My Jobs

After leaving University I started in Marketing with Lever Brothers. The Unilever Marketing Trainee course offered an in depth training in Marketing

I applied for and got a Brand Manager's job at Johnson Wax. We were living in Woking, so commuting in to London on the train, became a drive to Frimley on a quiet back road. I was responsible for Goddard brand

I was then head hunted to work for Philip Morris. This meant moving to Switzerland to absorb the company culture. . From Switzerland, I had a short spell with Philip Morris Germany before moving back to the UK - narrowly managing to avoid a posting to Philip Morris in Nigeria

The UK Tax System hit us when we got back. In Europe the company had paid virtually everything, and I could bank my salary. With no such expenses and high UK tax, my Marketing Directors salary did not seem to go very far. Net result we decided to run out own business, and that was when and why we bought Springwells. The Managing Director of Philip Morris UK, a nasty little Dutchman, fired me on the spot, when I explained what we were doing. It worked quite well in the end, as they had to pay me a years salary for the dismissal

We bought Springswells as a restaurant with 5 bedrooms, and after converting the attic space, sold it as a hotel with 10 rooms, The Scotsman who bought did not make a success of his purchase, and he sold it on s a B&B

From Sussex to a derelict North Yorkshire estate - Kirkby Fleetham Hall. Originally constructed by the South Sea Bubble man, Aisleby, it was later bought by the Courage Beer family. In a classic clogs to clogs in three generations, the gradually ran the place down and sold land to pay for their lifestyle. Eventually there was not enough land left to sustain the upkeep of th building , and it ran down. We restored the building, including completely re-leading the roof. restored the row of cottages in the grounds, and started on the massive stable block. At this point it was to big for us to manage without a lot more staff. We sold it to a man you might describe as an "entrepreneur" - he had made his money selling glasses to Esso, for them to give away with their petrol. But he was a failure are running a hotel. His costs spiraled out of control, and he went bust in three years

We moved to Oxfordshire. Chadlington Manor. Converted it in to a hotel, and were doing very well, until Mrs Thatcher's recession hit us. Interest rates went through the roof and life was a struggle to pay our mortgage. We sold our cottage in the grounds to keep us afloat. The eventually sold the hotel a a private house

We moved to Cornwall. We bought Corisande Manor near Newquay. It was a very down market hotel. We converted it in to an up market hotel, and were doing well when one day a developer literally rang the doorbell and wanted to buy. Well another recession hit him and he went bust, but we had decided to move to Spain and continue trying to sell Corisande. Eventually some 4 years later it sold, we invested to proceeds and moved off to Europe

My Life