In 1996, I left Driffield School with 7 GCSEs and 2 A-Levels. I then studied Computer Aided Engineering at the University of Hull, graduating with third class honours in 1999.
I chose to study Computer Aided Engineering because of my abilities in mathematics and physics and my interest in computing. After graduating, I sought a career in which I could use my engineering knowledge and computing skills. However, it was November 2000 when I was first employed by an engineering company. In the meantime, I worked in greenhouses, on farms and in potato packing factories.
My job in late 2000, which involved computer aided design (CAD) work, lasted less than two months. Over the next few years, I had a number of short-term jobs, involving either CAD or data entry, separated by long periods of unemployment.
In September 2003, I moved from Middleton on the Wolds to Driffield. The fact that Driffield has better public transport links helped my chances of finding work, although it still took me nearly a year after moving to find a job that lasted for more than a few months.
For much of my time in employment, I have done CAD work in the engineering and construction sectors; most of that work involved AutoCAD, although I used Microstation on one job and Revit during a trial period with a modular building manufacturer in 2016. CAD work for an engineering company is therefore an obvious choice of employment, at least for the time being, although there is no reason why I cannot work in a different sector or use other computer applications. If I can use my mathematical skills as well, that will be better. In the event that there is no CAD work available, I will consider data entry work as a temporary option.
I have been interested in chess since I learned to play at primary school age. At Driffield School, I played in a knockout tournament in each of my first three years, then joined a dinner time chess club when it was set up in 1993/94 and 1995/96. Later, I joined Hull University (1996-99) and Beverley (2002-10) Chess Clubs, playing league and cup chess for both. Starting in May 2003, I played three games for St Vincents in the Yorkshire League.
In Spring 2000, one of my former colleagues set up Robin Hood Cricket Club (There was already a Middleton on the Wolds Cricket Club). He asked me to play for the Club in a forthcoming friendly match. I was not sure whether I was good enough, but as the team had a vacancy I decided to play anyway. I played in two matches, in first Middleton then Cottingham, against a team from Yorkshire Water, and took a wicket in the first match (Did I bowl anyone over with that?).
Politics is another of my interests. I first became interested during the 1992 General Election campaign, although I started campaigning in line with my views in Summer 1991. I have expressed my views in letters to newspapers, councils and Members of Parliament (MPs). I have also followed political events and discussed views and ideas at meetings.
My first letter, to a local newspaper, expressed opposition to the proposed Leven-Brandesburton Bypass (A bypass is a road built to divert traffic around a settlement). Later, I wrote letters opposing road building in general, as well as other specific proposals such as the East Coast Motorway and the Middleton on the Wolds Bypass.
However, I realised it was not enough to oppose road building. New roads are built either to relieve congestion or to remove traffic from residential areas. I therefore decided to promote alternatives to cars and lorries, plus traffic calming. My suggestions have included a traffic calming plan for Middleton on the Wolds and a new bus network for the East Riding of Yorkshire unitary authority area.
In addition to the above, I have involved myself in transport issues as a member of the Driffield Area Transport Partnership and the Yorkshire Coast Community Rail Partnership.
I am also interested in subbuteo and model railways, although I have not had the chance to play with either for some time.