As a child I loved making things out of old electronic and
mechanical scrap. It was the time when people were replacing
their huge valve driven TVs, gramophones and cast iron
household gadgets with new brightly coloured compact plastic
transistorised versions. I provided the neighbours with a popular
alternative to the council dump. Thank goodness for
I continued developing my knowledge of design and electronics
in school and went on to study Industrial Design and
Engineering at degree level, which the careers advisor thought
to be the most appropriate choice for someone with so many interests.
Having completed the degree, I set up a small design consultancy and quickly found myself very
popular with inventors who wanted their rough ideas worked out and presented as drawings and
prototypes. Whilst this was very enjoyable, the common theme was “I can’t pay you now, but I
will when it takes off.” Not a sound business model, hence the next amazing twenty seven years
spent teaching Design & Technology.
A few years ago I gave up teaching and returned to designing and making things (having first
taken the kids to school and completed filling the dishwasher).
Since then I have devoted more of my time to designing and making steampunk ‘machines’.
Steampunk is brilliant, as it combines my love of old machinery, especially innovative Victorian
inventions, with my hobbies of making Gothic styled furniture, engineering, electronics and
Having made a couple of bespoke steampunk creations, I realised there were no actual working
steampunk machines that could be bought by enthusiasts. To address this I designed the
Barometric Prognosticator III which proved popular and spurred me on to design the other
inventions on the website.