About me

I started my adult life as an Oceanographer working for the South African Dept of Sea Fisheries. After a short period looking down a microscope at plankton I was Putin charge of a project researching upwelling – a process whereby the south east trade winds transport the water from the coast thereby drawing deeper water unto replace  it. My most prestigious publications were in Nature and Progress in Oceanography.

I returned to England to escape apartheid and took a supply teaching post in Ladbroke Grove, London.  

The same year with a friend I started a company hiring out narrowboats on the Macclesfield canal, Twinram Canal Hireboat Co Ltd.  This ran for about 10 years from 1975-1984.  I sold it on to join my second wife’s business a chain of gift shops, Bizar, in Hanley, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Chester.  This ran for about 20 years from 1977- 1996.  I had installed up-to-the-minute computerised tills in the business and for a while I sold this system to other outlets, mainly cycle shops.  My third business, Selfcateringhols.com, which I started with my wife Sue and my son, Dougal, was an internet holiday letting business.  We had three holiday properties in Porthmadog and Criccieth and my son had one in Barcelona.  We wound this down after about 10 years.

Boats have been an important part of my life.  I built a canvas 2-seater canoe at age 14.  I rowed at Marlow Rowing Club and Bristol University and in later life with Madog Yacht Club. We started sailing when I retired, starting off with a flotilla holiday in the Virgin Isles and then spending the summer season living on our own and other peoples’ yachts in the Ionian Sea, Greece for 5+ years.

I’m quite close to my younger brother, Chris, and have gone on holiday with him every year.  We started walking the South West Coast Path and enjoyed it so much we walked Offa’s Dyke and The Coast to Coast.  Staying in pubs but carrying our own gear.  My brother’s MS meant we couldn’t do that any more but we discovered he could cycle and we managed some wonderful trips on the National Cycle Network including cycling from Land’s End to Edinburgh.  Sadly that too is no longer possible.

Another love of mine is tennis and I was a member of a farmer’s mens doubles league for a number of years.  When we came to live in Criccieth I was dismayed to see the tennis courts there had fallen into disrepair and were no longer used.  With a couple of other I managed to resurrect the courts and now we have a thriving tennis club in a magnificent position.

Currently I’m living in Criccieth, North Wales with my wife, Sue, in a 4-bedroom apartment on the sea front.  I still play tennis at nearly 80, swim in the sea when its warm and calm enough and grow much of what we eat on my allotment.   I retired gradually between the ages of 63 and 66.  My father didn’t live long enough to retire and many many people in the world don’t have the opportunity. Hence my determination to be a retired person.

Me with two of my coat hanger people

2 Responses to About me

  1. David Cram says:

    Hello Bill

    Loved the section on Cape Town!

    Drop me line – a chat would be nice.

    regards, David

  2. Marina says:

    Dear Bill (and David),

    Did you know my father Nils at UCT? It would be good to be in touch.

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