I got to own Brinsop Court by selling sportswear. Lots of it. I started on a decorating table on a Saturday and Sunday with my friend Sally. She got tired of it, so I got my husband to help me.

Actually we were selling anything my brother’s friend couldn’t sell in his Sports Shop. Fairly quickly we realised why these things had not sold. But we persevered.

I had trained as and actually qualified and was a real live teacher. Having spent my whole youth thinking I knew I wanted to be a teacher, I soon realised it wasn’t for me, and I was far more interested in the Porsches that were whizzing past my semi in the suburbs of the Black Country, being driven by people my age. My age?! How did they do that? What on earth did these people do for a living? I had no desire to own a sports car but I was fascinated by their drivers’ earnings.

I decided I was not going to become a wealthy woman while I was employed by the local education authority – especially as I do have a propensity for shopping – and my farming parents, while comfortably off, were not going to leave me a trust fund to go and play with.

And so, the decorating table had to go, a lease on a shop was agreed (after a few false starts with indoor markets, but that’s for another blogging day) with the most amazingly trusting man who seemed terribly grumpy to us, but we did not realise how much faith he must have had in us. Such a young couple, AND the first bun in the oven.




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