Richard is honest to admit mathematics and physics at Grammar
school were never really his forte, however during his school
days he did find Geography interesting, particularly the meteorological
Leaving school, he spent 12 months working for a south west
insurance company, waiting for a job with customs and excise.
However, he spotted an advertisement in the local papers
for a vacancy in the Met Office as a weather forecaster.
Successfully, passing the interview he started work at RAF
Lyneham in the air traffic tower, gathering vital weather
data and providing this air navigation information for the
Hercules crews prior to departure.
During his forecaster days at Lyneham, Exeter Airport and
East Anglia's RAF Honnington, Richard decided to continue his
education and successfully gained an HND in Mathematics and
Physics, and also achieved additional A Level passes. To supplement
his educational qualifications he passed an Open University
degree in Environmental Sciences.
Full of knowledge and previous local forecasting experience,
he landed on his feet in 1990 and gained a place on a Forecasting
Course and spent the next decade widening his skills at the
former Bristol Weather Centre. Richard mentions
that he drifted into television and radio media, as he has
an rewarding attribute; not to be caught with nothing to talk
about, especially weather.
"Fortunately this is not a problem for me. I could talk
about the weather all day. In fact, it is my intention to take
over the whole of Points West with coverage of the weather" I
wonder if the producers will agree.
His well spoken and slight west country tones are frequently
heard on BBC Local Radio, throughout the day, either here in
Wiltshire and Swindon or broadcasting on other BBC local radio
stations in the south west. Richard is keen to vary his broadcasting
techniques and makes a dull day seem that much better, incorporating
interesting local facts into his air time.
Thank you Richard for the images and information provided.
It is good to see that, as many people work at Lyneham, they
utilise the time wisely, gathering fond memories and more importantly
use it as a stepping stone for better things in life.
There is always a good saying at Lyneham, when a met forecaster
has booked a UK holiday, that's the time to book your vacation.
What are your memories of Lyneham?
I learned my weather observing skills whilst in the air traffic
tower at the end of the westerly runway. Watching the clouds
come out of the valley below and sit on the edge of the runway
was always interesting.
When did you live here?
1979 to 1982
What inspired you to local radio
It is just something I drifted into.
What do you like about broadcasting
BBC Wiltshire is a very friendly station and I really enjoy
broadcasting on their programmes. Also, I feel I know the county
quite well and that helps with the forecasting process.
Where did you study weather
At the Met Office's College in Reading. I've spent about one
year of my career at the College on various forecasting courses.
Has weather forecasting changed
since your early days in Lyneham?
Yes. The biggest change has been the improvement in the computers
we use to help us with the forecast. They are so much faster
and more sophisticated.
Do you still visit the Lyneham
I live close to Swindon,so I am often in the area. We occasionally
do weather OB's (outside broadcasts) from around the area.
What are your hobbies, if you
have time that is?
I'm a recreational jogger. I play badminton very badly. (Just
ask anyone who has seen me in action at the Link Centre in
town.) I love to travel. I have a huge wish list of 'must see'
areas, which includes Antarctica, East Africa, Central America,
China and the Galapagos Islands.