It’s a funny old world. When I left school I worked for Warner Brothers record company in Soho, and used to walk round at lunchtime to EMI Films in Golden Square where my best mate Michael worked, then we’d go off for a sandwich.
So it felt a little strange last week when I drove up to Soho again, parked in the Beak Street NCP and walked round to Golden Square to the London offices of M & C Saatchi where we would launch Kent’s “Faces and Places” campaign.
Following on the success of the Kent Contemporary campaign, where award-winning photographer Jean-Luc Benard has challenged our perception of Kent as a tourist destination by filming a stunning set of photos of our beautiful county, I had the idea of asking the residents and visitors to Kent and Medway to tell their story – their favourite corner of the county, their most interesting story, their most fascinating personality.
And so it was that I found myself introduced by Tim Duffy, M&C Saatchi’s UK Group Chairman before an audience of London and Kent media. I was determined not to use notes – I wanted to tell a simple story of passion and pride in my county. I talked about the petrol station owner who bought a rural garage in an idyllic location because he fell in love with the sunrises. I talked about my thrill when I piloted a light aircraft through the wispy cotton-wool clouds and caught sight of the patchwork of Kent fields in every shade of green.
And I made the point that everyone has their own story – their own unique and fascinating insight into the place they call home. And we launched the new website – www.mykent.co.uk – to enable people to upload their own special pictures and stories.
It was a balmy summer’s evening and a successful launch. M&C Saatchi were very kind to let us use their premises to showcase the posters and launch the website. But it made me wonder where the years went between being a seventeen year old working in a record company, to being a fifty year old local politician launching a tourism initiative. Where does the time go?