Tristan Barratt | Treasure Trails

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Tristan Barratt

IT Development & Customer Services

I was honoured to be asked to join the Treasure Trails team in April 2016.

Before this, I had worked for IT West as a Web Developer for 10 years – and was heavily involved in developing the front end of the current Treasure Trails website.

I'd known about Treasure Trails since 2008, when the force of nature that was the then MD, Steve Ridd, burst into our offices and engaged us to build a new website for the company.

His effervescence, energy and passion for the product was utterly infectious – and I still have many fond memories of us recording multiple takes of an audio introduction for the website, parked up at Hayle estuary in his Treasure Trails liveried van. I still shudder slightly though if I hear the words "WELCOME, to the Treasure Trails shop"...

Born and raised in Cornwall, my early educational years were spent pursuing a Navy Helicopter Pilot career (not at all influenced by my childhood adoration of TV series "Airwolf") – but my maths skills and eyesight weren't good enough for that!

Instead, I changed tack and aimed towards a media career, of course - earning GCSEs, A levels and ultimately a media degree (BA (Hons) in Television and Radio Studies at University College of Salford from 1993-1996), which has proved to be pretty much totally irrelevant to my career path.

I can still write a mean audio script though, at the standard conversational rate of 3 words per second.

(Incidentally, I once asked Peter Kay to play a parody of a Nicky Campbell type DJ character for my final video project – but he refused, saying he could only do a Bolton accent!)

Post-graduation, I chased down the TV / radio dream for my early working years, initially volunteering for the BBC Radio Cornwall Action Desk. I then gained meaningful short-term employment in 1997 as a 'Locations Assistant' on the 4th series of the Cornwall based ITV police procedural drama series "Wycliffe".

During 1998, I felt the pull of London (where the streets truly are lined with pigeon poop) and relocated there to pursue more radio work – and volunteered myself for the prestigious 2 hour, 7 till 9 Sunday evening slot at Hospital Radio Barnet. (Directly opposite the ITV series "Heartbeat", which I always felt had a certain sense of irony). I was then telephone interviewed for a job I was interested in - and told that at 26, I was "too old" to be attempting to break into the world of Radio.

Glad that education wasn’t wasted then.

So, I took a job as a salesman in a Print, Copy and Fax centre in Finchley. Which I was awful at. This though, led to another job as an IT Trainer at the Mouse Training Company, which proved to be a great fit for me at the time and I loved it – until the company went into liquidation in 2002.

During 2003, the call to return to Cornwall echoed loudly in my ears - and I responded by moving to Camborne (yes, by choice) and that is where I have lived since. It’s perfectly located, with easy access to all the local facilities - and is a real hub for local mining history that I only now fully appreciate having served time away from the area.

I married my wife Sam in 2005 and we have a Jack Russell called Kayna who occupies a lot of our spare time.

My wife Sam and I posing for our 'Spectacle Wearer of the Year' modelling shot close ups, along with our small Jack Russell, Kayna, also 'affectionately' known as "Dobhead" and is a keen sniffer of all the Treasure Trails we have taken her on.

My wife Sam and I posing for our 'Spectacle Wearer of the Year' modelling shot close ups, along with our small Jack Russell, Kayna, also 'affectionately' known as "Dobhead" and is a keen sniffer of all the Treasure Trails we have taken her on.

Other interests and hobbies include Classic Fords (I have owned 4 Ford Capris in my time), building up to a 200bhp Turbo Technics tuned Ford Capri 280 which was my ultimate car – but after 10 years of ownership decided that I'd had my fun with it and sold it on, moving onto more modern convertibles instead. (Living in Cornwall, you have to really!) So basically, if it has 4 wheels an engine and no roof, I'm interested in it!

I also indulge in photography a fair amount, particularly in “Light Painting,” a technique where a scene is shot at night in the pitch dark. The camera is tripod mounted and the shutter is locked open remotely for around 2 minutes, allowing me to wander into frame with a wide array of lights and light tools to allow me to “paint” light around and onto the scene that I am shooting. The fact that you can capture images that the human eye can’t naturally see is what attracted me to the technique – and it has resulted in a wide array of weird and wonderful effects. Here is a selection of the images I have shot since 2009: Light Painted Cornwall images on Flickr.

Since joining Treasure Trails, I have become involved in a wide range of job skills which has been so rewarding for me. I get a real buzz every time I’ve managed to help a customer out of a pickle! I’m also able to continue my development work with the website – it really does feel like nurturing along one of my own at times!

Quite often at weekends and holidays, "Home Sam" (I often have to make the distinction in office conversations - I have "Work Sam" in the office – and "Home Sam" outside of work!) and I can be found exploring the County and helping to maintain the Trails – as we are so passionate about making the whole product and experience as good as they can be for everyone.

Working for Treasure Trails is like nothing else I have encountered. The office atmosphere with Aaron, Sam and Dawn is fun and informal yet focussed and driven - it really is an environment that promotes creativity and ideas – and I am so proud and thrilled to be a part of it!

Oh – and I have a TARDIS in my garden. No, seriously…

Our TARDIS shed at home. Unfortunately, it really isn't bigger on the inside.

The crew of the School of Aircraft Handling decked me out like a bewildered extra from "Top Gun" shortly before letting me taxi this Hawker Hunter T.7 XX466 around a dummy aircraft carrier deck during work experience at RNAS Culdrose, 1989.

The crew of the School of Aircraft Handling decked me out like a bewildered extra from "Top Gun" shortly before letting me taxi this Hawker Hunter T.7 XX466 around a dummy aircraft carrier deck during work experience at RNAS Culdrose, 1989.

 

Me with my Ford Capri 280 Turbo Technics (200bhp) on Bodmin Moor during one of the Duchy Capri Club car runs in 2007.

Here I am, redefining the word "smug" as I pose with my Ford Capri 280 Turbo Technics (200bhp) on Bodmin Moor during one of the Duchy Capri Club car runs in 2007. I had to check that there were no studs in my denim jeans 3 times before I dared to lean against the paintwork...

 

Me (sat next to Jack Shepherd) during filming of Wycliffe IV during 1997. This was taken at the old Hospital at St Clements in Truro, which was set dressed as the local area Police Station for the duration of filming.

Here, I'm sat next to Jack Shepherd during filming of Wycliffe IV during 1997. This picture was taken towards the end of filming at the old Hospital at St Clements in Truro, which was set dressed as the local area Police Station for the duration of the series.

 

One of the old engine houses of Great Work Mine at Chacewater receiving the "Light Painted Cornwall" Treatment during 2011.

One of the old engine houses of Great Work Mine at Chacewater receiving the "Light Painted Cornwall" Treatment during 2011.