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As a “Speaker finder” for a branch of the U3A, it is always gratifying when the membership compliments you on how well you did to book your last speaker (the halo effect I presume!).

Philip Caine came to our group meeting on Thursday  with a title designed both to intrigue and tease at the same time.    

“From Barrow to Baghdad” on the face of it looks as though it is going to be the ‘usual’ travelogue giving an insight into the exotic journey undertaken.

What we got was an entertaining description of a life lived through various ‘career moves’ made across a range of countries not on everyone’s list of work places. It is scattered with a number of very colourful characters (I won’t give these away!) who influenced Philip’s actions and moves.

A very entertaining talk and delivered in an ‘easy going’ manner which belied the amount of content and breadth of coverage.  At the end you felt that somehow you had been over-fed and yet wanted more.

The number of members that approached me immediately after Philip had finished with praise for his presentation was indeed testament to his skill as a story teller and ability to entertain at the same time.

I would recommend Philip to anyone looking for a speaker with this capability.   David. D. Lee


Good Morning Philip. I just wanted to say a huge Thank you for entertaining us so well yesterday. Everyone I spoke to afterwards had been enthralled by your life and your presentation was superb. We all agreed that we quite exhausted just thinking about what you have done in your life. I hope you continue to provide entertainment for many more u3a's; there are lots of us across the country! Best Regards. Pat Ackland.


Hi Philip. Thank you so much for the lively talk you gave to East Renfrewshire U3A on Wednesday.  We were all intrigued to hear your story about “From Barrow to Baghdad” and we were not disappointed!  What an amazing life you have lived.  I was wondering how a talk from a speaker without slides would come across on Zoom and it was just marvellous.  I honestly thought it was brilliant the way you engaged us all through the lens of the camera.   Many of our members have been in touch with me to let me know how much they enjoyed hearing you and here are some of their comments.

  • Great meeting !! -speaker was  marvellous

  • I wish Philip could have heard me laughing out loud - but I was muted!

  • I really enjoyed Philip’s talk today. Philip is an eloquent, entertaining speaker who has had a very interesting and varied career.  I have just purchased the 5 Jack Castle books for my Kindle and can’t wait to start reading them!

  • Listening to our speaker was exciting and interesting.  What an entrepreneur. Enjoyable. 

  • Just to let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed Philip Caine’s talk yesterday.  Most entertaining.   Although it did leave me feeling a wee bit inadequate hearing all he has achieved in his life so far.   I must check out Amazon and purchase one of his books. 

  • Today's talk was inspiring!

TEWKSBURY U3A:  Philip enthralled our group with his fast paced often hilarious account of his extremely varied and exciting career in some of the world's most dangerous places. Highly recommended. Mike Jones Speaker Secretary Tewkesbury U3A


Good afternoon Philip. Thank you for a very entertaining talk this morning to Melton Mowbray u3a. There were lots of positive comments & I saw our members smiling while you were recounting your escapades. You have had an amazing career & experiences across the globe thank you for sharing them with us. Stay safe. Regards, Joan Allen, Speaker Secretary 


Good morning Philip. Thank you very much for the presentation you gave to our group on Tuesday. Your experiences and the engaging way you related the various twists and turns, not to mention the unusual challenges and ‘interesting’ people, kept us fully engaged. I’ve just finished reading ‘The Price of Justice’, a blisteringly good story and hard to put down. I hope we will see you back with us again. Best wishes. Martin Houghton. Chairman.

WARSOP U3A : Philip is an excellent speaker, making the details of his rather exceptional journey through life both fascinating and funny. It proved a talk not to be missed. Rosemary Woolings. Speaker Secretary.

WEM U3A  : Philip Caine came to give a talk to Wem U3A. This was our first talk of the year so we were really looking forward to getting together again after previous Covid restrictions ...we couldn’t have been more delighted with the result!

Philip has a very down to earth approach, but is knowledgeable and an extremely talented speaker, using his extensive memory banks to tell fascinating (if sometimes a little scary), stories about his life that have influenced his writing. But the icing on the cake was his terrific sense of humour and well timed anecdotes that made the whole experience come alive for our group as we got to know the real life characters that have been influential throughout his life. Particularly the legend that is Sandra featured throughout Philip’s talk and made us all laugh out loud.

We were impressed by the way Philip ‘set up his stall’ (literally) with professional looking displays and his books on show, but in an unassuming way so that didn’t become the focus of his talk. He generously spent time at the end of his talk answering questions and chatting to our members, many of whom were tempted to treat themselves to a book or two.

Wem U3A would definitely recommend Philip as an excellent speaker who gave 100% from start to finish. Enid Smith – Chair & Speaker Secretary Wem U3A


Our speaker was Philip Caine, who came all the way from Barrow-in-Furness to tell us about his quite remarkable working life under the title ‘From Barrow to Baghdad’. It was an equally remarkable performance in that he scarcely drew breath for a full forty-five minutes, regaling his audience with a constant flow of anecdote, both witty and serious, without a single note. Not once do I remember him hesitating over the appropriate phrase – I think we were all transfixed by both the subject matter and by his ability to recall its every detail. He even provided us with the questions we might have asked could we have collected our scattered thoughts at the end of his presentation. John Orton, Speaker Finder.


We could not have picked a better speaker than Philip to restart our open meetings. He held our attention for the whole of his allotted time regaling us with his many career changes and experiences. From the title of the talk you are not sure what you are about to hear, but from the start it is like being on a roller coaster and at the finish you are left speechless, so much so that fortunately Philip helped out with suggested types of questions he gets asked.

At the end many of our members bought his books which he very kindly signed and I look forward to reading. I will definitely be recommending him to other U3A’s in our area.  Thank you Philip for giving us your time and our best wishes for the future. Jean Bradshaw, Speaker Secretary.


Good Evening Philip. Your Talk was fabulous and the members were very appreciative and enthralled by your multi-faceted employment journey from Barrow in Furness to Baghdad with its variety of colourful characters your very supportive wife and your own incredible adaptability. All delivered to us with great humour and vivid accounts of your experiences.
Your talk was recommended to us and we are so pleased that you were able fit in our changed date the original cancelled due to Covid restrictions. We very much appreciated your help with setting up the Hall . Many Thanks. Very Best Wishes for your continuation as both a Speaker and an author. On behalf of all members of Edwalton and Gamston U3A. Isabel Martindale



Dear Philip, I am writing to say thank you for such an interesting talk at Bugbrooke today. I enjoyed it very much, and we were amazed at how much you have packed into your life.   I think that a lot of us felt that our own lives had lacked somewhat in excitement!  However, being under enemy fire in Iraq would have been more frightening than exciting for me. I look forward to reading your books and following the adventures of your hero, and hopefully seeing your  series in the not too distant future. I hope you have an uneventful journey home and thank you once again. Kind regards. Ann Woollett


Thank you for coming to Carlisle U3A last Thursday.  I hope you had a pleasant journey home to Barrow.

On behalf of our members can I say how much we enjoyed your talk.  It was a fascinating description of a work place that very few of us know and can't even begin to understand. Your talk threw a lot of light on the various areas of the world where you have worked.  Your humour during your presentation came across loud and clear. Thanks once again and good luck with Book 3. Best regards Judy Speaker Secretary, Carlisle U3A  


Philip. Thank you very much for visiting Becconsall U3A today.  

From Barrow to Baghdad and Back Again was a fast-paced journey from start to finish.  A marvellous raconteur your talk was interesting, highly entertaining, and very amusing.  It charted your extremely varied working career and experiences in far flung places that most of us only ever hear about in the news due to them being ‘hot spots’.  I did begin to wonder how one person could fit so much into their life!  Members were inspired by your talk to then buy some of your books, which you very kindly signed. We all wish you well and continued success with your latest venture and I look forward to reading Picnic in Iraq. Gillian McKenna. Speaker Secretary


Philip came to talk to our U3A group in Jan. 2017.

His talk was very interesting, informative, amusing and well presented.

I would have no hesitation in recommending him as a speaker to other groups, including U3A. Edith Burnley (speaker secretary Up Holland U3A)


Hello, 'Mr. Phil'!

Thank you so much for a wonderful talk. We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and you were such good company!

I've since read all 3 of your books - they had me gripped from start to finish - any chance of more?! I'll attach the photos again.

Yours in Friendship, Jane Smith,  (President Barrow Inner Wheel)


Philip is an interesting and engaging speaker; his insight into the often unseen world of what it takes to support global industrial projects never fails to entertain and raise a few eyebrows too!

 Hannah Clarke Community Services Officer – South Lakes


On behalf of Longton U3A I am writing to express our thanks for a most enjoyable afternoon on Wednesday.

Your talk gave us an insight into a world very different from most people’s every-day experiences – certainly not like going to the office nine ‘til five!   I had lots of positive comments afterwards and hope that you will be able to come back to tell us more about your adventurous career.  One session of forty five minutes is not going to be enough.

Thank you again for a very interesting and entertaining presentation.

Maureen Wasilewski. Programme Secretary)  


We had a most entertaining afternoon in the company of author Philip Caine. He was in fact a last minute booking as our original speaker had withdrawn at short notice. Philip uses no notes and no PowerPoint, but you could not fail to give your entire attention to the presentation. The talk was so fast moving and sprinkled with humour it was almost exhausting just to listen. If you have not had Philip at your meeting, you need to book him soon. Beverley Lawe. Speaker Secretary.



"Philip spoke to our U3A members in a highly engaging but friendly way. He is an ordinary man who has achieved many extraordinary things in his life, having started his career in catering and worked in the oil industry in several countries, and is now an author of several books. He remains down to earth and unassuming and his anecdotes were very entertaining. I can fully recommend him as a speaker to any type of audience. Our members enjoyed his talk very much indeed." Gillian Hefford. Speaker Secretary.


Philip Caine gave an excellent short talk entertaining us all with his amusing accounts of his career which began in his hometown of Barrow and ended in Baghdad.  We all thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to hear his interesting life story and now look forward to reading his books. Many thanks from Barrow Blind Society. Thank you again for giving us some of your time. Zoe Fell. Group Coordinator.


"Philip gave us a highly entertaining romp through his eventful working life, peopled by a cast of colourful characters and invisibly orchestrated by an influential wife we were destined never to meet". Linda Chadd. Speaker Secretary 


Hi Philip. Thank you for your fabulous talk yesterday, everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. This was a fast moving and entertaining account of your roller-coaster career and we were all breathless at the end!

With all best wishes, John Johnson. Speaker Secretary.


Philip, thank you very much for coming to speak to us last week. It's hard to believe anyone could fit so much into one lifetime, it makes the rest of us feel rather sedentary and unadventurous. It left me rather breathless. Reports from members who were there indicated that they enjoyed it also. Best wishes for your next ventures, I am sure they won't be dull! Maybe you will be able to come and tell us about those in the future. Stephanie Wiggins, Secretary. 


Thank you for travelling all the way down to speak to us. Several people have approached me since you spoke to our u3a group and said how much they enjoyed your talk. They know I am always worried about people enjoying the speaker and I'm happy to say that you soon put my mind at rest. Your talk was engaging and interesting and it was great hearing about the dangerous places you worked and how you negotiated it and the personalities you encountered, all the while successfully keeping in touch with your home and family in Barrow.

Hi Philip thanks for this glad you enjoyed your visit to Poulton Library. Everyone really enjoyed your talk and for some it brought back very happy memories. What can I say, your talk was entertaining and exciting and that was before you told us about your books. What a life, what an adventure, what stories! Please continue to write them for us.

All the best Elaine & Linda


What a great raconteur Philip Caine is! 

Everyone at the Kendal Library event loved hearing about his exploits out in those dangerous places he now writes about.  

Some of the larger than life characters he met along the way and the adventures he had gave rise to the novels so readers of Philip Caine fiction are in for a real treat too.

Tina Smith Librarian  


Hi Philip  Just to say many thanks for your entertaining talk yesterday.  I glanced at the audience from time to time and it was really great to see everyone so attentive with smiles on their faces.  I've already had several very positive comments from our members including 'excellent speaker'. I'll ensure that Aline who writes the review for the local newspaper also sends you a testimonial.  Good luck with all your future plans. Best Wishes  Halle    


"Your enlightening and informative talk to our u3a on Thursday 26th January was warmly received by all present. Your descriptive prose covering your many and varied career endeavours, together with the odd hiccup  or two - horrendous and otherwise - made for an extremely engaging and thought-provoking narrative. Your talk was totally enthralling. May I take this opportunity on behalf of our  to thank you for your time, and to wish you every success in your latest venture as a crime-thriller writer."   Regards John Guest, Chairman, Birkdale & Ainsdale u3a


The last Speaker Meeting of the year took place on 3rd November, when author Philip Caine entertained us with a whistle-stop tour of his extraordinary career. In 45 minutes of vivid description, colourful characters and fascinating anecdotes we heard of Philip’s adventures and exploits in the North Sea, Algeria, West Africa, Kazakhstan, Russia, Iraq and finally Dubai. Philip retired in 2015 and is now pursuing as second career as a writer and speaker.

A fascinating tale, expertly told – thank you Philip!


Philip gave an extremely interesting talk to Probus Members on 10th January 2023. His talk outlined his very exciting and varied career. He has managed to pack more into his life than most people, spanning catering in hotels in the UK and abroad and offshore in the oil industry, hotel management, project management, in far flung countries and various entrepreneurial ventures. He is now a published writer, drawing on his wide knowledge of different countries to author fiction and detective novels. He is a riveting speaker, and his talk was enjoyed by all our members. Gerry Callen, Secretary, Morecambe Bay Probus Club


This morning our group listened to a very interesting talk by speaker and writer Philip Caine.  The talk, entitled ‘Barrow to Baghdad & Back’ is an account of the speaker’s working life from chef in Barrow in Furness, to managing a huge complex in Baghdad, with all the adventures on the way. Philip is an entertaining speaker and our group thoroughly enjoyed it.

Bertha Birkett, Speaker secretary, Enjoy Your Leisure Group.


Thank you for coming to Holme WI .  On behalf of our members can I say how much we enjoyed your talk ‘From Barrow To Baghdad’. Philip gave us an extremely interesting, fast paced and very amusing talk about his career, starting as an apprentice chef and ending as an author and public speaker with all the twists and turns along the way . A natural raconteur, who kept the audience engaged as they listened to his exploits. Ruth Taylor Holme W.I.


Philip Caine entertained us at Stratford-upon-Avon u3a with an excellent presentation of ‘Barrow to Baghdad and Back’.  He told of some of his personal and working life, his travels and how he became an author.  He has led a fascinating life. The talk was very well received, it held our attention and there were many comments and questions afterwards.  He is a very good speaker and the author of quite a few books.  I would very much recommend his talk.    Jeffrey Cox,  Speaker Secretary, Stratford-upon-Avon u3a.


Philip Caine was speaker for November in our monthly lecture series for 2021, as we moved back to normal meetings again. Philip was absolutely the ideal speaker for such a situation, providing us with an informative, engaging and amusing account of his career from ‘Barrow to Baghdad and back again’. He covered both the highs and lows of his career – from time spent on the oil rigs out on the North Sea, via the vast expanse of regions in Kazakhstan, to providing logistics to the forces in Iraq. Members were enthralled with the characters he met, the supportive constants of his wife and family, and the adaptability demonstrated in making the most of the circumstances he found himself in. The talk was presented with great humour but real intent and was much appreciated by our audience. Richard Wood, Speaker Secretary


When Philip Caine came to talk to Cockermouth WI we did not know what to expect, as the title 'From Barrow to Baghdad' did not give much away. Philip's talk was on his working life and experiences in remote and dangerous places across the world. This took him from Barrow, to cooking for the differing palates of the Scots and the French workers on an oil rig in the North Sea, on to the Soviet Union and an encounter with the KGB and the Russian mafia, with some time in Africa and the Middle East for good measure! He has now settled back to life in Barrow and channelled his energies into a career as a writer of fiction, calling on the adventures and characters he met for inspiration, and has now self published three books so far.

His talk was interesting and engaging and his enthusiasm for his work and the challenges it created was uplifting and inspiring. It was an example of how life can be fun if you take a chance!  Kathleen Mcnicholl, Speaker Secretary, Cockermouth WI.


We had the pleasure of welcoming Philip to our monthly U3a meeting yesterday to hear his excellent talk " From Barrow to Baghdad and Back"  Philip was warmly welcomed and immediately gave us all a sense of being a very warm and friendly person.

Not having any idea of the talk content, the members were riveted and gave their full attention.  The talk gave initially an idea of Philips background and family, ending with  writing his first novel.  His talk took us through his career, and  his many travels and people he met.  Humour, facts and interest go throughout the talk and our members thoroughly enjoyed his presentation. Feedback I heard was very positive.  I would recommend Philip to any other interested U3a groups.  Liz Wilson. Speaker Secretary. 


Thank you so much for a very enjoyable talk about your experiences (and adventures) on your travels from "Barrow to Baghdad" . The members thoroughly enjoyed your presentation and found it interesting and amusing. The only problem they commented on was 'why didn't you bring your wife?' and 'if she wouldn't come please bring a photograph!' - perhaps next time! (but I'll leave that with the Speaker Secretary) Once again, many thanks, Sheila Simpson. Chair, Cannock Chase U3A 


We asked Philip to come to speak to us, having seen a small piece in the County News.

We had no idea what to expect. The afternoon was most enjoyable with some very funny anecdotes and so we wish his writing career all the success in the world.  Judith Sullivan.  Patterdale WI.       


Philip Caine – From Barrow to Baghdad

Philip came from ‘Barrow to the Hamilton & District U3A’ at quite short notice to our June meeting and delighted our group with his very interesting ‘chat’ on his background as a chef; his work in the oil industry, and eventual travels in some very precarious locations.  He came across as a very friendly and approachable, warm person who gave us an unique insight into a world very few would ever encounter. 

Our members were captivated by his experiences and had so many questions to ask, with many commenting to me afterwards that Philip’s talk had brought our 2016/17 U3A session to an exciting end.

I understand Philip sold and signed a few of his books to our members. I have just finished reading Picnic in Iraq, which I thoroughly enjoyed: an excellent story at a fast pace,  I’m now looking forward to getting started on To Catch a Fox, and his two further books.

Marjorie Allan, Speakers’ Secretary, Hamilton & District U3A


Philip. It was a pleasure to welcome you to our Meeting. 

Your talk was interesting, informative and included some very humorous tales. Our members talked about how good the quality was, and I look forward to you visiting us again at some time in the future. Richard Griffiths. Chair. 


Thank you for coming to see us last night - we all really enjoyed your talk as I'm sure you could tell by the number of questions you provoked and the number of books we purchased. Someone who has had a working life out of the ordinary is always a promising candidate to interest and entertain our WI members and you fulfilled that promise with your entertaining account of far off work places in dangerous lands with distinctly unconventional colleagues!

Felicity Cracknell : President, Boston Spa WI. 


"Philip Caine is a successful published author. He is an excellent and entertaining speaker.

On two occasions, I have seen and heard him enchant audiences with stories of his life's adventures. I am delighted to recommend him.

Neil Stevenson, Chair, North West Region of U3As. 


Dear Philip,

Thank you for your kind words. I just want to let you know that the sentiment is reciprocated and that there have been a lot of compliments about your talk yesterday - members really enjoyed it, so thank you very much.

Also, thanks for being so prompt with the books we were amazed to receive our copy this morning.

Good luck with your continued talks and of course your writing. I'm sure you'll be as successful with these as you were with your career. I shall be keeping my eyes festivals next? 

Very best wishes, Meg  Hudson. Speaker Secretary, 


There was a good turnout of members from our small Newport U3A for the meeting in June 2019, featuring Phillip’s talk and a high number of visitors looking forward to his presentation. We were very amused by his humorous recounting of his 40 years boomeranging between Barrow-in-Furness and various places in the Middle East, including Baghdad, not to mention some of his odd allies! It left some of us wishing we had taken the bull by the horns and made different choices in our own lives like Phillip!

Mike Grainger. Speaker Secretary


Hi Philip…. “What a fantastic afternoon! We had a good turnout for Philip’s talk and everyone was totally enthralled from start to finish. He has certainly crammed in a tremendously varied and exciting collection of experiences from Barrow to Baghdad and back. He is an enthusiastic and engaging speaker and I have never had so many of our members speak to me afterwards to say how much they had enjoyed the afternoon. I can assure you that “From Barrow to Baghdad and Back” is not to be missed, sign him up, you will not be disappointed.  Many thanks, once again Philip, more power to your elbow. I wish you well in your latest career move and look forward to starting “Picnic in Iraq”.       Grahame Hurst. Chair – Church Stretton U3A,


Hi Philip,

Thanks again for stepping in at the last minute and giving such an excellent talk.

Philip Caine gave an excellent talk to over 100 members of our U3A.

He has a unique presentation style which kept our members enthralled and amused with his account of his varied and amazing career.

Some of the audience were inspired to buy one or more of his fictional novels based on his experiences in the Middle East.

Clive Cowdy, Chairman Buckingham U3A


Thank you very much for the interesting talk which you gave to the Haxby and Wigginton U3A  on Friday 19th October. It was very much enjoyed by our members being both amusing and informative. Your journey from chef in Barrow in Furness to Project Manager in many countries and dangerous situations was fascinating. 

The fact that your books were bought by so many of our members is a testimonial to the engaging account you gave of your adventures.

With best wishes. Susan Winterburn and Christine Skilton



Philip Caine gave his talk "Barrow to Baghdad and Back" to the WI at Colby in April, 2018. Philip began his career as a trained chef. Having worked in prestigious hotels, he moved on to work on oil rigs in the North Sea. Many jobs overseas followed, always working in increasingly varying and exciting situations, developing all kinds of support services to huge numbers of personnel in the oil and gas industry. His work took him to, amongst other countries, Algeria, Nigeria, Kazakhstan and Russia. Some of these destinations were not only remote and exotic, but downright dangerous. Philip took it all in his stride and is now pouring his experiences into novels. An entertaining speaker, Philip's energy and depth of experience appealed to us all. I look forward to getting to know his leading protagonist, Jack Castle, in his thrillers.- Thank you again, Philip for such an interesting talk.  Grace Dangerfield.  


Philip Caine certainly entertained us recently at our Formby U3A Speaker Meeting. His confidence and ability in his varied working life enabled him to have an exciting career from chef on oil rig off the coast in Barrow to many managerial posts in hospitality management abroad, which he delivered with ease and humour.   Rosemary Thomas  


On behalf of our Chairman, Alwyn Foster, and members of the Burton Joyce U3A I would like to thank you so much for your interesting and awe-inspiring talk at the Burton Joyce U3A.

You have certainly achieved much in your varied career.   You brought humour into your talk as you recounted your career from work on oil platforms in the North Sea to Facilities Manager in the Middle East, sharing with the audience some of your scariest moments.  A good raconteur, who needs no notes or visual aids, you kept the audience spell-bound as they listened to your exploits. 

Thank you so much for a fascinating talk. Best wishes. Christine Shepherd


Philip Caine is a most entertaining speaker and really provides a superb talk. He also engages extremely well with his audience both before, during and after his presentation. I must add that many of our U3A members treat talks that do note have "slides" with some hesitation. This is soon dispelled, as even the faces of our most "serious" members were cracking into smiles before long. Having heard Philip, I'm now looking forward to getting stuck in to one of his novels. I would have no hesitation in recommending Philip as a guest speaker. Prof. J Gwynfryn Jones, Chairman, Ambleside & District U3A, 


Dear Philip, Thanks for your excellent talk yesterday.

It was a very unusual and gripping life story which had the North Norfolk U3A audience fully engaged throughout. Lots of humour and spirit which received a very warm response from our members. We look forward to the next life stage where Philip the author translates his books to film and the red carpet is rolled out. Best wishes. Vic Cocker, Chair. 


Philip's Talk on Barrow to Baghdad and Back. Philip’s talk was amusing, inspiring and thoroughly enjoyable. His presentation was clear and absorbing and delivered without a note or visual aid. I would recommend him without hesitation to deliver his talk to any group, young or older, small or large. You may guess what the content is about, but be prepared to be surprised!! Mavis Worthington  


Philip Caine kept his audience enthralled for 45 minutes with the details of an interesting life that most of us would never have had the nerve to think about let alone carry out.  Bob Davies, Chairman, Chester U3A.


Sefton Advanced Motorists were treated to an excellent evening by Philip who regaled us with the highlights of his fascinating working life from trainee chef through to major projects manager dealing with the American military while partnering some very “interesting and curious” characters along the way.

All this beginning in his home town of Barrow and journeying around the globe as he swapped and changed his careers and employers in a progressive flow, gaining valuable experience sprinkled with highlights, the likes of which could not be made up.

Philip does not use audio visual materials, merely talking to the group in such an engaging way that all were listening intently, maintaining his command of the audience for the whole presentation. We were very interested to ask questions about all aspects of his talk and Philip answered these with good humour and honesty.

He came highly recommended to us and we can only support that recommendation wholeheartedly. You are in for in excellent evening’s entertainment. Brian Dring. Group Secretary.


Adding Philip to your speakers’ list and reading his books are a must.  Everyone was mesmerised and intrigued at the story of Philip’s working life with his incredible variety of experiences.  This was interspersed with amusing anecdotes.  His understanding wife has obviously given him great support over the years despite his absences abroad travelling into dangerous territory and inadvertently mixing with some very dodgy people.  Since retiring he hasn’t given up and now spends his time writing and giving talks.  I have just purchased his first book (his latest just published (2018) is the 6th). I started reading the first few pages in a spare moment but it was so exciting I had great difficulty putting it down.  I am saving it for reading on holiday soon, if I can resist it beforehand!  Sheila Watson, Speaker Secretary


Philip came to talk to our audience of approaching 100 members of Malvern U3A in April 2018.  We were absolutely delighted to have secured Philip’s services because he gave us an articulate, amusing and comprehensive story of his wide-ranging, interesting and highly progressive career from being a lad in Barrow-in-Furness to being a highly respected entrepreneur in some of the most difficult areas of the world, including Baghdad.

Don’t hesitate, book Philip to speak to your organization right now – I promise you that you will be really glad to hear his remarkable story.    Jeff Thorogood, Speakers Secretary,


Hello Philip. Thank you for a very interesting, informative and enjoyable talk to Stockton U3A members last Tuesday afternoon. Hearing of your life and work was enjoyed by all!

Margaret Dale, Speaker Secretary.   


Hi Philip,   Many thanks for speaking to the West Cumbria branch of the U3a. It was a very enjoyable occasion that all found entertaining and enlightening. I have heard very good reports of your books as well.  Once again, many thanks. 

Gerry Dunleavy. Speaker Secretary.


Thank you Philip for your talk you recently gave to us at Hitchin U3A. We were captivated by the story you so swiftly presented to us.

Such a fascinating tale of unexpected events as your life story was unravelled. You left us wanting to know more and I am sure our members will be intrigued by your novels.It certainly had been an unusual tale and thoroughly well worth listening to.

Liz Edwards, Speaker Secretary, Hitchin U3A. 


Philip Caine spoke to our U3A group in January. He is a lively and engaging speaker whose life experiences form the background for an entertaining talk.  Sheila Cowdry. Speaker Secretary.     


Philip Caine came to talk to the Clitheroe U3A earlier this year. He gave a very interesting talk about his fascinating life and his new career as an author. It was very much enjoyed by our members. He has a friendly demeanour which went down well with the audience.  His willingness to stand in at the last minute was very much appreciated. 

Margaret Hunt Speaker Secretary  


Philip Caine spoke at the monthly members' meeting of Radlett U3A in February 2019 on his multifaceted career entitled "Barrow to Baghdad and back" . Philip is an accomplished speaker and entertained our members from his opening anecdotes to describing in closing his current book writing and speaking activities.

Although he may have given this talk before his style and content were fresh and hugely amusing. The fact that he could speak without a single note or slides and still keep the entire audience laughing for nearly an hour and then forming an orderly queue to buy his books is testament to a great raconteur. Alison Sinclair. Speaker Secretary. 


A talk that is interesting, entertaining and often amusing. What more can you ask from a speaker? Phillip’s adventures from Barrow and back again kept us riveted right from the start. I’m sure we will be inviting him back again in the future.   Catherine Bell 


Thank you Philip Glossop U3A, Thursday Group, really enjoyed your talk "Barrow to Baghdad & Back"  What an exciting life you have led.  There were over 60 members at the meeting and all said they would like to hear more when you have written your new book.  Really looking forward to reading your books.

We can highly recommend you to other U3A's and groups. Thank you once again. Rita France  Glossop U3A Thursday Group 

HOLMES  CHAPEL  & District U3A

On Thursday, 11th January 2018 Philip came to our meeting at very short notice, due to the scheduled speaker being ill.  When I arrived (not late) Philip was already set up in the hall with all his books and other gear ready.  But then, as we learned later, he is a very resourceful and ‘never say die’ person!

He kept us all enthralled with the details of his life from his home in Barrow to his workplace in Baghdad and finishing at Barrow.  Although very often in dangerous situations, he managed to hit the right note with his humour. This all made his talk most entertaining as well as interesting – not a shut eye in sight! 

Our members were all very enthusiastic and appreciative of a really well presented talk, with no screen or additives!  ‘One of the best’ was the major response.  Well done, Philip.  Let us hope someone in the film industry will realise what a good series your books will make. Jeanette Stratford  

GREAT OAKLEY (Kettering) U3A

Thank you so very much for speaking to our Group today.  I personally found it very interesting And the feedback has been very good.  I was approached by the Chair of the local Rotary Club for your details, so that is a very good endorsement for you. I would have no hesitation in giving any other group the thumbs up when considering having you speak to them.

Dorothy Masters   

Barrow and Districts Society for the Blind.

Philip Caine came to talk to our group of visually impaired people on 3rd July 2019. He told us of his extremely varied and exciting working life and the group were thoroughly entertained. From working on oil rigs to encounters with the KGB and Russian Mafia, he had us all enthralled. His novels are based on his exploits and characters he has met. Hopefully they will be recorded sometime soon so that visually impaired people can enjoy listening to them.

Maggie Nelson, Vision Support Team Manager, Vision Support Centre.


Philip, your talk about your experiences was entertaining and informative as well as being amusing. From the comments afterwards it is obvious that a high number of the members were enthralled by it. I am glad that contact was made and we were eventually able to book you, I really enjoyed it as one of our best afternoon presentations. David Holmes, Chairman, 


Dear Philip.  Thank you for coming and addressing our club on Friday I can confirm that your talk was enjoyed very much by our members who were impressed by your spontaneous delivery, without notes and the usual visual aids.  I don’t recall any previous speaker having had such a varied background of events and projects to deal with during their working life and I hope you are now enjoying your more relaxed change of life style.  We wish you continued success with your authorship.

Best wishes. Ray. Speaker Secretary, 

Skelmanthorpe and District U3A

Philip turned up, despite the appalling weather and gave his talk to our members and kept them enthralled for an hour with tales of his life and his career.   He told us of his exploits all over the world and the experiences that led him to write his novels.   He was very well received and the members found it very interesting, informative and humorous.

Joan Beedle, VIce chairman. 


Philip visited the Coventry U3A group recently and presented a fascinating talk concerning his adventure from Barrow to Baghdad. The talk was well received by all members who thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon and found it a most informative speech. It was an informative and enthusiastic presentation which prompted positive feedback and lively discussion afterwards. This was very entertaining and would recommend to similar groups who may be looking for a speaker to visit their members.

Dave Wright. Speaker Secretary. 


Philip presented all of this with a very relaxed and friendly style. He kept us enthralled and amused and there was a warm reaction coming from the audience throughout. By the end he felt like an old friend. It was clear that everyone enjoyed his presentation which was reflected by the resounding applause he received at the end. 

Sid Miller, Chair,  


This is just to say that all the members I have spoken to really enjoyed your talk... thank you so much for coming.

"Philip opened a window and allowed us to glimpse a world that for many, no "most" of us, is something that we only see through the medium of news broadcasts.  The story of his life, the points at which decisions had to be made and the outcomes kept us all enthralled.Best regards. Phil Grace, Chairman.  

SWANLAND U3A – East Riding of Yorkshire

Philip Caine is a fluent and entertaining speaker, a former chef who has had an extraordinarily varied career in the hospitality and oil industries. This extends from the North Sea oil rigs to project managing construction and organising allied plants in the ‘Stans’, Africa, India and the Middle East. On the way he has encountered quite a few shady characters, some rather less helpful than others. Members at our meeting enjoyed hearing about his exploits, and also looked forward to reading Philip’s books.

Barbara King, Programme Secretary.   


If you want a speaker who keeps you on the edge of your seat, makes you laugh and fills 45 minutes with his interesting and challenging life story, look no further than Philip Caine.

Bulkington, Nuneaton and Bedworth (BNB) U3A did just that in July 2018. 

Philip cleverly links his life story into a number of novels he has written and having purchased one of these on the day, I didn’t want to put it down.



Philip delivered his fast moving talk to a rapt audience here at Oakham. The lively and humorous content took us through an amazing life story, which left us feeling rather breathless,  and very aware of the many missed opportunities in our own humdrum lives. A thoroughly interesting talk, delivered by a confident, articulate speaker.

 Irene Reay #. Speaker Secretary. 


We have many good speakers at Bromsgrove U3A and Philip Caine was no exception. He gave a detailed and amusing whistle-stop tour through his career, and travels, which resulted from that. Our audience was riveted by it all, laughed a lot and gave very positive feedback afterwards. We hope  that other organisations will benefit from his entertaining talk.  Valerie Mason   


Philip - thank you for such an interesting and amusing talk to our U3A organisation on 28th August. The hour long talk went by in a flash. The feedback from the U3A audience was very positive even if it did mean some of us realised how boring our lives had been in comparison to yours. Carol Raistrick,  Programme Secretary


Bedford U3A loved Philip Caine’s epic tale ‘Barrow to Baghdad and back’.   This breathless story of one man’s work experience, starting as a cook in Barrow in Furness (that’s the Barrow bit, he doesn’t push a wheelbarrow to Baghdad) then working as a chef on North Sea oil rigs then on to working on oil drilling locations in various parts of Africa. Along the way he is put in charge of building and running accommodation buildings in the desert and then doing similar things in Kazakhstan where he has to deal with the KGB and the ‘Moscow Mafia’. If this all sounds like a thrilling novel then you won’t be surprised to learn that Philip is now an accomplished author of 5 adventure novels. Just how you get from Cook to running an oil drilling location is all part of the tale. Philip is obviously a very clever guy but in truth he got to where he is by just having an inability to say no when an opportunity came up.  This breathless tale is told without notes or PowerPoint presentation and held our audience spell bound.

I commend Mr Caine to you.    Bedford U3A Speakers Secretary.     


The Thetford U3A recently had the pleasure of Philip Caine, the speaker giving us a presentation titled Barrow to Baghdad and back again. We had an audience of just under a hundred. Philip spoke about his life from the age of eighteen until the present day. We all enjoyed listening to such a fascinating account and this was given without any prompting aids. Philip was an excellent speaker and we will welcome him back to continue his story. Thank You so much, Philip, for such an interesting talk.

Lesley Braund. Publicity Officer/ Speaker Coordinator


Philip Caine visited our local ladies group and gave us a fascinating & lively talk on his varied career from chef to facility management for the oil industry in a variety of places from Barrow in Furness to the desert to the tropics and back again.
 Getting known in the business & and collecting some very useful contacts from oil rigs to Russian Mafia made every day an adventure. Having a very supportive wife helped too
He’s turned his hand in early retirement to writing adventure books about his travels and entertaining groups around the country with his tales. A thoroughly enjoyable, entertaining and informative visit.
Sandra Barker  

ARDEN (Solihull) U3A

Just a to thank you for a wonderful talk you gave Arden U3A yesterday! It was a fascinating tale of your life and work-it would make a good book!  It was delivered really well and with lots of humour and you kept everyone enthralled for the whole time and I know all the members enjoyed their morning. Some were still talking about you and your KGB friends this morning.  You certainly opened our eyes into the world of businesses abroad in many different countries and you obviously have worked very hard for many years.

Thank you again for talking to us and enjoy your “retirement”, writing books and public speaking!!

Shirley Atkinson. Programme Secretary.        


Thank you so much for your visit to our U3A.
I should have written sooner, but I have been engrossed in your books. They really are a good read and easy to follow. I keep seeing Jason Statham (with hair) as Jack Castle.
Feedback from other members has all been enthusiastic and I got the impression this is a rare occasion when they have got out of their ruts. Words used to describe the occasion were fascinating, entertaining, informative, fun, interesting and can we get Philip to move down here and join us? Thank you again for a lovely meeting. Best wishes Joan. 


Philip Caine visited our North Cotswold U3A group and delivered his talk - “Barrow to Bagdad”. A captivating, interesting and informative talk which fully engaged our audience. They appreciated his amusing approach to the serious demanding tasks he was involved in when working abroad in many countries where danger was ever present. Such an impressive varied career from a start as a chef in Barrow. Several of our group bought books and I will be interested to hear their comments. Really looking forward to reading my copies.  Joan Rees. Speaker Organiser.


Philip Caine was an excellent Speaker, telling us about his very exciting career in many countries, he left us quite breathless with tales of his adventures.  He brought along copies of the seven novels that he has written since his retirement in 2015, which proved of great interest . An enjoyable afternoon was had by all. Sue Sutton. Vice-Chair. 

West Lothian U3A

Philip spoke to 55 members of West Lothian University of the Third Age in August 2018. His talk "Barrow to Baghdad and Back" was an account of his very varied working life. Following some years as a chef, including doing this job on North Sea oil platforms, Philip moved into the oil business, and later worked for the American military in Baghdad. He gave a very humorous presentation without notes and full of anecdotes from many countries, including tales of contact with members of the Russian mafia in Kazakhstan! It was greatly enjoyed by our members. I would recommend Philip as an entertaining speaker about a unique life.

Philip has written novels based on his many experiences. Linda Gilbert, Programme Secretary, West Lothian U3A


Hello again Philip. Thank you so much for coming to talk to us. It was a pleasure to meet you at last. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed your talk and you certainly kept everyone enthralled with the highly entertaining, fascinating and humorous account of the amazing achievements and adventures you experienced during your incredible career. That one man could use his initiative to accomplish what you did was quite inspirational. Looking forward to reading your books and following your new career.  Best wishes as always,  Maureen Speaker Secretary



Philip. Thank you for the entertaining and enlightening talk you gave to our U3A about your exploits in various locations around the world. Our members found the subject matter interesting and enjoyed the stories and anecdotes about some of the characters you encountered. Steve Gollop, Chairman, Cheshunt U3A


 That was a really lively talk this morning – it kept everyone awake and attentive!

 ‘How can anyone fit so much into one lifetime? That was the first comment that I heard as our Talk Time audience drifted away.

Barrow to Baghdad and Back is a real action packed thriller delivered by Philip at a cracking pace.  I feel sure that Philip will be making a return visit to Alsager &District U3A in the future. If you haven’t heard Philip speak before – you’re in for a treat.

Kath Reader Talk Time Alsager & District U3A 



"Philip is an engaging speaker with a quickfire style, recounting the highlights of a full and exciting life.  Hold on to your hats, 45 minutes flashes by!  Thanks very much!" Lorraine, Stainmore WI



Hi Philip. It was one of the most interesting talks we have had, very fast passed which was good as it meant a lot of very interesting facts were fitted into the talk.  Philip kept everyone enthralled with the tales of his very, very busy life and made us laugh on the way.  I would have no reservations in recommending Philip as a speaker and hope you get as much pleasure from his talk as we did at The Doncaster U3A.   Thanks again Philip for your time, I’m really pleased you came and everyone I spoke to after the meeting said how much they had enjoyed it.  I’ll keep your details on file, sometimes people ask for recommends, Kindest regards. Jess Parkinson. 


Philip Caine was at Hyndburn U3A, a few weeks ago.

He gave an excellent presentation, encapsulating his past work experiences. Very interesting and very informative, and he answered questions, and there were many, attentively watching.

Audience very appreciative.  To be highly recommended.

Tony Ford ,   speaker sec. t


Dear Philip, Thank you so much for your attendance here in Doncaster at Danum Probus Club last Monday. The feedback I have received from our members is that your talk was one of the most enjoyable and interesting we have witnessed.  We have speakers twice a month throughout each year and therefore we can make an informed assessment.  Yours was certainly one of the best we have heard for a very long time. Not only was your talk fascinating covering your varied and extremely interesting career, but the pleasant and relaxed manner of your presentation, without having the need to refer to a note, made your visit all the more enjoyable. I have no hesitation in recommending your presentation to others and I look forward to reading the signed books I bought from you, when time permits me to do so. Thank you again foror agreeing to visit Doncaster. Yours  sincerely, John Hope - Programme Secretary. Danum Probus Club, Doncaster.


Doncaster Retired Magistrates Group were treated to an excellent evening’s talk by Philip Caine on Monday 16th September 2019. Philip’s fascinating life held us all spellbound. It was also humorous and kept us hanging on his every word. He was bombarded with many questions at the end of the talk. We didn’t really want him to leave. Thank you for a wonderful evening Philip. Gloria Whitehall. Speaker Finder.


This talk was delivered in a most entertaining manner.

A surprising number of countries were visited during a very interesting career, and the encounters with varying branches of officialdom were portrayed with enthusiasm and humour.

A first class account of how to live life to the full!

Best Wishes, Gordon Halliwell  Chairman Lytham St Annes U3A


Our members thoroughly enjoyed Philip’s presentation and were surprised at what he managed to pack into his life and talk.  The delivery was seamless, full of interest and just the right amount of humour.  I can recommend booking and receiving an entertaining afternoon.

Brian Richardson (Speaker Secretary of Shottery U3A).

MID BUCKS (Aylesbury) U3A

Philip was a real hit with Mid Bucks U3A. He kept us all entertained with lots of laughs and hanging on his every word; even without a power point presentation.

One of the more memorable speaker of 2019 for us.

Jane Elliston Speaker Organiser


Philip Caine spoke to our U3A group in January. He is a lively and engaging speaker whose life experiences form the background for an entertaining talk. 

Sheila Cowdry. Speaker Secretary.     


Dear Philip, Thank you so much for your fascinating talk this morning. What a life you’ve led! The group were clearly very interested in what you had to say, as was demonstrated by the amount of questions they asked. Your talk was amusing as well as engaging. I hope we will see you again at some time. Best wishes, Rose Hislop


Dear Philip. It was lovely to meet you today, and on behalf of the committee and members of  Hucknall U3A I would like to thank you for your humorous and interesting talk. Speaking to some of our members afterwards, they thoroughly enjoyed your presentation. Thank you once again. Dianne White. 

DEREHAM U3A : Zoom Talk

Dereham U3A were entertained by Philip whilst sitting in comfort on their sofa’s. Philip spoke about his amazing life and its ups and downs. Thank you for an enjoyable afternoon Philip and we wish you every success in any further projects you undertake. Ina Nelson , Speaker Secretary.


The ladies of Storth WI thank you for a very interesting and informative talk about your travels and working life. We wish you all the best in your new venture as an author.

Kay Craker. Speaker Secretary. 


Dear Philip, A great big Thank You from us all at Weston Turville U3A. Your talk to well over 100 of our members was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone and we have received many enthusiastic comments from the members who bought your books. We would not hesitate to recommend you to other groups and to say that they can be sure of a very entertaining afternoon. You will be a hard act to follow! Best wishes. Heather Marshall. Speaker Secretary.


Philip Caine-Writer & Guest Speaker. February 2018.

Philip  came to give our U3A  a talk. Philips ‘s work has taken him to many countries his talk tells the story of his interesting career that began in his home town of Barrow in Furness  and ended in Baghdad. He has his own unique style  and brand of humour and within minutes and without a doubt our members were captured. We thoroughly enjoyed the hour he spent with us.  Katherine Gardner, Speaker Secretary. 


HI Phil, Thank you so much for coming to talk to our young people. Our students often feel that there aren’t as many opportunities for them since their permanent exclusion from school…however, I think your frank and passionate account of your career history left them with hope and determination for their own careers. I think for them to see your successes that are self-made and derived from highs as well as lows illustrated to them that with a little grit, determination, self-belief and the guts to take risks that pose as opportunities they too can succeed. Michaela Kemp, Foundation/Careers Lead, South Cumbria PRS


Dear Philip,  May I say, on behalf of the 100 or so members of Wyre U3A, who attended your talk on Thursday the 10th November, a huge thank you.   he subject, and the way you interacted with the members, was wonderful. To hear laughter whilst someone is talking about such a serious subject, shows your ability to bring a light hearted view to any subject. There were many comments made, all positive, and  I can see a request for a re-visit sometime in the future. Thanks again. Kathleen Smith, Chairman Wyre U3A. 


Philip Caine has spoken about his novels at numerous author events in our libraries. He is a confident and lively speaker, who never fails to engage the audience, and he speaks with great knowledge and authority about his experiences in the Middle East. The location, and his adventures whilst there, inspire the adventure books he writes and he has a huge fund of anecdotes and memories to draw on with which he entertains the listener – whether it be about a KGB colonel or the logistics behind supplying a huge military base, Philip Caine has a story for any kind of audience.  Helen Towers  Manager Carlisle Library, Cumbria  


Philip was very personable, and came across in a warm, friendly and amusing manner. He talked about his career , which was out of the ordinary, and therefore very interesting, in the oil industry initially, then  building accommodation  installations, for the American Army, in Iraq and other dangerous places. He created a clear image of what it was like in some very unusual and risky situations, and described some of the quite dubious characters that he came across. Philip has a way with words, both spoken and written having become a successful author since taking retirement. Both in Philip's books, and when listening to his talks the reader or audience is taken along with him, and becomes fascinated by the story, so well told.

Our U3A members, about 160 of them, thoroughly enjoyed his talk in June, and many agreed that it was one of the best.

I hope that more audiences, and readers, will be able to enjoy Philip's experiences. Sheila Bull,Furness U3A Programme Secretary


Hello Philip :Thank you  for giving us such an interesting and very entertaining Talk. Your life was very varied and exciting ...full of adventure as are your books...I have really enjoyed reading all of them... We have already had some great feedback ...our Members saying how much they had enjoyed the afternoon...I knew we needed a good Speaker after we had our AGM and you didn’t disappoint Best Wishes Margaret Lawrence Hinckley U3A Programme Organiser


We were left breathless after being entertained to a whistle stop tour of the life and times of Philip Caine.  Anecdotes brought to life characters from his career in the hospitality sector servicing the oil industry.  We travelled with him from his early years in Barrow, Cumbria, to Baghdad via the less tourist known destinations of the deserts of Algeria and Kazakhstan to the jungles of Nigeria and back again.  We learned the best way of pleasing expat Frenchmen and Scots while serving them the same meal as well as how to keep the KGB onside..  No wonder he has been able to write nine novels in seven years he has a wealth of experiences on which to draw.  A very entertaining afternoon. Gay Enoch Chair, Droitwich Spa & District u3a

BELPER U3A : Zoom Talk.

On Friday, 4th June 2021, Philip Caine was engaged by Belper & District u3a to deliver his talk on the experiences in his life from his origins in Barrow-in-Furness and back via a life lived out in some of the world's most unstable countries.

Deliver doesn’t quite describe the presentation by Philip! He has clearly led an exhilarating and exciting life, which is reflected in the enthusiastic manner in which he conveys his many anecdotal lessons on how to get the most out of life (and the impact of his wife on his decisions!). The overwhelming review of the participants that tuned in to the presentation over Zoom was one of enjoyment and interest and comes with a recommendation to book Philip for another very entertaining forty-five minutes.

DENE VALLEY U3A : Zoom Talk.

On behalf of the Dene Valley u3a I wanted to express my appreciation for the presentation you gave to our group on 'Barrow to Baghdad and Back Again'. You fascinated us with the amusing way in which you described how you were able to cope with so many challenging environments, from the North Sea to the deserts of Algeria and onto the deep forests of Nigeria before embarking on even more risky ventures in Kazakhstan and Iraq along with a seemingly much more tranquil stint in Dubai. The way these ventures were pulled together with the support and active encouragement of your wife, Sandra, was something that made us all laugh very much. And after such a busy life, to then hear that you are now an accomplished author came as yet another surprise! John Hargis, Chairman.


Redditch U3A were entertained and informed by Philip during forty-five minutes of anecdotes which had been skilfully combined into a fascinating narrative. Philip is an engaging speaker and responded fully to all our questions. A very enjoyable afternoon. Sue Smith. Secretary, 


Our July speaker, Philip Caine, gave a rattlingly good talk via Zoom as we Members who logged in sat in the comfort of our armchairs, cups of tea at hand, to listen to 45 minutes charting Philip’s fascinating life from lowly beginnings as a 16 year old trainee chef in Barrow in Furness. With a very ‘can do’ attitude, a solid work ethic and a very supportive/forceful wife in the background, Philip took us with him on his career/geographical journey via steamy hotel kitchens in the UK, but including the Ritz in Paris, to rocking North Sea oil-rigs before leapfrogging into hotel and facilities management.  Climbing up the career ladder several rungs at a time by grabbing any opportunity offered (and his wife agreed to) Philip found himself involved with and running increasingly high profile projects in hostile and challenging locations including Nigeria, Kazakhstan and, eventually, Iraq.  Whether setting up  a nightclub or organising airlifting of provisions to thwart roadside bandits, often rubbing shoulders with a ‘helpful’ KGB agent and members of the Russian Mafia, Philip appears to have his retained his chipper Cumbrian character, even after nearly losing everything in the fallout of the Enron scandal. When he eventually retired and returned home to Barrow, he was determined not to be bored (why didn’t he just join his local u3a) and set about becoming an author of several thrillers such as Picnic in Iraq and inventing a private detective with the fabulous name of Shackleton Blister.  If you missed the talk, a recording of the meeting has been made available for a month and you can still enjoy a very interesting 45 minutes, not forgetting our u3a video montage of active groups and upcoming trips from The Social Committee.


Dear Philip. Thank you so much for a most wonderful morning. It was the first time we met at the bowling club (town hall being decorated!) and you certainly made it an occasion to remember. The feedback from our members was terrific. Thank you. I hope you've got an additional talk in your bag of tricks.... it would be great to see you back again. Thank you. Kindest Regards. Alma Traska.


Philip gave a Zoom talk to our U3A in November. He told his life story from leaving school  at 16 years  until the present day. Philip has lived a very adventurous and varied life including a number of years in Baghdad. Now an author and a Public Speaker, he told his story with great panache. I would thoroughly recommend him as a speaker. Charlie Shawcross. Speaker Secretary.



“We were thoroughly entertained by Philip Caine today with his talk from Barrow to Bagdad and back (My career Journey).   Philip is an accomplished speaker and new author.  He told his story with a great deal of humour.    What an interesting story!    Absolutely amazing and fascinating how he has packed so much into his very interesting life with places visited and characters he met.  A great morning enjoyed by all who were lucky enough to hear him.” Michele Hartman. Stanmore u3a.

CREW & NANTWICH U3A : Google On-Line Talk

Philip gave us a very entertaining and interesting talk about his career. It was lovely to sit, listen and enjoy without the use of a PowerPoint Presentation! He has adapted well to doing online talks, which is not as good as  being face to face, but nevertheless very professional and well received.

Quotes from some of our members :

  • ‘Being part of the meeting and hearing about such an interesting and positive life really helped me to put things into perspective-something that can often be hard to achieve in the current situation.’

  • ‘Philip was very interesting today; I loved the can do attitude! 

  • As I was also involved in the oil and gas industry in Scotland and the Middle East to a degree a lot of what he talked about brought back memories.’

  • ‘Just wanted to let you know how much I and my wife, Angela, enjoyed this afternoon's talk. Most entertaining!’

Thanks again. Gill, on behalf of Crewe and Nantwich  U3A

Leyland PROBUS; 10th June 2019

I am the Speakers Secretary for the above organisation so it was delightful to hear Philip tell his story “From Barrow to Baghdad and back”.  He is a good speaker and it is an exciting story, so together it thrilled the audience – a group of ‘elderly men’.  They could relate to parts of his story, because it describes what happened to him. When you are speaking the truth and speaking ‘off the cuff’, it’s fairly straightforward, otherwise, it’s very difficult. Well Done, Philip.


Hello Philip, Thank you so much for the very interesting and entertaining talk you gave us last Wednesday.  Everyone who spoke to me afterwards said how much they had enjoyed it.  You can certainly turn your hand to any challenge thrown at you!!  Hope you had a safe journey back to Barrow and thank you once again.

Regards, Anne Grace, Speaker Secretary. 


Philip presented to Olton and District u3a on 8th February 2022. He presented to us by Zoom both directly to members devices in their own homes and also to a large group of over 60 in our Hall via Zoom on to a projector and using microphones. Although we have had Zoom presentations to members’ houses previously this was the first time we had tried to simultaneously Zoom presentation to our hall. This was a complex arrangement and we did encounter some difficulties at our end making the technology work properly in the hall.

Philip is a very patient and professional presenter and did not let our difficulties hinder his presentation for which we were very thankful.

The presentation itself was very enjoyable and kept everybody interested and entertained. One our members said “I found the talk entertaining and enjoyable. Philips’ active lifestyle and willingness to take on challenges showed he is leading life to the full. It was fascinating for him to share his experiences with us”. This perfectly sums up the views of our membership.

Thank you, Philip – good luck for the future. Rob C – speakers’ secretary Olton and district u3a                                                                                                                                                                                    

GRANGE over SANDS WI : Grange-Over-Sands WI were absolutely delighted to welcome Philip Caine to their November 2021 meeting. This was a long awaited talk ,cancelled and rebooked several times due to Covid, but  definitely worth the wait.  Members felt they had been 'strapped' into a rollercoaster ride as Philip immediately launched into relaying his life story from memory .

His fast paced engaging style mirrored his  many life changes and swept members along in an engaging, honest ,serious yet humorous journey. As we paused for breath the underlying positivity displayed through all the trials and tribulations of Philips life shone through;: an admiral trait that left us humbled. If the talk is a reflection of his books, I suspect they will be difficult to put down.

Thank you for your time Philip, we highly recommend you! Christine. 


Philip. Thank you for the talk you recently gave our group about your fascinating and adventurous life, making us laugh about your various escapades that took you from Barrow to various notorious countries around the world. You certainly kept us entertained and many people came up to me to say how much they enjoyed the talk. I wish you all the best for the future and your various enterprises that you have in the pipeline. Vivienne. Speaker Secretary. 


Philip, many thanks for visiting our club on Thursday last. Our 42 members present on the day were treated to an excellent presentation “ Barrow to Baghdad and back again”. This was thoroughly enjoyed, which was obvious in the reaction both during the talk and also afterwards by individual member comments. Best wishes for the future, we will no doubt meet again. Regards Brian Walsh (Speaker’s Secretary)  


Philip Caine took us to Barrow in Furness to Bagdad in 45 minutes - exactly 45 minutes, which is reason enough in itself to recommend this lively raconteur. He rattled through countless anecdotes of the ups and downs of his high speed life, linked together by the remarks and encouraging suggestions of his wife, Sandra. Looking round the room, I could see lots of smiling faces waiting in anticipation for the next twist or turn in the history. There was a good take up of book sales, which showed a large part of his audience were keen to find out more of his experiences which are woven into the fabric of his Jack Castle novels. Deirdre Bailey. Chair.

WHITE CLIFFS COUNTRY U3A : one of the advantages of Zoom is that we can benefit from speakers living in a different part of the country but it is always a little worrying when the speaker says that he does not want to share the screen and that he is just going to talk to us.  But we needn’t have worried!  Philip’s talk was excellent, entertaining and kept us all enthralled.  We didn’t need slides as Philip painted the pictures in our imaginations.

Members said afterwards: ‘What a find’, ‘the talk left us totally breathless’, ‘what a fascinating man’, ‘thank you for finding this amazing speaker’

Philip told us his story with great enthusiasm and humour and we were transported from his kitchen into a world of Middle Eastern turmoil and Russian intrigue.  With anecdotes and insights into Philip’s relationship with his wife, as well as changing fortunes, we really appreciated hearing the tale of a life lived to the full.  Thank you Philip for sharing with us.  Alison Issott. Speaker Sec.


Hi Philip, Thank you for the very interesting, humorous and informative talk you gave to our u3a this morning. The various jobs and roles you undertook, and the numerous places across the globe make us realise what an exciting life you have had compared to so many of us. With your various talents you have packed a lot into the 40 plus years of your working life, and now, being a successful author is another facet to your life.        Thank you very much, and we wish you all the best in the future. Joan Nicholson, Speaker finder,  Furness u3a

Whickham and District u3a were given a talk by the author, Philip Caine with the title  Barrow to Baghdad. The talk was both interesting and amusing and our members were well entertained.
Thanks to Philip for making the long journey and also with helping to set out the chairs for our members. Several of our members spoke to Philip after the talk and they expressed their positive sentiments to him. Arthur Coulson. Chair. Whickham and District u3a



We contacted Philip Caine at the very last moment when we had a Speaker cancel. He rose to the occasion and produced a very interesting and entertaining talk about the highlights of his working life around the world - our members thoroughly enjoyed it.  Chairman Kenilworth u3a


Philip. Thank you very much for an enjoyable morning at our Probus Club full of humour, information, excitement and events in your fascinating life. There were lots of chuckles, which always help to add to a talk and we got plenty of them and one the best comments from a number of members asked, " When can we get him back again ? ". That says it all. Well done, Philip it was a wonderful talk. Peter Crawford, Hon Speaker Secretary, Weaver Probus Club, Nantwich, Cheshire


Hi Philip. Thanks so much for the interesting talk you gave to Wythenshawe U3A on Tuesday 21st June 2022. Your talk was informative and entertaining and was enjoyed by all our members. You have a great skill to present a humorous  picture of your varied and  exciting career,  without slides or notes.  We are now  looking forward to reading your novels. I will certainly be recommending you to other U3As, Janice Mahony.


Hi Philip. I hope you got home safely this afternoon. Just a short note to thank you so much for your talk today. Everyone I spoke to was very complimentary and really enjoyed your journey. It was an excellent way to complete our programme until the Autumn. I shall enjoy reading your books.

Thanks again. Best wishes. Colin Barthorpe. Speaker Secretary


" On 19th November Preston U3A held its first monthly meeting via Zoom. Our Speaker was Philip Caine  who regaled us for the best part of an hour with stories from his early days in Barrow and the Lake District,  the North Sea Oil Industry, spells in Algeria and Nigeria, having to deal with the Mafia (or was it the KGB) in Kazakhstan and then dealing with the chaos in Baghdad following the 2003 invasion. A final "tour" in Dubai  was tranquil after that before returning to Barrow to "retire" and pen 9 novels! Philip describes himself as a "storyteller" rather than a Speaker and that's how the afternoon progressed. A series of ripping yarns, dangerous and hilarious in equal measure which the U3A members thoroughly enjoyed. Several members have said to me that post-pandemic it would be nice to invite Philip back to speak to us in the   flesh when we'd probably be able to triple the numbers hearing him speak. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon!" Tony Cheetham.


Philip delivered a talk to Stoke-on-Trent South U3A on Thursday 30th June 2022. The title of his talk was "Barrow to Bagdad and Back". The meeting was our first gathering since February 2020, so we were keen to have a good speaker. We were not disappointed. Philip allayed any fears of being delayed on his long journey by leaving Barrow at  6am for a 2pm start in Stoke, arriving with hours to spare. Philip is a genial man who was willing to engage with the audience, both before and after his presentation. The talk covered his long career including working on North sea oil rigs and in dangerous African and Middle Eastern countries. Some of the characters he met were quite frightening! The audience sat spellbound! Regards, Andrew Devlin Chairman.


Philip Caine’s talk, From Barrow to Bagdad, was incredibly interesting and informative

What a busy life. The audience of Seaham Harbour U3A were captivated by his story telling and witty delivery. He has managed to pack so much in his life it makes one ask, ‘What have I done in my life.’  Mabel Hepplewhite. Speaker Secretary.


Hi Philip, What a privilege it was for the members of the Grange- Over- Sands Probus Group to listen to your talk “Barrow to Baghdad and Back Again”. From the start it was surprising and intriguing. Thanks for passing on some of the experiences that you have overcome in your working life. Your integrity and honesty shone through.

Vic Light, G-O-S Probus Programme Secretary.


 Many thanks for your entertaining Talk "From Barrow to Baghdad",to the Monthly Speaker Meeting of Stokesley and District u3a members. I had been given your name as a recommendation from a friend who attends Newark u3a. I am pleased we were able to reschedule the date after postponing from July 2022. You certainly held the audience with your anecdotes about your career, with changes to work skills and responsibilities in varied locations. Once home, I had to consult my old-style World Atlas, plus Google to pinpoint some of your work places. Additionally, you met some interesting” characters'' and overcame some disastrous times. I have had verbal positive feedback from several members. With thanks, Ann Hewitt. Speaker Finder, Stokesley and District u3a.


Hi Philip. Thank you so much for your really interesting and informative talk to our U3A monthly meeting. It was fascinating to hear about your travels and business experiences in foreign lands and I received a lot of positive reaction to what was a most entertaining morning. Chris Barnes, Settle U3A Programmes Secretary


Phillip Caine entertained us with a presentation of his energetic and determined journey from barrow in Furness to Baghdad. Phillip has certainly had a full working life and our members were delighted to hear his tale of working in difficult and sometimes dangerous circumstances with a real ‘Can Do’ attitude. His presentation is so full of energy you may feel exhausted at the end just listening to him. Bill Jones. Speaker Secretary.


Finding a really good speaker for an open meeting often feels like a lottery - but with Philip you can be confident of winning. When he spoke to our U3A about his extraordinary career you could have heard a pin drop in the audience. From entering the labour market at 16 as a hotel chef in Barrow in Furness to running 9 accommodation bases for 30,000 allied personnel in postwar Iraq there was never a dull - or apparently idle - moment. His humorous and engaging storytelling thoroughly engaged his audience from start to finish and I’ve had many requests for a return visit. Sue Bradbury, Speaker Secretary. 


Good evening Philip, it was a genuine pleasure to welcome you to our Boston u3a meeting and for you to speak to our membership today. I can honestly report, that from the members I spoke to after the meeting, they found your talk to be really interesting and importantly, engaging and entertaining. Personally, I think your talk was all these things because your life experiences have not only been unusual but almost unique! Regards, Keith West, Speaker Finder, Boston u3a.

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