Don't some of the best things in life sometimes come about by happenstance (says he, grinning from the driving seat of an Aston Martin*)? Or maybe that 'happenstance' points the way to where one ought to be going. With me, that way was writing and publishing.
I'm known principally as an expert on the history of the London taxi and as the Author of Carbodies - the Complete Story, the book that underpinned my knowledge of the history of London taxis.
London taxis are not my sole interest in the automotive world. During my mid-teens, at school I was actively involved with the British Hot Rod Association, helping to run model drag races and model hot rod and custom car shows. I gained an interest in Ferguson four-wheel drive in the late 1990s when I wrote Jeep, from Bantam to Wrangler, which prompted further research into the topic. This emerged as Traction for Sale.
I now run Earlswood Press and write books and the occasional magazine article on a full-time basis. Below, you can see the topics I'm researching or am generally interested in.
If you want to ask a question or can help in any way, I'd be very pleased to hear from you, so please contact me.
*The Aston is not mine (I wish - I run a 2003 MG ZS). The photo was taken at a track day at Goodwood in 2017.
Consultancy, Film and Television work
If you are an author who wants to make sure you have the details about London Taxis correct, I'm happy to advise. Just contact me.
If you are a film, TV or radio programme maker, I will be pleased to work with you on a consultancy basis. For commercial work, such as film or TV consultancy I usually charge a fee, based on a daily or half-day rate. Please do not assume that, as an enthusiast, I will be happy to work for nothing. I won't. However, do call me to see if we can do a deal that suits us both.
My first book, Carbodies - the Complete Story, does what is says on the cover! It deals in detail with the Coventry coachbuilder that is now LEVC - The London Electric Vehicle Company. I decided that I had to produce a second edition, because a steady amount of material about the company and its products continued to come to light after the book's publication, and still does. I'm always keen to hear from anyone who has information to share or has questions to ask.
William Beardmore, Field Marshall of Industry
Largely forgotten by today's students of industrial and naval history, William Beardmore, Baron Invernairn played a pivotal role in the prosperity of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Glasgow, his adopted city. After the Great War, Beardmore earned the accolade, "The Field Marshall of Industry" as well as a peerage for his great contribution to the output of munitions. In 1919 he changed tack and began developing many different modes of transport, but his failure to deal with the consequences of the economic climate of the 1920s crippled the company and he was forced out. He died in 1936, in his eightieth year.
This is a long-term project and I would very much like to hear from anyone with any connections with Beardmore, his wife, Elspeth (née Tullis), or anyone who has an interest in either the Beardmores or the products of the various companies.