Terry's Personal Memoirs

To contact Terry you can email him: terencepoulson@btinternet.com or message him via Facebook


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Historical information about Terry Poulson

I was born on the 21st March, 1944 in Bury St.Edmunds, Suffolk. When I was thirteen, I persuaded my dad to let me stop piano lessons (forced on me by Mum) and take up the guitar instead.  I stuck with it, and having bought Bert Weedon's "Play In A Day Book" , which I think every budding guitarist started with, I did start to be able to play.

I soon joined a Skiffle group, comprised of lads from The Youth Club. We had 2 guitarists, a washboard player, a tea chest base (A tea chest with a broom handle and string), a drummer and a vocalist. Those humble beginnings were the start of me playing the guitar, on and off, for 56years.

I somehow managed to pass my "Eleven Plus" and was offered a place at Culford Public School, just outside Bury St Edmunds. It was a brilliant school, but to be honest I really didn't enjoy it. I was from a working class home and the vast majority of pupils were from wealthy backgrounds, and even from  abroad.  I vividly remember on speech day, all the Jaguars, Rolls Royce's, Mercedes, etc. bringing the parents to school, while my dad and I cycled home together. To be honest, it didn't bother me at all, I think I was much closer to my dad than many of these rich kids who were shoved out to boarding school.

 However,almost without realising it, I left school with a good education and 5 GCE passes. We then moved to Felixstowe in Suffolk, where my parents had always wanted to live, and where we used to go on holiday from Bury. At first, I hated it, I knew no one at all, having left all my friends behind, and I think that was one of the most unhappy times of my life.

 So, I used to mooch around the house all the time, until my dad came home one day and told me that he had arranged for me to attend an interview at a shipping office at Felixstowe Dock. At this time,1961, Felixstowe Dock was tiny, just a dock basin that had a few cargo ships calling there each week, mainly Carlsberg Lager, Timber, Strawboard, and a few general goods from Holland. 

It seemed like a dead end job, but I was too lazy to go to night school, which I would have had to have done, to achieve my desire to become a research chemist at Fisons Factory in Felixstowe. After a while though, I actually started to quite enjoy the work, I felt that I was good at it, and I was not to know then just where this small beginning would lead. As most people now know, Felixstowe port started to expand, and gradually, more and more companies started to open offices there. As there were only a handful of people with shipping knowledge at the port, me being one, I was regularly offered new jobs and always for more money. 

One of the other great benefits of this job was that I gradually started to get to know people and make a few friends.One Day my life changed dramatically for the better, when I was offered the chance to join a band called  "The Vapour Trails" as their rhythm guitarist. We played sixties music  and eventually I became the lead guitarist. I equipped myself with a Red Fender Stratocaster, a Vox AC30 Amplifier and a Watkins Copicat Echo Chamber. I was all set to be the next "Hank Marvin" and I used to play probably a dozen Instrumental Songs at each of our gigs, and I loved it. If I say so myself, I became a pretty good guitarist and I was eventually head-hunted by another band called "The Unit 4" from Ipswich. They were a great band, and by now we had moved on from Hank Marvin to The Beatles and the mersey sound. We eventually went on to play in Germany at "The Top Ten Club" in Hamburg, shortly after the Beatles had been there, and although I was a mere boy when I went there, I came back a man. The "Reeperbahn" was like soho in London, only much worse, so you couldn't be there for 5 weeks, as we were, and not gain an education.

Anyway, I digress, let's get back to my job at Felixstowe Dock. 

My first job was paying me 4 pounds per week, and after two years it had risen to 6 pounds per week. I then joined another company for 10 pounds per week and a couple of years later, was offered 15 pounds per week to join a new company. This spiral of increasing wealth continued and I was managing my own branch office when I was 21. By the early 70's I had added transport knowledge to my repertoire by becoming a director of Chris Hudson International based in Romford, one of the early pioneers of moving lorries to and from the continent.

 Early in 1976, I left Chris Hudson and started my own transport company called "Harvay Shaw Ltd" and moved back to live in Felixstowe again. This company took off like a rocket and in no time, we were one of the largest customers of the Sealink shipping services from Dover to Ostend. Unfortunately, the success of the company was such, that I had to seek a financial backer, as it outgrew my own personal resources, and although I found someone, that turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes of my life, as I allowed this person to take a controlling interest in the company. I quickly realised that I couldn't live with the loss of my personal freedom to make decisions, as I had been used to being totally autonomous. I knew, in my heart, that I would have to start over again by myself. 

So, in 1979, I formed another company called "Ferryline Trailers", moved to Kent and within 3 years, we were one of the top 3 customers of Townsend Thoresen in Dover (Now P & O Ferries), with an annual turnover exceeding eleven million pounds. I continued to run the company until 1990, and those 11 years, were probably the best and most successful years of my life. I had all the trappings of wealth, cars, lovely home, and when I decided to retire in 1990, if I had done nothing, I would have been comfortable for most of the rest of my life.

 I had to try to be clever though, I thought I could walk on water having never failed at any business, so I decided to try my hand at property developing. Well, yes, you've guessed, we hit a recession, we couldn't sell the properties, which were all expensive large houses. I ended up having to sell my lovely home on the seafront in Kingsdown Village, in order to pay back the bank. At the end of the day, this project all but wiped me out and I have never been able to recover financially. I now live in a modest, but nice, home and I am not unhappy.

 I have a loving partner, 4 "older" children and 3 grandchildren in my life.  Unfortunately, on the 10th February, 2016, I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. I am aiming to survive at least 5 years, and I shall update this website as I go along.



Terry's Personal Memoirs

To contact Terry you can email him: terencepoulson@btinternet.com or message him via Facebook