A little about Rob Walters
I am a Gloucestershire boy, born in Berkeley a good many years ago. I grew up in the shadow of the village’s ancient castle where we fished, walked, stole apples, smoked cheap cigarettes and lived a life of great freedom ranging around countryside where motor cars were still sufficiently rare for us to collect their numbers.
A practical and headstrong teenager, I left school at the age of 16 years to begin an apprenticeship as a telephone engineer: despite the well-meaning advice of my father and his offer of one pound per week in pocket money, I opted for five pounds a week and a ‘man’s’ life.
I enjoyed being an apprentice but it was not stretching – perhaps I should have taken pop’s pound. I took day release in order to study and also studied at night. I read voraciously – mostly science fiction – and wrote occasionally. By the age of 20 I was married with a child and in the next year arrived at the University of Essex to take a master’s degree in telecommunications. A big change and an introduction to a wider world of thought, a world that I had missed out on by not becoming an undergraduate.
On the fun side (also a little bit serious) I realised at this time how bad beer was becoming. I attended the first meeting of CAMRA with a dear old friend, Mike Bennett and together we started the Suffolk branch of the Campaign for Real Ale back in 1974.
I became an Essex man, then a Suffolk gentleman (sic), a father of four, the owner of a five acre smallholding and ultimately a high-level manager in British Telecom and a keeper of goats (see my technical CV if you wish).
Around about 1990 BT did me the favour of making me redundant. A welcomed kick along the trail of life’s rich pattern, this galvanised me into doing what I had for long said that I wanted to do – I started to work for myself. I formed a company and became an author, consultant and educator in some obscure but lucrative areas of telecoms (see the section on Satin Information Services for more on this period).
Telecoms imploded at almost the exact same time that I became disenchanted with it. I had already moved to the beautiful city of Oxford and this was the time to use some of the money accumulated in the Satin years to satisfy two ambitions: to become an author of non-technical books and an Oxford tour guide. And that’s what I now am. You can see my books and work in progress at my online bookshop. You can also read all about my tours in Oxford and the Cotswolds.
My main base is still Oxford, but I also live in Stow-on-the-Wold (my wife’s birthplace) and in La Fresneda, Spain which holds many memories of my eldest daughter – now dead. I also travel in a way that I never could when I had a ‘proper job’. In those days I saw the world mostly through the windows of aeroplanes, hotels and offices. Now I venture into that world, travelling slow and staying long (see Turkey Trove and Travelling and Teaching in China).
Please enjoy my site. You can contact me if you wish.
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