I was born in Barton On Sea in the New Forest district in Britain. When I was a young boy my heroes were the characters in old western movies. The stories in these films and television shows were great, but what really drew me to them was the guns; the gun-play and the appreciation of them, how they were held, shot, and then spun around the finger before holstered again all within a quick flash of dust and metal. This not only captured my imagination, but also my interest in how guns were made, and the parts that created the entire piece.
This fascination continued when I started gun stock making back in 1978, helping my older brother while he was starting up his gunsmithing business in a small town called Fairlie in New Zealand. I had gone through a building apprenticeship when I left secondary school, which was the basis of my understanding of working with materials, and had developed a keen passion for woodwork. I was interested in the histories and stories the wood could tell, especially with walnut. I would watch my older brother working on firearms and became his shadow. Hugh loved the metal work side of gunsmithing, which also allowed me to learn the entire process of a rifles creation. Through this, I became obsessed with the making of gunstocks, and in the early eighties my brother and I began creating our own rim fire rifles which were manufactured in Timaru. All my stock work was done by hand and has not changed to this day.
Each stock is unique to the client, meeting their personal needs and creating for them a gun that is truly a one of a kind. After all these years now of doing guns, I still get immense pleasure creating each and every new stock I build. Each one of them has had it’s own unique build and triumphs. Each one has its own story.