Clifford Evans was born in the small Welsh town of Milford Haven, in Pembrokeshire, in 1950, the youngest of three children. He was educated at Milford Haven Grammar School, having passed the eleven plus. On leaving school after A levels, he worked for six years at the Royal Navy Armaments Depot at Milford Haven, before embarking on teacher training at Trinity College, Carmarthen. His first teaching post was in Abergavenny but he soon moved to Bristol. He taught in Bristol primary schools for twenty-five years. He has been married for thirty-seven years and has two grown-up daughters.