Biography - Jim McDowall Personal Website

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Biography

Background

Born in Lytham-St-Annes way back in 1951 but actually brought up in Preston, Lancashire. Left Preston in 1970 to study at Liverpool Polytechnic and then went on to do my teaching qualification at Edge Hill College, Ormskirk. Got a lecturing job in Liverpool and stayed there until I escaped via voluntary redundancy in 2006. Now retired (officially unemployed) and spending my time indulging my hobbies and interests at home here in Crosby.
Education

Preston Grammar School from 1962 to 1968

Harris College, Preston, from 1968 to 1970

Liverpool Polytechnic, from 1970 to 1974

Edge Hill College, Ormskirk, from 1974 to 1975

Liverpool Polytechnic, from 1980 to 1981
Employment


Assorted labouring jobs during my two years at the Harris College (including a spell working as a door-to-door encyclopaedia salesman and a spell as a self-employed painter and decorator);


Lecturer (General Studies), Riversdale College of Technology, 1975 to 1977;


Assistant Warden/Lecturer (General and Communication Studies), Riversdale College of Technology, 1977 to 1980;


Deputy Warden/Lecturer (Enterprise and Management Studies), Riversdale College of Technology, 1980 to 1984;


Lecturer (Enterprise and Management Studies), Riversdale College of Technology, 1984 to 1986;


Lecturer (Enterprise and Management Studies), South Mersey College (Riversdale was merged and changed its name), 1986 to 1992;


Lecturer (Management and IT), City of Liverpool Community College (South Mersey College was merged and changed its name), 1992 to 1995;


Lecturer (Information and Communication Technology), Liverpool Community College (name change again - they didn’t like everyone calling the college COLCC), 1995 to 2006.
Hobbies and Interests

These are wide and varied (and possibly obsessive). Back in my teens (and continuing into my late twenties) I was a fanatical Rugby Union player, playing for all the School and House teams at rugby whilst at the Grammar School and going on to represent Liverpool Polytechnic in both their first and second XV during my time there. When I started teaching at Riversdale I also took on the job of coaching the college rugby team, playing for them until 1979. At this point I retired from playing after the college Principal advised me, as I staggered in battered and bruised, that, possibly, I should decide between my sport and my career!


In my early years at Riversdale I also developed my interest in what was to become a major obsession - wargaming. I started out playing fantasy role-playing games (which I still enjoy) and soon moved on to historical wargames. These have covered every period from Ancients through to Modern and even Post-Modern. Over the years I have accumulated a large number of armies for various rulesets and (in common with every wargamer everywhere) an even greater amount of unpainted lead!


This interest led me to become the proof-reader for Slingshot, the Society of Ancients magazine, for a number of years and then to take on the role of Treasurer for them for a couple of years. I am also a founder member of the Crosby Wargames Group. This is a small group of wargames enthusiasts who meet regularly a couple of times a week to play games of every period using a wide range of rules.

On top of all this I am an avid record collector (still having a love affair with vinyl after all these years), spending far too much time and money on eBay in order to indulge my hobby. Military history complements my wargames activity, as does archaeology, both being areas of special interest for me.

Just to cap all this off, I became the Treasurer of the Preston Grammar School Association in 2006 and expanded that role to set up and become the webmaster for their site in 2007.
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