when Kaye asked if anyone would be interested in writing a few words for the journal explaining a little about themselves and their relationship with the local area, frankly I couldn’t resist the opportunity for a spot of self promotion, these opportunities don’t come along everyday!
Born in High Wycombe, I grew up in Bourne End and spent many happy years in the area before moving to Wiltshire in 1995. Educated at Deyncourt and all too ready to leave when the opportunity arose, I decided to follow my dream and apply for a job on the railway, always my one true love if you exclude my wife Rebecca naturally.
Today I read about so many young people struggling to find employment in their chosen career, I do feel for them because things are so much more difficult now than in 1985 when I set foot in the outside world.
Childhood circumstances were such that I spent time living in Loudwater before moving to Bourne End, initially to a flat in Selbourne House at the bottom of Blind Lane. As I grew up, mum must have made the decision that we needed more space which led her to ask the council for an exchange, to a house if possible?
The opportunity to exchange came up and we moved to No.6 Kennet Road, off Fisherman’s Way where we lived happily for goodness knows how many years.
On leaving Deyncourt in ’85, I remember being somewhat disheartened to discover that as a young 16 year old, I would have to wait another couple of years before I could apply for a railway job and stand a chance of getting one. Much happened in those couple of years with gainful employment found in Marlow with the added bonus of being able to commute along the picturesque Marlow Branch, and yet, I still hankered after that original goal so I reapplied. The rest of this story is slowly being written into a proposed book which I will get round to completing one day.
These days, I find plenty to do in the Swindon Headquarters of First Great Western where I am ‘the font of all knowlege’ or so they tell me. The path I took to get there was long and varied, very much from the bottom up, providing me with a wealth of knowlege along the way. I enrolled as a rookie recruit, working on the platform at Maidenhead in November 1989 and since that time, have worked at Slough where I became Senior railman and later Duty Manager.
Moving house to Chippenham in 1995 and to Swindon for work purposes, I became Station Supervisor at the Wiltshire town that was literally built around the railway. I held that position for four years before seeking the busy life at Bristol Temple Meads for another four. Moving up to Chippenham for a while, I finally moved back to Swindon and into Head office in 2006 where I reside to this day, keeping a watchful eye on day-to-day safety reporting across the Great Western network, with special attention being given to matters concerning the Marlow Branch line – naturally!