Blog Log of David and Gail Boyd’s Retirement Trip to Hong Kong and the U.K. 6th to 28th July 2009.
We set out on this long planned overseas trip with considerable anticipation of the pleasures ahead of us on Monday 6th July. The previous day we had a farewell brunch with son Mike, his wife Georgia, Charlie and Heidi (grandchildren), daughters Kate and Susie and Susie’s husband Hagen.
We left behind painters working on a complete “makeover” of our home at St Ives and under Susie and Hagen’s direction, builders doing extensive renovations to Gail’s late brother’s unit at Cremorne, prior to Susie and Hagen moving in.
Monday 6th. July
A cold 5:30 a.m. departure from St Ives saw us take off from Sydney on CX 110, an Airbus A320 just before 8:00. My first exposure to the Cathay Business Class configuration cubicle like bed/seats, at 45 degrees to the window. Not good for my self-appointed role of “assistant navigator”, but not impossible. Great for stretching out at a full horizontal posture and sleeping. A bit claustrophobic for an excessively large Anglo-Saxon male.
Couldn’t visually navigate for first hour or so as we flew over cloud. Cleared momentarily as we crossed the Barwon River then opened up again somewhere south of Boulia. Disappointed to miss identifying Thylungra. Then a fascinating flight with me in my element. The GPS info and map on the screen-800/850 km/hour at a very consistent 38,000 feet-and my detailed map of Australia spread out on my lap. Followed the Diamentina River-country now dried off after the great rain of last summer. Flew north between Mt Isa and Cloncurry then inland of the western side of the Gulf. Great views of the rivers and various islands, all of which could be positively identified by their unique shapes. Then over the corner of Arnhem Land (Kakadu?), east of Darwin.
The total flight time to Hong Kong is 9 hours and it always intrigues me that some 4 hours of this is over Australia, such is the size of the country. I am looking forward to visiting much of this country on the ground when Gail and I finally get around to doing our “grey nomad” thing, in Gail’s much despised 4Wheel-drive dream vehicle.
The rest of the flight was uneventful and cloudy until a brilliant descent over a sunlit Hong Kong. Not the old excitement of landing at Kai Tak and flying between the buildings. I wonder if our kids remember landing in Hong Kong in 1990. On that occassion the kids travelled “cattle class” whereas Gail and I were up the front as is appropriate for Swire executives! A very thoughtful Cathay hostie invited the kids up the front also to enjoy the thrill of landing at Kai Tak. Now its the ultra modern and much more spacious, for people and aircraft, new airport.
We knew we were to be met “on arrival”, but didn’t take that literally. But, at the door of the aircraft we were greeted by Cathay uniformed young lady (and a burst of Hong Kong heat and humidity), who ushered us through customs in no time at all into a waiting Swire Merc for the spectacular drive over bigger and longer replicas of the Sydney Anzac bridge, to Pacific Place and the very comfortable Taikoo Suite in “The Apartments” on the 35th Floor of the Conrad branded building. (Much of the building is the Conrad Hotel with the main entrance on the other side). The suite is very tastefully appointed and has spectacular views in most directions, but particularly across the harbour to Kowloon. It is tendered by Karna, a personable Nepalese, who was anxious to attend our every need. It was fascinating to flick through the visitors book and see so many names that were so familiar, of all those interesting people who invariably toured the Clyde properties when they came on to Australia.
Tuesday 7th July
I refused to let Gail draw the curtains and block that view, so I woke early to heavy morning rain and set off to see how far I could get under cover on all the walkways which are a feature of ‘Central’. Didn’t make it to the Star Ferry, but managed some good exercise.
A very leisurely day, which included a Star Ferry ride to buy a pair of binoculars in the back streets of Kowloon.
We had arranged to meet two of my ex Sydney Swire colleagues for dinner al The Hutong Restaurant on the top of 1 Peking Road also at Kowloon. Once again spectacular views, this time back to the Island. Great food and company-Rupert Hogg, Angus and Sophie Barclay. We actually ran in to Sophie at the ferry wharf on the Island side, when I was getting anxious that we were running late!
Gail was last here about nineteen years ago and I was surprised to realise that it was fifteen years since I was last here-for the Hong Kong Sevens with Mike, staying across the road at the J.W. Marriot Hotel. There is so much Swire traffic between Sydney and Hong Kong I thought I knew the place. However, the growth in the meantime has been phenomenal and reminds me of Shanghai, which I visited with Australian Wool Innovation six or seven years ago. Notwithstanding the global financial crisis the place still bristles with energy. However, the trade downturn is serious, particularly for transport-ships and aircraft.
Wednesday 8th July
Once again we were determined not to try to do too much and simply enjoy our surroundings. Made a visit to the rather sumptuous and very tasteful Swire Offices next door then a bus ride (the tram service was “suspended”) to The Peak , where we had lunch, reversed our steps and returned to the Suite, rather “zonked” from heat and humidity.
Chris Pratt, the current Swire Hong Kong Taipan and former Swire Board (Australia) colleague, rang late afternoon and to my delight suggested we have a drink “after work” across the road at an Italian Restaurant! I have always enjoyed the old stock and station agency days practise of a few beers after work-something that random breath testing (and perhaps family pressures on “sensitive new age fathers”) has largely killed.
We perched up on bar stools in true Port of Bourke Hotel fashion and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves talking about old days and current pressures. I was most appreciative of this gesture and found Chris to be most personable and interesting. As I told him, I continue to be overwhelmed by the scale and breadth of the business he is responsible for. I returned to the Suite in time to watch the much anticipated first cricket Test between England and Australia at Cardiff. We gave dinner a miss.
Thursday 9th July
A 7:45 departure for the airport per another Swire Merc saw us in good time to board our Cathay flight for London. Same seat configuration, no First Class, perhaps on the way back. Gail kindly traded me her window seat for my allocated aisle seat.
Once we boarded we were told that flight time was an hour shorter than scheduled, 12 rather than 13 hours (must be good tailwinds), but as there would be no bay available at Heathrow at that time, departure was being delayed “for commercial and environmental” reasons. I love “going green” when there is also economic logic, which, if you take a long-term view there so often is.
As I write we have now been flying for five hours plus, all of it over China including Mongolia and now over southern Russia, so Australia is not the only big country.
Weather intermittently clear and some fascinating green flat country as we flew over the Siberian Lowlands. No sign of cultivation. Novosibirsk, Omsk places I have never heard of, how ignorant we are of so much of this amazing world. Noticed we went higher from 32,000 to 36,000 feet after encountering some light turbulence. Cruising at over 900km/hour with no headwind. Wound our clocks back seven hours for U.K. summer time-making it a long day. Didn’t see them, but according to the GPS screen (individual) flew north of Moscow, over St. Petersberg then some good clear views of the Gulf of Finland, the Baltic Sea, Estonia, Latvia and a very clear view of Copenhagen’s airport. Then over northern Germany, Holland over the English Channel, Norfolk, across London (good views of the Thames and the Houses of Parliament) and in to Heathrow. To look out of the window I developed a technique of putting the seat in to the bed (flat) position and lying face down propped up on my elbows. These business class seat configurations are good for sleeping, which most people seem to want to do, but no good for looking at the country, which is why I booked daytime flights.
As we flew over all of this very cold country today I couldn’t help thinking how all these people must be praying that global warming is real! They would benefit so much from higher temperatures and what I still believe would be accompanying higher rainfall.
Angela’s Scott’s driver (David) turned up at Heathrow a few minutes after we did and drove us through lovely green English countryside with lots of ripening wheat crops to Ampney Park, just out of Cirencester in Gloucestershire. Angela has done a great deal to smarten up this lovely stately home since we were here in 2002. We went to a local Pub for a delicious light dinner and returned feeling nicely drowsy, fell in to bed and slept beautifully.
Friday 10th July
A leisurely morning, that included an Angela conducted tour of this delightful garden. More like a park with lots of new additions including some great sculptures.
Angela lent us daughter Genevieve’s pensioned off little red Rover car amidst warnings of unreliability etc. We headed north through the Cotswolds to Boughton-on-the-Water and ever onward to Stratford-on-Avon. Had some difficulties with the navigator (Gail) on the way home, but made it without too much drama in good time for a BBQ dinner for 14, mostly local friends. Genevieve (Angela’s daughter) and boyfriend Adam Gyngell arrived mid-evening.
Saturday 11th July
As arranged we headed off at 8:30 to visit Michael and Anita Osborn at Shaftesbury. A somewhat trying trip, which looked very straight forward on the map, but proved quite difficult. By accident we were forced (wrong lane with high speed traffic all around us) on to the M4 heading for London, and had to go for some 15/20 minutes before we got an exit to get off and reverse our tracks. Weather showery, but some lovely country especially the rolling Wiltshire Downs. Was pleased to find Blimport Court with little difficulty and arrived on the tick of 11:00AM to a very warm welcome from a vibrant octogenarian in Anita and a very gentlemanly 93 year old Michael. It was so nice to see them and we think they were genuinely pleased that we made the effort. Only stayed for a little over an hour and then had lunch at a very English “pie shop” at the top of the famous Gold Hill.
Sunday 12th July
Today's focus was Day 5 of the First Test at Cardiff. It's only 1.5 hours away, so considered going over. However, couldn't see many spare seats and decided to watch from the comfort of Edward's study with great TV reception. Australia should have won, but cricket was the winner with a most thrilling finish. Now to Lord's.
Angela had some most interesting lady friend guests for dinner and we ate the most sumptuous salmon I have ever had. Whole fish cooked in foil.
Monday 13th July
Another walk around this magnificent garden during which I received a 'phone call from Bill Rothery regarding arrangements to transfer his Lords tickets to me now that he is unable to come. All seems to be in order for me to collect and distribute to his friends with plenty for me!
This was followed soon after by Angela receiving an email from a Sydney friend advising that Inge Grant (fellow Swire Director John Grant's wife) had died tragically overnight. Very, very sad for all concerned. We checked the information with Bill who did not know at that point, but rang back to sadly confirm. Simultaneously,Susie Dunn another close friend advised the same sad news by email. The Grants were to be present at tomorrow's Swire lunch, but had to cancel for John to have a hip operation.
Went in to Cirencester to successfully organise local mobiles for both me and Gail then returned for Gail's appointment-the hairdresser comes to us-at Ampney Park.
I had a most pleasant telephone conversation with Michael and Anita's son Simon who I have never met. He is interested in my web-based family tree idea so I fired off an email to Diane (Osborn) and Geza in Canada who put the tree that myself initially and then Bill Osborn put together on to a computer programme-Family Tree.
After a lovely two hour sleep I went walking in the Ampney Park garden as the sun was setting. Great light and had to return and get my camera I then proceeded to have a photo snapping walk reminiscent of a beautiful similar event in the Lake District last time we were in the UK. To add to the mood, the bell ringers struck up at the old Norman Church which adjoins Ampney Park as though it belongs to the Manor House.We then consumed the last of last nights salmon before Gail and Angela went shopping at the local supermarket (they stay open 24 hours and have unmanned checkouts).
Tuesday 14th July
We awoke early for Angela to deliver us in to Cirencester to catch the 7:45AM bus to London Victoria, just up the road from Swire House in Buckingham Gate, itself just up the road from the other Buckingham (Palace). We arrived at the office about 10:30AM and were ushered in to the best of the three flats on the 5th (top)Floor by a very welcoming senior receptioniste. This office has a lovely atmosphere reflecting the calibre of its occupants. Gail made rude remarks about the quality of the "best" shirts I had brought with me so I went out and found a T.M.Lewin and bought two new ones and tie and cuff links to boot.
So dressed up like the proverbial "pox Doctor's clerk" I presented with Gail at the Dining Room just up the hall at the appointed hour. Actually, I think we were 15 minutes early, but that didn't matter.
I must say I think this lunch for us is the greatest honour we have ever been paid.The host was Sir Adrian Swire and also present were Lady Judith (Sir Adrian's wife), his brother Sir John Swire, Adrian and Judy's son Merlin (now the Group Finance Director and Finlays Chairman), Glen Swire (a cousin who amongst other things was the Australian pen pal for many years),Glen's wife Caroline, Angela Scott and us.A very personal occassion helped by only nine people being present.
Adrian made a very nice speech saying how much they had enjoyed their Clyde visits and I responded. My main tack was what a privelege it had been to pursue what was largely Edward Scott's dream in working with such delightful people in building an agricultural business. I also said how important, enjoyable and motivational their regular visits to our properties had been. I mentioned that I was not enamoured with Clyde's current direction, but quickly went on, acknowledging that 'the old order changeth".
After lunch broke up around 3:00pm we changed in to more casual attire and headed for Lords (walk and taxi) to see if we actually could get hold of Bill Rothery's four tickets to each day of the Test. As we passed the Palace there were hordes of people lining up for one of the Queen's annual summer Garden Parties. Dressed to the'nines', I was reminded of a cartoon which always amused me, of a lady putting on her refinery to see the Queen drive by and commenting "I don't think she even saw me"!Our taxi driver told us that she doubted if many of the guests would actually see the Queen!
Armed with Letter of Introduction, Passport and SCG membership card and following communication from the SCG Trust, instigated by Bill Rothery in Australia we were successful, albeit with much muttering about how "we never transfer tickets". Bill had done a great job in dramatising the circumstances which prevented him coming, not without a sound basis for doing so. We returned by foot and bus and now have a good feel for getting from here to there. We also made contact with Cam Emerson (former MD of Swire Australian subsidiary Transwest). Gail and I are now to attend the Lord Taverners Dinner at the London Hilton tomorrow night with Cam and his wife Carol.
Found an Italian Restaurant down the road from here for dinner and retired early after a very complete and satisfying day.
Wednesday 15th July
An early morning walk donw Birdcage Walk to the Houses of Parliament and the Thames across the front of the Palace of Westminister to find the statue of Richard the Lionheart and the Peers Entrance so we would know where to go next week, then back past the Abbey and along Victoria Road.
After breakfast at the flat we headed off and found agreat crowd at Buck Palace waiting for the Changing of the Guard ceremony. We joined in and then had lunch across the road at the flower festooned (external) "The Albert" Hotel before heading off on a tourist bus ride around London. We must have crossed the Thames about six times and saw all the old familiar sights. Had time for a brief rest before getting a taxi to the London Hilton for the Lord Taverner's Dinner with Cam Emerson and his cricket touring party.
The dinner was great. Speeches includes Ronnie Corbett and former Prime Minister John Major. One expected Corbett to be funny and he was. Major delivered one of the best and surprisingly (to me) and most amusing speeches I have ever heard. I loved every minute of it.Wonderful use of the English language on one of my favourite subjects-cricket. I met Mike Gatting the former English captain whose only achievement I can recall was being bowled by "the ball of the century"-Warne's first Test match ball on English soil. Next day I met the man himself (Warne) when I found him having a smoke at the foot of the spaceship like Media Centre at Lords. I think he had a big hangover. He did give me a signature for Kate.
Thursday 16th-Monday 20thJuly 2009-Second Cricket Test at Lords
On Day I I walked down to Westminster and got the Tube to St John's Wood and walked to the North Gate. Like Sydney huge queue for the Member's Stand, but good access for those of us plebs with allocated seats elsewhere. Ours were in the Compton Stand. As arranged met Martin Whitaker and Bill's friend Julian Hill at the gate and handed over their tickets. At lunchtime after several glassesof white wine per favour of Julian we met Richard Reynolds, another friend of Bill's to give him his tickets. This meeting took place in the champagne bar at the Real Tennis Courts where we further imbibed. A very drowsy afternoon ensued as England piled on the runs and Mitchell Johnson sprayed the ball all over the place. Met my friend Ross Flannery in the Stand during the day. At close of play after walking with Martin Whitaker to Baker Street Station decided to walk the rest of the way back to Buckingham Gate.
Our seats for the first four days were in the Compton Stand to the right of the ultra modern rather incongrous Media Centre. The facilities for the general public at Lord's are really appalling and I was pretty underwhelmed. Not helped by Australia's poor performance. There are not enough stairways to the stand so it takes forever to get out and then even longer to get out of the ground (not enough gates). You queue forever for drinks, food and even to have a pee. Most of the stands are not under cover and there is no room for people to get past already seated spectators.
Gail came with me on Days 3 and 4. By then we developed a travel pattern of getting the Tube from Green Park (Jubilee Line) to St John's Wood and coming back on the No.16 Bus down Edgeware Road. One evening (rain and light stopped play each night) we got chatting to two delightful men on the bus and were speculating as to their occupations. One appeared to work for the Foreign Office and we put the other down as a medico. We both got our faces badly sunburnt on Day 3.
At Tea time on Day 4 we met up with Merlin Swire and fellow Swire Director William Weymss and several of William's mates. A short enjoyable interlude.
On Day 5 there was just a glimmer of hope that Australia might score a world record 500+ in the last innings after a wonderful stand by Michael Clarke and Haddin. We shifted camp very early from the Swire Flat just around the corner, so to speak, to the Caledonian Club, so that I could get out to Lord's early as I had a Reciprocal Pass to the Member's Stand, so needed to queue. Had the luxury of a taxi from the Club (same one as did the move)and joined a somewhat shorter Members queque compared with previous days.
Members I chatted with in the queue assured me I would have no trouble getting a seat in the Pavillion which I was keen to do on what might be my only opportunity. Whilst waiting my Medico designated friend from the bus came along and I invited him to take the place "I was saving for him" in the queue. He readily accepted. He was great company and mentioned that he worked at Westminster Abbey. On questioning he turned out to be not a Medico, but a Canon of the Abbey-the Rev. Ralph Godsall. He took me in hand, showed me the way to the middle deck of the Pavillion where there was no trouble getting a seat, took me on a tour of the Long Room, and introduced me to the Bowlers Bar and balcony.
In talking matters theological I ascertained his liberal approach then "admitted" my attraction to Spong. He likewise expressed enthusiasm for "Jack Spong" and told me that whilst at Cambridge he had been Chaplain to John Robinson of "Honest to God" fame. So now we really had common ground.
After making my own way to the Museum and viewing the Ashes Urn I had a coffee and bacon sandwich before joining Ralph, and Ross Flannery on the balcony for the ringing of the 5 minute bell. There I ran in to one of the very few MCC Members I knew (SCG and Adelaide Club acquaintance) Robert.....
As we mounted the stairs to our seats we passed the Australian batsmen coming down. Clarke looked pale and both he and Haddin very focussed.
If I was underwhelmed by Lord's on Days 1 to 4 I was now overwhelmed. What a fabulous historic, traditional spot.But, you do need to be in the Member's Stand. A pity Australia didn't win-the game finished just before Lunch with Flintoff taking five wickets. After the first drinks break (mid-day)my friend Ralph suggested we should also have a drink and we watched the end of the game from the Bowlers Bar balcony with pint in hand surrounded by very biased members.
Ross Flannery and two grain industry mates had lunch with me in the Long Room Bar, before I decided I had enough to drink and got a cab back to the Caledonia Club and crashed. Five days intense watching a cricket Test is exhausting!
Tuesday 21st July
Did a long walk early, going south back to Victoria etc. A scrumptous Scottish breakfast (for the uninformed "Caledonia" is the ancient name for Scotland and also happens to be the name of the second (and happiest) station in central Queensland where I did my second year jackarooing);we headed off for two arranged meetings. First with Ralph Godsall at Westminster Abbey for a guided tour-Ralph resplendent in his bright red cassock etc. (Queens colours, as the Abbey is not administered by the Church, but by the Queen (as advised by Downing Street). A most interesting insight including a visit to the shrine of Edward the Confessor, behind the high altar where the public are not admitted. Then at 12:45 Ralph escorted us over the road and thru' security (the cassock opens all doors!)to the Peer's Entrance to the Palace of Westminster where we were to meet Lord (Mark) Marlesford.
We had a delicious lunch and stimulating conversation with Mark before he took us on a tour of this magnificent palace. Most of it is relatively modern having been re-built, in the Gothic style, after the fire in 1836. Lord Marlesford had spoken in the House of Lords the previous day on the economy and gave us an autographed copy of Hansard including his speech. He is particularly concerned about credit card debt, much of which he believes is toxic.
He also is retiring from his Swire retainer arrangements at the end of this year, so I am in good company. We only have two more epistles. He is justifiably proud of his September 2007 paper which predicted the financial problems ahead.
After leaving the Palace we hung around the Abbey and attended Evensong at 5:00PM. It was sung by a visiting choir (Peterborough Cathedral) and was great. Very sincere simple, but formal service and no sermon.
No appointments today. I headed off for my morning constitutional this time heading north thru' Knightsbridge and via the Albert Gate in to Hyde Park. Walked right around the Serpentine (lake) and back to Halkin Street.
After a too full breakfast we headed for Oxford St via Picadilly and did some limited gift shopping. Couldn't get over how expensive Selfidges was, but found Marks and Spencers much more competitive. Had a big Scottish Dinner at the Club and retired reasonably early.
Thursday 23rd July
For this morning's constitutional I headed around the Palace wall and down to Westminster and the Thames. Outside the Palace Mews I came face to face with former Australian P.M. John Howard also out for his morning walk! We chatted briefly about the cricket and he assured me that he had been at Lord's every day.
We packed (an increasing challenge) and got a taxi aound to the Bus Station and caught the bus back to Cirencester where Martin Whitaker met us and brought us to his and Sue's delightful cottage (1600's)on the edge of Driffield village.
Friday 24th July
Today we headed for the C.L.A.Game Fair at Belvoir (pronounced Beaver) Castle in Leicestershire. A little over two hours drive mostly on motorways with lots of confusing, fast moving round-a-bouts. I was glad Martin was driving.
The Fair is a big deal and the Castle backdrop spectacular, set high on a wooded hill. Row upon row of stalls with business promotion/entertaining, food and clothing, dog (hounds)and falcon displays,etc. etc. Wonderfully well organised. Sat in on a most interesting debate on food security in the Strutt and Parker tent. A long interesting day with lots of lovely scenery in the travelling.
Saturday 25th July
A nice unsheduled day. Leisurely brunch followed by a beautiful drive and walk. Then a fabulous dinner at a classical local village pub-I could get used to English pub life-and no doubt larger than ever!
Sunday 26th July-Monday 27th July
Breakfast followed by a long walk with dogs in toe around the Driffield fields. Old Norman Church and interesting crops. It's great to be with an agriculturalist. After lunch Martin and Sue kindly drove us to Heathrow via "drive past" look at Adrian Swire's crops-and they look great.
Took off in a very well presented Boeing 747-400 around 7:00pm. A very welcome upgrade to First Class-only nine participants with two stewardesses!
Eleven hours flying time,6,000 miles (9,600km)with,in parts, the help of a 100km/hour tailwind, a ground speed of 1029km/hour. Mostly at 31,000 feet.
Some interesting views of the Baltic Coast including a spectacular view, as light was disappearing, of the Polish port of Gdansk. Brought back memories of Lech Walesa and Solidarity,Cardinal Wojtyla who became Pope John Paul 2 and the role this all played in the fall of communism and the Iron Curtain. Darkness took over and sleep was welcome, but disturbed.
Lost the seven hours we gained on the way over and arrived H.K.on schedule at 1:00pm.on 27th.
The now familiar, wonderful routine of being met at the aircraft door, ushered thru' customs into the Swire car and met by Karna at the Pacfic Place Apartments for escorting to the Taikoo Suite on 35th Floor, all worked like clockwork. I could get used to this!
Did some stressful (jetlagged)family shopping in the very expensive Pacfic Place shops before a scratch cafeteria style early dinner and going to bed too early and waking every two hours thru' the night.
Tuesday 28th July
Early car to the Airport along the now familiar, but spectacular drive. Raining heavily. Airport train again to Gate 23 and away on schedule around 9:00AM on another Airbus.
A daylight flight again, but largely over ocean until you reach Australia. The flight is a distance of 4,600 Miles(7,400km) and takes just under nine hours. Only a two hour time difference (Hong Kong and Perth are in the same time zone). Started at 31,000 feet, but most of the time at 39,000. Pretty turbulent around the Philippines. The flight over Australia was again very interesting. East of our northbound track, but good views of the west Gulf of Carpentaria coast, lots of fires, and a good clear view of Mt.Isa which looked small for a city of 18,000 people from 39,000 feet. Surprised how hilly the country was south from the Gulf. Once darkness descended it was easy to identify town lights with the help of the GPS fed individual screens-particulary Dubbo and surrounding towns.
I was mindful of my first awareness of Swire when Gail and I flew Cathay between Hong Kong and Taipei(?)forty years ago and how I was impressed by what I read in the airline magazine of this,low key English family company which ran the airline.
This first impression in many ways instilled an attraction which made me interested in the approach of Edward Scott some twenty years later.I would never have dreamt that I would have the wonderful opportunities the Group provided me to develop the Australian agricultural arm and that I would one day be a Director of the Australian subsidiary and that Gail and I would one day be the beneficiary of a retirement trip such as what we have just enjoyed.
The disappointments have been the death of Edward Scott, the seven year long-turn of the century-drought, and the strategic direction and management style adopted for Clyde since my retirement as an executive.
Swires have been wonderful employers and I feel truly privileged to have worked for a Group of such quality and with such great values. One of these values is to support local management-a principle of which I was a beneficiary for so many years.
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