VDC Trading has just celebrated 25 years of business with a party at Abbey Road Studios. Around 130 friends, customers and colleagues of the Van Damme cable manufacturer and supplier gathered in the famous Studio Two last week to toast the company and its founder Niall Holden, chairman Andrew Higginson and non-executive director John Reed. Entertainment during the evening included turns by comedian musician Earl Okin, US artist Tom Chacon and guitarist duo Bob Wootton and Nick Tilley. Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page was a surprise arrival later in the evening.
Niall Holden (centre) told assembled guests how the company had been formed in 1987. “A lovely man at the Nat West gave us £5,000 and we thought, ‘Wow!’. It felt like free money. We went on holiday for three weeks with it to Rhodes!...
“We had a fantastic time in Lindos and then we thought we hadn’t had enough spending, so we bought ourselves two cars. We bought a 1.3 Sierra a brown Cortina estate. We did all that and then we had £128 left… and that was what started VDC really.”
The company’s relationship with Abbey Road began in 1991, when VDC supplied cabling for Studio Three.
Andrew Higginson (right of picture), who joined as chairman in 2012, followed Holden on to the microphone: “I was 15 years on the board at Tesco, [while] Niall was the classic entrepreneur starting the business from scratch," he said. "I’m from Lancashire, he’s from Yorkshire… ‘Up North’ that’s a big thing. Obviously I’m from God’s country and he’s struggling!”
Going on to rib non-executive director John Reed (left of picture), Higginson continued: “I think it’s fair to say that if John wasn’t so dull Niall and I might never have become friends. If you’re ever out with John, you do need someone else to talk to… On one of those interminable nights out with John, Niall told me his story, and I just became fascinated by this amazing brand…”
Highlights of a quarter century of supplying cable include work for the Ambassador Theatre Group, Ministry of Sound, Saracens Rugby Ground, Silverstone racetrack, The Olympic Games Opening and Closing ceremonies, The Queens Diamond Jubilee, Tottenham Hotspurs training ground and Westfield Stratford.
As well as being active in traditional markets such as broadcast and recording studios, VDC has seen a rise in the marine business (supplying to some of the world's super yachts) and the medical, industrial and automotive markets.