About Colin Palmer

Colin Palmer originally worked for ICI in the 1960's in Slough as a technical services representative. One of his tasks was to identify and provide solutions to problems encountered by customers using the ICI priming machine.

Colin grew increasingly frustrated with the slow paperwork trail involved whenever he wished to improve upon the design of this overly complex painting machine, so in 1969 he decided to leave ICI and set up Palmer Primer with his first wife Christine to offer a timber priming service to timber merchants and timber importers in the Nottingham, Leicester and Derby areas.

In the early 1980's Colin realised the demand for this priming service was nationwide, so decided to sell these timber priming and coating machines direct to timber merchants and timber importers in the UK which he did very successfully for the next 23 years.

Colin Palmer sitting by his stainless steel sculptures

Fast forward to 1993 when Colin Palmer decided to retire and hand over the business to his son Richard in order to concentrate on his love of art including oil painting, water colours, stainless steel sculptures, pottery and photography.

Colin crafted several contemporary stainless steel sculptures for his own enjoyment and for several of his friends. He even considered selling a few of these very unique stainless steel sculptures but never seemed to have the time. He was always too busy doing something else!

Notable dates - buying himself a Microlight for Christmas - The maiden flight not going entirely to plan when he realised that accelerating across the back garden without wings at a rather higher rate of knots than was considered prudent was a little unwise - microlights don't need brakes whilst flying, but they certainly need them to stop on the ground, and promptly crashed head-on into the garage in spectacular fashion - oh, and I caught the whole incident with my camera!!!

Colin Palmer maiden flight across back gardenmicrolight picks up speed with Colin at the helmwith no brakes to stop Colin broke his microlight within minutes of the flightBroken microlight nose cone & propeller

Not deterred by this slight setback he went about making a few improvements to the design, adding a 2nd seat so he could take passengers up for an experience of a lifetime.

Colin also had a few scary mircolight moments which you really couldn't make up!

The local field opposite his house was perfect for flying from, so Colin had a chat with the farm hand and made several take offs and landings from the field without any problems - till the fateful day whist he was flying miles away enjoying the views the field was ploughed by the farmer. Colin unaware of the change in the field from smooth to ploughed carried out his landing manoeuvre until feet away when too late he realised the field was heavily rutted. Like something off an old Batman movie there was plenty of smash bang wallop on landing. This took him several more months to repair the damage.

Flying with his 2nd wife added to more mishaps, such as when he took his second dumpy wife (Janice) up as a passenger in his microlight and seizing up the centre cylinder of the Robyn 440 three cylinder engine, needless to say it came down pretty quick - Excess weight was blamed as the contributory cause!

Or running out of petrol whilst flying over a sensitive military airbase, almost certainly caused by a heavier load than he had calculated for, and in this particular instance, landing in an operational US airbase which nearly caused a political security incident, though at the time the military police weren't so neurotic as they are nowadays and saw the funny side and dumped the rather overweight 2nd wife off in the direction of a petrol station for some petrol and to burn off the excess blubber - shame they didn't shoot her - all said in jest! - on returning home he went about further improving the original design by increasing the size of the petrol tank to accomodate flying fat elephants around the county!

His love of photograpy continued throughout the years, always eager to take unusual photographs of day-to-day events, at night, or in snow - when the rest of us were in the warmth! Colin even experimented with taking photographs whilst flying his microlight. It's just a shame this happened just before the internet took off and the likes of Flickr existed because he would have had a ball.

Colin remained in the UK for several more years before embarking on a once in a lifetime trip around the world.

At this point it should also be mentioned that Colin enjoyed driving down to sunny southern Spain in his modified diesel Range Rover with a huge American caravan numerous times, before getting fed-up of the continual reliability problems with the auto gearbox and diesel engine and buying himself a Toyota Landcruiser which was far more capable and much more reliable. With more time on his hands and a far more reliable vehicle to use he set about travelling round much of Spain looking for a warm place to settle down in.

Whilst travelling around Spain he continued to use his laptop with modem and mobile phone to remain in contact with his son Richard and daughter Jo, plus his older sisters Kath and Monica, and his many friends, especially David Bingham, Alistair Fulton, Andy Carter and Glen.

In 2001 and growing increasingly fed-up with high council tax bills, petty jobsworths and plain incompetent politicians ruling the country (no change there then) Colin decided to sell up and move to Murcia in southern Spain with his second wife Janice to enjoy what he hoped would be a long, happy and contented life.

Unfortunately Colin's retirement plans in Spain were cut short when he suffered a massive heart attack and stroke in somewhat unusual circumstances on the 26th October 2001 aged 64 - literally only weeks after having moved to Spain. His 2nd wife Jan had him cremated within days - how very convenient.

And a will warning to anyone who has remarried and has children from the first marriage. Colin couldn't be bothered with paperwork, so left a simple will based upon trust, and left everything in his will for Jan (his 2nd wife) to sort out amongst the family, and she certainly did that, but not quite how he expected - Janice ran off into the sunset with another guy with everything Colin owned and left nothing to his children except a few bills. If you ever meet the black sheep of the family Jan Palmer say hello, but watch out because she's not quite the poor hard done by widow she portrays, we believe Colin was husband number 4.

Having said that, Colin had the last laugh, he had eight fantastic years of doing exactly what he wanted to do, he enjoyed the freedom, the sunshine, and the cheap cost of living in southern Spain - and he went out with a bang - what a way to go!

Though sadly missed, Colin Palmer's work continues in many forms and he will never ever be forgotten. His own artistic achievements are scattered across the world in the form of his stainless steel sculptures, paintings, pottery and his photography.