An Interview with Rick Dickinson

Today I learned of the death of Rick Dickinson, industrial designer to many companies including Sinclair Radionics, later Sinclair Research, still later Sinclair Computers — a name familiar to computer fans of a certain age as the company behind the ZX and QL families of microcomputers, the former of which would make history as the first fully-functional computers available to the public for under £100.

In his memory, I present in full an interview carried out in October 2014 following Rick’s publication of concept designs for modern Sinclair microcomputers. These designs would never make it to market, but Rick’s work remains current as part of the ZX Spectrum Next project for which he designed the chassis and keyboard — his last project, it turns out.

Rest in peace, Rick.

Rick’s sketch work for the Sinclair QL microcomputer design

Gareth Halfacree:
I saw the picture you put on Twitter about what looks to my eyes some kind of exciting new QL-shaped thing, I just wanted to find out what’s going on!

Rick Dickinson:
Yeah, yeah, it’s quite interesting. For a couple of years now or so I’ve been pondering, toying with how would some of the Sinclair stuff be today if the company had survived. Obviously, some companies do and some don’t — I mean, even the likes of Apple were as good as finished quite some time ago, I recall, and just a quirk of luck and a company manages to dig itself up and come up with a good idea that everyone by chance happens to like or want or both, and, you know, suddenly you’ve got the likes of Apple, really. Enormous powerhouse, obviously, in many ways.

And I just thought “well, that could have happened to Sinclair,” there’s so much luck in these things, and I thought “well, let’s try and extrapolate, what would we have kept over the period of about 30-odd years, what would evolve, what new new technologies would we have come up with, what new technologies would we have perhaps taken over and run with? Like touch-panel displays, you know, is a popular user interface currently and just changes so much, just changes the whole software and how you might create an app, sort of thing.

So, funnily enough I did the Spectrum first, I just haven’t shown it! And I’ve still got some more work to do on that, in some ways, but then I met Urs König, who… we’re in touch with one another, I don’t know if you’re familiar with him, he heads up a QL user group, he’s pretty big on the QL, he’s based in Switzerland and I met him over there, I don’t know, just a few weeks ago, and it inspired me to finish off the ideas I’d had on the QL which had rather got stuck, you know, pending some decisions I was having difficulty with on that.

Anyhow, I finished it and I thought “well, let’s just do a little sort of appetiser shot, let’s just try Twitter and see what sort of reaction there is.” And it’s been amazingly positive. It’s just lovely connecting with people, helping to connect people around the world — I don’t know if you’re familiar with the images that I’ve posted on Flickr many years ago, Sinclair stuff…

Rick’s re-imagined Sinclair QL (render)

Gareth Halfacree:
Yeah, yeah, I’ve actually got the page up now, scrolling through the design sketches and things.

Rick Dickinson:
Yeah. Well, that came about… It was our web designer, as I say it was quite a long time ago now, came in one day and he was wearing a Spectrum T-shirt. I thought “god, where did he get that from?” He said “I bought it on Camden Market this weekend,” I said “what do you mean this weekend?!” He opened my eyes to this massive following of all things… Well, not all things Spectrum but many things Sinclair certainly: the Spectrum, the QL, even the ZX81. And being our web designer, he recommended we have a little Sinclair Archive, which we did, and I showed him loads of stuff and he said “my god, people just love to see this, you know, designs that never happened or part of the design process,” and luckily I tend to keep quite a lot of stuff.

So, that was the history behind the Flickr upload, and that really got a lot of people interested. I’ll tell you what happened because of that, it’s a bit like Twitter, it’s not quite as viral but people get interested, so I’ve been involved in a lot of exhibitions, and interviews, and books, stuff like that, I mean there’s one exhibition that you probably know of that’s… I think it’s called Retro… Digital Archaeology, that’s it, and it’s at the Barbican Centre, and I think that kicked off in November last year or earlier on this year, and they came over, had a look at all the stuff I’d collected and borrowed a ZX80 of all things. But it was one… It was a sort of fun one I’d done to try out some new production tools for that product, and it was all clear mouldings, and it was all printed up properly, and it looks fantastic, I must say, but it was never a production thing and without being over-dramatic in actual fact it’s the only one in the world, you know, so they borrowed that.

So, there’s real interest, you know, I’ve got a lot of stuff I’ve collected that’s in various exhibitions going around the country, there’s one opening in Manchester soon or about now, so, I think it’s something… Is it called… Bedroom in there… So much stuff going on. Revolution in the Bedroom or something like that, Computer Revolution in the Bedroom, really fascinating stuff. People coming at it from a particular perspective that’s important to them, whatever that might be.

And I should think when I’ve fully published this QL imagery people will be interested, it’ll give people ideas. Funnily enough, I had a chap just ring me saying “I’m doing a book on the Spectrum, always wanted to do it, would you like to contribute?” I said “yeah, I’d love to.” So, yeah. So that’s the sort of story behind that image I popped in. My plan is to… We’re just rendering it up now, and then I’ll pop a select half-a-dozen, maybe a dozen images, and post them onto my website, like that, rather than Twitter it — it’s too much to manage, that sort of traffic and work at the same time if you get my drift. So, yeah. Yeah, I don’t know how interesting that might sound!

Gareth Halfacree:
Well, I think it’s absolutely fascinating. I mean, what you say about the popularity of the designs you’ve worked on, it is… I mean, I have… I don’t actually have a QL myself, but I’ve got several ZX81s, rubber-key and Amstrad-model Spectrums, and they are iconic, and that’s why we see people on eBay and Camden Market and places selling T-shirts with Spectrums and things printed on them. And yeah, it definitely is something that remains popular even now, and I think you’re going to get a lot of interest from, as you say, just kind of imagining a different future where Sinclair would be where Apple is now, and is kind of coming out with the shiny, attractive new things. And I think it’s absolutely fascinating. Is it just a kind of design portfolio entry, or is it something that you could see somebody taking and running with and turning into an actual product?

Rick’s re-imagined Sinclair QL (render)

Rick Dickinson:
You could very much turn it into a product, you could run with it, yeah. If you had an electronics design house, a software house, as appropriate, and actually decide, and for the electronics guys and software guys and various applications to take a very similar approach to what I have done which is to say “hey, where could it be now or where would it be now, let’s just think about that.” It’s actually quite difficult to do.

So, for example I’m quite interested in other things including car design, and all aspects of car design: the aesthetics, the technology and so on, and the sort of corporate imagery that car manufacturers adopt and struggle with as they come out with successive models. And a good example would be the Ford Mustang, you’re probably familiar with that, and when it was launched, amazingly it was the highest-volume production sports car in the world, incredibly successful and staggeringly gorgeous as well. And as time went by, as happened with many cars, the exciting elements were gradually diluted — I mean, how these things happen I don’t know — to the point where the Mustang in the 80s was just this nondescript, blobby family car. You know, it shouldn’t even have been called the Mustang.

And then one day somebody has an idea and says “look, let’s resurrect this” and they come out with a new Mustang, which you see a few of them out and about recently, and they’ve absolutely grabbed it, you know, they’ve got the aesthetic — but not the aesthetic of how it was then, but the aesthetic of how it would have evolved if they’d just chopped all this crap that they had in-between, this is how it would have evolved. And somehow the designers have cleverly managed to leapfrog those missed evolutionary stages and just caught up and “ba-ba, here you are today.”

It’s got the look, the grunt, the feel, the sound, the everything. And that’s quite exciting. It’d be great to do that with Sinclair stuff. And you never know, just pushing this stuff out — I mean, I’m doing this because it’s fun and I like it, and it creates interest, and people like it. But it only takes one manufacturer to think “d’you know what, this could be terrific, this could be fun” and to look at the electronic design and the architecture of that and the software and how would we really do things and maybe run with something, it’s all possible.

I mean, I’m sure you’ve heard of Steve Wilcox doing his Bluetooth Spectrum, was it Elite, Elite I think? Yeah. Well, I’m not… I’m involved with that only in the sense that he interviewed me, wanted to interview me to help with the publicity and get a… He was interested in knowing why, visually, shall we say, it turned out that way, you know, what’s the thinking behind the rubber keys, and this and that, and the Spectrum rainbow, and you know, obviously because I was there and involved with it I’m able to tell him why I think things turned out the way they did, so he found that interesting and he used that for his publicity, to help with his Kickstarter approach, and then… You know, it’s interesting recreating something as closely as you can that was manufactured 30 years ago, but purely as an iconic user interface — that’s completely different to coming up with a new Spectrum, of course. Who knows what a new Spectrum might be? So, there you are.

Rick’s original Sinclair QL design sketch

Gareth Halfacree:
When you were working on the designs at Sinclair, did you ever consider that it was going to become the massive thing that it did? I mean, the Spectrum was credited with kick-starting the UK home computing revolution; I interview a lot of people in the industry today who got their start on a Spectrum. Is that something you foresaw, or did you just expect it to be kind of, as Sinclair himself did in the early days, just something that appealed to hobbyists and weirdos?

Rick Dickinson:
We had absolutely no idea, at all. The… Yeah, you’re right, the ZX80… Well, previous to that MK14s… I joined Sinclair when Clive was sending out MK14s in kit form, like he’d done with so many of his other products, you know, certainly back in the early days. Clive spun out of Sinclair Radionics, golden handshake, decided to do the… The MK14 was Chris Curry’s design…

Gareth Halfacree:
Yeah, it was Chris Curry at Science of Cambridge originally, and then was taken over by Sinclair.

Rick Dickinson:
That’s right, yeah. Yeah. And, you know, it really was… He was adopting an old, or they were adopting an old formula of just selling off the page as they called it, money up front and out you go with the kits, and when we did the ZX80 they thought if they were lucky they might do, I can’t remember if it was a thousand a month or a thousand a year, but it wasn’t many. And, obviously, they were swamped, and people didn’t just want the kit version they wanted a ready-built version because it was appealing to people who weren’t into that sort of thing. And I think that’s really where we thought it all was and would remain, so no.

And I think there’s so much luck in these things, it’s just a bloody coincidence that what we came out with just happened to fit very nicely with a lot of people that would become, I don’t know what I would call… Maybe society influencers. I remember talking with guys, you know, still boys, 13, 14 years, who’d come round to the office, ring first, obviously, to meet up. They wanted to see what was going on at Sinclair, and we’d take them in, show them designs we were working on, take them out for a pizza, and I thought “my god,” you know, their current accounts probably had more money in than their parents’ accounts would ever see because they were writing games and selling them and being very popular.

These guys, what they think is just going to control our, or my, well, our future world, so there’ll even be a bit of software in a bloody electric drill, and there is, in fact. So, you know, it was an incredibly powerful thing. I don’t know even if you could see then how important a role software was going to play in people’s lives, now when you think that this was pre-Internet, pre- even a concept of the Internet could exist or even thought about by people other than Arthur C. Clarke maybe, so you… I think it’s quite clear to see what might happen in that sense, but I never had any idea or notion that what actually happened would happen, and especially 30-odd years on.

I think the following is even more important, in some ways. I mean, I know a lot of software engineers and designers and people involved in electronics generally really cut their teeth on Sinclair products and it really set them on course, as it were. It was one of those things where you could have had any other hobby, but there may have been no career path for it. But somehow the career path created itself. You know, your hobby could have been gluing Airfix kits, but where’s your career path? So you’ve got a lot of these coincidences, and yeah, undoubtedly the Sinclair products helped enormously with that, you know, British software, British designers, British engineers.

I go to companies all over the world, certainly I used to more than I do now, and there’s a Brit everywhere, and chances are he learnt on a Spectrum or a ZX81, and it’s just incredible, it has influenced the world, really.

Rick’s re-imagined Sinclair QL, keyboard detail (render)

Gareth Halfacree:
I’d definitely agree with that. Looking at your portfolio, I’m seeing in the What’s New section and On The Drawing Board section there’s a lot of industrial, medical, and communications designs. Obviously, you’re creating the new QL and the new Spectrum on-spec as a portfolio item, as a kind of fun project to do. Is it fair to say it’s something you miss, designing these microcomputers?

Rick Dickinson:
Err, yeah, I think so. We did the Gizmondo, I don’t know if you know that? And that was absolutely fantastic fun. I think that was… The reason that was particularly good fun was the nature and character of the people we were working for, rather than the product. The product was fun and exciting, but the guys, the Gizmondo guys, were fantastic fun to work for, and we had a free hand. I mean, obviously they had their views on what they liked and didn’t like, so anything that was rejected it’s a reject, fine, just keep going until you find something they like, and when they did like it it was fantastic. It was really fun working with them and it would have been fabulous if they were still operating now, we could have done lovely stuff, I mean, we ran all the way through to what we called Gizmondo Widescreen, that was sort of a PSP [Sony PlayStation Portable]-attack, PS2 [PlayStation 2]-attack, at the time. It was good fun.

But yes, I think… I mean, we do a lot of medical products. Couple of reasons for that: one is it’s a more sustainable industry, in the sense that it’s… Once upon a time I did most of what I’d call these communication-type high-tech products, and it’s a volatile market, and it has its ups and its down, and when the IT market goes quiet we go quiet, so we needed a wider breadth of design interest. I’d always been interested in medical products, so I pushed that a little bit harder, and as I say it’s a more stable market. You’ve always got to think about the business side of things, and it’s a much more stable, regular income working on products like that.

They’re difficult, there are some you can get a little bit of design excitement, but generally they’re not consumer products, as you can imagine, they’re things that are specified… or that the user is not necessarily the buyer. But they are interesting to work on, but not as much fun, as you’ve identified, as maybe a gaming product or a computer. We used to do a lot of mobile phones, but there’s not much you can do with a mobile phone now because it’s just a flat slab of glass. If you look at them all, they’re all pretty well the same. There’s so little three dimensionality, scope for change. You know, the difference between an, I don’t know, an iPhone 4 and a 5 is… Well, from a metre away you tell me what the difference is, you know? There’s not much in it, in terms of certainly industrial design and aesthetic aspects.

Gareth Halfacree:
Sure. One of the things that jumps out at me, again just clicking through your Flickr account and comparing it to the new QL image, is when you designed the original QL the work flow was very much: get it down on paper, in schematics, get models built, physically built, and then work from there, and now of course you’re producing these photo-realistic renders purely in software. How do you find designing the QL again using a modern work flow compared to the original work flow?

Rick Dickinson:
Well, what you’re not seeing of course are the stages leading up to what you have seen. It all starts with sketches, so I’ve got a pile of sketches here of things I’ve tried out. If I felt I’d had more time, I’d have taken those images and physically modelled, as we always have done in the past, using materials like Styrofoam. You go down the model shop and you just start carving shapes to within a set of physical parameters.

I cut that stage out, because I didn’t feel it was necessary, I had a pretty good idea in my mind of what I was looking for so it was quite safe to go into the CAD and create the basic form that would accommodate a keyboard of that size. I wanted to keep the same keyboard general overall layout because I was trying to keep some familiar aspects of the QL, you know, like the keyboard and certain aspects of the key design. It’s important to try and keep some references running through, but try and evolve others, and that’s always the tricky balance.

So, I suppose, in the old days you’d have gone to the drawing board and started drawing it up. Well, now you go to a computer system using a 3D CAD program, but the big difference for me is that you could only create on a drawing board what you can draw and dimension up in a way that someone else can make it for you. So, you couldn’t create a free-flow, fully-compounded curve product or surface on a drawing board, you were stuck with creatable, or constructable, curves. So, if you wanted a curve on something, let’s keep it simple, just a single coplanar as we would call it — sorry, a mono-curve — you’ve got to have a method of being able to construct that yourself, and then dimensioning it in a way that it can be recreated, you know, as a model or for injection mould tooling as a part design.

Now, if you then want that to be shaped or curved in the other direction as well, you go from a mono-curve to what we’d call a compound curve. Well, you’ve got limited scope in what you could create, and with a 3D CAD you can create anything, any natural form, as long as it conforms to manufacturability requirements. And you can see exactly how it’s going to be, and if you’re not certain you can output it to a 3D printer, and usually when you look at a 3D print there are no surprises — it’s exactly how you imagined it to be. I think the software on 3D printers is pretty good, therefore. You’ve got more scope, so yeah, that’s probably why everything was straight lines or if there was a curve it was a curve in just one direction.

Look at the Spectrum, as an example: it’s straight lines in one direction, and if you look at an end-view, what we call an end-view back-front view, there are curves, but they are constructable curves. But if it curved from the other direction, like the side, one wouldn’t be able to construct it, so you’re very much stuck with the design tools you’ve got. Definitely, you can do far more — I mean, with the QL the whole of the top surface is slightly curved and the keys just follow along on that gentle curve.

Rick’s re-imagined Sinclair QL (render)

Gareth Halfacree:
You say that you’re going to release some more images of both the QL and the re-imagined Spectrum as well. Do you know roughly when that will be?

Rick Dickinson:
The stalling point for releasing some more QL images is really just getting the website updated to take this, so I’ve got to clear a section of the website, I think I’m going to use our On The Drawing Board section, and so I need to shuffle stuff out of there into the What’s New as relevant and whatever’s in What’s New shuffle that out into its relevant archive — Medical, Communications, wherever. So, I think if I’m lucky maybe by the weekend.

Gareth Halfacree:
That sounds great. I don’t know if you had a look at my website when I emailed you, but I write a column for Dennis Publishing’s Custom PC magazine called Hobby Tech, and that very much focuses on both hobbyist technology but also vintage computing — and obviously, you’re talking about 3D printers and modern design tools and having the Spectrum and the QL, that covers the bases, really. I’d love to do some coverage of this, write up this discussion and illustrate it with a few images. Can I get your permission to reproduce those images?

Rick Dickinson:
Absolutely, absolutely, yeah. I’m… I’ve always been very open and free with using information, it’s something I believe in. I hate patents and copyright and all that sort of nonsense, it’s just… it just retards or inhibits movement forward.

Gareth Halfacree:
I’m absolutely the same, I’m a big supporter of Creative Commons and projects like that. I do some photography when I’m reviewing hardware, I’ll do photography of it, and I’m not a photographer, I’m a writer, but I can point the camera in the right direction, press the button, so I upload those pictures to Flickr and put them up as Creative Commons. The way I see it, that’s not my job, I’m not getting paid to take these photographs, I’m getting paid to write, so the writing I’ll put to one side and sell to clients and the photography I’ll just say “if you particularly need a slightly blurry image of this particular circuit board, take it, use it, do what you will with it.” And I think that’s important to do.

Rick Dickinson:
No, that’d be terrific. I mean, the thing is to keep in contact so you don’t miss any, I don’t know, aspects of timing or whatever.

Gareth Halfacree:
Yep, well I follow you on Twitter now….

Rick Dickinson:
Yeah, what I’ll probably do, once I’ve got the website sorted, updated, I’d probably just tweet another image, and I’d just hash it #QL, #QLComputer, that sort of thing, and that should send out the signal to the people who are interested.

Gareth Halfacree:
Brilliant, well, I’ll look forward to seeing the other images. And I want to thank you very much for your time, especially just ahead of lunch! It’s always difficult to concentrate when you’re aware of the gnawing hunger starting to bubble up!

Rick Dickinson:
It’s funny you should say that, I have days where I can run through as long as I drink water, and other days when you’re working on something and you’re using your brain and you just think “my brain has stopped working, I’ve got to go and eat.” And it’s not fuelling the body, it’s fuelling the brain. There’s no two ways about it. That’s what stops first, the brain, not the body.

Gareth Halfacree:
I’m actually on a diet at the moment, and I’m just hungry all the time. It’s a nightmare…

Rick Dickinson:
<laughs> Why are you on a diet, just worried about your weight or something?

Gareth Halfacree:
Yeah, I’ve been… I used to have a proper job where I’d commute every morning and work in an office, things like that, and I used to get a fair bit of exercise doing that. A few years ago, I switched to working from home as a freelancer, and it’s been great in terms of having more time with the family, that kind of thing, but it’s been an absolute nightmare on the waistline. My commute is now down the stairs, it’s absolutely terrible.

Rick Dickinson:
Well, it’s interesting… I don’t have a… I’m very tall, and I’m quite slim, but as time goes by you notice it on your stomach slightly, and I’ve found that just small adjustments to your diet, as long as your consistent with it, almost on a daily basis, so just cutting out bread, you know? You feel a bit hungry, toast is the thing, or bread or whatever. So I just have bread at the weekends now, and it really works, with time. I think d’you know, you can tell from the notch on your belt, you think “you know, my pants are falling off more often than they used to,” and just moderation rather than some massive gung-ho eating tomatoes all day long or whatever. Just moderation and give it time, as long as you’re consistent I find that works.

Gareth Halfacree:
Yeah, that’s always the case. It’s easy to start a diet, and it’s always difficult to stick at it until the results start to show.

Rick Dickinson:
Yeah. Well, good luck!

Gareth Halfacree:
<laughs> Yeah, I think I’ll need it! I think I’ve got a little bit more than tomato to have today, but we’ll see! But, as I said, thanks so much for your time, and as I said on my email, I am… it sounds fawning, but I am a big fan, and like I say I’ve got a ZX81, a Spectrum, Amstrad-era Spectrum, I’ve got a Z88, and they’re all devices I enjoyed a lot when they were new and I still enjoy now, and they are iconic and memorable — as we say, with them appearing on T-shirts and things. It’s not often you can see microcomputers like the Spectrum appearing on a T-shirt 30 years later, I don’t think very many people have an Oric Atmos T-shirt, or a Grundy NewBrain.

Rick’s original Sinclair QL design (physical prototype)

Rick Dickinson:
No, that’s right! <laughs> Yeah, or even stuff of today, it is interesting, isn’t it? It was a very, very special time, there’s no two ways about it, there was a real magic created by chance, you know, and we didn’t really know what we were doing, we just did what best we could and what we thought, and it was just the right time, right place, right everything. Just one of those things, really.

I should think the music industry is a bit like that, you know? Someone dies and they do a history or a biography on them and they involve all the people that were involved in their lives and you think “god, that was interesting, what a great time, what a village, what a community of interesting people, and look at what they produced,” and they were just doing their thing, they were just… They, you know, they had their worries and fears and joys, just as people do now, they were just getting on with it, trying to figure “how should it be?” That’s a good question.

Gareth Halfacree:
That is the question that drives design, isn’t it? Not “how would we like it to be,” but “how should it be?”

Rick Dickinson:
Yeah. I’ll tell you one thing, very briefly. With this Flickr, I still upload the odd thing that I think might be of interest, and some of the comments are fabulous, and they remind me of me when I was at around that age and the stuff that I was interested in, and you know, when you’re 13, 14, 15, your level of interest is at fanatical levels, bearing in mind you don’t really have anything in your life that you have to bother you like the mortgage, fixing the car and kids and all that sort of stuff. You can dedicate your entirety and all of your energy, or most of it, to whatever your passion seems to have turned in to.

So, I was really interested in things like radio control, you know, electronics, there was a shop near us that sold electronics kits, you could buy resistors and all that sort of stuff. And I got from that into radio controlled model boats with electric engines, and then internal combustion engines… Oh, I did planes, then boats. So then I’d start designing my own boats and making them, hand-making the radio controls and buying the engine, of course, couldn’t make one of those, and I was obsessed and fanatical with that, and I’ve got books still to this day from… You know, ones that I’d bought to help me understand, of course, when you know nothing you’ve got to find out somehow so you can make a start.

There was a guy, he commented on a Flickr image, it was the front cover… Let me see, it was the orange one, so it’d have been the Spectrum, the front cover of the Spectrum [manual], and we got… I can’t remember if it was [John Harris] or one of those guys to illustrate the front cover for us. I don’t know if you’ve seen the front cover of the Spectrum manual, it was this city in the sky. And he said “god, I love that,” because I’d uploaded the original master from the printer, and he said “I used to lie in bed and gaze at it, even with a magnifying glass, exploring this imagery and just letting my imagination run wild.”

I was really into that, because I remembered draining our local library of all its sci-fi material, because I was a sci-fi addict as well, and could just… I remember being there myself. And he said “and did anyone ever wonder what the story was behind the little Coca-Cola sign?” I thought “Coca-Cola sign?” I had to dig out the cover, and there’s this Coca-Cola logo on this city in the sky, I don’t know if you know?

Gareth Halfacree:
No, I don’t, no.

Rick Dickinson:
I’d had no idea, and I thought “wow, this is fantastic.” And it even got me thinking about “what was [John Harris] thinking with Coca-Cola?” I think he’s probably saying “look, these are human beings that live up here.” It was an iconic detail to remind you of humanity and life and something that the world is familiar with.

The ZX Spectrum Introduction Manual, cover art by John Harris

Gareth Halfacree:
That is… I’ve looked a the image, I don’t think I’ve ever got a magnifying glass out, but I’ve looked at the manual and at the image and I’ve never noticed that before.

Rick Dickinson:
Yeah. Gareth, just hang on a second… Oh, it’s gone. It’s OK, the other line was going.

Gareth Halfacree:
OK, well I’ll let you go and find out who that was, it might be somebody who wants to give you money for something rather than just take up your time!

Rick Dickinson:
That’d be nice! <laughs> You’re welcome. No, I was going to say they’re usually scammers that pretend they want to give you money and then they take it off you!

Gareth Halfacree:
Yeah, I get those as well — free boilers and everything. If I have any more questions, I’ll drop you an email.

Rick Dickinson:
That’d be a pleasure.

Gareth Halfacree:
I’ll let you know as and when I do write something up and get it published. Thanks a lot for your time, Rick!

Rick Dickinson:
Not at all. Bye!

Gareth Halfacree:
Bye!