Meet the team!
I have been fortunate to have varied life experiences, as a book editor for Paul Hamlyn Publishers on non-fiction titles, including gardening books, working as an adult-education tutor, and then as a professional tour guide for the Heart of England.
On retiring, 10 years ago, I volunteered with my local ‘In Bloom’ group, and then became an Assessor for ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ Groups, Parks and Schools. I never cease to be amazed at how ‘In Bloom’ activities enable people to form friendships, as they improve and transform their communities.
More recently, I have the privilege of also being a judge for Heart of England in Bloom.
A lifelong amateur gardener, I firmly believe that “you never know where a little bit of gardening will take you”. It has taken me on an interesting journey.
I was born in Middlesbrough then in North Yorkshire in 1956. With the demise of the steel industry in 1971 I began looking for work which eventually. Led me to Stourbridge in November 1972. Although work here in the Midlands at that time was plentiful the strike actions of the unions at British Leyland and Massey Ferguson tractors meant I was working only two or three days per week in a parts factory as a tools setter.
It was at this time I started looking for a full time job as Engineering in my opinion was on the decline. I took a job in the Highways division of Dudley in March 1978. Training and developing within Civil Engineering skills I was soon promoted in June 1981 to Area Supervisor.
IIn1984 I was transferred to Environmental Health taking with me Street Cleansing. During 1989 I became Assistant DSO Manager of Waste Services with a staff of 186. I went back to night school and after three years gained my Chartered status of Wastes Management.
My involvement with In Bloom started in 2007 when I met with David Harcourt from Stourbridge and reading about Britain in Bloom and Heart of England I realised that In Bloom was not about just flowers but that of the Environment.
I took this knowledge with me when working with the Committee at Halesowen and my interest certainly grew in depth when I joined Eve O’Connor at Belfast as Halesowen won the Britain in Bloom IN 2018.
I became an assessor during 2019 and enjoyed joining Roger Bache at Newport for my experience of Heart of England assessments.
Since then Covid has put a brake on things however I look forward to better times and returning to join the Heart of England family.