After service as an Officer in the Army during the 1960s, he went into industry and started a manufacturing company producing industrial packaging and paper from recycled material; this became a ‘plc’ in 1985. In 1990, he changed career again and was accepted by Trinity Hall as a mature undergraduate to read History. He went on to complete a PhD and was elected a Fellow of Trinity Hall, and subsequently Domus Bursar of the college. He is a College Mentor for post-graduates in History and a Research Associate in the Centre of South Asian Studies. He has been a Trustee and Chairman of the Papworth Trust and the Varrier- Jones Foundation serving disabled people in East Anglia since 1982. He is a Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, and was High Sheriff in 1996/7. At that time he was also Chairman of the Fitzwilliam Museum Trust. He has sung in the Messiah as a treble and as a bass.