Nick is an British urban historian, who has published widely in the fields of municipal politics, urban elites and civil society, and more recently, voluntarism and medical provision in the twentieth century. His latest work analyses the financial viability of voluntary hospitals before 1939, and the different ways in which these institutions raised their funds. One particular interest centres on the linkages hospitals built with their local communities, which is an extension of his previous work challenging the belief that localism declined significantly during the inter-war years or before. He has also published on the founding of the NHS, and public perceptions of pre-NHS provision. He is currently writing an oral history of men's relationship to skill and machinery in the British lace industry.
Nick trained to work in the construction industry, and came back into history via the Open University, through which he took under-graduate and post-graduate degrees. He then worked as the UK Sales Manager with a major engineering company, the job he left when offered a studentship by the OU. His work background, and his political engagement with the Labour Party in the 1980s and early 1990s, explains his early academic publishing focus in areas such as construction, architecture and local politics.
He taught at the Open University and Warwick University, before joining Nottingham Trent University in 1995. He has been Research Leader for History and Heritage for many years. He's also currently learning to play the flute, which he finds infinitely more difficult than writing decent, or even half decent history.