And always at my back I hear,
Time’s winged chariot drawing near
Whenever I ask anyone in this industry what it is they like about it so much and why they’ve hung around it so long, the answers are usually a variation on one theme – the people. It doesn’t matter whether you are on the merchant side, the supplier side, working for a buying group, a distributor or even the trade press, the people are what make the difference to this industry.
One of the things that everyone talks about is how many real characters there have been who have now moved on (although there are plenty left, thank goodness).
Well, as of the beginning of this month, BMJ is adding another to that list of those who have shuffled off the commercial coil into the sunset.
Those of you who have been at UK Construction Week, Ecobuild, Interbuild, GLEE over the years, played in the BMJ Golf Classic finals at Le Touquet or in the vicinity of the bar at the industry conferences will remember George Gash, BMJ’s long-serving, larger than life advertisement manager. As of last Friday (September 1), George cleared his desk, packed his salesman’s book of clichés up into his trusty briefcase and headed out of the door for good. He is swapping the daily grind for the chance to stroll leisurely on the beaches of Cornwall every day.
I started working with George nearly 20 years ago when a sales team restructure brought him onto the BMJ team, having been selling advertising on What’s New in Building, another title in the stable of BMJ’s then owner Morgan Grampian. Something about BMJ obviously appealed to him because, when another management restructure took the team to Croydon and the ownership of Faversham House Group, George came with us.
He was a great support to me personally when I took over the Editorship from Chris Pateman, a big step for the slip of a girl that I was back then, and he never minded when I ranted and raged about stuff or pulled him up on misplaced apostrophes. He’s been a fantastic sounding board over the years. Some of BMJ’s best initiatives have come about because we’ve been throwing ideas around the office or over a few beers in a far flung hotel bar and it will be strange not having someone to reminisce with. It will also be odd being the only one who remembers the 1970s with any clarity!
Still, onwards and, well, onwards. Thanks for everything and enjoy Cornwall, George. I hope the county knows what it’s letting itself in for.