Many people would be satisfied with one successful career. But Danny Fisher has taken on the challenge of three separate ventures that have all proved hugely gratifying.

Two positions – one the military and one in the software industry – saw him travel to all corners of the world. Now he prefers to stay much closer to home, running his renewable energy company from offices in the garden of his home near Ashey.

But his action-packed workload does not end there. The former Island High Sheriff is also a deputy Lord Lieutenant, chair of the IW NHS, and has been involved in numerous other projects.

However, he did manage to find time to give Island Life a fascinating insight into the hectic lifestyle he has enjoyed, and still enjoys.

Danny hails from Shelford, a small farming village in Nottinghamshire, where his ancestors had lived for the past 1,200 years, having arrived from Jutland. His cousins still farm the area, growing sugar beet and lots of potatoes for a well known potato crisp company.

“When I was there it was a typical English village – 20 farmers milked a few cows and grew corn. But times have changed, and now I don’t think there is any livestock any more. All the old farm cottages are now lived in by commuters to Nottingham,” he said.

Danny opted for a military career rather than farming because he fancied ‘getting up and getting away’ and his father was also a serving officer in the Royal Engineers, which added to the interest. But he admits: “I didn’t give a great deal of thought to career planning, it was more a case of taking chances when they came along. But no regrets at all.”

The career choice resulted in Danny attending Wellbeck College, the Army’s boarding school, coincidentally at the same time as the Island’s current Lord Lieutenant Martin White. He then spent two years at the Royal Academy, Sandhurst before being commissioned into the Royal Signals. He recalls: “I was commissioned in 1965, and commanded my own regiment in 1980 as a Lieutenant Colonel. I had a brilliant time, and some really good postings.”

Indeed, Danny served all over the world, including the Far East and in Northern Norway with the Ace Mobile Force, 249 Signal Squadron, which deployed to the flanks of NATO. Remember, those were the days when the Cold War was at its peak, and when every European country’s border with the then USSR, including Norway, Denmark and Turkey, was closely monitored by such forces.

Throughout central Europe there was a very real threat of a nuclear war – horrific and unthinkable, and a threat that few outside the military and the Government realised how close it came to reality.

“I remember in 1968 when Russia invaded Czechoslovakia all bells and whistles went off, and we were all convinced we were going to war. There were many real threats in those days, perhaps more so than many could have imagined,” confirmed Danny.

As a member of the Ace mobile Force, he was based at Bulford Camp on Salisbury plain, and that proved a particularly interesting time. He recalled: “In 1919 the New Zealand Army had been sent there from France and eventually they became a bit restless.

“So their Commanding Officer put them to task to dig the shape of a huge kiwi out of the chalk ground – similar to the famous horse chalk hill carvings that can be found in the south of England. The kiwi had become virtually overgrown, so just before we were deployed to Turkey we had a spare few days and decided to restore it.

“We dug it out by hand – over an acre in area – covered it with chalk, and it is still there now. Little did I know that at the same time questions were being raised in the New Zealand Parliament as to why the national monument had been allowed to become overgrown.

“So when I returned from Turkey I got a presentation from the Chief of the General Staff of New Zealand, the Kiwi Boot Polish company gave us a silver trophy to compete for, which we did with a 20-mile march-and-shoot event, on Salisbury Plain in the summer, and on skis in northern Norway in the winter. We were also sent a stuffed kiwi for our efforts.”

During their time in Norway his regiment often endured temperatures of -30 degrees, and lived in snow holes, with daylight lasting four hours. But Danny recalls: “It was great fun because we learned to ski with a rifle in front of us and a big pack on our back. If you fell over the rifle would hit you in the face, so you learned to stay up on your skis!”

The real reason they were there was far more serious – patrolling the Russian border, with the unit’s job to provide radio operators for internal communications detachments that included the United States, Canada, Italy, Denmark and Norway.

“We were there very much as a deterrent, but our back up communication was hand-speed ‘morse’ back to the US – that was our stand by link in case of a nuclear attack, which we knew if it were to happen would happen very quickly. So interesting times,” reflected Danny, whose unit did a similar job on the Turkish border in the summer, in red hot desert conditions. “There were wild tortoises everywhere and the lads used to paint Union Jacks on their backs.”

He served back in this country as Company Commander back at Sandhurst, teaching cadets and riding out every day, as well as being very much involved in the fishing and shooting activities. So he began as a student at the Staff College, and returned as an instructor at the same Staff College.

He also commanded his regiment in Verden, Germany, home of the Hanoverian horses, and was invited back several years later to a massive estate for a wild boar shoot. His guide was a man who in the days of East Germany had escorted such infamous characters as Cuba’s Fidel Castro, ex-Russian president Leonid Brezhnev and former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu around the estate.

Danny also spent four years in the Far East with the Gurkhas, starting off in Malaya, then moving to Singapore and Hong Kong. It was after he returned to teach at the Staff College in Camberley that he was head-hunted by a large multi-national company. “That was when I decided to leave the Army, and of course I missed it. Perhaps I shouldn’t have left when I did, but vanity allowed me to follow this head hunter.

“However, just before I did leave the Army there were major problems with the company I was due to join. So instead I then set off on my second career as sales manager for Marex Technology, a software company based in Cowes, and eventually moved up to the position of managing director. In many ways that job was just as interesting as my Army career.

“We did some very interesting jobs, putting software into major companies, and I again travelled all over the world. I spent more time on a plane than I did at home. Looking back I think I have visited most countries in the world at some time.

“Under my stewardship we sold the Marex to the Japanese, which is still working as Yokogawa Marex. The growth of the company saw offices open in Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Seattle, Houston, Johannesburg and virtually every European country.”

One of the company’s major assignments at the time was to make safe the Leningrad nuclear power plant following the Chernobyl disaster using their software.

Danny decided to take early retirement, which coincided with him becoming High Sheriff of the Island in 2005. He reflected: “I enjoyed it immensely, and it is only when you are doing it do you realise the number of volunteers on the Island running things. There are some wonderful people doing wonderful things here, and I was very impressed by it all.”

But having retired, Danny soon began to realise he was getting under the feet of partner Anna around the house, so he formed his renewable energy company – his third career, and one he is again enjoying enormously.

“It is very satisfying. We do all renewables, including solar panels, solar thermal, bio mass, underfloor heating and wall heating,” said Danny. Known as Pure Green Energy, the company has been running for three years

So how did he arrive on the Isle of Wight? He reckons purely because he sent his two daughters, Rosemarie and Beverley-Jo, to Upper Chine School, Shanklin, as boarders when he was in the Army, but has no idea why he chose that particular school, or even the Island. However, like so many, when he came down here to visit he fell in love with the place, and bought his home near Ashey in the early 1980s. Son Perry, formerly in the Royal Marines, now works as a physiotherapist in Ryde.

Danny remains a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of the Island, and for the past four years has been chair of the IOW NHS Primary Care Trust Board, which takes up parts of three days each week. It is a position he finds challenging, because of the pressures put on the health service, but nevertheless extremely rewarding.

“It is one of those things people like to knock, but for every letter of complaint we receive we get 10 letters of congratulation. When people are in hospital all they want to do is get home as quickly as possible, but we aim to make their stay as good as possible,” he reflected.

In the past Danny has also chaired the Economic Partnership on the Island, been a director of the Chamber of Commerce and Cowes Yacht Haven, and vice chairman IW College. And if that’s not enough he still enjoys his shooting, fishing and gardening – making life even busier!