I think 1977 might be too early for Mike Hunter. His own studio (Twists Glass) was founded in 1998. From what I can find through internet searches, he developed his skills at Wedgwood Glass (11 years).
Unfortunately, even though I spent well over an hour with Mike and his wife, Sue, in an airport lounge, I don't remember if I asked about his early days, or if I did, what his reply was! And I also can't remember what he said about his background when he was the guest speaker at one of the Cambridge Paperweight Club meetings.