About Philip J Clay

I have been in the Architectural / surveying profession now since I left school at 19, some 38 years.

My family moved to the south coast form Birmingham when I was 6 years old, and then to Steyning three years later. I attended Steyning County Primary School and then on to the County Secondary School. I was here that I discovered that I had some aptitude for technical drawing, and went on to take an A level in the subject, in what was now Steyning Grammar School, ( by now a “comprehensive”), I also obtained 2 further A levels in geography ands Economics. On leaving School I had no “Uni” place or job lined up, but I answered an ad in “The Argus” for a “Drawing office assistant” , in what turned out, as it happened, in a Building Surveyors Office/ department of a south coast firm of estate Agents, and this set me on my way. After a year, during which I attended Brighton tech, to study construction and surveying, I left that firm to go into full time Further education. I attended what was then “Thames Polytechnic” (Formerly Hammersmith College of Art and Building) to study full time for a degree in Building Surveying, with the ultimate aim of becoming a Chartered Building Surveyor,

I attended the course for 2 years before leaving to join the Building Surveyors Department of the Lewes Office of a national firm of Land and Estate Agents. Most of the projects I was involved with were either Listed, Estate and Country properties. I Stayed at this firm for 5 years full time, and was then retained for a further 15 years on an “ad-hoc”, on and off basis; as and when they needed assistance. On leaving this firm I went to an Uckfield firm who specialised in Steel Framed Buildings, who took me on a Self - Employed basis. I produced all the drawings for the buildings and dealt with all jobs requiring Planning Permission and Building Regulation approvals, as well as attending to clients enquiries by making site visits, and visiting the works in progress

Fortunately I had left this firm before (In 1985) its demise in the 1990’s recession and set myself up to work locally from my house in Upper Beeding, although I did carry on working for them on a part time basis, and again on the firms re-emergence in the mid 1990’s, in a different guise.

I have now lived in the Steyning, Bramber, and Upper Beeding area since 1963

Outside working time, I have been keenly interested in ornithology sine my mid teens and trained for and obtained a BTO (British Trust For ornithology) Bird ringing permit when I was 17. To indulge my hobby I was able to purchase 2.5 acres of land along the old Steyning railway line in 1980. My bird ringing there and the management of the land for the benefit of birds and other wildlife have kept me well occupied ever since.
I am also involved with a site at Cissbury, owned by the National Trust, with a group of 4 other local Bird ringers. (more pages may follow about these activities, as and when I have time!)

I have also enjoyed photography, but this is now mostly indulged with on my Holidays, which with working from home have become essential. These trips are usually “ornithological” in nature, with trips normally of a “Package” bird watching trips, with the firm “Naturetrek”, I have also been lucky enough to have had a couple of private holidays to visit a friend and bird ringing colleague and his wife in Tanzania while they were filming the wildlife and flamingos at Lake Natron

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