Tyke. Fan of classic cameras, classic cars (especially VW dubs & minis), classical music (esp L van B, Schubert, Mahler, Mendelssohn), J S Bach, classic cuisine; Yorkshire; Romania. Anti-fan: politicians; ‘celebrities'; EU; fancy frugal ‘starred’ food.

Thought I’d cut and paste the following ‘about me’ from a recent post:

Way back in the ’50s I was a student apprentice in the central research laboratories of one of the UK’s leading heavy engineering companies at that time, British Thomson Houston. And in 1957 I was working, in a very junior way, on components for ‘Zeta’, the British attempt to utilise the power of nuclear fusion in a beneficial way (rather than the destruction of the hydrogen bomb).

Those were the days of real apprenticeships – five years with four days a week in ‘work’ and one day, three evenings a week for a Higher National in applied physics at college (the Rugby College of Advanced Technology, now Coventry University). I remember very well that my wage in the first year was £2 11s 6d a week, of which £2 10s went for board at the apprentice hostel. But I digress …

After finishing the apprenticeship I chose to go down a different path, starting over again by doing a few hours a week on a couple of weekly local newspapers, from where I went to writing about science and technology, then the management and marketing of it. Even in this field I could indulge my love of words and wordsmithing. And, in a roundabout way, it took me too into teaching English, which allowed me to pass a little of that love onto my students.

Although I chose to go in a rather different direction, I’ve never regretted those five years in BTH. If I do find the inspiration from the Higgs boson ‘discovery’, and the incongruity of the photo I’ve chosen to insert in this post might tip the balance,

http://grumpytyke.com/2012/07/07/the-god-particle-and-inspiration-for-a-would-be-creative-writer/

I’ll have even more reason to celebrate that half a decade in Rugby.

PS. The four greatest influences on my life: my paternal grandmother Lucy Livesey, who introduced me to the piano (including Eileen Joyce live), Beethoven and Delius (with Sir Thomas Beecham), opera (Carmen when I was 7 and The Ring shortly after), books, walking, love of food and the advantages of telling the truth; John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath – which I read when in Rugby and the basis of my bloody-mindedness ever since); the British Thomson Houston apprenticeship; my first two full-time editors, Mike Hide, then (1962 – 1966?) editor of Chemical Age, and Fred Roberts MBE, then (1967-1970) editor of Engineering, come a close joint fourth.

PPS: Romania is in there too.

13 Responses to “About”


  1. I enjoyed your post. My grandmother was also a huge influence in my life. I look forward to learning more from you.

    1. grumpytyke Says:

      Thank you Audrey. I really enjoyed a pretty quick meander through your blog but I’ll be back, especially to take more time with Frio.


      1. Please do! You are welcome at any time you have a cup of coffee and a bit of time. I have to say that looking back it was a bit of a struggle.

  2. Georgina Says:

    It’s great to have found your blog (and thanks for coming to visit mine too). Definitely looking forward to reading / learning much more about Yorkshire – and other places – from you. Georgina


  3. so nice to read about you :)
    I am so glad I found you blog, regards, Oana


  4. Enjoy your blog. There’s a lot be said for enjoying the freedom of not being confined to any one subject. I suffer many such digressions. Also love Steinbeck. Sold! Tracey

  5. platypushaiku Says:

    Hi,
    I am nominating you for the One Lovely Blog Award. Please see my post for more details. I am loving the variety of your blog. Cheers,Ronnie

    1. grumpytyke Says:

      Thanks a lot Ronnie. At the moment I’m in Cornwall, camping in ‘Lofty’, so have very limited internet access (I’m in a pub with free wi-fi at the moment) so I won’t be able to post or do much else till I’m back home at the end of the month. I’ll follow up when I’m back home. Thaks again, grumpytyke

      1. platypushaiku Says:

        Looking forward to more of your photo haiku grumpytyke! Enjoy your camping :-)

  6. Uma Says:

    I have to say, I love your blog.. I read a couple of posts and what I love about it is that by the end of it I feel that you have taken me to places you have been to. That is very simple and beautiful writing : )

    1. grumpytyke Says:

      Hi Uma. Many thanks for this. I’ll be thinking of what you have said when I visit wherever, and try to take you there.

  7. ©@t Says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog/phlog. :)

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