic) as the Technical Manager in the School of Psychology. Sounded ok so I got the job - home and walking the dog by 5:30pm in my first week was a real novelty.
I still seem to be here 8 years later, although it is now called Plymouth University thanks to them hiring a con artist as a Vice-chancellor who seemed to have swallowed a book of 90's management-speak on her way up. She has just been 'sacked' so things are looking up. I had a couple of small pensions kick in at age 60 which were enough for me to be able to afford to only work for money half time. Going half time meant I could ditch all the tedious management parts of the job and concentrate on the things I really enjoy - solving coding problems, playing with bits of hardware, general engineering skills.
That's the history in a large nutshell - I'll expand on bits as the mood takes me - links will appear on this page and probably in the menus.