This is me in the London Eye.
name is Neil Ives and I live in Britain.
I've been married to Janet since 1970 and have three children, Polly,
Thomas and George who I'm very proud of.
I was born in
Isleworth Nursing Home in1950. Parents Harry and Peggy Ives.
I have one sister, Lee, who is five years older than me. You can see images
of our early lives elsewhere on the website
We grew up in a simple but comfortable (new in 1949) house in Southall
there were fields and interesting areas to explore.
One of the places I loved as a boy was known as The Three Bridges. This
was where a canal was undercut by a railway and bridged by a road all
at the same place! The height from top road bridge to the railway track
far below was scary. The place fascinated me as a child and it really
is a miracle that I never managed to kill myself climbing out on the brick
buttresses of the bridge to get to a no-mans-land area that was a wedge
of canal embankment with a railway cutting far below it.
Of course I put coins on the railway track for the trains to crush. Of
course I fished with home made tackle in the smelly canal. Of course I
made my own plywood boat, after selling my bike to pay for the wood. Of
course I watched the canal barge gypsies with their horse pulled craft
plying cargo on the Grand Union Canal which connects Brentford and Birmingham.
I left school at 16 without sitting any exams, (you could then), and started
work at a small engineering works for £5 a week.
Considering I had a rather poor secondary education I've done ok really.
I now know that I had the potential to complete a degree or apprenticeship
but I was an unsociable teenager and there was no way my parents could
have made me see the value of further education. In any case it was rare
for ordinary people to go to university then and only those who had attended
a Grammer or private school stood a chance.
I've had quite a few varied jobs and look upon them as my apprenticeship.
I've been: A Refrigeration Engineer, Pnuematic Controls Engineer, Roofer,
Plumber, Motor Mechanic, Welding Equipment
Salesman, Motor-cycle Despatch Rider, Bicycle and Motorbike Mechanic,
Telephone Engineer.. there may be others, I've forgotten.
I'm currently a Planning Officer for BT (British Telecom), who I've been
with since 1979.