The multi-millionaire businessman and Conservative peer Stuart Rose has vivid memories of one of his earliest birthday presents: a second-hand Dinky toy car.
Down on their luck at the time, he, his parents and sister were living in a freezing cold caravan in Warwickshire, where his father had dug a ditch to create an outside loo.
‘As he was digging, he found a Dinky toy,’ says Rose, now chairman of the supermarket chain Asda and the clothing brand FatFace.
‘I remember him repairing it with great care and I had it as a birthday present.’
Life turned round for the family when his father got a job as a civil servant in Africa, and in his early 20s Rose took his first steps on the ladder of his illustrious retail career as a management trainee at M&S, where he would later become CEO.
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