Mike Horne

Mike on the 1963 school photo

 
Mike in 2011 
I left Trinity High School in the summer of 1965 with zero educational qualifications and went to work making my fortune earning seven quid a week at North Bucks Timber.  After realizing that was a little short sighted, I decided to enlist in the Royal Navy.

So after a few months training, I found myself as an 18 year old living in Singapore for 18 months. After returning to the United Kingdom around 1969 (I think), my first job was to be best man at Phil Taylor's wedding (another Trinity old boy who now lives in New Zealand).

I forgot the words that my father told me when I joined the forces “Never Volunteer” but I didn't heed his advice and found myself pushing old diesel submarines around for the next 5 years.  As they say, those were the best days of my life, and still in touch with many friends from those days. It's difficult to explain to somebody who has no experience of the exclusive submariners club but friends are made for life.

There has been a photo of me on this website for a long time.  It shows me visiting the school in 1967 in uniform.  See the Scrapbook picture by click here [go].

 
Mike is the rating trying to hide near the rear 

Sue and I were married in Plymouth in 1971, (Trinity old boys Keith Ager, Bob Sanders and ? Cook were in attendance), but I decided that maritime life was not compatible with happy home life so left the Navy mid 70's and was desperate for a cushy 9am to 5pm office job.  Decided to go back to school at the ripe old age of 26 and get the qualifications I could have received 10 years earlier if I'd worked at school.  As I was already a radio operator, and had an interest in electronics, I repaired TV's for a few years to pay for my education.

This didn't quite work out the way I planned and I went to work on the offshore oil industry in the Arabian Gulf, based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in 1982.  I was offered a 6 month contract to maintain offshore telemetry systems but that actually turned into a 10 year stay in the Emirates.  Native Emirati, true Bedouins, are some of the most generous and personable people in the world.  Not all Middle Eastern people are Jihadist terrorists – the majority are just like us and want to live an enjoyable trouble free existence.

 
Our house 
We left Abu Dhabi after the first Gulf War in 1991 when I was offered a position to work at Galileo International in Swindon.  Little did I know that after selling our house in Plymouth and moving to a small Wiltshire village outside of Devizes, the company would decide to move the Data Center to Denver, Colorado.  So two years to the day after we moved back to England to settle down, we hopped on a plane to the Wild West.

I worked at Galileo for another 3 years in Denver before joining the dot.com bubble crowd and was one of the members of a start-up internet company.  Unfortunately it wasn't called Microsoft (it was actually called VERIO and still exists) so instead of making millions, I made enough to help pay off a mortgage but decided I was better suited to a corporate environment.

We moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1998 where I suppose I reached the zenith of my career, the network architect for American Express, but grew restless yet again and moved to Virginia in 2000 for my final career move.

After retiring (or should I say being downsized) in 2004, I quit technology.  When I started in the late 70's, computers took full rooms with 32K of memory, water chillers, et al.  When I left, a mainframe computer fitted under the desk!!

Since retiring in 2004, I've driven “big rigs” - those 18 wheel 40 ton trucks you see in movies.  It's amazing what you discover in a truck stop at 3am in the morning!!!!  My wife, after agreeing to move with me whenever the urge overtook me, decided to implement her lifelong dream of an English Tea Room.  It was so successful that it was my turn to sacrifice my career as a truck driver to help her.  The moral of the story is: from corporate executive to truck driver to dishwasher in 3 years is not a successful career but I couldn't disagree more.  We were doing things that we wanted to do and not what we had to do.

We closed the Tea Rooms in 2009, not because of lack of business but the opposite.  We had coaches that would drive “mature” ladies from Washington, DC to visit our little tea room.  It was so busy we were just plain worn out.  So what are we going to do now?

Well, I am coaching high school soccer (sorry, can't call it football).  High school sports in USA is serious business and I couldn't believe it but they actually pay me to indulge in my passion.  I'm a lifelong Cobblers supporter and one of the more (not the most) stupid things I did in my life was have the club badge tattooed on my arm in Singapore.

We live in small town America, a place called Edinburg, Virginia, population 400, about 100 miles South West of Washington DC in the Shenandoah Valley, in a 160 year old house in the historic district.  There is also an abandoned building that was originally built as an opera house but has been used as the Town Hall, Fire Station, and Museum, but has been abandoned for the last 20 years or so.  So what else to do in retirement?  Let's reopen the Theater.  That is a story in itself but suffice to say the theater was reopened in January 2012 but there is still a lot of work to do.

I'm so thankful for the opportunities that have been afforded our generation and would love to get in touch with old friends from 3A(L)........remember, we did Latin with Ned Bennett, while everybody else did woodwork/science/technical drawing.  Please feel free to get in touch and if any old boy/girl needs a bed for the night in my neck of the woods, just ask.

There are a couple more photos from album of school days below.

 
Mike is front row, right
 
Mike is back row, right

The Tower Revisited  - The website for former Pupils of the Technical High School, Trinity High School & Trinity Grammar School, Northampton