My name is Jon Rose. I was born in the town of Falkirk in central Scotland on May 22nd 1957. My father was English and my mother Polish - they met in Germany in 1945 when my father was serving in the RAF. I have an older brother and sister and a daughter of my own.
I have a great affection for steam trains. I guess I can trace this back to Sunday mornings as a small child when my mother used to have a long lie in. My dad would take me out on my tricycle; the favourite destination being the steam depot about a mile from our home. Being a quite time there was always a spare cleaner or fireman to show me round and explain things. Later we moved to a house in Larbert, on the Glasgow to Aberdeen mainline, where I used to spend a lot of my time watching the trains. I was lucky enough to see the last few years of British steam including the famous Gresley A4 pacifics which had been displaced from the East Coast Mainline by the Deltic diesels.
After leaving school in 1975 I started work in the computer department of a local firm, Carron Company, which dated back to the 18th century. They were once famous for making cannons, some of which you can see on Nelson's flagship HMS Victory and at The Tower of London. You'll also find the name on the old-fashioned red post boxes and telephone kiosks around Britain. It's odd now to think we processed a 1000 employee payroll plus order processing, invoicing and sales and purchase ledgers all on a computer with 32k of memory and four 5mb removable disk drives.
In 1981 I changed jobs and moved south to Crawley which is right next to London's Gatwick Airport, about halfway between London and the south coast, and I've stayed put so far. Crawley was a very small town until after WW2 when it was expanded dramatically to allow people to move out of war damaged areas of London. Right now the population is jusy under 100,000. Although it's not a particularly pretty town itself, the surrounding countryside is very attractive with lots of good walking, and there's easy access to the coast and to London.