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I am Simon Murphy, the namesake and proprietor of the Flying Circus. You are probably wondering how such a good-looking lad finds himself in this predicament - the resident clown in what can only be described as a Circus. It's a long, long story, but after school I went to work in the City of London, whilst trying to make the grade as a racing driver. It didn't take long to decide to devote my life to trying to enjoy myself whilst somehow scraping a living together.

In Karting I won enough races and championships to be offered a drive in a team racing single seater cars, but there was never a good enough budget to bring success, and I lacked the exceptional ability required to make up for shortcomings in the equipment. I was subsequently offered a dream drive in one of the UK's best karting teams for 1976, it was too late - other things had attracted my attention.....

Totally engrossed in the exciting new sport of hang gliding (well, who wouldn't want to be drifting around above the clouds?) I was selling flying kit within months of getting involved.

Everything else went out of the window as sales blossomed, and eventually my various other business interests were dropped in favour of trying to earn a meagre income from Free Flight. Financially this was a very foolish move, but it is one I don't regret - particularly now that the mortgage is paid off!

Nowadays I fly both hang gliders and paragliders, and do so purely for enjoyment. I'm probably more at home with some rigid tubes inside my sails. I actually flew for Great Britain on a couple of occasions, but more as a result of being in the right places at the right times than as a result of having any special skills. However, since I have held the local XC record continuously for almost 26 years, I guess I can still hold my head high! My ideal is to be drifting off XC, but the reality is that I just love to have a pleasant flight, whatever the glider may be.

The fact that I just happen to make my living at the same time is a bonus, and ties in with my philosophy that life is for living, and we need to do it NOW!

One reason I wanted to concentrate on the flying business was so that I could work entirely from home. Turfhouse nestles in the remote valley of the River Love in East Devon, a place which used to be so beautiful that it has literally take the breath of visitors away! Unfortunately, the planners have allowed some unpleasant development, despite the valley being an AONB and SSSI. "Pull down paradise, put up a parking lot"

Even now, Turfhouse promotes a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere that has become ingrained in my business attitudes. There is far more to life than trying to take all your money in exchange for my goods and services, so my sales methods are laid-back. Having striven for growth and expansion in the past, that all changed a few years ago. Growth is not sustainable, so the Flying Circus is all about customer service, and excellence. Ignore turnover, and concentrate on enjoying life, and everything becomes less stressful for all involved.

I'm so old-fashioned that my relationship with my customers is paramount - I don't have shareholders or bankers to pander to and, even if I did, they would always be a secondary consideration.

The Flying Circus is, literally, a cottage industry.

Green Credentials

These days there seems to be some kind of compulsion for people to state how very green their businesses are. It is all a bit pathetic, given the "nature" of business, and the way our society is run.

But I'm doing my bit! I try not to shop at supermarkets, local food is better and tastier. I recycle stuff, too - those of you who buy from me will know that almost all my packaging materials are re-cycled. Many parcels are made from cereal packets, owing to my having been brought up watching Blue Peter...

But surely the real problem with this planet - the ONLY serious problem - is the human race itself? Why doesn't anyone just admit that there are far too many people? Am I deluding myself, or is the best way to reduce our carbon footprints to limit the number of children we produce? I have two sons, so I claim to be carbon-neutral :-)

Visitors are welcome, but please get in touch before dropping by. The truth is that you will need fairly detailed instructions merely to find Turfhouse. They are available on our Contact page.
Allow for the fact that your visit might take longer than you think! Most people aren’t in a hurry to leave Turf, and if you buy enough kit I may even ply you with a cuppa in order to slow you down to my pace!

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