Born and brought up in Cardiff, Wales, Viv Bartlett left school at 15 with no qualifications and became an apprentice in an engineering firm, playing guitar in a rock group in his spare time. At 20 he became a Bahá’í and shortly after qualified as a tradesman, joining the Merchant Navy as a Junior Engineer Officer. After travelling the world for two years he came home to South Wales, married and had children, and decided to become a teacher. Attending night school three evenings a week after work brought him the qualifications to go to college and by the age of 30 he had a B. Ed Hons degree and started teaching Design. Later on in life he and his wife, Rita, became foster-carers.
Viv served on several national Bahá’í committees. As an Auxiliary Board member for over 20 years he had an educational and pastoral role in the community with a special interest in the development of young people. He has travelled extensively lecturing on the Bahá’í Faith.