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2261, WA/09
Wathes Collection

Speaker: Thurnham, Peter, 1938 - 0, Interviewee, Male, Businessman; Member of Parliament
Speaker: Hyde, C, Interviewer, Male

Summary of interview item: Describes progress from CA Parsons Ltd as engineer, to business school at Cranfield, British Steam Specialities (BSS), Leicester, Harvard University where became enthused on starting own business. Describes differing attitudes to business between CA Parsons Ltd and Cranfield, and USA and UK where believes business had a hint of the spiv about it. States attitude to business, money. Outlines reasons for buying Leicester Shop Equipment. Describes process of buying TH Wathes Ltd in 1970s. Details approach to running business, emphasis on good accounting, decentralising. Describes problems faced with accounts, helpfulness of gaining advantageous loan. Outlines how became Member of Parliament for Bolton in 1983. Describes decline in company fortunes, qualities needed in good manager. Brief mention of re-election to Parliament in 1987. Explains how better managerial appointments led to profits from 1988. Talks about Marks and Spencer contract, other clients such as Morrisons, acquisitions and expansion of company, success of accounting procedures. Brief mention of not agreeing with John Major at 1992 general election. Recalls setting up accounts in 1970s, lobbying for faster planning decisions for supermarkets, impact of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) legislation. Explains how company demerged when returned from parliament, outlines growth in market share, importance of supermarkets, reasons for retiring. Recalls Sydney Wathes, ways of working in 1970s, making changes. Brief mention of not networking at places such as Leicestershire Club, reasons for not trading abroad.
Place of birth: Middlesex
Education: Oundle School, Cambridge University
Marital Status: , Children:
Father's Occupation: Tea planter; Engineer
Mother's Occupation:
Location: County: Leicestershire
Location: Town/Place: Leicester
Periods Covered: 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s
Language: English

Recording Date: 6/3/2003
Playing time: 2 hrs 13 mins
Access Restrictions: Full clearance Item Copyright: EMOHA
Summary: Yes
Transcription: No
Copies: Yes
Cross Reference:

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Last updated: 08/05/02
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