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Countdown to 30: An interview with the one and only...Ray Alcock!

24.06.2016

In our latest instalment of our Countdown to 30, we meet up with one of the BDC’s most legendary team members, Ray Alcock. Sitting with Ray in Jack’s restaurant you could be forgiven for mistaking him for a local celebrity and amongst BDC tenants and customers, that is exactly who he is. Now enjoying retired life, many of those who know Ray will be keen to find out what he’s been up to!

How long were you working at the Business Design Centre for?

“Sixteen years; I was the BDC Concierge and what I truly loved about my job was that every day was different. I met many great people over the years and even some celebrities. (Jimmy Carr, Damian Lewis and Richard Wilson to name a few!) I don’t think Richard Wilson was too impressed when I exclaimed, ‘I don’t believe it!’.

I’m a great believer that the reception represents the company as a whole. It doesn’t matter what experience you have in the venue, you might be there for an event or to visit a showroom, but if you have a bad welcome at the front of the venue that’s what people will remember.”

Can you pick out one of your favourite events?

“Well, that’s a tough one. I remember the first time Sleep came in – the stands that were created were incredible, really high end. I remember walking round and suggesting to one of the team that we had some pictures taken because it really showcased the venue amazingly.  I think for an exhibition that’s as good as it gets.”

Do you still live in Islington?

“Yes I live in Highbury. I was getting my haircut for years at a salon on Blackstock Road which meant I always knew the area very well, so after having worked at the Business Design Centre for while I moved up here from Ealing. I still keep in touch with the team at the BDC too. I recently went to cheer Ed Muburo on at the marathon and stood along the route ready to hand him his energy sachet.”

We know you participate in the local community, but some people might not know that you were once the Mayor of Islington’s Consort?

“I was the Mayor’s Consort to Anna Berent from 2009 to 2010, that’s correct. It was the most fascinating experience. We would attend dinners and functions and the last event I attended I was honoured to meet the Queen and Prince Philip.”

What have you got planned now?

“I love London as there is always something to do. I’m a founder member of the cinema in the Trocadero, so enjoy going to watch films there and am planning on doing some travelling. I’ve been to Prague so far, but I’d still like to visit Vienna and Budapest.”

Missed the other interviews..? You can catch up on the previous Countdown to 30 features in our blog.

Posted by Kate

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