You know the name, now get to know the person. Julian Davies, managing director of Marathon Threads, talks about his big band ambitions, interest in military history, and taste for Quavers

How did you start your career in the industry? 

I went straight from college to the wonderful Georey E Macpherson: pioneers of machine embroidery in the UK. I left the company twice and on both occasions rejoined them – the grass isn’t always greener. That’s where my knowledge of good thread came from.

What’s the best thing to ever happen to you at work?

I’m a complete optimist – the best thing hasn’t happened yet!

Which three words would your friends use to describe your personality?

Needy, pathetic and dysfunctional.

What’s your favourite word or phrase?

An expletive — used to describe bad debts and competitors.

Salt and vinegar or cheese and onion?

Neither. Quavers are much better for the waistline.

Which tune can’t you get out of your head at the moment?

If I Had a Hammer — a hit in the 60s by Peter, Paul and Mary. If you’re having a bad day you can make up the rest of the lyrics to suit.

What’s your hidden talent?

Whistling at such a high pitch that dogs become suicidal.

What’s your greatest ambition?

Can’t say — but it involves Penelope Cruz and Miriam Margolyes.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Playing golf when I shouldn’t, visiting battlefields (I’m fascinated by British 19th century military history) and good food.

Is there another job that you’ve always wanted to do?

A big band lead singer. The pleasure of hitting the big note at the end of a number would be wonderful.

Where is the best place you’ve ever visited?

Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift in Natal, South Africa — scenes of memorable battles in the First Boer War. A complete regiment was annihilated by the Zulus at Isandlwana and a day later 11 Victoria Crosses were awarded for the defence of Rorke’s Drift. Very moving and unforgettable.

Which gadget couldn’t you live without?

My pacemaker – only joking!

If you could ask one person (living or dead) one question, what would you ask?

I would ask myself as I look in the mirror each morning (some mornings living, others all but dead), “How do you keep getting away with it?”