About Me

I am an author, angler and artist so my life is pretty busy. When I'm not writing, I'm fishing and if I'm not fishing I'll be burning a piece of wood with my pyrography iron.

I am in my sixties, married and live in Staffordshire with my wife Terry-Anne and our toy poodle, Daisy.

I grew up in the small village of Seighford and had a marvellous time until my father decided that it was time to emigrate to Australia. So at sixteen I became a £10 pom and spent the next two years in Melbourne where I sorted wool. Once my sentence was up, I returned to England and after working as a motorcycle mechanic for a short while I started work in a factory that made electricity meters.

I know it doesn't sound like a very exciting career, but I remained in that factory for over 34 years. While I was there, I worked my way up from the shop floor and eventually became the operations manager and then the stress was really on. The only compensation came from achieving output targets and friendship of some good work mates.

Anyway, an opportunity came my way to change my life so I grabbed it by the throat and ran like hell. I had always wanted to work for myself, so I set myself up as freelance writer and wrote articles and stories for magazines. One of my short stories won a prestigious writing competition and this was the trigger that saw me change to writing books.

The only problem I had was that, less than a year after leaving the factory, I suffered a major heart attack. I had two stents fitted and now take so many tablets that I rattle when I walk.

So that's me in a nutshell.


  1. Hi,
    My real name is Carminda Costa, live in north Portugal (Braga), fifty woman, radiologist and spending my free time learning about this technic.
    I'm a starter and very curious about this art. Have done some pieces.
    Passing by your page, I thought if I may have a word from you about my stuffs, if you please.
    Can you please do me a visit on my webpage:

    Thank you so much

    1. Hi Carminda
      I have tried to access the link you have provided but with no success. I would like to view some of your work, perhaps you could check if the spelling is correct.

  2. Where IS Shakey Bridges?! Went there in 50's and left Staffs not long after, but have fond memories of spending summer days there.
    And why is it inaccessible?

  3. Hi Monty, Shakey Bridges is located just to the North of Stafford on the River Sow. It used to be accessed from a small parking spot on the Eccleshall Road just beyond the oustskirts of the town.

    However, traffic is is a lot different now than it was in the fifties and the parking spot is no longer available plus the road is narrow and the trafic fast.

    Having said all that, the river is now little more than a ditch due to dredging operations down stream that have been done in a effort to save the County town from flooding.

    I have tried to get photos of Shakey Bridges by putting an appeal in the local paper but there were no takers. I guess it will just have to live on in my memory.

  4. Hi George,
    Thanks for speedy reply - would love it if you could give me a closer indication of the location, like e.g. a mileage guess from a named spot so I could google map it. Am really sad it's no longer available for families to enjoy its simple pleasures, and that you had no response to your newspaper ad - must be gadgillions of folk from 50's-70's and before, who have fond memories. BTW have you seen the website:http://www.imaginingstaffordshire.org.uk/mt/mthome.htm regarding the River Sow?
    I found a couple of photos online of kids at Shakey Bridges, here:

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  6. Hey George,

    What a treat for me after all these years of wondering about the spot, to be able to visit it if only virtually, and to know at last where it is. Thanks so much for your efforts on my behalf.
    I imagine that once cheap holidays to Benidorm became available places such as Shakey Bridges were abandoned, especially if water levels dropped and it lost some charms. Terrible shame.
    Your artwork is splendid, by the way, congratulations on your life choices!


    1. Hi Monty

      I'm glad I could help. Sorry about the spelling in my last reply, when I read it back it was terrible. By the way, you have relighted my quest to find some photos of Shakey Bridges that do justice to my memories. If I find any I will post a note on here or you could let me have your e-mail address and I will send them directly.

  7. Hi, i'm a tattoo artist and have recently taken up pyrography. No a lot of my artwork is portraits and I have done a few with the Peter Childs machine, but with one of the tiny spoon shaders it seems to take an awfully long time.I have tried making a larger spoon shader without success. Is there anywhere that sells larger shading tips for this machine?

  8. Hi Jay, sorry for the late reply. According to my tips supplier it is quite alright to use razortip tips in a Peter Childs machine.

    If you go to www.woodworkscraftsupplies.co.uk they have the full range of interchangable tips.

    I have used Medium Round Shader tip a few times and it works well.

    I have always thought that tatoo art and pyrography go together well,so good luck.

  9. Hi, George,
    Do you know anywhere else in the U.K. that stocks the Razertip wire tips as the Woodworks Crafts place is no longer trading.

    I've recently got a Peter Child machine, but would like a decent sized spoon shader.