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From barrow boy to king of the castle; Mersey man made good buys uppounds 6m Schloss.

Byline: By CATHERINE JONES

FROM barrow boy to castle baron, Kensington-born Jimmy Welsh is proof that if you have determination you can achieve anything.

It is 40 years since the father-of- three started his first business, selling Christmas wrapping paper from a barrow in Church Street.

Now the 55-year-old is a multi-millionaire property developer who can really say an Englishman's home is his castle.

Two years ago he bought Schloss Schochwitz in Saxony, part of the former East Germany.

Although Mr Welsh is reluctant to discuss how much it cost him, the 90-room castle was recently valued at pounds 6m.

Mr Welsh, whose main home is in Portugal, said: "There are so many kids out there who have got nothing, or no hope.

"I want to show them that anyone can do this. It's just using your brain."

Born in Liverpool in 1951, Mr Welsh was brought up in Leopold Road in Kensington, and left Edge Hill school at 15 with no qualifications.

He said: "It was 1966. I started buying wrapping paper from the wholesalers and selling it in the street - I think I charged something like two bob for five sheets.

"That was seasonal, so I also had a fruit and veg stall in Church Street.

"I saved my money.

"Then when I was about 19 I bought my first house, in the Holt Road area. I started buying derelict houses and restoring them. I did the work myself, I just learned how to do it."

Mr Welsh expanded to start buying homes in other areas of the country, and moved to Devon where he developed properties and brought up his young family.

But his entrepreneurial eye meant he was soon looking for new opportunities overseas.

In 2004MrWelsh and wife Ingrid spotted the Schloss Schochwitz up for auction.

Mr Welsh plans to turn Schloss Schochwitz into a spiritual healing centre which people can attend on a donation- only basis.

Mr Welsh said: "You get more from helping people."

CAPTION(S):

HIGH LIFE: Jimmy Welsh enjoys the palatial surroundings of the Schloss Schochwitz in Germany, recently valued atmorethanpounds 6m
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 5, 2007
Words:350
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