I was born in Liverpool and raised in a family of railway men but I became an engineer and after a short period in the army married Dorothy. Together we have run several successful companies.
One of my passions has been competing in motorcycle off-road competitions, including trials, enduro, motocross, sand racing, hill climbs, rallies and speedway. These competitions have taken myself and my wife to events around the world.
My sons and daughter in laws have competed for many years and are now involved in desert rallying including the manufacture of race cars. Chloe, one of my grandchildren is currently an off-road champion and has raced in the UAE and Sweden and is now experiencing the thrills of off road motorcycling. My other grandchildren Zoe and Alex are trained as motorsport marshals and are involved at all levels of off road sport.
I have flown many types of aircraft; mostly single engine types and I fly at local airports in order to stay ‘current’. My experience of aircraft extends beyond that as I have flown in three types of corporate jets including at the controls of a HS125 and Dassault Falcon. I have flown in many military types including the Mosquito, Vampire, Canberra, Neptune, Shackleton, Lincoln, Anson and a lovely Tiger Moth.
Along with my wife I took part in the Dakar Rally which started in France travelled through Tunisia, across the Sahara Desert in Libya and finished in Egypt. Together we wrote about our experiences on the Dakar in a book dedicated to John Deacon one of Great Britain’s successful rally raid riders. The World Rally Champion and multi Dakar winner, Ari Vatanen wrote the forward and while the book is sadly now out of print it is treasured by enthusiasts.
For over seven years my wife and I travelled in a converted bus with our two motorcycles and visited more than fifty countries. That journey included an eighteen month stay in North America visiting forty-two states before we travelled down through Mexico to Central America. While the vehicle was shipped to Australia we back packed through South America, and once reunited with our home on wheels we enjoyed the delights of northern Australia. Then we crossed over to New Zealand for the final leg of our journey where we enjoyed many great motorcycle rides through the glorious scenery.
The vehicle was sold and we returned home to convert a Transit van and continue our travels and motorcycling in Europe.
Dot wrote about our experiences travelling together, ( Journeys with Jim) not a diary but descriptions of some of the experiences that we shared, places we visited and the interesting people we encountered.
Together we planned a flight around the world in a light aircraft which had to be delayed due to a leg injury and the intervention of Covid-19. The flight was a fund raiser for the Alzheimer’s Society and we have made a substantial donation to their funds thanks to the generosity of our sponsors.