All about me
The story continues . . .
A sort of potted history is featured here - a more traditional document is available on request. Whilst I do very much enjoy my present employment I am sure I can do better so interesting offers welcome!.
St Albans School
I left St Albans School for Boys in 1970 with 10 O levels and 3 A levels in Pure Maths, Applied Maths and Physics. After a year at St Andrews University studying Pure Mathematics and Statistics the urge to earn money was great and I joined Scottish Equitable Mutual Life Assurance Society as a clerk in their Accounts Computer department in St Andrews Square, Edinburgh.
I had previously worked during summer vacations in 1969 and 1970 at Sun Life Assurance Society in Cheapside, London in their Group pensions department.
Stenhouse Fund Management
In March 1974 I joined Stenhouse Fund Management in York Place, Edinburgh as a Pensions Administrator, getting my first experience at dealing direct with clients and handling a wide range of enquiries and calculations of benefits for scheme members and providing actuarial advice to trustees.
British Waterways Board
Moving to Hertfordshire in June 1976, I was appointed Personnel Officer (Pensions) at the British Waterways Board and totally revised all their complicated pension arrangements, working closely with both the unions and the Board and achieving, against initial predictions, a massive majority vote by employees in favour of the new changes. This had involved redesigning the benefit structure, liaison with actuaries and investment managers and intense negotiations with the Superannuation Funds Office and the Occupational Pensions Board during a period of constant change in regulations in the industry. A highlight of this work was a Pensions Roadshow, lasting several months, in which I toured practically every BWB site across England and presented the new plans at venues large and small.
Leslie & Godwin
Leslie & Godwin, international brokers and one of the largest pensions consultancies in the UK, approached British Waterways Board and I was transferred to their employment as a Pensions Manager, where I completed the BWB transition then moved on to take on similar tasks for a portfolio of clients including The National Trust, The Royal Society of Chemistry, The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and many more, including a considerable amount of work for a substantial company being taken over by Vickers. In 1978 a director of Leslie & Godwin resigned when the firm was taken over by an American outfit and asked me to join him as a director of Estridge & Ropner. In October 1978 I accepted this offer and set up a new pensions consultancy office in Newbury, Berkshire and also ran their London operation.
Estridge & Ropner
In 1978 a director of Leslie & Godwin resigned when the firm was taken over by an American outfit and asked me to join him as a director of Estridge & Ropner. In October 1978 I accepted this offer and set up a new pensions consultancy office in Newbury, Berkshire and also ran their London operation.
Several clients followed me from Leslie & Godwin and supported me again when I set up a new consultancy, Osprey Associates, with three colleagues. My Newbury staff also joined Osprey at new offices in the town and we built up a highly successful group of companies offering a range of business consultancy services, specialising in pensions consultancy and new business development. We developed a number of innovative products and services in these fields and expanded so that by the 1980s we had interests internationally.
Andrew Hill International
Several crucial clients were badly affected by the severe downturn in the economic climate in the UK and the disastrous activities of an American broker appointed to manage a substantial portion of our funds resulted in our splitting the group and each of the initial founders of the Osprey group pursued individual sections independently. I chose to reduce my involvement to a few small selected clients and to spend more time developing other interests, including writing and design work.
In 1990 I was taken on by the Rosemary Bromley Literary Agency with a view to publishing my first novel, The American Broker, based on the events I had experienced. Just as figures were being mentioned and a final edit was taking shape Robert Maxwell fell off his boat and an already tight market for new authors appeared not to have room for my story which simply could not compete with the big news at that time. I continued with consultancy and administrative services for a Sri Lankan client and hoped the market for new authors would pick up one day.
The trading title is now utilised for some of my work in business consultancy, web design and other design work and may also be extended to educational consultancy following recent interest abroad in my work.
Central Bedfordshire College
By 1994 I needed some more reliable income and joined what was then Dunstable College, initially on a part-time basis, and began teaching in early 1995. Finding that I thoroughly enjoyed this new activity and that I could put my knowledge and experience to good effect, I soon had a very full timetable of IT and Business Studies training.
Since 1996 I have delivered a wide range of courses and in that year I began to run the Staff Development programme for IT training too. In the absence of a good, modern IT course being available I designed the IT2000 series of units which covered all the aspects of IT training that I believed businesses and home users needed, and which were not being catered for by any existing courses offered. This course was validated by the Open College Network at levels 1, 2 and 3 in 1998 and has run ever since. It was particularly well-received at Vauxhall Motors where I delivered Staff IT training until 2001.
I served as an elected member of the College's Academic Board for most of my time there and contributed actively to a wide range of developments. Highlights include the introduction of support for a better and more effective learning environment in my role as ILT Co-ordinator, the drafting and validation of a new Foundation Degree in Business for overseas students and as a founding member of the Eastern Region E-learning Forum.
I was Course Manager for Edexcel BTEC HNC and Level 3 Extended Diploma in Computing programmes, teaching across many units including Project Management, IT in Business, Web Design, Spreadsheets and Digital Graphics. I retired in 2012 to pursue independent work.
LSDA E-learning Co-ordinator / LSN Associate / LSIS Associate 2002-13
In November 2002 I was appointed as LSDA Regional E-learning Co-ordinator on a part-time secondment basis to help other colleges in the region benefit from access to and use of the wide range of resources and materials becoming available to enhance the teaching and learning environment for students. Through LSDA Q Projects I was responsible for selecting and allocating grants to institutions to help disseminate good practice in ILT and E-learning.
My role at LSDA expanded in September 2004. This included interpreting data from NLN surveys in previous years to try and establish changes in individual perceptions of e-learning development. More interesting was the development of a Maturity Model and Self-assessment tool by which institutions, departments or individuals could assess where they stand in relation to the published e-learning standards. From September 2005 I contributed to the development of a professional development framework, designed to provide all staff with the means to develop a portfolio of evidence, hopefully to be validated as a national qualification to support their e-learning practice.
LSDA became LSN in 2006 and in a world of an ever-diminishing number of expert advisors funded by this type of organisation I was fortunate to be retained for a further year, helping to plan and deliver at events concerning e-learning and Continuing Professional Development. These included the very well-received e-tools events help across the country.
Recent activity has been the development of a web portal to support the use of new technology in the Voluntary Sector as an LSIS Associate. The Learning & Skills Improvement Service took over many of the roles of LSN, the Learning & Skills Network, with whom I had had contracts previously. Based on The Learner Journey, I created a survey to find the needs of the sector and, from an analysis of the responses developed a new version of my web tools site.
Education consultant 2006-
From November 2006 I have been working with Charlie's Dog Training Centre, initially to create their new web site and to assist in the promotion and design of a new Cambridge Institute of Dog Behaviour & Training degree course, launched in March 2007.
In late 2010 a new Foundation Degree programme was launched by CIDBT including several new modules that I had helped to draft and get accredited by Middlesex University and these included ICT Skills for the Small Business Practitioner, providing 20 Credits at Level 4, for which I was the principal tutor.
I arranged and delivered ICT training at schools in Bedfordshire and in May 2011 launched a new Staff ICT Skills Assessment tool which is now being used by institutions abroad as well as in the UK.
In my independent capacity I chaired the JISC RSC Eastern Region E-learning Forum which arranged the very popular E-fair events each July, where practitioners and experts share and display their latest developments in using technology in education.
My E-learning Consultancy was launched in 2012 to cover my activities in this field.
I was also engaged with DRM Business Management Training & Consultancy as an Associate until the business closed in 2022.
Middlesex University 2010-
In April 2010 I was appointed as an Associate Lecturer at the University and work with their Institute for Work Based Learning as a Programme Adviser. This entailed guidance of students following distance learning modules for degree and post-graduate study, including Project Management, Recognition and Accreditation of Learning and Research methods modules and assessment of their submissions.
I also worked with staff at IWBL on CPD matters and set up and administered a forum where members could discuss academic issues and access administrative and other useful resources.
As part of my own training I have become familiar with assessment standards and procedures at Levels 4 to 7 and have also completed an MA in Professional Studies in E-learning Management.
Corgi Toys 2014 -
This has become quite a successful little operation. I started with the idea of building an on-line catalogues and resources for collectors of the original models from the 1956-74 period. I extended my own collection and gradually have acquired an almost complete range of models, including some scarce items. Once I have cleaned and photographed models I put them up for sale again and hope to make some profit to fund the next purchases.
The sites at Corgi-Toys.Net and the new Corgi.Toys are very popular, as is my blog. I often get calls from people seeking information and am starting to get mentioned in dispatches now!
It is a most enjoyable sort of occupation but needs to grow a bit still. I am doing my best and currently supplying a few special models for a number of up and coming birthdays. I can personalise models by adding number plates or even changing colours.