Sir Benjamin Slade

Sir Ben Slade

Personal Information

My full name is Sir Benjamin Julian Alfred Slade but I am generally known as Sir Ben Slade. My parents were Sir Michael Nial Slade and Miss Angela Clare Rosaline Chichester, and I was born on 22nd May 1946. I am the 7th Baronet, a title which I inherited from my father in 1962. I was educated at Millfield School in Somerset where I passed my O levels.

Sir Benjamin Slade

Sir Ben


I went to Australia in 1967 and was a jackaroo on sheep station and then became a stockbroker and then an off-sider, building a road in Victoria. After this I went to Perth in Western Australia and sold Italian and Yugoslavian women photographs of their babies. I then worked in the Hamersley Iron Ore Mines at Dampier. I worked for George Wills & Co in Perth and then the Combined Insurance Company of America.

I then started several businesses related to marketing and returned to London in 1971 to work as a stockbroker in the City of London.

I founded Shirlstar Container Transport Limited in 1973 with £200 and built the business up into a leading container transport company. The company became part of Shirlstar (Holdings) Limited and the container fleet was sold in the late 1990s. I was a Director and the largest single shareholder of Richardson & Westgarth Plc. Richardson & Westgarth employed 2000 people and had 14 subsidiaries.

I also managed to take over Pyman Bell & Co Limited, a 140 year old timber company in the North East.

I was one of the early financiers to Prêt a Manger when they only had 10 sites and since then my interests have diversified into high technology, food retail, property investment and agricultural land.

Today I run my ancestral home, Maunsel House, set in a 2000 acre Estate in North Newton, and Woodlands Castle based near Taunton as successful wedding, events and conference venues.