SIR TORQUIL NORMAN
Torquil Norman studied law and economics at Cambridge and Harvard. He went on to work as a banker for over 10 years (1957-1967), at J.P. Morgan and Company in New York and at Philip Hill, Higginson Erlanger’s in London, followed by a further five years as general manager of Mineral Separation Ltd, a large industrial holding company, with particular responsibility for their smaller companies.
From 1973 he became the chief executive of toy manufacturing company, Berwick Timpo Ltd and, between 1980 and 1996 was executive chairman of the successful Bluebird Toys plc, which during the years from 1980 to 1995 grew from zero to sales of almost £100m.
Torquil Norman has been involved with a wide range of charitable enterprises including the Roundhouse Trust, Airborne Assault, The Fleet Air Arm Museum and the Tavistock Clinic Foundation among others.
In 1986, Torquil and his wife Anne, as parents of five children, founded the Norman Trust, a charity to support children and young people.
After retiring from Bluebird Toys plc, in 1996 he bought the famous old railway engine shed in Camden, the Roundhouse, through the Norman Trust. Over the following 11 years, in addition to its own contribution of over £7million, the Trust raised over £30 million to buy the building and its adjacent car park and refurbish the entire complex as a centre for young people from all backgrounds to work in a wide range of the arts from music and theatre to all modern media
including radio, TV production and other skills.
The Roundhouse Studios have since worked with around 40,000 young people and the Roundhouse main space has become one of London’s most popular centers for entertainment and education.
After retiring from the Roundhouse he devoted two years to writing the well regarded book ‘Kick the Tyres Light the Fires’ about the way Britain was being governed – and should be governed. Since then he has devoted his time to the OX project with Gordon Murray.
PROFESSOR GORDON MURRAY
Professor Gordon Murray is CEO & Technical Director at Gordon Murray Design. Gordon Murray was born in Durban, South Africa in 1946 and gained a Mechanical Engineering Diploma from Natal Technical College.
He designed, built and raced his own sports car (IGM Ford) in the National Class in South Africa during 1967 and 1968.
In 1969 Gordon moved to the UK and joined Brabham Formula One team as technical director, winning two world championships (1981 & 1983) during his 17 years with the team. Gordon joined McLaren Racing as technical director in 1988 and three consecutive championship wins (1988, 1989 & 1990) followed. 1990 saw Gordon move away from Formula One, after 50 Grand Prix wins, to enable him to concentrate his efforts on establishing a new company for the Group – McLaren Cars Ltd.
The Company’s first project, the F1 Road Car is still regarded as the world’s best engineered car. A racing version won two world sports car championships and the Le Mans 24-hour race on its first attempt in 1995. McLaren Cars then completed several other successful projects culminating with the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren programme.
Gordon left McLaren in 2005 to set up his new company Gordon Murray Design Limited. The new British company operating from Shalford in Surrey aims to be the world leader in automotive design and reverses the current industry trend for sub-contracting by having a complete in-house capability for design, prototyping and development. The company will remain compact and focused and will undertake automotive and other engineering programmes in an efficient and innovative way.