I was born at an early age in Cardiff, but only as my mother was there at the time. We moved to England shortly afterwards so I can't claim to be Welsh, unless Wales is winning at Rugby.
After a fairly conventional primary school, I did most of my secondary schooling in Milan, Italy at the American School. Although there were something like ten times as many British families there as American, the Brits all sent their kids to UK boarding schools and the Americans took them with them. Consequently, there was an American School in Milan, and no British school. I did meet some very interesting people, including the wierdos that the USA does so well (13 year old prospective KKK members for example) that it has given me a healthy respect for our transatlantic cousins (and a fear of Bowie knives).
At 13, with hair
On my return to the UK, I finished my schooling in Surrey (Tiffin Boys' School) and went to University where three years at tax-payers expense was most welcome. (we had grants then and no tuition fees) I read advanced car maintenance, amplifier and 'speaker building and girls. Oh, and I managed a 2.2 in Electronics.
Inconspicuous as a student - 1957 Hillman Minx convertible
Having to earn a living and being rather keen on audio, I became a Development Engineer designing the electronics for studio mixers, high-speed tape duplicators, Broadcast audio routers and audio test equipment (level, noise and rumble meters). I then moved to designing Broadcast systems, Outside Broadcast vehicles being especially interesting. At that point I realised that the Salesmen were having a much better time and being paid a lot more money than the guy designing the stuff, so, wanting some of that, I moved into sales.
This satisfied me for several years until Philips sent me on a course on how to run a small business, as many of the people we dealt with were small businessmen, and Philips felt we might understand their problems better if we knew something about it! On the basis of this course, I realised I too could be a small businessman, so I started a high-end Hi-Fi shop in Essex (Beechwood Audio for anyone who might remember it). Sadly, as I am a Broadcast Engineer, I couldn't (or wouldn't) understand anyone who didn't see hi-fi as an engineering activity, so would only sell stuff that made sound engineering sense. No fancy cables, no valve amplifiers, promoted CD as a lot better than vinyl at the time when Linn ruled supreme etc. etc. I went bust.
Returning to the Broadcast Industry, I spent the next twenty years with the big names of the Broadcast Industry like Marconi and Harris, and with smaller but more interesting companies like Lindos and Preco.
Having served my sentence, I retired towards the end of 2005. After almost two blissful years of retirement, I wanted to do something useful again, so in mid 2007 I volunteered as the Station Engineer for our local Hospital Radio Station. However, what I thought would be some nice gentle light maintenance has turned into a sort of second career, albeit unpaid. In 2010 we were granted a proper FM license on 103.3MHz to become RWSfm, the local Community radio station for Bury St Edmunds. That involved me in designing and building two full-broadcast standard studios, and maintaining them since.
Community Radio is 'proper' grown up radio, and we're licensed by Ofcom, who monitor our performance, so it's an altogether different level to Hospital radio or RSLs, on a par with Commercial Radio, although we're not allowed to make a profit (not hard to do) and the shares in the radio station never acquire a value, so we won't get bought and sold in the way Commercial stations seem to be. We're all volunteers, and it's challenging work considering how small our budgets are.
Now, without hair