Colin's Cornucopia

Welcome to my world of discovery

My First Million

Return To Letters 2

Since retiring I have had to look after my pension and ever decreasing savings so I subscribe ot an investment magazine which sports a feature each week "My First million". I only made one million but what the hell?

28th July 2012

Dear Sir,

I started out as an apprentice in the family manufacturing business in 1956, won a scholarship from day release studies and got an advanced engineering qualification and eventually became a Chartered Engineer. I worked in the aerospace industry making rocket motors designed to deliver nuclear bombs onto Moscow. Later I helped design British missiles and service American battlefield nuclear missiles. I emigrated to Canada and worked on several of the advanced American fighter planes of the cold war and a submarine-hunting hydrofoil that never saw service because a device invented by a sister company made it redundant. Such was the cold war.

Later I returned to the UK to take over the ailing family business. Starting in 1972 my brother and I built it from virtually nothing to amongst the top five percent of Britain’s sub-contract manufacturing firms within 15 years. It was damned hard work especially as we started in a country and city that were both entering the biggest retrenchment of manufacturing it Britain’s history.

By 1998 my personal wealth was a very little short to a million and looked set to continue to grow healthily. We had a very nice contract from Rolls Royce Motors making parts for cars. They told us they wanted to double the contract so we invested £300,000 in new equipment and the contract proved very remunerative. We needed two years to break even and repay the debts. After twelve months BMW bought Rolls Royce motors and three months later our contract was offshored. Twelve months later we were insolvent.

We sold out and there were a lot of nasty things went on but at 60 years of age we had had enough and we retired. I had made a million so was reasonably content. Soon after that I divorced my wife of 42 years and halved my fortune. Then I worked for some years for the local council on community work and also headed a project to restore one of Britain’s finest timber framed buildings. In 2003 I suffered a major dissection of the aorta and after a few months rest recovered my strength by personally renovating parts of my factory building prior to selling it. It took me seven years by which time I was fit and healthy again.

I play an active part in the local community and look after many practical matters for my extended family. Despite the ravages of the stock market on my pension I have more money now than I did after my divorce and I am content. My work in the community has been particularly on an estate which contains around 600 households. For 50 years they provided homes for workers in local factories, located within ten minutes walk, which provided very well-paid industrial employment. Now there is not a job in industry within an hour’s drive. The estate is populated by retired people, youths who have not had a job in three generations, drug addicts, drug pushers, pregnant children and immigrants. This is what bottom line management has done for this estate.

My life objective is to sow the seeds that may destroy the foul financial and social system which has reduced the standard of living of the vast mass of the British people for each of the last twenty years.

Yours sincerely,

Colin Walker.

Return to Letters 2