Born in 1949, I grew up in Birmingham, England. Educated at King Edward’s School, I subsequently graduated with a B.Sc. (Honours) in Architecture from Aston University and a Diploma in Architecture from the Birmingham College of Art and Design. The scientific bias of these particular courses was continued in my work with structural and other engineers through 25 years practice as an architect in England and Canada. After half a lifetime of refereeing conflicts between contractors and owners, I left architecture behind and became a consultant, designing upgrades for industrial plant, having discovered an aptitude for machinery design.
My “other” life began with a love for the countryside. My first fish was at 10; first on a fly at 12; first bamboo fly rod at 14 and so on. My fisherman’s progress was interrupted at 18 by rock-climbing and mountaineering. Twenty years of extreme climbing in Britain, the Alps, the Himalayas, Alaska and North America left me with many first ascents, a few thousand pictures and at least 27 friends and acquaintances dead.
British Columbia was a great place to be. Family and fly fishing took over again. In 1987, I started my first split bamboo rod and, almost immediately, the series of innovative machines began, culminating with those shown here. I have now retired from consulting but continue to build and repair rods. My spare time is taken up with fishing, hiking and birding with wife Pam, interspersed with occasional bursts of fiddle playing with the Bowen Island Black Sheep Morris, banjo picking and ski mountaineering.
Pam and I moved back to Britain at Easter 2015 and chose to settle in rural Shropshire for its Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty that offer great hill walking and fishing opportunities. Our lovely new house and my workshop have turned out to be too small, so we may have to move again, hopefully staying within our village. During the past year, I have reacquainted myself with climbing in Scotland and Wales and tackled a few Via Ferrata in the Dolomites of Italy.