Robert Hampton


About Me

Pictures of Robert

Robert is not a big person, and he is not served well by a big “about” page.

I was born on 5th September 1982 in Liverpool, England. The city now celebrates that day as an unofficial public holiday. So unofficial, in fact, that if you ask a Liverpudlian about it, they'll pretend not to know what you're talking about. My mother and father were a man and a woman (not necessarily in that order).

I was educated (almost) at Merchant Taylors' School, Crosby. My nickname at school was Hampo. I loathed it, but recently I decided to reclaim it for myself, so check me out under that moniker over on Twitter.

I probably should have gone to university, but didn't, because... well, it's a long story which we won't go into at the moment.

I work in a solicitor's office in Liverpool, but that's not really what I want to be doing. I like writing, both for my own pleasure and hopefully, one day, for profit. You've probably already seen the blog. I also have some script ideas (for plays etc) which I hope to turn into reality at some point.


Merseyrail train

You'll find me in the gym three or four times a week, trying (in vain) to cancel out the effects of too many chocolate biscuits.

Then there's the trains. I like to get out and about on the National Rail network as often as I can. I'm Merseyrail's No.1 fan, and don't even get me started on how great the Class 156 DMU is.

I'm interested in railway history, particularly that of the Liverpool area. I was a founder member of the Friends of the 502 Group, tasked with restoring an old 1940-built electric train to its former glory.

I was also in the process of building a model railway layout, but due to various factors, progress has sadly ground to a halt.

For more on all things railway, see the trains page.


When I was 7 years old, I taught myself BASIC programming on a Commodore VIC20, before graduating to a Commodore 64, Acorn A3010, Acorn RiscPC and eventually a Windows PC. I wrote and released a few small programs for the underrated and now sadly dead RISC OS platform. I still noodle around in Visual Basic and PHP occasionally.


On the telly, I like to watch The Daily Show, Have I Got News for You, Harry Hill's TV Burp, The IT Crowd, Star Trek, Family Guy and Glee. I will also watch almost anything with Mitchell and Webb in. On the radio, Just a Minute and I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue are always worth a listen.

Max the cat
That's my clean washing that he's sleeping on

My musical tastes are many and varied, but include Scissor Sisters, Mika, Jamie Cullum, Weird Al Yankovic, even McFly. I think William Shatner is one of the great underrated musical geniuses of our time, and I once bought a single by the Fast Food Rockers (as a joke, honest).

You've probably worked out by now that I am not the hippest cat on the block (if I was, would I have written something like that last sentence?). This used to bother me, but not any more. I spent many years embarrassing myself by pretending to be something I'm not, and that's not for me any more.

So that's me, and if you don't like it, well… there are plenty of other sites around. In fact, I have links to some of them!

Oh, and I own a cat. His name is Max. He likes eating three packets of cat food a day and biting me. We all love Max.

About the Site

[Image of desktop with web design applications open]
Screenshot showing the various bits that go into assembling the site.

I registered in February 2002. After a couple of false starts and numerous pages all stating "coming soon", the site finally went online in March 2003. From there it was just 7½ short years before this “about” page was made available.

Much of the HTML and PHP code was coded the old-fashioned way: by hand using a text editor. Most of the work was done using ConTEXT to edit the code, and Paint.NET to create images.

On the server side of things, PHP scripts are used to give the entire site a uniform look and do occasional whizzy things. The blog itself is powered by that excellent open-source blogging software, WordPress. Thanks WordPress. ThirdPress.

I recommend Mozilla Firefox, but the site has been tested on a multitude of browsers without problems. If anything is broken, please let me know.