Monday, 11 November 2013

London in a Jiffy!

Being reflective . . . it's always a bonus . . . and following the trip to London in February and the way the first and second years 'bonded' the editor thought it would be a good opportunity to get the old year twos and new year ones together for a whistle-stop, one night stop-over in the capital.

Usual start a coach trip to Piccadilly . . . only the driver couldn't find the turbo boost so although leaving college at 8.30 the increasing nervous editor was relieved when the coach came to a halt outside the station at 10.05!

All aboard the 10.35 . . . . On arriving in London, nothing has changed - it's still as bonkers as ever. First obstacle to negotiate Euston Road! Down to the hotel, check in and then ready to start the next part of the journey. With our appointment with Pentagram only at 4pm - the editor and assistant decided to take the group to Portobello Road.

 The market was in full swing - plenty of stalls selling food - just as well for the hungry group . . . then a short walk to first of all admire the Bankys rat [which is still there] next to the Cock & Bottle and then into Pentagram Yard.
There was a warm welcome from our host Domenic Lippa, a partner in the company, joined soon after by Leah Speakman an associate partner and a lass from up-north - who actually had a shocking confession an hour or so later.

The 'hushed' group sat and listened intently to Domenic's explanation of Pentagram from the early days of he five guys who kicked it all off, through the five offices and then all the partners. He then went on to showcase his work at the company - all brilliant stuff.
Presentation over . . . questions from the floor? NONE!! Well there was one but the editor will save Hayley's blushes who confirmed you can ask a daft question. Leah returned to offer the group a tour of the studio . . . it was then that she dropped the bomb-shell!!!

"Did I tell you I got married?!"

With jaw firmly on his chest the editor enquired as to who was the lucky guy . . . none other than John Rushworth another one of the partners in Pentagram - educated up in Preston as it happens.

The group received a little memento of their afternoon and all reconvened in the Cock & Bottle to wait for Domenic and Leah. What a difference a 'fizzy-pop' makes you couldn't shut them up. To quote Domenic     "I thought it was funny that once they all felt more relaxed [in the pub] the questions came thick and fast. And to be honest they were questions I've never been asked before. They're a bright bunch - you should be proud of them."

The following morning with one or two sore heads [as ever - when will they learn?] it was the short journey over the road from the hotel to the wonderful art-deco car park that is McCann's [minus Erickson] ad agency.

A new contact this year in the rather wonderful and much admired by the end of the visit Laura Grieve. From the 'library-like' feel of Pentagram to the hustle and bustle of several floors of the advertising world. A new decor, a trip to the basement to view Craft, up and through the planning departments and buyers, account executives and creatives to the roof garden where McCann bring clients during the summer - quite amazing.

Back through the floors to our original room and another member of McCanns join us. Hetti Day is the account executive on the Subway account - an account that the editor used to work on back in 2002 in Blackpool when the fast-food outlet only had 56 stores . . . not like now over 1600!!!

Dealing with a demanding client is something that comes with the territory whether in a multi-million pound billing agency or a three man team in a business park . . . hoops and fire come to mind.
After a great couple of hours we were out on the street again. Then it was free choice for the students. A good group were heading for the Rob Ryan exhibition in Piccadilly - then followed by a trip down to the Natural History Museum. Another group headed for Tate Modern, a small group went north to Camden Town . . . and the less energetic made their way to the British Museum. The editor and assistant had been to the amazing market in Camden before heading down the Northern Line to the Design Museum.
The trip ended on a real high [for the editor] when the nice people at Virgin came and took the group to the platform gate before anyone else . . . always a stressful final act as the platform number is posted on the departure boards only to find the group is at the other end of the concourse. Thank You Richard Branson [Sir]!!

Two hours later . . . back inth' Wigan!

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