When I was a child I traced a map of Africa on a piece of paper. I pencilled in the borders, shaded in the big rivers, marked the capitals and the first letter of each country, taking myself on a virtual tour of the continent. I never imagined that, years later, I would be taking people of all ages on their own virtual journey across the continent from their sofas or at their local libraries.
It all began at the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle with a tough, passionate and pedantic geography teacher called David Rhodes. My love of geography was cemented at The University of Manchester with Drs David Shimwell and Mike Robinson who persuaded me to research some human bone fragments from Ireland. The fragments turned out to be nearly 2,000 years old and helped spark a long journey of research and archaeology which led to their eventual reinterment.
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