Rod Dumbreck
Home Up Jamie N Dumbreck Tony Dumbreck Mike Dumbreck

Roderick Dumbreck born 21st August 1947 in Edinburgh, lives and works in Cupar, Fife, Scotland. Rod has three sons Jamie, Anthony and Michael listed above.

Rod Dumbreck (Feb 2004)

A Short Autobiography

I was always interested in outdoor activities and my mother despaired at the amount of time I spent playing with my friends on some waste land close to our first home in Edinburgh in the early 50's

At the age of five, I started my education at the local Gilmerton primary school to which I would walk every morning with my little school bag firmly strapped to my back.  I spent 5 happy years there and at the age of ten, instead of taking the 11+ exams, I sat the entrance exams for a public school in the heart of Edinburgh. A big step at that age.  I think that that was the first and last exam I ever excelled at, and having been accepted by Melville College and placed in the "A" stream, I quickly found the depth of water a little too deep for this 10 year old to cope with.  It was always "could do better if he tried harder"  Anyway one thing that I did manage well was outdoor sports!

Never having played rugby in my life, I was introduced to this large oval ball and instinct then took over.  It took some time for me to get to grip with the rules of the game, however I discovered I could run fast. Athletics then became a major part in my school life, and I did the usual training allotted to us during the school timetable.  It appeared that this was, for me, just enough to stay ahead of the pack, and I ran my little socks off at every given chance.  This resulted in being awarded full athletic colours and even to this day I still hold the school record for the 100 yards at 10.2 sec.

My other outdoor interest was with horses, and in my early teens enjoyed many hours of pain fighting the hay fever I suffered from whilst grooming or making up the hay nets at feeding time. Thankfully I grew out of that allergy, but it took many years!

My working career took me firstly into banking, however after only a couple of years considered that this was not for me.  My father had always been involved with photography, therefore I looked towards that as a possible career move. This lead me in taking a three year full time course in advertising and commercial photography, obtaining the "qualification certificates" which as it worked out, had no bearing in obtaining my first photographic full time job!

Three years on and I was doing well earning then, just enough to buy, in today's money, about 6 gallons of petrol per week! 

It was time to expand, take some risks, go forth, and so with a 100 bank loan and a bit I had saved, purchased my first real camera - a Hasselblad ELM.  If it was good enough for Neil Armstrong to use on the first Moon walk in 1969 then that was the kit for me!

The Dumbrecks at Glengyle Edinburgh Spring 2000
Left to right: Anthony; Jamie; Michael; Rod
(May 2000)

The world of photography enabled me to see and have many interesting adventures, not least when I left freelance work, and joined a team of underwater surveying contractors within the now booming British oil industry. At Santa Fe Diving I was re-trained to put my photographic skills to the test. Working with mini-subs to depths of thousands of feet and carrying an array of underwater Hasselblad stereo and video cameras our task was to take high quality photographs of anything clients required.  This was an adventure that over the next several years took me all over the world.

In 1989 tragedy struck the oil industry when, Piper Alfa exploded with the sad loss of 167 lives.  The next day I and one other American were summoned to attend the site to commence a body search using our mini-sub.  Red Adair and his team were already at the location when we arrived and had the worst of the fires under control.  I will not expand on this story further, suffice to say that shortly after, along with another personal reason, I left the oil industry.

Now with my feet firmly back on dry land and together with my new partner Alison, started a business which incorporated the many skills I had gathered over the last couple of decades.  Computers had come along way by the early 90's and the requirement for text and photographic images to be blended and printed quickly had lead us into developing and using this technology to it's full potential. Life is moving on. We are still enjoying this challenge together. 

Photography, when I find the time, is still fun !

Family and Friends at the Farewell Party at Lasswade 1995
Family group left to right -  back row:-
Rod Dumbreck; Mike Dumbreck; Jamie Dumbreck; Anthony Dumbreck; (friend); Malcolm Whistance; (friend);
Wray Simcock; Mabel Simcock; Alison Robertson; Susan Curtis; Julie Whistance; (next door neighbour); (friend);
Seated: Isabel Dumbreck and Teal (our loyal best friend)

Left to right:- Jamie, Anthony and Michael

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Alex Dumbreck with Tony and Siobhan at the Leuchars Air Show 2006 (14 mins)

Demo of property walk through (4 mins)



2001 Rod Dumbreck