A bitter-sweet day today as I was invited to the official close-down of one of my ex-clients’ Training Centres.
Volvo had been one of my oldest clients - stretching back to 1990/91 - and I continued doing work for them on-and-off right up until 2010. Over the years, they had been one of those rare clients that made you really feel part of the organisation - and I enjoyed all my time with them.
So today was about some big changes. The current building is being completely demolished, and in its place, a purpose-built state-of-the-art new Training Centre will be built on the same site, opening next year. A celebratory/reflective event had been organised in the current ‘showroom’ with nibbles and champagne for many of the people where ‘Dav’ had been their home over the years.
The event started at 12 noon and although the demolishers had already moved-in resulting in some parts of the building ‘off-limits’ and deserted, it didn’t stop the event being very upbeat and enjoyable. There must have been around 100 people there and I still recognised most of the faces (although the names did occasionally, and temporarily, escape me!). There were a few speeches by top-brass and top man John Pitts - and it was good to reflect back on the number of Apprentices, Staff, Trainees and Managers who had passed through the Training Centre’s doors over the years.
After the official part, I took the opportunity to take a look round. In a way, I wish I hadn’t, as many areas were a shadow of their former selves. The area where I used to sit (above) and do my admin, now looked very sad, now that everyone had moved out into a temporary area in another part of the building.
...and Room 3, one of my favourite training rooms (above) was well past its prime!
Other areas looked in better shape, but all-in-all, it was the end of an era, and although the new place will be better in every sense, you can’t replace memories can you?