About me ...

My interests are: Religion (as a non-Theist), music, singing, walking, cooking (and eating), science fiction and gardening. 

Primary schools I attended were Tiber Street in Liverpool (about 2 years), Fairlea (boarding) in Southport (2 years) and St Mary Abbots in Kensington, London (1 year). I passed the 11-plus and went for interview to Westminster School ... which I spectacularly failed (It was a disaster - I was lacking in self-confidence, had a slight stutter, a heavy ’scouse’ accent and accompanied by my Greek-Cypriot uncle). Secondary schools were Sloane Grammar in Chelsea, Quarry Bank Grammar (2 years, now a comprehensive) and Hillfoot Hey High (2 years, now replaced by a housing estate) Liverpool.

My first job was a Shipping Clerk (runner mainly) at Benjamin Ackerley, based at Pier Head, Liverpool in 1961.

Joined the RAF as a Direct Entry (not National Service) and served from 1962-68. Stationed at the following units:

  • RAF Bridgnorth (basic training), followed by RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey (trade training), 
  • HQ 24 Gp, RAF Rudloe Manor, near Corsham, Wilts … this is now a top-secret MOD establishment (very scary)
  • HQMEC, RAF Steamer Point in Aden (now the Yemen Republic … immensely scary) and 
  • HQFTC, RAF Shinfield Park near Reading … but now defunct.

I was stationed at RAF Steamer Point from late 1963 to late 1965. In mid-1964, Nick Glenton and I formed a band, 'The King Bees', with Steve Hutchinson, Dave Gratton and Johnny Fry. Nick was repratriated after about 4 months and replaced by Ron Lamberton for the last 12 months of my 2-year tour. I have since set up a website ... www.kingbeesinaden.co.uk ...  The website has plenty of pictures from the final year and (very basic and bad quality) audio recordings from our last concert. 

I have set up another website www.rafshinfieldpark.com which brings together personnel who were stationed at the camp. I was posted there from Aden in late 1965 and remained until purchasing my discharge in April 1968. The camp closed two months later. However, those two-and-a-half years were the best RAF times, meeting friends there I have to this day … we have a reunion every year.

Purchased my discharge from the RAF in 1968 and went to Leeds with my first wife, Pat. I worked as a Costing Clerk for Taylor Atkinson Ltd in a stainless steel works for about 9 months, 1968-69. Although I enjoyed the job and they tried to persuade me to stay, I had my mind set on Academia. Pat and I were divorced in 1970.

From 1969, I followed various studies for 5 years full-time and 3 years part-time at (now) South Bank, City, London and Brunell universities. From 1973 I taught Maths, Stats and Computing (at various times) at Orpington College, Bromley CAT, CBS College and Nottingham (Clarendon) College. In 1996, I began working as a medical statistician with Jason Gardosi at Nottingham University (PRAM) and in 1999 we moved to the newly formed Perinatal Institute in Birmingham.

My full professional CV is here.

I currently sing in the choir: The Saturday Singers (SATB, around 40, mixed repertoire) and a quartet Quorus. Previously a member of the Nottingham Harmonic Chorus (c200, classical repertoire) for 5 years (2003-2008).

© Andre Francis 2018