David Desmond Hurley

House and Years at Fettes:
Glencorse 1944 - 1948

Qualifications & Career:
On leaving Fettes I went straight into business, becoming a trainee in a Lancashire Cotton Printing mill - in a scheme set up by Mr Hugill, a director of the Calico Printers Association. Public School boys would be trained in the textile industry leading later to senior management jobs.

Mr. Hugill's son, a Fettesian, wanted a law career, and his father was anxious to have a boy from Fettes. After one year I moved to the CPA office in Northern Ireland, selling printing into the linen industry. Subsequently I worked in Britain, Hong Kong and Japan. I then joined British Nylon Spinners, and set up the marketing section of their new factory, built inside the EEC. For this job I went to the Goethe Institut in Germany for three months, becoming proficient in German.

From BNS I moved into the retail trade, and then into the Electronic industry, just as colour television was starting to boom. Eventually I became the Managing Director of Electronic Rentals Group (Visionhire), the fifth fastest growing stock on the London Exchange during the early 80s. In retirement I became Chairman of Coolkeeragh Power Station in Londonderry.

During the eighteen years I spent in the UK I was heavily involved in the Conservative Party, from local Chairman, to Constituency Chairman of the Mole Valley, and finally I sat on the Conservative Board of Finance in Smith Square.

What is your most cherished memory from your time at Fettes?
I had a common Anglo-Irish identity with Mr. Beamish, the House Master of College. He had a wonderful way with lazy pupils like myself.

And your least?
The Corps

What event or personality left a lasting impression on you?
Thirty years after leaving school I took my wife to an old school reunion. Upon meeting her the guest of honour, Dr. Crichton Millar, said:
"Ah! So you married Hurley! One of our more unexpected successes"!

Were you a conscientious student?
No - The Headmaster's comment on my final school report said "any more money spent on this boy would be totally wasted - get him into business as quickly as possible".

Outside the classroom, how did you spend your free time at Fettes?
I played rugger (third fifteen), hockey (second eleven), squash, fives, and enjoyed cross country running.

As an Irishman who went home for holidays I was able to sell the unused coupons in my ration book - three months worth every year. Ireland was self-sufficient in sugar, which was rationed in the UK, so I set up a small business making marmalade over my study fire with my ration of oranges - this sold very well!

When possible I would go out to buy fish and chips in Comely Bank, secreting them under my hat - we had to wear hats then. For light relief I maintained my motor bike at the family home of my friend, Roy Graham. We would take off on Sundays - but one day my bike broke down, I was late back at school, and was lucky to escape expulsion.