St Lawrence, RowhedgeI was born in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk in 1954. In 1961 my father secured a new job in Colchester and the family was moved there. He was a self-taught church organists and soon found a playing position in the local nearby village of Rowhedge. By this time I was old enough to join the choir and it was in this church, when I was 14, that I played my first evensong. There was the Vicar, the Revd. Paul Faunch, his dog and one parishioner in the congregation. By the time I was 16 I was Organist and Choirmaster of the Garrison Church.

After doing my ‘A’ levels at the Gilberd School and getting my Grade 8 organ, I decided that music was going to be my career. I started an ‘A’ level course at the local college and followed this with a music degree. I was privileged to have some wonderful teachers; Eric Thiman for harmony, John Cooper and ‘Fred’ Harrison Oxley, the organist at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, for organ.

After leaving the Garrison Church I had a number of short-term organ positions in Colchester – mainly at churches that were being made redundant in the near future. These included St Leonard’s at the Hythe and St Mary Magdalene. I was then appointed as organist and choirmaster of St James the Great. I have recently returned to St James’ to help out during an interregnum.

Although I started my teaching career as a music teacher I soon found promotion in different areas. Firstly becoming a Head of Special Educational Needs and then Systems Manager and Head of ICT

In 2001 I moved tack again and joined the world of Pupil Referral Units, consolidating my experiences of SEN and ICT into one job. I was a committee and founder member of the National Organsiation for PRUs.

I retired from teaching in 2013 but remain passionate about education, especially in PRUs and Alternative Provision.