Mike grew up in Accrington. His grandmother was the first person who taught him about the importance and relevance of politics. Mike left home at 16 in 1970 with a passion for horticulture which he later studied at Kew. Living in London gave him the opportunity and confidence to ‘come out’ due to the wonderful patience and support of staff at the Gay Switchboard. He was a founder of North Staffordshire Gay Switchboard and in 1981 volunteered for London Gay Switchboard after being interviewed by Mark Ashton. Mark and Mike became firm friends, organising collections together for striking miners in 1984/5 and forming 'Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners’ (LGSM). Mike was secretary. Tragically aged 26 Mark died of AIDS only two years later. Mike initiated the film ‘Pride’ – one of the most celebrated British gay films in recent years. He has ensured that this story of struggle, solidarity and friendship has been told. Mike combined horticulture and his social concerns by working for a charity. He is now self-employed as a horticulturist and loves running gardening classes for beginner gardeners. As a socialist, gay rights campaigner and political activist Mike is along time admirer of Edward Carpenter.