In 2003 , after months of planning and preparation, Arthur Chapman and I set up The New Curiosity Shop.

Arthur and I have been friends and colleagues for many, may years. We were lecturers at a college of Further Education in Edinburgh (and I dotted around doing various secondments and placements in between). Every Friday, after work, Arthur and I cycled to Cloisters to enjoy a pint or two and unwind. How we unwound. We unwound by solving the problems of the Universe (easy, just ask us) and by planning our escape. We came up with the idea of an online college for courses that people would do for the sheer pleasure. Learning for the sake of learning. We were beginning to despair of our college, and others, for cutting back on the fun learning, and focussing on courses that would lead to jobs. That sounds laudable, but in practice it meant that all the colour drained out of the college, and the management seemed only to want to create Call Centre Creatures.

That was not for Arthur and I. Online learning was still in its infancy, but it didn’t take too many brain cells to see that it has huge potential. The college wasn’t interested in developing it any further, so Arthur and I upped sticks, packed our bags and set up The New Curiosity Shop. It’s one of the best things I have ever done.

Do take a look at The New Curiosity Shop. We’ve got some great courses there. We have some great tutors. And the courses are fun.

The New Curiosity Shop