Guitars caused mayhem with my academic career: from first picking one up when 16, to finally scraping a bad degree in Chemistry from Salford University. Whilst I was supposed to be there, I was playing with hard rockers ‘Whitefire’ who released an EP, ‘Parades the Glory’ in 1978. Go to the right menu to see more about my music career. Music is my first great passion.
Deciding that I needed to earn some real money, I went into the insurance business working for Royal Life and finishing this very uncharacteristic phase as an associate director of brokers Estridge & Powell. Insurance taught me immense amounts about people and selling stuff in general but I became bored and joined my old pals Mike Spratt and Mike Huck at Wigwam Acoustics as Sales Manager.
I married the now very long suffering Angela in 1982 following a five year relationship initiated by my mother (but that’s another story). James was born in 1988; I cried like a baby…
Having had enough of working for others, myself and Angela, a Dispensing Optician, formed Angela Campbell Opticians in 1990. Go to the right menu to see more about my business career...
During this period I remorphed my musical career playing, writing, producing and recording an album. Joe was born in 1991; I again cried like a baby.
We sold the Opticians business in 2000 and, following a conversation with someone who said that ‘no-one will ever make any money out of the internet’, started a very successful business selling a variety of products on the internet…
My big mate Rennie Alock convinced me to learn to dive; something I had always wanted to get into since the age of 9 but never seemed to get around to. In May 1996 I became a PADI Open Water Diver at Lions Dive, Curacao. Go to the right menu to see more about my diving career...
Looking for a new challenge, we looked to move to California but having sold everything we owned the US Government restricted entry into the country following the 911 attacks. Back to the drawing board Angela and I formed Erskine Corporation, that was a communications consultancy dealing with aspects of regeneration, masterplanning and the built environment.
I was becoming increasingly interested in how young people develop business and communication skills and over the past few years have become an visiting lecturer at a number of Universities and European conferences speaking on communication, entrepreneurialism and the Erskine concept of ‘beyond masterplanning’.
Also with young people, I have been a Young Enterprise advisor and one of the team of judges for Yomping the Nations 2007 (now known as FLUX). Along with other general speaking stuff, I have appeared on Radio Four with Alan Yentob and FiveLive with Simon Mayo discussing the built environment and regeneration of cities.
Badgered by a load of RAF divers during various diving expeditions I was persuaded to join the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) and start to dive in British ‘temperate’ waters (that’s bloody cold). This began my monstrous obsession and love affair with the sport. I have been a Director of the British Sub Aqua Club and due to all the exploring malarkey, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
Angela and I have moved to the Isle of Man in 2008; best move we have ever made. Not only is the diving spectacular, but the music scene is very vibrant which has acted as a catalyst to become involved in music again and have recorded my first solo album, ThirtySix.
I can usually be found writing or performing music, public speaking, diving or writing. Most of all I love eating fine organic produce and drinking good European wine with Angela, accompanied by Hummock, (that looks suspiciously like a black Labrador) and occasionally, when they are at home, my lads.
‘The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both.’
James A. Michener (1907-1997)