I am Martin Walker, a published author and poet for special occasions; I have also been, at various times in my life, a Rare Books Librarian in charge of collections at Liverpool Central LIbraries worth in excess of £20 million; a Yorkshire Ambulance Service Patient Transport Ambulance Driver for ten years until retirement; a cruciverbalist of some renown (that’s crossword puzzles to you); a tegestologist (beer mat collector) in my misspent youth: a car driver since passing my test first time at 17, and an Institute of Advanced Motorists Member since 1997, having driven well over half a million miles during my 55 years as a driver; a member of the International Federation of Library Associations Interpreters’ Panel from 1981 to 1993, working in Leipzig, Munich, Nairobi, Chicago, Tokyo, Paris, Stockholm, New Delhi and Barcelona; member of the winning Liverpool Libraries’ team on Radio Merseyside twice (and runners-up) over a three year period; lecturer in Library Studies at West London College, Hammersmith and College of Librarianship Wales, Aberystwyth; a professional librarian since 1973, working at North London Poly, Liverpool Libraries and Chetham’s Library, Manchester.

Married for 43 years and counting to Sally; two daughters, Penny and Claire, and granddaughters Victoria and Rebecca; lifelong Liverpool F.C. supporter; the only R.A.F. cadet ever to have inflated a Mae West lifejacket inside the cockpit!

I have visited the two largest halls in the Communist world – the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, and Russia’s Kremlin.I have seen Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Fuji; the Great Wall of China and the Great Rift Valley (both visible from space); the Taj Mahal, the Terracotta Warriors, the inside of a Jumbo jet cockpit (long before the horrors of 9/11) and flown a Chipmunk trainer, and flown in an R.A.F. helicopter, and sat in an R.A.F. Lightning jet, and seen Concorde rolled out at Blagnac Airfield near Toulouse. One of these days I will get round to doing something exciting like white water rafting.