About Andy Crawford
I was born and raised in Watford Hertfordshire during the 1960s and 70s. During my teenage years I was more interested in music than sport and rock rather than pop. In the early 70’s I was a fan of Glam Rock going on to Punk Rock as it emerged in the mid 70’s and onward.
As a teenager I was skateboarding and cycling, and did a variety of part-time jobs. I found school to be mind-numbingly boring although on reflection I think that was largely due to the school I went to. It was a large comprehensive where the teachers lacked any enthusiasm and none of us were expected to do well anyway. I left at age 16 to work full-time in retail.
At the age of 20 I did a parachute jump for charity. I had no idea at the time that this activity would span a quarter of a century for me and I would end up making over 3,900 freefall parachute descents in total. In my first year I made 39 jumps as a ‘student parachutist’ before learning ‘Relative Work’ (now known as Formation Skydiving). This was my favoured discipline in the sport. By the late 80’s (in my mid to late 20’s) I was ‘helping out’ at various parachute centres as a ‘Load Organiser’ and Coach while being on the ‘boogie circuit’ both in the UK and abroad. In the 1990s I did 200 or so Tandem Jumps (as the instructor) and trained as a Basic Instructor for first-time jumpers. From the late 90’s I worked as a free-fall camera flyer, mainly for first timers doing Tandems and I made around 2000 camera jumps until around 2012. I also did some team competition jumping and wind tunnel training.
I was working in retail from the ages 16 to 24 but I decided that it was not for me. I made a variety of career choices which lead me into a variety of sales and marketing jobs. I worked for kitchen companies, insurance companies and an estate agent. These were based in and around Hayes and West London. However by the age of 30, I decided that ‘work’ in the conventional sense was not for me either, so I gave up work and instead set up a variety of businesses and also worked part-time parachuting. Doing this also allowed me to be a stay-at-home dad for two of my children.
In 2001 I set up a holiday accommodation agency business which is going strong to date (2017). This allowed me to continue skydiving and work ‘on my own terms’. I took the business from a start-up on a conventional basis (with brochures and order forms and dealing with clients by telephone and post) to a fully online system. During that time I learned about website development and employing Internet based systems.
Politically I have always thought that people and the environment should come before business and profits. I loathe authority and support equality so I guess that makes me fairly left-wing on the spectrum.
I have no religious views other than that people should be allowed to follow any path they choose, so long as that does not interfere with anyone else. That goes for what they do, what they think, how they dress and so on. I do not get emotional or upset if others do not follow convention. Each to their own and everyone deserves respect.