I was born in 1952 at Grotto Road, South Shields. My father was a chief engineer in the merchant navy and my mother was a house wife.
My grandfathers served in the first world war, one was a teacher of shorthand and esperanto, the other a brass finisher at Middle Docks.
I went to school at Thornholde Infants and Horsley Hill Juniors. When I left school I started at the civil service.
My Mother died very young and I progeressed through the civil service, meeting my wife. We have two children and four grandchildren. I retired in 2011 and began volunteering for Age Concern.