I was born in London in June 1937. My Father was a stockbroker’s clerk. When the war started, he applied to join the RAF but was refused on the ground’s of his poor sight. He was assigned to the Home Guard and worked in Bournemouth for the Pay Corps. He was rarely given leave to visit us when, at the outbreak of War, my mother and I and sister were evacuated to a farm on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon. There I became fully conscious of myself and, in this lovely place, became deeply ingrained with the love of the Land and its natural beauty..
Later, as the war progressed, we moved to Canford Cliffs overlooking Poole Harbour to be nearer my father’s work place. I went to my first school there, fell in love with my classmate and relished the enemy bombs and was told by my father that our ship would one day out manoeuvre the enemy and return home to us bearing its precious cargo. Then we returned to London under the bombs and as the war was ending my father bought an ancient house in Sussex directly under the flight path of the doodlebugs.
I was sent to boarding school at the age of nine and in 1950 to Charterhouse School. I disliked my housemaster because he treated me and my father with contempt. I was the first in the Family to go to a Public School and on leaving I wanted to be a bohemian: a painter perhaps , but I realised that I hadn’t generated a talent for drawing. I was deeply moved by the King James Bible: its texts from the psalms and the book of Revelations and saw myself taking another job which would give me sufficient income to allow me one day to become a writer. So I thought of becoming an architect, but my housemaster the ‘Rabbit’, as he was derogatively nicknamed, ruled that I was either not up to it or rather, being an architect, was not up to the school’s illustrious standard. So my father, hoping that I might become a stockbroker arranged for me to be articled to an accountant’s in the City. I failed at being an accountant as I could not add up figures. So then I was lucky to be sent to UCL to study architecture where I became a bohemian among bohemians and joined the Beatniks and fell very much in love with Leila Farhad, who, because of my fatuous romantic excesses finally rejected me. This caused me great pain but contributed much to my Schubertian passions for romantic longing. My time at UCL was both Rabelaisian and restrained by romantic love.
After UCL I took my first job in Singapore, Brunei and Kuala Lumpur. Back in London I worked for James Cubit and Ptns. the firm which had employed me In the East. I left Cubit’s and worked as a par time tutor at the Kingston School of Architecture Later. I formed with my UCL friend Bill Thomas the practice Pollard Thomas & Edwards which has become very successful and well known.
After I retired from PTE, I moved to Cambridge where I have lived with my wife and our son ever since, where I started writing what turned out to be my memoir ‘Invisible Pleasures’. At same time I took a degree course at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. for Creative Writing.
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