Each week, we ask small businesses key questions. Here we speak to Andrew Mosley, managing director of oil and gas engineering analysis firm AS Mosley, of Oyne
How and why did you start in business?
I started in an old converted church and expected to be twiddling my thumbs waiting for the phone to ring.
But the timing was right and there were plenty of companies needing specialist experience designing intervention riser systems.
My grandfather had run his own company and was an early influence; he sowed the seed of enterprise.
How did you get to where you are today?
I left school at 16 and served an apprenticeship in toolmaking.
I then started night school before leaving full-time employment to study maths and physics, which I funded with part-time jobs.
I later joined British Aerospace as a graduate subsea engineer, and embarked on a double degree at Cranfield and Compiegne Uninversity in France.
By the time I entered the oil industry I was confident academically and practical, perfect for engineering analysis.
I worked with a wellhead manufacturer before starting AS Mosley 20 years ago.
Who helped you?
I am a firm believer in co-operation, and enjoy building relationships with other businesspeople for mutual support.
I joined the Federation of Small Businesses, which has provided me with ongoing assistance, while my wife, Doris, has helped to keep me grounded and positive.
What has been your biggest mistake?
All mistakes are opportunities to learn and improve.
My biggest opportunity for improvement was not expanding the business sooner.
What is your greatest achievement?
After failing my 11-plus, I feel proud to now hold three engineering degrees.
But my greatest achievement is my physics “O” Level, which gave me the confidence I needed to achieve academically.
If you were in power in government, what would you change?
I’d seek a close relationship with our Europeans partners.
I remember the excitement and optimism after the Single European Act was signed in 1986, so feel sad with how things have turned out.
What do you still hope to achieve?
I’ve been renovating my house for the past 17 years. It would be nice to finally sit back and enjoy it.
What do you do to relax?
My wife and I feel blessed to have a large family, which keeps us busy.
As well as enjoying the outdoors, my wife and I teach Scottish dancing in the reeling tradition.
We organise two dances a year in Oyne as fundraisers for the local community.
What are you currently reading, listening to or glued to on the TV?
Being dyslexic, I am a slow reader. I am currently plodding through Barry Cunliffe’s Britain Begins, a history of the origins of the British and Irish peoples. It’s fascinating.
What do you waste your money on?
Kilt paraphernalia and lawnmowers.
It took me 10 years living in Scotland before I wore a kilt but I’m now hooked, with a vast wardrobe.
Lawnmowers … well you can never have enough.
I spend more time on my Stiga Titan than I do in my car.
How would your friends describe you?
Sociable, friendly and fun-loving.
I don’t take myself too seriously.
What would your enemies say about you?
I am quite tolerant so don’t attract many enemies.
What do you drive and dream of driving?
I drive a Land Rover Defender, which I bought during the record winter snows of 2010.
Someone later said you should never drive your Land Rover in the winter because it corrodes the ungalvanized chassis – always do your research.
We haven’t had a bad winter since – never panic buy.
The best thing about the Defender is that you always get a wave from other owners.
It’s nice to have a friendly car that gets waved at – it gives me feeling of belonging.
I dream of driving a Volkswagen I.D. Buzz, a fully electric version of the classic micro camper van planned for release in 2022.