Recent projects and home life

RIB Restoration

There have only been two but the certainly occupied some time!

Vitesse was the first, largely cosmetic and a retube, next came INXS and that was a complete structural re-bulid.




I have  dabbled with photography since my days in sail training in the 1980’s, when I bought my first SLR. With the advent of digital photography I moved to compacts as a solution to the issues of traveling with my hobby but I had the feeling that I was missing out and a couple of (expensive) Panasonic Lumix failures led me to think that I should have a robust SLR in my hand.
I now have an entry level SLR, the Cannon 1100D, it suits me and my needs well and as well as being entry level is likely to be where I stop!

A Facebook Post From 20th  February 2015

The Clock


So The story that has now reached it’s Zenith and will be rapidly recede to a dusty bit of my mind rather than kicking around on the front pages of Facebook, however if you have a curiosity to read then you may as well read the full story.

Something around 60 years ago, Sue and Roy Sollars bought Plum Tree cottage in Sandheath, they still live there now. I am the youngest of four Sollars raised there and full of affection for the place. Around 25 years ago one of the (surprisingly few) plum trees at Plum Tree cottage was felled. Father with connection that could and encouraged by his son with some unlikely (and still unfulfilled) ambitions to earn a living in joinery , had the trunk turned into planks which we then carefully stacked under shelter.

My ambitions to become a proper boat builder, joiner and carpenter of any kind faded, time went by and well over 20 years later we hooked the wood out to see if any of it had rotted or been eaten by woodworm. It had been neither, pleased, I exported a good amount of it to the Isle of Wight where I had just got myself a small workshop, the wood was back in circulation.

A couple of years later I was wandering around the junk end of an antiques yard and came across a clock movement. Decision made, this is where some of that plum tree was headed.

A bad google habit told me that the clock was made by Samuel Marti in Paris around 1860, he was well decorated and even celebrated in some circles but he was a mass producer and the clock was one of many that he made and indeed, many I have seen about the place.

Another couple of years went by until all essentials were taken care of, there were no winter boat projects and I found, ironically, just round the corner, John Palmer and clock repairer who was enthusiastic about the clock and was happy to take on the cleaning and servicing, as long as I was happy to wait…of course I was.

Autumn 2014 came and I handed over many pound notes and just before Christmas I  received a shoe box with a cleaned and complete clock. Since then I have been indiscriminately sinking hours into the project, many more than one might expect for  a simple wooden box but with no plans or design to work to and the handicap of sausage fingers I think it has gone ok.

So I present to you , if you have got this far and still have the will to live, Plum Tree Clock, alongside one of five heads that my brother Luke Sollars created , way before I crossed the finish line, with the same timber. Plum two ways as they might say on Masterchef.

A small tale in a corner of life’s tapestery, but for now it’s done.


Computers, Networks & Cooling

My generation has seen huge technological developments, when I started getting interested in PC’s in the 1990’s, principally to do my accounts, the options were black and white, DOS based and hugely expensive.

I bought my first laptop which ran it’s operating system from floppy disks with the tips from our season on ‘Camara C’ in 1991 for £1500, eye watering as I look back on it. Especially as the other half of that season’s earnings brought an exciting two stroke motorcycle.

I have therefor been using PC’s and software packages including Microsoft for 25 years. Long enough to have picked up the knowledge along the way, as well as buying I have been building systems for many years.

My family

Family Man


I am a family man, Abigail, a nurse by profession and I have been together a long time, meeting on a sail training vessel, now many years and many adventures later we are parents to two daughters, who are now in their teens.

We are a family who loves the outdoors, boating, sailing athletics and running remain a feature.