The shop we opened in 1984 is pictured above. I was 16 and had just barely left school. Dad opened opposite the OAP Community Centre in Brook Street, Williamstown during the 1984 miners strike.
The OAP Centre was giving out food parcels so Dad donated four free light-bulbs for each food parcel recipient.
My grandfather was an Electrical Engineer with the Local Council and so my father followed him into the trade but started his own contracting company in 1974. In 1984 he started SAFEWIRE Electrical Services.
Side note: My first experience of electrics was fitting a light bulb holder and a coloured light bulb to a piece of old wood with a switch, a piece of lead and plug, replicating a disco light box to the music of the Bee Gees. I was around 8 at the time.
This disco light then advanced to a 12V car indicator flashing unit and some old indicators borrowed from the car auto scrapyard which we had ready access to with a rope as we lived on a cliff / quarry edge above a large scrapyard. It was such inspirational place to visit especially having to go into stealth mode to avoid the resident guard dog. Ref ElectroBOOM on youtube!
Besides messing with electrics and electronics, my other passion was and still very much now is guitar rock music. 80s LA melodic rock being my biggest influence. Through the 80s, 90s I travelled quite extensively and when home I always was at gigs, organising gigs, sometimes DJing etc. Fond memories of our very own hootanany with a large marquee in our front garden from 1998 to 2001. Neighbours were incredibly neighbourly!
My venture and interests into PV started, I guess in the mid 90s during some unplanned beach parties on the Gower with some early incarnations of off grid systems, some batteries, sound amplifiers and PV panels.
So fast forward to April 2005 where I enrolled on the UK's first official PV City & Guilds Course together with another 12 or so attendees, many of which I still keep in touch with to this day.
From that I managed to find some good work experience with probably one of the earliest specialist PV companies in the UK. PV Systems GB-Sol based in Treforest. This company was so progressive and forward thinking, many competitors and now established PV companies all took the early ideas from them. We installed, manufactured and engineered all things Photovoltaic.
In 2007 I helped to develop the first UK PV Slate which was accepted into many AONB areas. I recall installing the first batch on a house near Stonehenge owned by one of the Directors of RES who then purchased PV systems.
A big shout out to Amolak, Bruce and Peter - I learned so much from you!