I was born in 1932 at Boston, Lincolnshire, UK.
Wartime disruptions in everyday life, bombed and shot at. Friends house opposite back blown out.
Low flying raider fires on us kids playing in the street. Four killed.
Raider shot down. Uncle Jim disarms aircrew and gives hand gun to me.
Educated at Boston Grammar School. matriculated but declined university.
After war left school at 16, went to Paris with friends painting for a year.
Then painting in San Sebastian Basque country for few weeks until returning to UK for compulsory National Service at 18 years of age.
As an alternative to National Service took a short service commission flying training.
Kept painting intending to become an artist after RAF service
Became RAF fighter pilot.
Back injured testing early Martin Baker ejector seat. Now half inch shorter.
Lost 152 pilots until ejector seats were installed in Mk 8 Meteors. Jet aircraft were a new sort of plane. Hard to manage at first.
RAF hospital made me a thing for use when flying called ‘blondie’s corset.’
RAF tower had unidentified aircraft on their radar and sent me to intercept and I was shot down by a USAF aircraft. Called friendly fire! Thanks a lot.
Big row with Yanks over it. International incident. Needed someone to blame. Guess who?
After leaving RAF worked in father’s self service shops (precursor to supermarkets.) No future for those things!!! Left.
Moved to Australia and bought farm near Rollingstone. Hard yakker but fulfilling.
Met and married Hilda who became a teacher.
Sold farm and went to Melbourne. Became manager for Natura Health foods.
Kept painting and using fibreglass to make statues. Moved back north and established fibreglass factory in Townsville making large stock tanks.
Invented several things to assist cattle famers. Got four patents, including supplement dispensers and an egg shaped fibreglass septic tank easy to transport and easy for outback installation. Usually difficult to make an egg shaped thing but resolved that by making egg shaped mould and spraying it with fibreglass.
Went into politics and became chairman of branch. Moved that Country Party change name to National Party (more inclusive). Disallowed by Sir Robert Sparks who said too nationalistic. Shortly thereafter Sparks got a Brisbane branch to propose same thing and it passed. Lesson: decisions are made by Brisbane not upstarts in Townsville. Party strife. I nominated for Nats in State election. Joh indecisive. Sparks intervened again and I was defeated. I left. Sparks died. Joh died.
Moved to Atherton Tablelands. Quiet life and no interruptions with art.
Started Oil Painting Workshops with Hilda organising, me tutoring. Went very well.
Workshops all over place including New Zealand. Over 300 held before Hilda became ill with breast cancer. Workshops ceased. Lost Hilda in 2012. Nothing is the same anymore but there’s still work to be done. We had seven children together… so have to keep an eye on them.