The author read History at Corpus Christi College, Oxford from 1966 to 1969, being tutored by Trevor Aston and later, Brian Harrison. Beside being elected Treasurer of the JCR, he was also commissioned as an Acting Pilot Officer in the University Air Squadron. Its Headquarters were located in Manor Road, immediately adjacent to St Catherine’s College, but the site was subsequently re-developed. Its Flight of de Havilland of Canada Chipmunk aircraft was based at RAF Bicester, a grass airfield also home to 71MU and the RAF Gliding and Soaring Association. Here, four similar aircraft in formation fly low over an unidentified control tower typical of the immediate post-war period.
After leaving university, he was articled to Barton Mayhew & Co., chartered accountants in the City of London. Through a succession of mergers, this eventually became Ernst & Young. After qualification in 1972, he started to specialise in tax, more especially VAT from 1975. He lectured frequently, and also contributed material to Tolley’s VAT Planning. From 1992 he assumed responsibility for computerisation of the tax practice, including a database of precedents, TaxkEY, before retirement in 1995. A founder member of the professional body, the VAT Practitioners’ Group, he was its Honorary Treasurer from 1997 to 2001, and continues to take an interest in taxation matters – very much from the sidelines!