Where to begin? The last thing I want is to put you all to sleep.
Like many people, I left school with less qualifications than I'd hoped for, and felt a little disillusioned by by education, so I started work - for the Coal Board at Moorgreen Colliery. Not actually underground you understand, but in the dirtiest, filthiest office you could imagine, where the mechanics and electricians came to report faults down the mine. And I had to record them. It was so bad, that before we started work every day, we swept the coal dust off the desks, before sweeping the floor. They were good times, not particularly for the place or the job, but for the people. Miners are the salt of the Earth, and working at pit was like having an extended family.
I quickly moved to the Admin. office - much cleaner, and eventually got a job with Coal Products Ltd at their new offices at Eastwood Hall, Nottingham. Now I could work in a white shirt, and with... women. (there were only a few women worked at colliery level, the Manager's Secretary, and the Canteen ladies, all like aunties or cousins really). I started day-release at college, and soon became interested in computers, and eventually Coal Products sent me on courses to learn more about them. It turned out I was a bit of a whizz with them, and soon I started training others within the company. I got noticed, and became one of the Course Directors for the British Coal Computer Training Centre at Cannock, Staffordshire.
With moves afoot in the rest of British Coal, there was a need for some new computer equipment back at Eastwood Hall, and I was recruited to take charge of the Wang computer installation there, and quickly became Systems Administrator for the whole site (as I had a lot of PC experience already). After that, I don't think I got a hot cup of tea again, because I was so busy.
In October 1991 I was made redundant, due to the demise of the whole coal industry in the UK, and spent the next year updating my skills and preparing for... ALAN POXON COMPUTER TRAINING. Ta - Dah!
In September 1992 my business was launched, and I began providing training on the currently-popular PC-based software packages. It was great! well, it was eventually, when I'd done some networking, and people got to know about me. I eventually had some very well-known customers, such as the Boots company (Boots the Chemist).
In 1997, my wife Susan, died at the untimely age of 38, and so began the darkest days of my life. Let's not go there.
I don't pretend to be anything unusual, or outstanding, I'm just an ordinary sort of chap who got to a certain point in life and realised that everything wasn't as good as it should be, and really wasn't getting that much out of life any more. However, another brief and dreadfull relationship behind me, I found myself with a new partner, Becky, and the opportunity to take stock. So I had a think and decided that making kites was what I could do. It may not have been my singular and overriding decision, because we are all a product of our surroundings, and at that time I was in a pretty bad job - or at least, one which did not suit me. So here I am, a fifty-something chap with a passion for kites, and sharing with others... "Let the kids play!" (age is not a factor).
I've been interested in Kites for ages, since I was a young child, and because I was a Trainer and College Lecturer (left that bit out before), I have the ability to tell others about it. So now there's ALAN POXON - KITEMAKER too.
I've been working with groups making and flying kites for a number of years, probably around seventeen or eighteen if I work it out, and I've been a member of the Midlands Kite Fliers a little longer than that. I've had a CRB Certificate since 2002 (that's a Criminal Record Bureau check for people who work with children, now called a DBS certificate) so it gives you some idea how long I've been working with schools.
I also have Third Party Liability insurance cover to do Kite Workshops and Public Displays, and I have written Risk Assessments until they were coming out of my ears (I personally think mine are pretty good now).
I live in North Yorkshire now, very close to the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and I'm happy to say that I have worked with the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority on quite a few occasions, delivering kitemaking courses in the Dales at some stunning venues. I've also worked with the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, and The Bolton Abbey Estate, all of whom do a truly brilliant job of promoting this wonderful part of the country. People ask if I would go back to Nottinghamshire; well yes, and I do, often, but there is something about this place which slowly gets into your blood. The air seems fresher, the space more open, and the sky bluer (when it's not raining - that's just wetter, a lot wetter).
As it mentions right at the beginning of the site, Becky & I got married in 2015. It was a long time coming, basically because I couldn't get all my old 'baggage' sorted out, but don't get me started on civil law and solicitors. The upshot of getting married was that a lot of people had been waiting patiently for it to happen, and were extremely happy when it did. We had an amazing day, the Sun shone, as many friends as possible came, the village turned out, and it was all we could have hoped for. The 'close' reception at the Bollywood Cottage (yes, we had Indian food) was fantastic. Ahmed and the guys did us proud. The evening reception was in the Village Hall, lots of music, dancing, and bacon butties served by the Bride & Groom. You had to be there!