This book was commissioned by the owner of Charles Davis Ltd, Sir Donald Trescowthick. He was the first really wealthy man I’d ever had anything to do with. Very charming, but everything was done the way he wanted it. I went to interview him, and I asked three questions in the whole day. He knew what he wanted to tell me, and he didn’t draw breath. They’re a different breed. But he was very pleasant, and good to work for.
This was another fascinating history, starting with a convict who made good, founding one of Tasmania’s best-known factory-shop business enterprises. It remained in the family for four generations, but the era of corporate takeovers and other business pressures was too much for it. It has vanished now, part of Harris Scarfe. I wasn’t too good on the modern business side, but fortunately Sir Donald was there to put me right.