I was born in 1929 in Appleby, a small county-town in the north of England. I lived with my family for the first 21 years of my life, and we moved around the north-west of England as my father's work in an insurance company dictated. I attended several different primary and secondary schools, but completed secondary education at the Liverpool Collegiate School in 1948. At that time my favourite subjects were art and mathematics. I attended the University of Liverpool for four years, studying architecture for one year before starting in the honours mathematics programme. It became clear that I really enjoyed mathematics and some of its applications and I developed the ambition to teach and do mathematics.