Background of Christopher English
I was born in 1950 in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England. In 1951 my mother, brother and myself went to live in Tripoli, North Africa, where my father was doing his national service in the army. In 1953 I had a head injury, falling from a third storey window. After emergency surgery in Tripoli, I was transferred to Oxford, England, for further treatment to my injury. As a result of the cerebral vascular accident, I have the disability of right hemiplegia ( paralysis on one side of the body ). In 1958 I had a kidney infection and the start of rheumatoid arthritis. During my childhood I had many a long-term stay in the London Great Ormond Street hospital for children for treatment of the nephritis, and also for various orthopaedic surgery.
My parents had six children, of which I am the second eldest. After living in Oxford for a short while my family moved every few years to different towns within the south and midlands of England. During my education I attended two boarding schools -- First school: See 1962 photo: St. Mary's School, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex.-- the other school: See 1968 Photos: Chilton Cantelo House, Chilton Cantelo, Yeovil, Somerset.
Due to the nature of my head injury when a child, with one hemisphere ( the left hemisphere ) of the brain damaged, I had a condition known as Aphasia, also known as Dysphasia. Doctors at the Great Ormond Street hospital for children recommended I attend an appropriate school. The pivotal aspect of my education was that I had an intensive learning programme of reading and writing. A lot of allocution lessons, which were really speech articulation sessions, this involved reciting poems mostly. So, with the right schooling I did at least have an adequate education, I think this is an important point to make, it was the 1950's - going on into the 60's: my education could easily have been very different under the circumstances.
I left school in 1968. In 1969 I went to Leeds to train as a drawing office tracer. I then went to live in Harrogate, the place of my birth, in 1970. I started work at that same time for a Harrogate company of chemical combustion engineers. I wrote poems in my spare time. Also I started to paint expressionistic and symbolist narrative type pictures of my poetry in oil colour. To follow my interest in painting I went to art school in the evenings. I had a lot of encouragement from friends at various poetry events, art sessions and poetry workshops etc.
I was made redundant from work in 1985. I decided that there was no point continuing in a drawing office and 'engineer' environment. I really had no aptitude for engineering, neither was I adequately educated in the subject. My interests lay in the arts and I wanted to get a degree in fine art painting.
My education in childhood was interrupted considerably by health problems, I had left school with no qualifications and my art portfolio was very poor. With wishful thoughts I did apply for art school at the age of 18. Inevitably, due to my circumstances, it was not to be. So, at the age of 35 I became a mature art student. First, I did a foundation course in art and design at Harrogate Art College. I then went on to do a Fine Art Painting degree at the School of Art and Design at Loughborough University where I graduated in 1994. I up-date my book "A King Rose to build a Palce" from time to time as I continue to produce poetry and paintings. My curriculum vitae gives additional information about me.