At the age of about twelve I discovered I had been adopted. I don't know why but it didn't come as a heart-rending shock. I was lucky to be surrounded by a loving family and Mum explained that she had first seen me in the orphanage as a tiny baby and had chosen me, quite wisely I thought. I grew strong bonds with my Grandmother who I called 'Nanny' and my dear Auntie Ethel. It was my Auntie Ethel who explained that I was born David Gulessarian and that my Mother was of Armenian descent. I later went on to discover more about my roots in the BBC documentary 'Who Do You Think You Are?'
Aren't Genetics Peculiar?
My Nanny taught me good principles, and when I left school at fourteen-and-a-half she sent me to a factory to learn engineering. After six months as an apprentice I left and got a job in the textile trade; then I went on my own as a commission agent. I would dash from one importer to another with samples and sell them on commission. In my early twenties, I decided to contact my birth Mother, who was then living in Jersey. We communicated by letter for some years but we never met. Interestingly I discovered that my Grandfather was an Armenian silk trader who had moved to Manchester in 1910 and sold suiting material in the very same streets I began trading! Aren't genetics peculiar, It's my Armenian Grandfather to whom I attribute my passion for the flamboyant and for trading.
I Took The Wrong Turning
It's no secret that when I was just 19, I was jailed with some associates after our Mail Order business went bust. I was a young bloke trying to get on. But I took the wrong turning and paid the price. It was a very silly thing I did. I got into trouble and I paid the penalty - and rightly so. I've never had a day's dishonesty since and I've worked hard to establish a good reputation in my antiques business.
Read how I met my wife and started my career in antiques ... next page