On leaving Wolverhampton College of Art I would have liked to do an MA course in Printmaking. I applied to the Central School and was offered a place but was unable to secure a grant to sustain me in London. I was almost destitute at the time. Luckily I had friends who had moved to Brighton to join the Teacher Training course there and one with a new job at the University. I moved into a hippy happy, dynamic, mixed accommodation in St James street, Kemptown, near the seafront . I needed a Job and set about my career as an artist. Initially I found work doing night shift in a bakery. I was in the cakes department but the night work did not suit me and I was fortunate to pick up a job teaching English culture to foreign students learning the language at the many summer schools in the town. I then got a job as a steward on the cross channel ferries sailing between Newhaven and Dieppe.I ran the coffee lounge attached to the main bar on the MV Senlac. In the meantime I drew and painted and did some printmaking at the art collage when I could. This all culminated in my first exhibition, with another local artist, at the Gardner Centre for the Arts at Brighton University (as it was then).

Me in Brighton, finding my way around.
Me, Dave Smith and Astrid, 60 St James Street
Brighton beach near the pier.
The coffee lounge Kona coffee station on the MV Senlac.
Me and Tony Masero setting up our Two Artists exhibition. 

Shortly after this my Brother, who at the time was a serving officer stationed at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, rang me up one day and said there is a job going managing a caravan site just outside the the town of Kyrenia on the North coast of the island. I guess that being young and stupid and seeking adventure  I said I would take it. The job came with an old Land Rover, I didn't even have a driving licence so needed to take a driving test when I got there. I spent the next six months doing very little and then moved to a new job with a design agency in Limassol until I was repatriated by the RAF back to the UK when the island went into meltdown and was partitioned between the Greek Cypriots and the Turks; as it is to this day. The RAF kindly dropped me at Paddington Station penniless and in the clothes I was standing up in as my only possessions. The coach driver gave me a £5 note and wished me good luck. Thus started my 13 year stay in London.

Astra Caravans Kyrenia North Cyprus 1973
Astra Caravans Kyrenia North Cyprus 1973