1954: Ved Venayak
I originally came to visit a friend who had settled here. In those days no visa was required and you could stay as long as you wanted. I liked it here so I started a drapery business; I knew what I was doing because my father ran a hosiery factory in Ludhiana, a very industrial town in India. I made money and in 1958 I bought the Dene Hotel on Grosvenor Road, which I later sold to my brother. In 1996 I bought the New Kent Hotel from the receiver and immediately turned it around. At first I lived in the West End where a 6 bedroomed house cost me £650, then I moved to Jesmond, High Heaton and now Gosforth. I also travel back to Chandigarh in India every two months, where I have a house.
I have been Vice Chair of the Community Relations Council and President of the Newcastle upon Tyne Indian Association. In the 1950s people were more honest than nowadays, but there was a lot more racism. People looked down on Indians as they still had the Empire mentality.
I do think Brexit is a good thing as our borders are not secure and we can save money.
New Kent Hotel, Jesmond