I have been interested in Astronomy ever since I was 10 or 11 years old. My father bought me a Newtonian reflector on a German equatorial mount which I still have. At school I was fortunate enough to be able to take (and pass) an Astronomy GCE 'O' level. There were only two of us in the school and as no teachers were qualified to teach astronomy we were both self taught.
I joined the BAA as a young teenager and recall with fondness showing Commander Henry Hatfield some photos of Venus I had taken. I'm not sure the pictures were particularly good but he was very kind and encouraging and gave me some good advice on improving my technique.
Like many BAA members, work got in the way and my membership lapsed for a while however I re-joined some years ago and I have recently been getting into Solar observations in Ha. So much more comfortable than out in a cold garden at night.