My name is Mark and I am a full-time veterinary surgeon working with dogs and cats having graduated in 1988. After graduation, I immediately pursued my vocation within a vocation and in 1991 acquired a post-graduate qualification in small animal cardiology and have been working in this field whilst in private practice, ever since. My passion is to recognise and treat heart disease in cats and dogs, enabling them to regain a normal quality of life and longevity where possible, all the time enriching their relationship with their owners. Later that same year (1991), Rosalind and I were married and on the 5th September 1994, our twin sons Philip and Thomas were born, (note the date 24 years previously). Ros and I are born-again Christians and are committed to our local Baptist church, wishing very much others would come to know the Lord Jesus as their Saviour.
My interest in Formula One was sparked in about 1974 when I was twelve years old, Emerson Fittipaldi becoming my hero and a good role model I believe, having read his autobiography at the time. I was taken to Brands Hatch a couple of times at about that time and also received a 1/12 scale Tamiya Lotus 72D after much sacrifice on the part of my mother, for a Christmas present in 1973 or 1974. This I built several times and retained the parts to this day incorporating them in later projects along with a 1/12 scale Tamiya Tyrrell Ford F1 given to me by a teacher (Nick C) who had lost interest and kindly passed it on. I was fascinated by miniaturisation and in all the parts that made up an F1 car. I was taken to visit a Texaco petrol station on the eve of the 1974 British Grand Prix and there on the forecourt was Fittipaldi’s Texaco-Marlboro McLaren M23, perhaps /4, later to receive upgrades at the Osterreichring. This event along with the influence of one of my school teachers (Jim N-L) who was an F1 fanatic sealed my fate, infecting me with ‘an incurable disease’ (sic) Ken Tyrrell and having ‘a vice I could not put down’ (sic) Frank Williams. Fortunately, Christian faith kept things in relative proportion.
Thereafter, I built 1/12 F1 cars from time to time, putting such things aside at the time of my ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels and whilst at university studying veterinary medicine. Once graduated, I immediately rekindled my modelling exploits and converted Mike Hailwood’s 1974 Yardley M23 into Fittipaldi’s 1975 Texaco Marlboro car, declaring his recent Championship victory. Over successive years came conversions of the Ferrari 312T into a 312B3, an essentially scratch-built Hesketh 308 (thanks to inspiration and help via John Shinton, professional modeller) and conversions of the Renault RE20 into a RE30B, Matra Ms11 into an MS10 etc etc. Scratch-building parts of models became my main pre-occupation, thus started a series of cars utilising wheels/tyres and an engine block only, from a Tamiya kit and most recently, parts being made on a lathe this year (2010) to enhance reality further. Each car has generally taken twelve months to complete, however with the lathe and mill, this is likely to be 50% longer. My modelling activities are underpinned by a rich network of acquaintances in the historic racing world who grant me access to cars being restored. Whilst relevant magazine titles were available, I contributed articles in order to capture the production of a number of these models in order to get the facts recorded before time made the data less available and the memory faded – ‘how did I make that part?’. My on-going approach is of an ever increasing desire to capture realism and try and catch-up on my wish list of projects in planning. Fortunately, I have an inspiring environment in which to carry-out my creative activities, our old, now converted kitchen, named MRO F1 Engineering. This is ably assisted by the calming influence of our cats, Chica (RIP 2015), Sabrina, Lady (RIP 2014) and more recently Leonard (2015) along with the support of my wife Rosalind and my twin sons Philip & Thomas.