Now available as an eBook.
Brewer at Bay chronicles the full and varied life of a man with his roots based firmly in the North East Sir Paul Nicholson's family were involved in the Vaux Group's, Sunderland Brewery throughout the 162 years of its existence.
'Sir Paul Nicholson's book details the working - and end-of-workings - of Vaux Breweries'
Bill Jamieson - Executive Editor The Scotsman
Sir Paul resigned as Chairman of the group on 26 March 1999 after the board of the company, against his advice, had decided to close both Vaux Brewery in Sunderland and Wards Brewery in Sheffield. He gives a full account of the destruction of the breweries and has some pungent comments on those responsible for the loss of so many jobs in Sunderland and Sheffield.
Born in County Durham, Sir Paul recounts his childhood with affection. His education at Harrow and Clare College, Cambridge which gave him the grounding required for a future in the business world, are colourfully described. Also included are details of his National Service during which he was commissioned in the Coldstream Guards. His prolific business career began when he initially qualified as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse, subsequently joining Vaux in 1965 and rising to the position of Managing Director in 1971.
However, not only does Sir Paul write about his vocational activities, horses have always been an important part of Sir Paul's life and in 1964 he completed the Grand National Steeplechase and twice won the Liverpool Fox Hunters Race. He has always enjoyed coaching and is a past President of The Coaching Club, the country's oldest horse driving club.
Sir Paul has held various senior positions outside of Vaux, including Chairman of the Tyne and Wear Development Corporation, the body set up by the government to bring economic regeneration to the areas of the two rivers. He was formerly a director of Tyne Tees Television plc from 1981 to 1992, as well as a director of Northern Electric plc from 1990 to 1997.
In 1993 he was knighted for services to industry and to the public in North East England, and was appointed Lord Lieutenant of County Durham in January 1997. In 2011 he was appointed as Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO)
Currently involved in business as a non executive director, Sir Paul resides in Brancepeth, County Durham. He is married to Sarah and has one daughter, Lucy.
For anyone that knows Vaux, the North East and the Nicholsons this book will fall into the ‘must have’ category. For those not included in these groups the book will be a riveting account of an unusual and eventful life from which the reader will learn how a businessman is formed and how a businessman leads his life’.
Sir Frederick Holliday - Chairman of Northumbrian Water and former Vice-Chancellor of Durham University
‘For City practitioners, the most absorbing section of this entertaining life story will be the detailed account of the events leading up to the demise of Vaux in 1999. The misjudgements of financial advisers and board members are relentlessly exposed, as is the full tragedy of the snuffing-out of this essentially decent and by no means unsuccessful company’.
John Walters - Leading City Brewing Analyst
‘He tells a story that is tragic both for him personally through Vaux Breweries and also for those living around the Sunderland area. His assessment of the Vaux decline should be compulsory reading for all Northern Business Schools’.
Sir George Russell - Former Chairman of Northern Development Company
‘Sir Paul Nicholson tells a real story. Never complacent, he has always accepted or created challenge. He has been a fine champion of the North East, firm on the front foot and fierce in
defence........... His book is a tapestry with all the colours and hues, and will be enjoyed by all who read it’.
Sir Angus Grossart - Chairman of Noble Grossart Ltd (Merchant Bank)
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