I came to Poole as a young lad when my mother was offered a job as a senior nurse at St Anne’s Hospital in Canford Cliffs. Moving down from Oldham as a 12 year old and leaving all my friends was traumatic enough and this certainly did not help me to settle, prejudice is not just down to skin colour, even having a different accent can lead to all forms of abuse and bullying. Needless to say my schooldays were far from enjoyable, though I did acquire some fantastic friends along the way who I am still honoured to call them close friends all these years later.
I’ve enjoyed some varied work over the years from being a soldier,a welder, an entertainer, owner of Badge City at Tower Park, Director of Studies at Cavendish School of English and even a bit of stand up comedy along the way. All of which have helped to mould me into the person I am today and have certainly helped me to cope with my disability. At the age of 23 I was involved in a motorcycle accident which resulted in the loss of my left leg. I adapted so quickly to an artificial leg that I became the NHS guinea pig for about 6 years, testing out new artificial limbs, I have certainly never let my disability stop me from achieving anything I have ever set out to do.
I have been involved in many things in Poole from demonstrations over the Seaview Roundabout, I’ve had more rows than I can remember with Poole council over various matters, a former member of the Society of Poole Men, I was on the Poole Carnival Committee but my passion is The Pirates of Poole of which I am now the Chairman, we raise thousands of pounds for local charities throughout the year. The Pirates of Poole is one of the oldest societies in Poole and each year we put on the Harry Paye Day festival down on Poole Quay, our next one will be held on June 17th just 9 days after the general election, so I will be campaigning with my mutton chops in place. Thousands of people attend and enjoy Harry Paye Day each year and it is important to the Pirates to keep the maritime history of Poole alive. Needless to say I have been very active in Poole in the 44 years I have been here and I will always put the needs of the people of Poole first and foremost.