Lord Sheppard meets the Tavistock Shopper

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The Independent Online
SIR ALLEN SHEPPARD, chairman of Grand Metropolitan, becomes Lord Sheppard after being named a life peer in the Queen's Birthday honours.

Three businessmen receive knighthoods: Robert Evans, former chairman of British Gas, for services to the gas industry and export; Paul Newall, Lord Mayor of London, for public and charitable services; and Ray Tindle, chairman of Surrey-based Tindle Newspapers, for services to the newspaper industry.

'I can't believe it. I might have a few drinks tonight,' said the newly knighted Mr Tindle, whose company runs 72 newspapers in Surrey, Wales and Cornwall. He started the business with pounds 300 in 1969, and now has 72 titles including the Farnham Post, the Biggin Hill News and the Tavistock Shopper. He contributed significant sums to the Conservatives' 1992 election fund. His Tindle Enterprise Fund, set up in 1984, provides rent-free premises for the unemployed starting their own businesses.

Sir Allen Sheppard's latest honour comes four years after he received his knighthood. The Grand Met chairman, who earned pounds 770,000 last year, was a socialist as a student, but is now a firm Tory supporter and is on the board of management of the Conservative Party.

Robert Evans, who retired as chairman of British Gas last year, played a key role in its privatisation in 1986 and helped to turn it into a pounds 10bn company.

Paul Newall spent 30 years with Lehman Brothers, the American investment bank, before becoming Lord Mayor last November.