John started life as an Electronic Engineer with Cisco, and then moved on into the IT industry, but he began to realise that this way of working really didn’t suit. Being an enthusiastic biker and driver, he decided to take a risk, do something he really liked, and train as a driving instructor. Having achieved PDI level, he promptly went on to complete training as a fully-qualified ADI. He cut his teeth working with probably the best-known and most respected learner school in the UK, BSM, prevously the RAC’s driver training arm.
In 2011, he decided to strike out alone, forming an independent driving school in Ayrshire, and ‘On Fire for Driving’ was born; with a fresh style of teaching and cars that were fun to drive for both instructor and pupil.
His easygoing, flexible style, coupled with a rigorous attention to detail in his instruction, has provided many happy students with that coveted pass certificate.
RnR: Zooming around on a motorbike noisily, turning the sounds up to 11 in the car with the windaes doon, crunching mints noisily. Just. Being. Noisy.
Best Quote: (Upon student signalling right after being asked to turn left), “No, your other left.”
Having served in the Forces for thirteen years, Doug subsequently worked in a number of roles for different companies, but all of them involved being cooped up in an office/factory day-after-day. Doug felt a change of vocation was in order – something requiring independent thinking and initiative. So he took a leap and began life as a driving instructor.
He started his new career with BSM, and after a short time was recruited as an instructor in the National Driver Improvement Scheme (NDIS). This involved helping drivers, who had run foul of the law due to driving offences, to improve their driving skills.
He joined On Fire shortly after it was formed, as the school’s basic tenet, that everyone is different, had an instant appeal. Since then, he’s become our Totally Nervous to the Point of Frozen specialist; pupils that have tried other instructors have relaxed, stopped worrying, and learned to drive. His focus on safety and confidence-building has yielded measurable results.
RnR: Experiments in not fighting gravity, allotment gardening, avoiding being photographed.
Best Quote: “I would describe myself as relaxed, and perhaps a little laid back.” Doug’s better-half: “‘Read that as horizontal.”
With well over a decade of driver training under his belt, David is our most experienced instructor, with a broad range of previous teaching roles.
For many years prior, he worked in sales; however, as with many ADIs, he decided to sit back one day and evaluate whether he was actually enjoying what he was doing! He loved interacting with others and sharing what he knew, but in sales, the opportunity to follow a development from start to finish, and therefore the satisfaction factor, was limited.
In 2002, he identified driving instruction as the perfect vocation, being a keen driver, and consequently got stuck right in with BSM, quickly adding fleet instruction to his pips, and becoming a champion of the National Driving Improvement Scheme. In 2008, he decided to go solo, started his own driving school in Stevenston, Ayrshire, and rapidly gained a handsome reputation amongst both pupils and peers.
After several chance encounters with John at Ayrshire Test Centres, (whilst both were anxiously awaiting the return of their ‘babies’!), David began to realise that he shared the same vision and values as the On Fire crew, and joined forces with us in January 2015.
Bringing along his trusted, bang-up-to-date Vauxhall Corsa, he adds a wealth of knowledge and experience to On Fire, and is taking things forward in coaching both the very nervous, as well as the advanced novice driver in the form of Pass Plus and post-pass instruction.
RnR: Gaming on the XBox. Relaxing at home. [In other words, more gaming on the XBox, yeah? Ed.]
Kenny considers himself very much the family man, being the father of no less than five daughters, and recently has become a grandfather for the first time! This is very much reflected in his teaching style; a calm, paternal and reassuring manner, coupled with a great sense of humour, eases the nerves of the most twitchy of students.
His previous career has been varied, including time spent as both a butcher and a security guard. He decided to become a driving instructor to enhance his broad experience, and because he found a real passion for helping others also achieve and develop new skills. He started as an ADI with Glasgow-based DRM in 2006, going on to join BSM for a number of years. His natural friendliness, and intense interest in all aspects of driving are evident as soon as you’ve known him for five minutes, and he is a most welcome addition to our lively team.
RnR: Playing golf, watching footie … and now functioning as a GEU (grandson entertainment unit)
Best Quote: Pupil; “Who’s the best examiner to get on your Test?”. Kenny; “The one who says, ‘Congratulations, you have passed.’”
Tony started his working life by following his dad and grandad into the family business of electro-plating. This involves coating metals in a variety of finishes, including chrome, zinc, gold and silver, for the computer and engineering industry.
After over twenty years in the industry, he decided he needed a change of direction, and explored the process of becoming a driving instructor, quickly realising it suited his nature and brief perfectly.
Having gained over ten years of experience teaching pupils to drive, Tony decided to approach John to see if there was an opening to join Ayrshires leading driving school. His character and ability made him a great fit for our fresh style, and he is now a most welcome addition to our team.
R&R: Reading, cinema, and wading through mud at Land Rover shows!