My East Anglian Heaven and Hell: Guy Nicholls
PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 September 2020
This week Gina Long meets Guy Nicholls, owner of Tru7 Group.
Guy Nicholls, owner of Tru7 Group, a family-owned group of companies, is fiercely loyal to his East Anglian roots. Philanthropic Guy generously has pledged £100,000 to the GeeWizz Charity Legacy fundraiser that will be announced late October, to help build a new specialist SEND’s playground at the Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy. His companies employ more than 200 people in Suffolk. Here he speaks with Gina Long
What is your connection to East Anglia?
My father Percy was originally from Yoxford, moving to Ipswich in the 1950s, where his family had numerous garages. He was very innovative back then. He, along with his brothers, was one of the first families to sell second-hand cars – everyone locally knew them. He then left the family business and started on his own.
What is your East Anglian Heaven?
I just love the people and the area; I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. We have beautiful coastal areas and rivers. We are also very lucky having lots of wonderful pubs and places to eat. There are just so many places across Suffolk and Norfolk to choose from.
What is your East Anglian Hell?
The road systems are dreadful. In my opinion, the A140 must be one of the worst roads in the UK. The Orwell Bridge seems to have constant closures because of high winds and accidents. Very frustrating!
What’s your favourite East Anglian restaurant?
I need to mention a few. In Suffolk, The Unruly Pig and Milsoms and, of course, The Talbooth.
What’s your favourite way to spend an East Anglian evening?
At home with my wife and a G&T.
What’s your favourite East Anglian landmark?
Coming back from anywhere, I always breathe a sigh of relief when I see the ‘Welcome to Suffolk’ road sign.
What’s the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?
The Suffolk Show, I go to every year without fail, and the Heveningham Concourse d’Elegance has become a must. Both hugely missed this year, due to the unwelcome pandemic. We can only hope they will return in 2021, along with all other major events.
What is your specialist Mastermind subject?
That is not a difficult question, has to be trucks and diggers!
What is always in your fridge?
Gin and tonic. We buy as much local produce as possible. My wife Julie and I love the local farm shops. Our fridge has a vast amount of produce from Suffolk Food Hall in it!
What’s your simple philosophy of life?
Work harder and smarter than your competition.
What’s your favourite film?
I like British gangster films, so it’s got to be Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and any Richard Curtis film is brilliant.
What was your first job?
Does it count if I say the work I did after school with my dad Percy from a very early age? Cleaning diggers was my first job there from memory.
What is your most treasured possession?
My family and our health.
Who do you admire most?
Lord Bamford, Owner of JCB. What they have achieved as a family is astonishing, and it’s still a family business.
What is your biggest indulgence?
What do you like about yourself most?
I stick to my word.
What’s your worst character trait?
I cannot get out of bed in the morning...
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
The Italian lakes, but to be honest, I prefer to be at work.
Best day of your life?
The day my son Jake started working in the business. I must add, and having our three grandchildren, they have been a huge bonus to our lives.
What’s your favourite breakfast?
My wife’s brilliant home-cooked fry up – nothing beats it.
What’s your favourite tipple?
What’s your hidden talent?
When were you most embarrassed?
Trust me there have been many occasions…but none I’d let you print!
What’s your earliest memory?
Going to a van auction with my father, probably at the age of four.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
The Carpenters – Superstar.
Tell us something people don’t know about you?
I dislike holidays abroad, as I hate flying, regardless of the destination.
What is the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?
Hearing the news my father would not survive.
Tell us why you live here and nowhere else.
I am a real homeboy and Suffolk is definitely home. We are so lucky living here, especially as I think Suffolk has the best climate in the UK too.
What do you want to tell our readers about most?
I am so proud to be able to support the capital project the GeeWizz Charity is fundraising for. Having met many of the marvellous children and their families at the Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy in Ipswich, having seen their current playground, the new playgrounds are going to be well and truly life-changing. We are not film stars; we are just normal Suffolk people; we want to give something back and help local people in our area. With our charitable giving, we also want it to be transparent and local. I hope others will follow our lead and consider getting involved in late October when it will be announced. From a business perspective, in this ever-changing landscape, the Covid-19 pandemic is beyond worrying. In the 40-plus years I have been in business, not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the world we find ourselves in today.
For more information go to: www.tru7group.com
If you live in Suffolk or Norfolk and have an interesting story to tell please do email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Twitter: @geewizzgee1 Instagram: ginalongmbe
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