My name is Dave Smith.

I live in MALDON in the county of Essex, UK.

I am a retired Physics teacher.

I was born and brought up in Rochester, Kent.

I received my secondary education at Rochester Technical School which later became Gillingham Technical School.

I obtained a BSc in Physics at Queen Mary College, London and later a PhD in Physics (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance).

After teacher training at Cambridge Department of Education I taught Physics to A level at Wallington Grammar School.

My wife & I decided at that stage to teach overseas. I taught Physics at Jamhuri High School in Nairobi, Kenya for four wonderful years. It was at that time that I developed an interest in Astronomy and Bird Watching and to some extent Photography. Nairobi is at an altitude of between 5000 & 6000 feet. It is just south of the equator and so every evening (almost literally) it became dark at 6.30pm and so there were wonderful views of the whole sky. Only the immediate region near Polaris was not visible from there. The school had a moderate telescope and so I ran an astronomy club. While there I was lucky enough to observe a transit of Mercury and also a Total Solar Eclipse.

The bird life was obviously beautiful and the variety enormous. One day I counted 19 different species on the bird table at once, and all gloriously coloured. On return to the UK I found British birds just as interesting.

Cameras were half UK prices and with so much fantastic scenery and wildlife, photography was a natural hobby.

Since returning to the UK I taught Physics at the Plume School, Maldon initially as Head of Physics and later as Head of Science. I took early retirement in 1999 after 25 years at the school. For 6  years I returned to the school as a lab tech and continued with some A level teaching.

It was at this point that I then had time for hobbies and joined Castle Point Astronomy Club and also the Essex Birdwatching Society.

From 2004 to 2008 I tutored the Open University course S207 - The Physical World and have taken the opportunity to study S282 Astronomy 2006, S283 Planetary Science and the search for life 2007 and S260 & SXR260 Geology 2008,
SXR208 Observing the Universe 2009. SM358 Quantum Mechanics 2010.

My other interests include overseas travel, hill walking and choral singing with Tiptree Choral Society.