All about me

Welcome to my afterthoughts. There is a full alphabetical list at the bottom of every page.

These are my stories, not anyone else’s. I kept a diary virtually every day from January 1948 to the present – and I have still have them all, mostly now digitised for posterity. All the stories in this website are based on those diaries, my flying logbooks and other writings of mine over many years.

That's me on my 1st birthday
That’s me on my 1st birthday

I was born in the West Riding of Yorkshire in 1935 but for most of my working life I lived outside God’s Own County, as Yorkshire is always known by true Yorkshire folk. I attended three different grammar schools in three different cities: Queen Elizabeth Grammar in Wakefield, Roundhay Grammar in Leeds and Salford Grammar School. Such a peripatetic lifestyle, brought about because Dad was a Prison Officer and was forced to move around every two years or so, had a most unfortunate effect on my education and my childhood ambitions.

The official pic of me at RAF Bridgnorth 1953
The official pic of me at RAF Bridgnorth 1953

With my 18th birthday and National Service looming and my career plans in tatters after the fourth move of home since 1947, I signed on in the Royal Air Force as a gesture of defiance or frustration, or both, and without telling my parents in advance. I first donned RAF uniform on 18 August 1953 and took it off for the final time 17,373 days later on 14 March 2001. Within weeks I had moved back to what had been the West Riding and is now known as West Yorkshire, to a house in Wakefield barely four miles from the one in which I was born.

It was only in 2009 that I learned that my paternal grandfather, whom I never knew, was an Irishman and that I am a distant cousin of Archbishop Joseph Cunnane of Tuam who died in 2001.

My main website, running since 1998 and now with about 350 pages, is still available here.