PROFILE

 My interest in kites began over 30 years ago when I was passionately involved with another wind related sport,  land yachting. I was always trying to think of some way of passing time while waiting for sufficient winds to sail and then whilst on holiday to the West Coast of America I took a trip to San Francisco and saw adults flying some wonderful kites above Fisherman's Wharf.

This triggered something off and on my return home I made my first kite! I then had to find a remote spot where I could fly my creation 'unseen'! I drove to the Yorkshire Moors - made sure no one was watching - and surrounded only by sheep I launched my kite. Happily it flew first time, if it had not I would have missed out on all the enjoyment and pleasure that kite flying has given me over the years.

 As an adult without any children at that time, my friends and work colleagues thought me rather strange playing with a piece of paper and a length of string. They were like most people in England and Europe who see a kite and think of it as a children’s toy. Thinking I was alone I set out to educate and share my joy of kite flying with as many people as I could.
 
Flying a Parafoil on the Great Wall of China
 
From those early days kites have been a big part of my life and in pursuing my hobby over the years I have participated in kite festivals in many exotic places, including China, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Bali, Iceland, USA, Denmark, Italy, Greece, Germany, France, Belguim, Canary Islands. (I married my beautiful wife Jeanette at a kite festival in Hawaii) Throughout my travels I have met many wonderful people, some of whom have become very good friends. I am lucky to have had so many magical experiences which have left me with unforgettable memories.
 After participating in kite festivals in Japan and China I fell in love with the Orient, its people and their beautiful kites. Whilst on my travels I have managed to accumulate one of the Worlds largest collections of Oriental kites many of which have been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout England and have always attracted a lot of interest. Most of my kites have a wonderful memory attached to them, a kite maker, a kite festival, a place, a hangover, etc. etc.
 
Hammamatsu Kite Festival (Japan)
 

 
Friendship Kite

 
 Christened "The Kiteman" by local children, I have been responsible for introducing many thousands of people to the joys of kite flying by giving kite displays, teaching kite workshops, organising kite festivals and helping to form kite clubs. In my spare time I can be found in schools, art centres etc. teaching the art of kite making. At kite festivals I am not adverse to running along with a pair of pink pyjamas flying behind me, or flying my pink pig, my five-metre friendship kite, my 100-metre Chinese dragon kite or trying my skills with Japanese fighting kites.
I have been involved in many radio and
TV programmes on kite making and for the last 14 years I have been kite adviser to the City of Sunderland Council and together we are responsible for organising one of Europe largest kite festivals. The Washington/Sunderland
International Kite Festival which regularly attracts over 70,000 spectators and kite fliers from all parts of the world. Over the years I have organised many kite festivals, kite displays and workshops in Great Britain and abroad.
 
Sunderland International Kite Festival
 

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