Lance was born in Bristol at the beginning of World War II, 1939. At the start of the war his family moved up to the North East and he lived with his grandparents at East Howdon.
Lance left school at the age of fifteen in 1954 and then started as an apprentice at the Wallsend slipway. During his first year he worked as an office boy, and then served a five-year apprenticeship. After his apprenticeship he worked for two years at Swan and then left to work at George Angus where he was there for twelve years. He returned to Swan’s as an inspector and eventually became a Senior Commissioning Manager.
Lance was interviewed by Laura Brown on 12 February 2007. The interview took place at Discovery Museum, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and lasted for 30 minutes.