'Foolish' Idea: Selling goods salvaged from rubbish tips.
Start-up Capital: £800 for salvage rights.
How Idea was Launched: Together, Geoff and Jackie, sorted through heaps of garbage, recycling wood and metal, sinks, old clothes, ornaments and furniture. It was 4 yrs before they made any real money. Geoff eventually invested in 12 more tips and machinery, and started up a company, Weymouth and Sherborne Re-cycling. They now have 75 staff.
Sales: To scrap dealers and also holds jumble sales.
Earnings: £3million personal fortune.
Spin-offs: Geoff also has a half share in a pub, rents out properties and owns charter firms in Barbados.
Builder Geoff Thompson lost everything when the building trade collapsed during the recession of the eighties. Geoff, girlfriend Jackie and their daughters, were forced to live in a B and B. Then Geoff spotted an advert offering salvage rights to the council tip at Weymouth, Dorset. He borrowed £800 for the first month's rent from friend, Frank Bartholomew.
Together, Geoff and Jackie sorted through the piles of junk and waited for people to bring in old pieces of furniture and other unwanted household goods. It was hard and dirty work, which Geoff hated at first. He had to knock the back seats out of his Cortina to take pieces of furniture to a 2nd hand shop.
The real breakthrough came with the beginning of the recycling trend. Geoff invested in 12 more tips and machinery, and started Weymouth and Sherborne Re-cycling. The company has 75 staff amongst them is Frank Bartholomew, Geoff's benefactor.
Geoff and Jackie have a fine seafront home, take five foreign holidays a year, own a speedboat and Range Rover. The three young girls are all at private school. In ten years, Geoff Thompson and Jackie have built up a personal fortune of £3 million, most of it from salvaging unwanted junk.