My interests

All things historical interest me. My main two hobbies are genealogy and a local history study of a firm of terracotta makers. I also enjoy making things, and after retiring from teaching I discovered that I can still knit and sew!

Gibbs and Canning

After completing a local history project about this firm with a group of school children I got hooked. I've continued my research and would like to think that I've managed to raise the profile of this firm amongst tile and terracotta lovers. Gibbs and Canning Ltd was a terracotta works at Glascote, Tamworth, Staffordshire, UK. It produced a wide range of wares including pipes, bricks, sinks, vases and jars. When it finally closed the site was cleared and a housing estate built on parts of the grounds. There is now very little evidence left of the buildings, railways, clay and coal pits.
I am researching the works, with the emphasis being on the architectural terracotta. This was used in many famous buildings, and was used to good effect all over the world. Local examples appear on even humble buildings such as terraced houses and local shops.

Family History

For over thirty years I've been tracing my family trees. I've lots of information and enjoy sharing it, and hearing from other branches of my family, near and far. Lots of my lines are not practical to follow. Streluk is an Ukrainian name. My family came from not far from Luboml. Although I am interested in these origins I am far from an expert. Other names include Henley, from Buckinghamshire, Brindley from Warwickshire, Mason and Skellett of Tamworth, Staffordshire and Fern and Parker from Derbyshire. I have one line from Essex, but I know little about where Mary Nash came from.


During my teaching career I saw the development of the use of Information technology virtually from it's start.This led to co-authoring a variety of books, articles and materials on the subject. The love of using computers extends into leisure time, when with a friend I have completed tasteful (well mostly)computer games. This began with the Myst games, but now we are firmly hooked on Big Fish adventure games).