My visit to Crosby in September 2016 was to join my friend of over 50 years, Andy Oakes, for the celebration of his 60th birthday but a conversation with Doreen Iddon in the Development Office at the School led to me having a look round the school for the first time since I left in 1974 and sharing some details of my subsequent career for Merchants’ Tales.
I spent 12 years in all at Crosby Prep, Merchant Taylors’ Prep and Main School and left very much imbued with the MTS culture. I was rather more successful at the sports and “leisure” side of things than academic excellence so no University for me but straight into the big wide business world. After a brief time in a quantity surveyors’ office I began my 32 year banking career with Midland Bank International Division Liverpool. I rose through the ranks in Liverpool and, after 5 years, I was offered a significant promotion to Bromley International Division which brought my wife and me to the South East where we settled and started a family. After 3 years in Bromley I soon learned that the streets of London were indeed paved with gold especially for bankers working in the City. For the next 24 years I worked for German, Austrian and French banks in the City specialising in finance of international trade and offering trade facilities to mainly medium and large FTSE 100 companies. I ran the UK trade finance offices of these foreign banks. During that time I also set up and ran a trade finance company offering trade finance to small companies secured by the goods being financed.
MTS had given me the resilience, confidence, self-sufficiency and ethic of successful team work as well as the ability to get on with people of all types and cultures. I travelled extensively overseas gaining business. Competition within and outside the City was intense but believe I not only coped but flourished in that competitive environment.
After 32 years in banking I needed a complete change from the now 4 hour round commute and all the overseas travel so, at the age of 52, I shifted down from my career to a job as Mayor’s Attendant to the Mayor of the Borough and town of Royal Tunbridge Wells. I have enjoyed this great role for 8 years now. I accompany the Mayors to all their functions and appointments in and outside the Town Hall acting as PA on the road, responsible for security of the solid gold mayoral chains and of course I drive the limo!
Apart from my working career my life has been very full with many highlights. I have a wonderful wife these last 34 years and 3 happy and successful grown up children. I have played a tennis tournament at Wimbledon with Andy Oakes, played football at Wembley in front of 35,000 people and my love of nature / wildlife has led me to snorkelling with killer whales in the Norwegian Arctic, cage diving with Great White sharks off the Southern tip of Africa and trekking tigers on an elephant in India, to name a few adventures.
I meet up with my Old Crosbeian buddies from time to time (see photo) and my children live in Reading, Sheffield and Liverpool. My Liverpool roots, friends and family may well lure me back to Merseyside to live within the next few years.
Photo – Jerry & Friends:
L to R Mark Litherland (works for local government specialising in property/estate management), Jerry Edey, Andy Oakes (is now working as a qualified accountant but has previously run a trading company & a chain of retail outlets), Mike Dickinson (who attended Liverpool College) and Steve Breen (Senior Partner at a Southport & Waterloo law practice)