I spent the early years of my life on board Hirta, a 50ft Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter built 1911 and, at the age of four, sailed for Iceland, America and the Caribbean with my parents. My childhood afloat cemented an appreciation for historic vessels which is still with me today.
I went to school in Salisbury, then studied for a BA in History at the University of Exeter, before going on to complete a Masters in Maritime History at the Maritime Institute, University of Greenwich.
I chose a career which would allow me adequate time for my boating pursuits without making actual hands-on sailing my profession. I had been fascinated by the intricate nature of the research I had done for my thesis and decided to start a business as a self-employed historical researcher.
I am based a stone’s throw from the Hamble River, although I work part of the week in London. I still go sailing in Tern, my 1930s Lymington scow, or in Little Kingfisher – a Harrison Butler gaff yawl, built 1926.
My maritime background has proved invaluable to my career. Not only am I passionate about my work, but I have a reference bank, built up over many years, from which I can draw contacts to solve the many diverse queries I receive.