UK: BRAIN FOOD - Matters for the mind to chew on - Lord Hanson/If I had to start again.

UK: BRAIN FOOD - Matters for the mind to chew on - Lord Hanson/If I had to start again. - I've had the most tremendous fun in business, but my career wouldn't have even started without enormous help from my family and colleagues.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

I've had the most tremendous fun in business, but my career wouldn't have even started without enormous help from my family and colleagues.

To start differently wouldn't be easy, as I was born into a successful family business. The nationalisation of basic industries - in our case road transport - by the Labour government in 1948 made me think afresh.

Although we had kept our private haulage business, and control of Oswald Tillotsons, the public parent of another, my first major move was to Canada to invest in a trucking company - which ended when that, too, was taken over. My father, in the meantime, was busy collecting parts of our old companies - by then denationalised. So, back to the UK and into general haulage. One day a delightful Scot came into the office, suggesting a merger of his interests with ours and voila ... takeover number three. A different venture, being a partner in the start up of Yorkshire Television, eventually ended in takeover number four. I was back at Tillotsons, which Gordon White and I planned to build up by taking over sleepy companies, when through the door came a chap from Hull offering to buy it. However, I did manage to hang on there personally and eventually it became Hanson plc.

All right, to answer the question, if I had to start again I'd be a business journalist. Think how much easier it would be to write about business than actually have to do it.

Lord Hanson is chairman emeritus of Hanson plc.

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