I was born in Derby and spent my early years in Long Eaton, one of the key historic centres of Framework Knitting. My family moved to Leicestershire in 1974 and after leaving school a couple of years later, I joined a local firm of solicitors and continued my education with part-time study at Leicester Polytechnic. Thereafter I continued working within legal services, specialising in civil litigation and family law until 1993, when I joined the family dairy business of Kirby & West, becoming a director in 1997.
I was introduced to the Framework Knitters in 1997 by my father-in-law, Past Master Brian Smith, and am greatly honoured to continue the family tradition as Master, following in the footsteps of Brian, his son Graham (my brother-in-law), and most recently my sister-in-law, Sheila Turner.
I have been a member of the Rotary Club of Oadby since 1992 and have had a life-long interest in sailing. Since retiring, I support and volunteer for a local disability sailing group, together with an offshore sailing trust. I enjoy sailing with family and friends out of Woodbridge, Suffolk where I have a 27 foot sailing cruiser. I also enjoy managing the smallholding of pasture land adjacent to our home. Other hobbies include DIY, golf, singing, walking and travelling.
Married to Julia since 1987, we have two children, Richard and Natalie. Richard, who is married, now works in Luxembourg and Natalie is a solicitor working in London.
I thoroughly enjoy my involvement within our Livery, having served on the Cottage Homes Management Committee for many years and also being involved with the Inter-Livery Sailing competition which our Company hosted on several occasions. In addition, I am a member of the City Livery Club, the City Livery Yacht Club and the Brigantes.