As new family members join
our ever growing tree, it is natural to find out a little about the
family members. Shoe making and designing seems to be in my blood as my
forefathers were all involved in shoemaking. My grandfather Louis,
however, was a superb gardener and although blinded in the first world
war, created a wonderful garden at his home in Brighton, Sussex. I was
taught by him how to care for plants and he was my inspiration in
developing my hobby of Bonsai. My dad Jack,
was an avid cine photographer and loved to talk to me about his
techniques for taking shots. I see the world now through a lens
sometimes not taking enough time to see what it is that I am
I ran a business which became one of the worlds premier
suppliers, designers and manufacturers of Irish and Scottish Dancing
Shoes. I have been a dance shoe fitter for 45 years and finally became
the chief fitter and designer for Gamba Dance Shoes which was since
1903, one of the worlds largest dance and theatrical shoe makers. I was
part of this company until 1995 and my job was to fit
over 160 professional ballet companies and most of the professional theatres around
the globe. I retired in 1995 to focus my energies in making shoes for
the niche market of Irish and Scottish dance. My mother Sadie Simpson, was a famous dance teacher and she registered the name in 1970
for her own dance shoe line that I designed for her business. I registered the name in all the countries that we operated.
I am now retired
My hobby, apart for the family
websites was, for almost 45 years, Bonsai. I have written some books on the
subject and been teaching the art of Bonsai since 1975. I retired
from teaching in 2007 and, due to health issues , I rarely venture out these days.
I was first
married to Griselda and we have two children, Keith and Rebecca.
Keith is married to Nina and they have a little boy Max and Rebecca
married Chris and they have three beautiful girls, Hannah, Jessica
Griselda and I amicably separated and then divorced in the early
I met Svetlana in 1993 in Edinburgh where I was living and we
became friends eventually getting married and have been together
Svetlana is from
Volgograd in Southern Russia. A former philologist and teacher of
Russian Literature, Svetlana now has a new interest in the study of
My wife is my inspiration
to become a writer.
In 1989 I opened a joint venture in Russia to make a
new style of Ballet Pointe Shoe for the European and North American
Market. Although I was there three years, the events that overtook
us during 1990 and 1991 made it impossible for me to continue.
Russia was going through a change and internal issues were making it
very hard for me to make things work. I made a lot of friends in
Moscow as I taught the local Bonsai Club and stayed with family for
most of my time when I was there.
outside the Kremlin Walls with a friends Borzoi.
fencing, Tae Kwon Do
As a youngster I swam for the Glasgow Macaabi and the Scottish Team.
I started Ju-Jitsu when I was 7 and over the years studied Kung Fu
and ITF and WTF Tae Kwon Do, I practised TKD for 12 years. I
used this martial arts experience for my later part time work in the theatre.
Fencing became part of my life
in 1972 and I eventually qualified as a Fencing Coach teaching
around Edinburgh. In 1983 I was asked to coach the Scottish
Paraplegic Team as this is their only combat Sport. My success with
them lead the British Team organisers to appoint me as the National
Coach for Great Britain a little later.
In 1975 I was asked to teach
fight scenes for one of Scottish Operas two opening productions at
their newly purchased home, The Theatre Royal in Glasgow. This was
Verdi's Otello. The production was made special as my own fencing
coach, the wonderful and highly respected Professor Bert Bracewell
the National Coach, was assisting me in this huge undertaking, The
production was extremely successful and Scottish Opera asked me to
do many more productions after this. I also created the notation for
fights at Scottish Ballet's mew production of Romeo and Juliet
and other dance companies. I had a musical background and a dance
background so this was relatively easy.
I went on to create the fights
for a series of Operas at English National Opera and
Opera North. I worked on over 45 different television and film
productions during the following 12 years. Although teaching fencing
at nights and at weekends, I managed to juggle my teaching
commitments with my theatrical commitments and my business of
I retired from Fencing in 1987
to concentrate on my work as a fitter and designer of Ballet Shoes which by this
time was taking me all over the world.
I was taught to play clarinet at a young age
and over the years I have
learned a number of wood wind and brass
Here are some links to my photo pages.
My father inspired me to take up photography as he was an avid cine
photographer and he taught me scene placement and landscape
structure in film.
I now take natural and urban landscapes and people on their jobs.
I like the urban landscape as I can
thoroughly investigate the pubs and eateries wherever a
picture takes me.
It is sadly more difficult for me with increasingly bad knees and
back problems. I try my best of course,
Tallinn Estonia Baltic Sea©
Les Chefs ,Nantes France ©
Clannais (Clannaish) -Isle of Lewis
Les Cafe des Federations, Lyon France ©
Loch Lomond, Scotland ©
Jenny Lake, Grand Tetons Wyoming USA©
Ketchikan, Alaska USA ©
Sofalia, New South Wales, Australia ©
If you liked these please visit the rest of the pages.