Who are we?
The Purplemeanie team is a family based in Bristol (UK) and at the moment this site is about our adventures building a Caterham 7 from a kit. The build team is John (Dad), Harry and Joe.
I am a gadget geek interested in anything hi-tech. In my day-job I have been running a number of different incarnations of a video communications company since 1993. Our company currently creates video communications devices, software and services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. I’m an Electronics graduate but have spent a lot of the last 25 years managing software, electronics and industrial design development teams to make videophones and cloud based video communications services.
Since 2005 the company has been focussing on creating products and services for people who communicate using sign-language and who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Our products and services allow our users to communicate together and with people who use voice based phones. In the case of talking to voice phone users, our deaf/hard-of-hearing users call using our service and are assisted on their video call to a hearing person through a sign-language interpreter. This service is called a Video Relay Service (VRS). Our customers are all in the US, where VRS is funded through a programme run by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Therefore, I spend a lot of my time travelling to and from the US on business.
I’d been telling people for the past 30 years that I was going to build a Caterham and so I guess it was about time we made that happen! A couple of recent life events focussed our minds on the well trodden aphorism “carpe-daem” and so off we went!
In terms of qualifications for building a Caterham… they are dubious at best. In my past I have maintained my own cars and have rebuilt engines, differentials, body-work, electrics, fluffy dice, you name it… as well as spending many hours on “old bangers” trying to keep them on the road. I’m an avid DIY’er and can tackle most household projects: plumbing, woodworking, decorating, electrical etc. And of course I class myself an engineer, so I think I can do anything! More recently I have driven BMW’s with a couple of 530d Tourings in the recent past and then a very red 330i Touring (station wagon for our US visitors). Now I drive a VW ID.3 and have become a bit of an EV enthusiast.
Less recently the list of notable cars includes:
- 911-996 C4Cab
- E39 M5
- Peugeot 1.9 205 GTi
- A rather delapidated Fiat Super Mirafiori in the early 90’s.
- Lots of bangers including Hilman Avengers and a Vauxhall Viva
Harry is currently a University Student at the University of Life. He sometimes also attends lectures at Edinburgh University.
Joe was studying for his A-Levels and like everyone in 2020 didn’t get the chance to shine and actually sit his exams. Joe is now also sometimes attending lectures like Harry, but this time in Swansea.