Wow with know-how

DRIV­ING FORCE: Jonathan Turner’s busi­nesses have made him enor­mously wealthy, and while he works hard, he knows how to have fun with his money. Sheena Hast­ings met him.

Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine - - Front Page -

ONATHAN TURNER is Tig­ger per­son­i­fied. He bounds down the stairs, hand out­stretched, then throws him­self down in a chair be­fore hit­ting the con­ver­sa­tional road in true quasi-mo­tor­mouth fash­ion. En­thu­si­asm and a cer­tain rest­less­ness spring from ev­ery pore. Con­ver­sa­tion can­ters over the history of the fam­ily busi­ness he bought out (from 14 rel­a­tives) in 2004, the story of the build­ing we’re sit­ting in – Bow­cliffe Hall at Bramham, near Leeds, the HQ of his Bay­ford Group – and other hand-picked busi­nesses that rent space in the man­sion and ad­ja­cent build­ings, such as a beau­ti­fully re­stored cricket pav­il­ion.

Be­fore long we’ve moved to a pot of tea and car­rot cake in what used to be a white, util­i­tar­ian, Ikea-fur­nished “staff can­teen”. What the teams (and club mem­bers se­lected by Turner or groups wish­ing to hire the rooms) get to en­joy these days is what you can only call true glam­our.

He watches my face as we en­ter – how can I put this? – a fan­tasy man cave of mo­tor­ing mem­o­ra­bilia set amid be­spoke decor in­stalled with the high­est level of crafts­man­ship. I am no mo­tor­ing en­thu­si­ast, but my eyes pop at the imag­i­na­tion, ef­fort and sheer love that have gone into the ex­e­cu­tion of this by a man who works hard, knows how to play hard – and wants very much to share his pri­vate plea­sure in ex­quis­ite old cars.

“I want peo­ple to say ‘Wow!’ 27 times be­fore they leave,” says Turner. His glee is un­der­stand­able. The walls are beau­ti­fully wal­nut pan­elled, in the style of a tra­di­tional gen­tle­men’s club. Glass cab­i­nets house Turner’s tro­phies from the many races and ral­lies he’s won in his own vintage cars. He says he can’t re­mem­ber how many he owns, but they in­clude the first 3L Bent­ley to race at Le Mans, and a gor­geous blue D Type Jaguar, in which he raced the Ori­ent Ex­press across Europe (and won) in 2012. His cal­en­dar is lit­tered with race and rally dates.

The rich dark brown leather ban­quettes are mod­elled on the back seat of a Mk 7 Jaguar, com­plete with pull-down arm­rests that re­veal a box for wine bot­tles. Each

I spot­ted the jaguar from a taxi in the King’s Road. I just had to have it.

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