Born in East London in 1925, his home was a happy one but provided few advantages or luxuries. From an early age he showed the entrepreneurial skills that have aided his success. In 1937 a 12-year-old Jack was prosecuted at East Ham Magistrates Court for working under age. The prosecution evidence was that Jack was carrying vegetables, i.e. tomatoes, the defence being that tomatoes were a fruit – not a vegetable. The case was dismissed!
Having left school at 14 Jack worked as an office boy before joining the Fleet Air Arm in 1943. At the end of the Second World War Jack left the Navy and became a clerk. He applied for a management position but was told by the personnel officer of his firm: “you’ll never make a businessman”! So Jack Petchey decided to go it alone.
With £60 to his name, he bought a motor car and founded his first Car Hire business. From there a thriving Car Sales business was formed. Jack eventually branched into property and in 1969 was introduced to the idea of a holiday complex in the Algarve, Portugal, which he still runs to this day.