Most people have many sides to themselves. They have been many things, done many things, including some they might prefer to skip over. In confining this site to my activities related to working gundogs, primarily working Clumber spaniels and the Venaticus kennel, I am trying to focus on what may have brought you to visit me here.
In doing so, I am not trying to suppress the many other aspects to my life, work and interests. As evidence, I will now offer a 60-second profile, any part of which I will be glad to expand upon in the event of your enquiry.
I have reinvented myself from time to time, changing my preferred forename more than once. Even so, inside my skin, stretched and creased as it is, I am still the same person I was in shorts and scabby knees, with the same strengths and weaknesses, talents and flaws, albeit refined and polished just a little bit. As Oscar Wilde said, “Experience is the name men give to their mistakes.” On that basis, I have lots of experience.
I also have much success, in the love and loyalty of a woman I hardly deserve, Crissy, who made me an honest Jim in 1975 and who is the mother of four strong characters in whom we take great pride.
I was born in occupied Germany and privately educated in England from the age of eight.
My career began as a junior reporter on a local paper in Woolwich, moving into PR when invited to join the UK’s largest consultancy at the time.
I also gained direct experience of property development, specialising in historic and agricultural buildings; I have worked as logger, navvy, trucker, whisky exporter, gundog trainer, credit salesman, ex-military vehicle exporter, and built businesses as a publisher - Venaticus Collection - of limited edition prints of paintings and later a book and for 25 years from the mid-1960s as the world’s primary source outside the USA of military vehicle manuals.
I retired in 2014 from the London PR firm where I had spent well over two decades as a senior consultant with a particular focus on crisis communications, and now divide my time between my working Clumber spaniels and editing book manuscripts for publishers.
My experience in the shooting field covers well over half a century from the age of eight, when my father was a gun in a British Army syndicate in Germany and a fine left-handed shot. I have been a grouse moor tenant, deer stalker, driven shot and above all rough shooter over spaniels, Clumbers being my passion since 1975. During that time the Venaticus kennel has become the most successful exponent of Clumber spaniels in field trials in well over a century, and arguably of all time.