At the age of two I began studying astronomy. I would sit in my high chair with my bib still on after eating Farley's rusks, and draw the planets, comets (especially Haley's comet including its tail), satellites, the moon and many of the constellations. Early in 1963, I remember listening to the instrumental 'Telstar' by the Tornados. With my crayons I had drawn Telstar many times from a photo in one of my astronomy picture books.

Brian Darby under an umbrella on a beach in Wales - a young inventor at 6 monthsThose were some of my earliest vivid memories, although one of my first technical memories was of the hood hinges on my Silver Cross pram when I was around a year old; I was fascinated by the way the hood was raised and folded, and also by the sound of rain on the hood canvas :-)

However, my earliest cogent technical memory is still as clear as a bell; it was of staring up at a broken strut on an umbrella at the age of around six months (see photo - right). I swear, I wanted to take a pair of pliers and fix the broken strut!

I was interested in everything and desperate to learn, but unfortunately I was bullied relentlessly throughout my primary and secondary school years, and was literally prevented from accessing the structured education I so passionately wanted. Fortunately, with the help of my grandparents and parents (especially my granddad and my mam), I was able to teach myself.

I read thousands of books from the local libraries, I practiced solving equations using the back of scrap rolls of wallpaper, I carried out endless experiments, and pulled just about everything in the house to pieces to see how it worked - much to the chagrin of my mam, since I rarely put things back together again ;)

Brian Darby fast asleep in bed with a chemistry book - age 11I studied chemistry, physics, astronomy, history, geography, biology, music (I also played guitar, bass, mandolin, violin, banjo and sang in many local rock bands from age nine to about twenty-five), English language and literature, French and dozens of other far more important and interesting subjects such as; fishing, making fireworks, designing and building bogies, inventing new things to do with 'caps' such as the percussion bolt, making bows and arrows from willow trees, then making them into crossbows, digging tunnels, breeding perch, experimenting with chickens to get them to lay more eggs, studying the structure of spider webs, making fire with lenses, building home made telescopes and microscopes from bog rolls and my grandfather's favourite glasses ;-)

Happily for me, when I left school the bullying ceased to be a problem and through a combination of a college, an institute and a couple of universities I finally obtained a wonderful education in mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering. I also studied full contact karate for five years which may have helped.

My first proper job was at Madewel Electronics in Urmston, a fire alarm design and manufacturing company. I was employed to wire up control panels but I spent most of my time designing test equipment and manufacturing aids to speed up production and improve quality/consistency. I also started my first business designing and building (in my shed) amplifiers and speaker cabinets for local bands. My working career spanned 18 jobs and throughout that time I started and ran around five businesses, one of which eventually became Intech Design Limited, my current company for the last ten years.

However, I always faced a dilemma - developing products from scratch was very expensive, time consuming and risky, and trying to obtain patents was frustrating, time consuming and expensive. Yet I had (and still have) so many product ideas, problem solutions and possibilities to explore. I eventually reached a point where I no longer had the resources to continue investing in and developing new products, so I moved my company over to IT and Web Design in order to continue earning a living.

I started this invention blog to provide an outlet for my ideas. At least I can gain some satisfaction from describing and publishing my ideas for potential new products and problem solutions. I also give up any rights (including copyright) and offer everything I publish on my blog, completely free and without restriction to anyone who can make use of it, in the sincere hope that it may be of benefit to a few people around the world.

I believe the main purpose of the patent system is to ensure that all new inventions will eventually be made available for the benefit of everyone. So in keeping with that spirit I am offering my thoughts, ideas and solutions directly to anyone who wants to make use of them, and by publishing them here on my blog I am automatically preventing anyone else from patenting my ideas, thus ensuring that they are immediately and permanently available for everyone to use.

All the ideas, products and solutions I publish on this blog are from my own original thoughts. I must stress that nothing I publish here (unless otherwise indicated) is taken from any other source other than my head and my heart. If you have a patent or a patent applied for, on any of the ideas I describe in this blog, then send me a copy - if the date is prior to the date I published my idea/invention, I will remove the idea/invention from my blog.

The reason why I am doing this; because I know I will never be able to bring all my ideas to fruition in my lifetime, so why keep them to myself, there may well be a few that are of some value to someone else. Also, there is so much greed and bureaucracy in the world today, I take great pleasure in giving away something of potential value which may help someone in a shed somewhere to make a living, or perhaps give a helping hand to some folk in a part of the world deprived of resources or investment.

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