Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Philanthropist Brian Burnie Speaks to the Journal on His Favourite Places in the Region

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Philanthropist Brian Burnie Speaks to the Journal on His Favourite Places in the Region

Article excerpt

Brian, 60, is a self made millionaire, prominent philanthropist and avid gardener. He lives with his wife, Shirley, at Doxford Hall, Northumberland, where they regularly hold parties for children.

Brian and Shirley have three children, 19-year-old Alistair, a student at Bristol University, and daughters ( Fiona, 21, and Louise, 22.

Brian is well-known across the region for his charity functions. He opens the hall dozens of times a year for goodwill functions.

Last August he and his wife again organised a reunion for war veterans, an event which earned a Guinness world record for the largest ever serving of fish and chips.

Brian left school at 15 to work as an errand boy. His first proper break came when he was offered a student apprenticeship for builders John Laing. He went on to qualify as an engineer before moving into management, firstly in the building industry, then in the petrochemical field.

In 1979, Brian and a partner started Kelburn Holdings in Newcastle.

The firm of engineers and surveyors later moved into recruitment consultancy, which became its core business.

He has long been involved in charitable giving. When he and Shirley, married, they told their guests they didn't want presents and instead asked them to make a donation to Tyneside Leukaemia Research.

In 1989, he set up the PES Associates Charitable Trust to formalise Kelburn's charitable giving.

He has supported events including the world's biggest children's party on the Town Moor in Newcastle in 1989, which 120,000 people attended in return for helping to raise more than pounds 260,000 for the Children's Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital.

In 1993, Brian and Shirley bought Doxford Hall in north Northumberland and it regularly plays host to different groups.

To mark the Millennium, Brian and Shirley asked more than 1,000 pupils from Northumberland schools to help plant a maze of 32,000 trees.

Where do you live?

I live in Doxford Hall near Chathill, Northumberland.

How long have you lived there?

Since 1993.

What is your dream home?

I'm not sure really, but definitely somewhere in Northumbria.

How do you get around, (walk, car, public transport)? …

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