I live at Catmere End, where my wife and I retired in 2016. She comes from Saffron Walden and was brought up in Littlebury Green; and two of our four children live in Walden. I’m a retired British Council officer of 30 years (Baghdad, Rome, Brussels, Ottawa and Rabat punctuated with spells in London). I read Modern History at Magdalen (‘Modern’ at Oxford begins with the Sack of Rome, probably in 455 AD, possibly in 410 AD) and Modern (really) Middle Eastern Studies at St Antony’s College, Oxford. I have been trying to scrabble together the rest of an education ever since.
I’ve written various books and slighter publications, many of them on Cultural Relations and education. Of more general interest, perhaps, are The Affair of the Emerods (2008); Immunising the Mind: How Can Education Reform Contribute to Neutralising Violent Extremism? (2015); There and Back by Candle-Light (2016), an account of our experiences in Baghdad before and during the Gulf War of 1990; and A Morocco Anthology: Travel Writing through the Centuries (2018), which is exactly what it says on the tin.
This website is going to be devoted largely to the local history of Saffron Walden and the four villages closest to its western edge – Littlebury, Catmere End, Littlebury Green and Strethall, of which I suddenly find myself (slightly to my surprise) the Local History Recorder.
Now in the press (or at least in design) is my biography of Henry Winstanley, one of the most famous figures in the history of Walden and Littlebury. It’s called Henry Winstanley, 1644-1703: The Last Renaissance Engineer, and will be published towards the end of 2020. Watch this space – and buy for Christmas!