Born in Liverpool in 1960, a city which I took 50 years to start to like and, eventually, fell in love with around 5 years ago. I grew up in a small town not far from Liverpool called Ainsdale, a great little town which I did love and still do, right on the sea, with not a lot to do for a growing lad to occupy himself other than Girls, Beer, Snooker and Motorbikes! Needless to say I was no academic when I eventually joined the Army in 1986……
It is said the Army will make or break you, it made me and I owe it everything I am and have, it eventually gave me Scuba Diving, a journey that started in the pool in Roberts barracks, Osnabruck, Germany…..in around March of 1989……I can honestly say I had to be dragged there by a very insistent and patient mate, “Willy” Williamson, who asked every week for nearly 6 months….. “you coming this week then Jonah or what….” Eventually I said to my then wife Dawn…… “I’m out of excuses, I think I’ve used most 3 times at least, if you’ve got one I haven’t used, fine…..if not, I guess I’m going diving this Thursday!” ……. I went diving that Thursday and pretty much instantaneously wished I’d gone 5 months earlier…… it could have been the 6′ Blonde German Goddess in the Speedo swim suit doing elegant lengths above me, it could have been the thrill of breathing under water…….. but either way….I was hooked!
The middle bit we will fill in later, but the summary piece goes a bit like this: I spent most of the remaining 7 years in the Army diving whenever I could, on my return to the UK I ended up as a member of Tidworth Sub-Aqua club, a joint military/civilian dive club in Wiltshire, eventually becoming the Training Officer there prior to me leaving the Army in 1996. I loved the club and we did some great diving, again more of that later.
In “civvy street” I found myself in the Midlands, divorced, with a beautiful girlfriend, who eventually became my wife, only after giving me a long, drawn out, “trial run” as a potential husband and father to our 2 wonderful children! With a Third child on the way, far too much desire to continue diving, and far too little cash to dive with, it made sense to use my Padi, BSAC & IANTD Instructor tickets to set up a Diver Training Business….. I started Deep Blue Diving in Fenton Manor Pool, Stoke-on-Trent, 15 miles down the road from where I was living, which I ran for 10 years, we trained a lot of divers, and had a bloody marvellous time, until a change of job and extensive travel as a result, meant I just couldn’t keep up both. From then on, around the last 13 years or so I have been an independent, orphan wreck diver, going where ever the wreck diving is best………here’s some of the places and some of the dives, and maybe even some related “stuff” too…….. enjoy!