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) and Hillfoot Hey High (2 years) Liverpool. Quarry Bank is now a comprehensive and Hillfoot Hey has now been replaced by a housing estate.

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), 
  • 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.

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 prior to my return to the UK.

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, these two-and-a-half years were the best RAF times, meeting friends there I have to this day.

Left 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, latterly in a management role.

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 CV is here.

I currently sing in the choir: The Saturday Singers (circa 50, mixed repertoire) and a quartet Quorus. Previously a member of the Nottingham Harmonic Chorus (c200, classical repertoire) for 5 years (2003-2008).


© Andre Francis 2012