My interest in canals started in 1969, though I had been involved with railway preservation and vintage cars previously. I worked for Peter Froud in 1971, then lived on my wooden L&LC boat, Pluto, for five years. During this time I became involved in industrial restoration, and was Engineer at Leeds Industrial Museum. Subsequently I worked around the country restoring a wide variety of machinery. I ended up as Engineer at the Lancashire Textile Museums, where I had to retire because of ill health. I then worked at the local library, writing a history of the L&LC in my spare time. The book was very successful, and since then I have been self-employed as an author and researcher for museums and local authorities, etc. In particular, I have undertaken much research into opening bridges. As part of my privately funded research, I have travelled widely in Europe, particularly eastern Europe and Russia, with the intention of writing a book on European waterway history.
I recently published a book on the traditional boat painting on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, and will possibly follow this with a book on wooden boat building on the canal.