Who am I ?

I was born in 1945 in Dalton-in-Furness, then in Lancashire now Cumbria, a town to which my Cornish ancestors had moved for work in the mid nineteenth century.

I attended Dowdales County Secondary Modern School in Dalton and upon leaving with a very modest handful of qualifications began my employment in the Magistrates' Court Office in Barrow as an office clerk for the princely sum of £5.1s (£5.05) per week. After a short while I joined thousands of other Furnessians at the region's biggest employer - the local shipyard - as a wages clerk. However, though extremely fond of the Lake District on my very doorstep, at the age of 21 I felt being stuck in the 'wild northern wastes of Lancashire' was not for me so, with a pal, moved to the big city, Leicester, to seek my fortune. Please help: still seeking!

This move happened to be one of the best I ever made. I found independence and over the next few years my career saw me move from office clerk to manager in differing spheres including those as diverse as engineering and wines & spirits. I was working for Marston's Brewery in Burton-upon-Trent when redundancy reared its ugly head. It was at this point in my life I decided to become self-employed as a Toastmaster and put what my late mother had taught me, the ability to speak clearly in public, to good use. I was building up a respectable reputation within the East Midlands when personal problems forced me to have a re-think about where I was going.

No matter what had happened during my varied life, I had always felt that my heart belonged somewhere else and one night it dawned on me that that somewhere else was my beloved Cornwall. So in March 2007 I moved back to my ancestral home and have continued, as a Toastmaster in my familiar red jacket, to enjoy making other people's days extra special.

Hoastmaster and Compere

A toast to the Bride

Wedding Day

Keith Kneebone at the wheel