Banking & finance
Durlacher, Nicholas (6 of 18) National Life Stories: City Lives
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Jobbing; Futures exchange
1995-03-01, 1995-04-01, 1995-23-11
Is part of (Collection)
interviewee's office, London
Durlacher, Nicholas, 1946-, (speaker, male)
Courtney, Cathy, 1954- (speaker, female)
Part 6 (tape 3 side B): Says he had no adolescent depression or introspection - cruised through life happily. Was Head of House and prefect in final year at school - prefect of chapel too. Nose broken at cricket which put him off playing so reverted to playing tenis for school - represented Stowe in Public Schools' Competition at Wimbledon. Fell in love with girl called Rebecca - met in Portugal - same age but much more sophisticated. He not very confident with girls at that time - shy, gauche, ill-prepared for wide world, quite a philistine. Left Stowe in 1964. More about winter holidays - skiing - selection by British Ski Federation of Great Britain - training in Easter holidays. Summer camp for school corps - compulsory in those days - in Germany - also another time attached to a French Alpine infantry battalion. Mentions housemaster, Ronnie Adams, as good influence and Ray Walker, mathmatics teacher, who enabled him to get to Cambridge. About meeting fellow Stowe-ics later in life - his feelings, reflections - comparisons between Stowe and Eton. Says never thought about university - always assumed he would start work in the City aged 18. Teachers at Stowe suggested Oxford or Cambridge. Went straight to university from school - regrets not having had gap year. Magdalene College - blissful time there - read Economics because he was told his maths not good enough for degree subject. Didn't know anyone at College - had to make new friends - a good thing he thinks - made friends easily and kept their friendship. Talks about some of them - mentions Tim Price - describes his personality etc - Marcus Gregson trained as a lawyer and then joined Vickers da Costa on Stock Exchange - details of his career - disasters and successes. ND's attitude to helping a friend in need - very materialistic - would never just lend money. Talks about women students at Cambridge. Magdalene all-male college - not many female undergraduates but lots of language and secretarial students - had girlfriend called Liz Ornston doing secretarial course. Thinks the girls were mostly amazing - very pretty and clever too - much saught after by the men. Describes various clubs and leisure activities - Pitt Club, Port Club, Bridge Club, played Bridge once a week in someone's rooms - host bought bottle of port - all took turns to host. Involved with skiing, as captain had responsibility for running group of 400 students to Zurs. Member of Hawks Club - prestige sporting club. Summer activities with university friends - Tim Price's father in Jedburgh - Maillaig, - grouse-shooting with cousin Roger Adams on Scottish estate. Learned to shoot at Holland & Holland Shooting School before going up to Scotland. About parties at Cambridge and May Ball which he helped organise. Party dress usually very formal - daywear usually grey flannel trousers or jeans and tweed jacket. He was very conventional and yet amazed when looking at old photos - hair very long, well over ears and bushy at the back. Graduated 1967 - talks about future aims - working on Stock Exchange, making lots of money - getting a flat in London. Discussed this with Tim who was going to work for Kleinwort Benson. No difficulty in those days getting a job - any graduate could earn good salary. Acquired flat in Lennox Gardens - smart address but unsmart flat - describes building. He and Tim shared - a room each. ND always went home weekends - never stayed in London. Loved to go home - play tennis, eat well, have laundry done. Cooking in London, Tim did this, loved it, and giving dinner parties, had an amazing flair. London social life revolved around gang down from university - uncles and godfathers invited him to dinner - he went to cinemas and restaurants. Favourite area was between Chelsea and Kensington - never north of Hyde Park. Piccadilly or Leicester Square for cinema - never into Soho. Lists restaurants in Fulham Road and environs - Au Pere de Nico a favoured one, also Au Bon Accueil and an Australian pub where one could eat well for a fiver. He was a member of a nightclub called the Garrison and also Annabel's - the latter very expensive - didn't go there often - Raffles in the King's Road the most popular. Describes the Garrison Club - place where one could drink and dance. He and brother made to have ballroom dancing lessons when small - also learned Scottish reels - not a great dancer but quite happy smooching round dance floor. Describes interior decor of Garrison - dark and dingy. Annabel's on the contrary extremely elegant - Raffles like a mock library. Not a great pub drinker but had pub lunches in the City. Mentions Jamaica Inn - also used to eat at Lyons and/or Slaters in the City. Reference here to seeing French films in the '60s. No sexual relationships at this stage. Married at 26 to Mary whom he'd met when 21.
Interview with Nicholas Durlacher CBE, member of the Stock Exchange (1970–86), Partner at Wedd Durlacher (1972-86) and Chairman of Elexon Ltd (2000–10).