Whilst entrepreneur Thomas Francis Vaughan might not have finished school with top grades, his drive, ambition, and talent for recognising opportunities allowed him, with a £200 loan from what was then the National Provincial Bank in Ross—located where now stands the newly opened Coffee #1—develop the largest discotheque entertainment group of its time. The wisdom developed by his years of ups-and-downs are penned is a reflective book about faith, titled “Hope...and the Hedgehog”.
The business operated completely around the globe and where once it was said that the sun never sets on the British empire, it was also said that the moon never wanes on Juliana’s discotheques.
Tom describes the then manager of the National Provincial Bank, Mr Barker, as a spitting likeness of Dad’s Army’s Captain Mainwaring; he took a chance of Tom and his brother in 1966, giving the thumbs up to a £200 loan, which was used to develop the globe-spanning business group. The company was underwritten by Morgan Grenfell in 1986 in a highly successful public offering on the main market of the London Stock Exchange, three times oversubscribed at the time of floatation. The company was sold in 1989 to Wembley PLC for £30 million.
Tom used the momentum of his start-up to benefit the local economy, using goods and services from the local businesses to keep his business supplied.
Described as a philosophy for life, Tom has published Hope...and the Hedgehog. A small book intended to encourage its readers to engage with and think about a subject that affects us all but which most would prefer to avoid.
Whilst not ignoring religion the book aims to side-step it, to explore the possibilities of faith without being hindered or coerced by any specific religion, whilst at the same time, understanding that the various world religions have influenced society in certain ways.
True to his Ross roots, Tom’s book is available from Rossiter Books in town as well as Amazon.
Tom also penned and published “No Ordinary Experience” in 1986, a “warts-and-all” corporate biography chronicling the experiences of setting up and running Juliana’s as a worldwide enterprise. The book was followed up in 2014 when he published his first novel “The Other Side of Loss” which briefly made Amazon’s best-seller list.