Biography

Mark was born in the Mossley Hill district of Liverpool back in 1957, not far from Penny Lane and where the Beatles came into being. In the early 1960's his family moved to the other side of the River Mersey to the town of Ellesmere Port where Mark first went to school. From there he went on to become a chorister at Chester Cathedral and eventually his family moved again to Chester where Mark spent my teenage years. He didn't go to secondary school in Chester though, but travelled on two trains and a bus each day to attend  Birkenhead School, back nearer Liverpool. It was here that Mark developed a love of both music and football, regularly going to gigs in Liverpool at the Stadium and the Empire, as well as attending many matches at Anfield to see the highly successful Liverpool team of the 1970s. He also attended matches at Chester FC as well, their Sealand Road ground being not far from where he lived

After taking A-Levels at Birkenhead School, he went up to Exeter College, Oxford, where he read Theology. He then went onto Avery Hill College in London to do a post graduate certificate in education. After Avery Hill, Mark taught in London, before moving eastwards to Essex, where he has lived ever since. This was because at Avery Hill Mark met his wife Wendy and within two years they were married and ended up living in her native Essex.

Although Mark taught for many years, he started writing the odd review when he was at university and first wrote a children's novel which never got published. After writing a review of a U2 concert he attended in 1992 for the U2 fanzine Silver & Gold, he went on to take over the editorship of the fanzine with Wendy. Mark's first musical love has always been the classic rock music from the 1960s and 70s and so he started a second fanzine in 1994 called All Flared Up, which concentrated on this music. Through the two fanzines Mark was able to make many contacts within the music business, writing reviews of live gigs and interviewing several rock musicians. This led to Mark beginning to write freelance for various mainstream magazines including Record Collector, Q and Classic Rock. He also got involved in writing the sleeve notes for various CD releases for such artists as Robin Trower, Ten Years After and Wishbone Ash.

It was this last group that was the subject of his first published book, Blowin' Free - 30 Years of Wishbone Ash, (co-authored with Gary Carter who produced the Wishbone Ash fanzine, Hot Ash, which Mark regularly wrote for). This book was published in 2001 by Firefly. Then the following year his second published book, U2 - The Complete Encyclopaedia was published again by Firefly.

At the same time, Mark became involved in the live music scene in Southend, first as an agent for several bands and then as a promotor. Bands/artists Mark promoted included The Groundhogs, Stray, Man, Carl Palmer, John Wetton, Carvin Jones, Larry Miller and Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash (as it was then known), plus a whole host of minor groups and tribute bands. Mark also went on to manage two tribute bands - Piledriver (Status Quo) and Ashbone U Wish (Wishbone Ash). While all this was going on Mark started an educational publishing company called MW Educational, which specialised in publishing 11+ and SATs practice papers for the burgeoning home learning market. Mark wrote over thirty different titles for this company. These were sold both in bookshops and on line, in traditional printed formats and as e-books.

More recently Mark has started to write about the British Transport system, particularly railways. He has had articles published in Railway Magazine, Traction and Railways  llustrated. He is also webmaster of the minor railways website, Branch Line Britain, which also contains a blog of Mark's travels on Britain's railways.

Mark is also a member of the 92 Club, having attended a professional football match at all the 92 football league grounds. This was achieved in April 2011 and a blog of His trips can be seen on Mark's football grounds website, Doing the 92 Plus. Mark is currently writing a book on his experiences over the years which is due for publication in 2018-9 by Hadleigh Books.