Jim Taylor RIP

It hasn’t been a great few weeks for losing people I know. Three in fact.


But Jim Taylor deserves a special mention. He sadly passed away a week ago. There has been plenty written about him both locally and nationally. You can read the obituaries in the Nottingham Post here and in The Guardian here.

But a group of Nottingham folk managed to collect over a period of time some of the comments he handed out. I really mean ‘insults’. They are lovingly known as Jimisms. It would be a fitting tribute to Jim if you were able to weave them into your everyday dealings. They need to be delivered with precision and love. Some are true gems.

‘He is coming back to Nottm in November – assume the brace position’

‘you could give everyone a seminar on all you know about housing policy while I nip to the loo’

‘That doesn’t change the price of fish’

‘I wouldn’t send him to post a letter’

‘They’ve put their lids on top of their pens’

‘He couldn’t sell you something you wanted’

‘He is banging on the window with a sponge’

‘One of us looks very seductive but I fear it is not me’

‘I think I am a bit confused and I may have had a diary malfunction’

‘You can slap my legs when you see me next time’

‘You could see the hot air rising out of his trousers’

‘She was brutally ugly’

‘Its amateur night there at the moment …’

‘The cogs were spinning but the lights had gone out’

‘My response rhymes with Duck and Cough’

I wasn’t spared – in his last tweet at our Market Insite event he commented, “At the Innes England Insite event and can I say how radiant and plumtuous Tim Garratt is looking“.

Just wait until I see him… We’ll all miss you Jim.

Digital Connections? The Future

You will know that in the Grimsey Review much was made of the digital revolution. The change that we have seen in the last 50 years and the likely pace of change in the the next 50 (or even 5!)


At the weekend I had need to go into my loft – a ‘job’ at the low end of the relish scale. In there there are thousands of photographs. It’s great looking at them – tiny little 5″x3″ prints. Some a little bigger when I could afford to have them printed at 10″x8″.

Today printing seems old hat. We take digital pictures and have them on our laptops or iPads. Of course you can get a digital book printed easily through Apple or Blurb. This was unheard of 20 years ago!

Then I look around the house – we have music streamed via a SONOS system (superb) – nearly all of my music is digitised – well over 55,000 tracks of music. Apple TV shows photographs on TV.

And in the last week I have a ChromeCast from America. This £24 device plugs into your TV and ‘sits’ on your wireless network – I can stream YouTube to it – or Netflix. The list of features is growing.

There is no doubt that this digital world is the way forward. It won’t be long, hopefully, when it is all compatible with everything else.

And this is how our Cities need to be.

When I was in Canada and New York recently you begin to realise how much we rely on ‘wifi’. My son, Jak, would have generally established in a restaurant or coffee shop if there was free wifi within seconds. Free wifi at decent download speed is going to be critical if we are to make out Cities truly connected in the future.

There is one analogue thing I cling onto – my vinyl records. I bought two in New York – The Foals album Holy Fire and a repressing of Aztec Cameras debut album High Land Hard Rain- including the superb ‘Oblivious’. But even these albums come with a free digital download!

Changes – are we ready

There’s a great new talk on TED at the moment – it is all about leaders – and what makes great leaders stand out. Rosalinde Torres highlights three traits of great leaders and the third trait resonates – a lot.

She posed a question:

Are you courageous enough to abandon a practice that has made you successful

She then talks about how some people just “go along to get along” and adopt a safe passage. People do what they are comfortable with. But this is not the way forward.

Courage lion

I remember when I worked at Savills – we had just announced great results and the share price went down. I couldn’t believe it – I had a lot of shares! I was told that the reason was that ‘we were seen as having arrived and the market preferred to your be travelling‘.

We need to take risks and we need to challenge the stays quo.

This is particularly true for Nottingham. It is particularly true for our High Streets. We need to think differently.

But there is a lesson and a warning at the end of the talk – that leaders who seek change need to be emotionally strong – as those who challenge can be ridiculed as being reckless and naive. It is going to take stamina it seems to get the our end goal. I’m ok with that.

It was interesting that Rosalinde also thinks that it will be not be the ‘usual suspects’ who help…

Parking – and a moan

This is not a blog post about Nottingham. This a blog post about a company I have used a lot when I travel abroad. Purple Business Parking at Heathrow.


Rather foolishly I had a cash bag of change in the car – I use it for car park meters. When I came back I discovered that it was rather lacking in cash. In fact all but £2 had been removed in pound coins. The other small change had been left. Before I went away I estimate there was probably in excess of £35 in £2 and £1 coins.

Of course this is my stupidity and I can’t prove it. I am 100% certain money was removed from my car – and they are the only people who have had access to it

There was another odd thing too. There was a bottle of aftershave wedged in the side pocket – driver side. I tried to pick it up when I came back and the top was missing. It’s not in the car. It was also in the ‘wrong’ part of the front pocket. It’s trivial – but frustrating again. The top was definitely on the bottle when I left the car with them.

So, I emailed them and they were impressive in their response – 45 minutes to say,

Many thanks for your email. Please be advised that we have passed on your
email to our customer relations department and someone will be in
communication with you soon.
Kind Regards
Purple Parking Ltd

That was nearly two weeks ago – and despite a reminder from me there is no reply. That is worse in some ways that the theft of my money!

So just a warning – don’t trust these people. And never leave the Brut 33 Special edition in your car.

I know how stupid I was by the way – no need to help me on that point!

By Tim Garratt Posted in Nottingham Tagged aftershave, £, brut33, Heathrow, Purple Business Parking, stolen money

A sense of nostalgia

On Friday night last I stepped back into the studios of Nottingham Hospitals Radio for the first time in about 24 years! This was place I had spent 11 years of my life at. I, along with my wife (and some of our best friends) worked as volunteers at the station.


Those days are apparently regarded as the golden years by many people.

Although the Station was run on a voluntary basis the ‘output’ was far from amateur. In fact, some of the presenters from that era have gone on to make successful professional careers in both radio and TV. Not me obviously! But the discipline of radio didn’t do me any harm – and I can occasionally dig out the interview techniques.

This year Nottingham Hospitals Radio will celebrate it’s 40th Birthday. We are all getting together at the end of March at Wollaton Hall. People are digging out some amazing photographs and momento’s. I have found some cassettes of ‘log tapes’. I just need somewhere to play them!

So on Friday last I was invited to be a guest on Rajiv’s Friday show. This was as part of the celebrations. But it was a different invite as my son Jak flirted with the station for about a year, so there were two generations of Garratt on the radio.

I really enjoyed getting back in the studio – I had forgotten how much fun radio presenting is. We cantered through two hours talking all manner of things – music, travel, Nottingham and memories from those formative years. There was also a moment of self indulgence – being permitted three songs. That didn’t take long to choose – Bowie – Young Americans. Squeeze – Pulling Mussels and BareNakedLadies – Brian Wilson.

It was great fun, NHR still struggles to survive – especially I suspect against a backdrop of much more choice for people. But they do offer a great service to people in Nottingham.

By Tim Garratt Posted in Music, Nottingham Tagged 40th birthday, Jak Garratt, NHR, Nottingham Hospitals Radio, presenter, QMC, Tim Garratt

lessons from the Creative Quarter

I was at a very interesting workshop yesterday – organised by the Nottingham Creative Quarter Company. There were around 25 of us all huddled into the meeting room at The Contemporary. Other than the 8am start it was really interesting to listen to some of the views about the Nottingham Creative Quarter.


The Creative Quarter isn’t very old – only just over a year. Although it does have a distinct boundary on a map it is very clear that the real boundary of people working in the sector is much fuzzier and spreads over a wider area. But the boundary does help in some senses – it helps to signpost people. And it shouts out about something we should be proud of.
Nuts and bolts how we deliver

Pat Brown, who I went to Lyon with last year facilitated the event. Pat started by recalling a story about Mayor Bloomberg in 2007 at a time when the financial markets were crumbling in New York. Bloomberg spotted that the creatives in the City were actually a key driver. They have been pretty much ignored and left to be shifted around as areas grew and became more expensive.He invested in technology and creativity. It proved to be a huge business and probably saved the City.

But there were some other really interesting statements yesterday that we need to factor in to our thinking moving forward.

I think there is some flesh needed on the following – but food for thought:

Creatives want to work differently. They don’t actually want shiny new buildings – they prefer heritage building with opening windows!

People are at the front and centre of the creative industries. People – not buildings or initiatives.

You need a 21st Century infrastructure. It needs to be fast, connected and easy.

They don’t want it to be difficult. It has to be easy to set up. Red tape is an unnecessary barrier.

Diverse businesses like other diverse businesses.

There has to be a vibrant day time economy and a similar night time one too.

But the one I loved most was that every so often we need to “Hit the Refresh Button”. This is so true and echoes the things I highlighted about New York here. To make places interesting they have to change. They have to evolve and re-invest themselves.

I have some more material which I am working through – but this is really good stuff for the overall plan!

PSL Squash in Nottingham

It’s been a frantic week so this is a bit of a cheeky blog post! I’ll be back to normal blogging shortly…

Two nights ago ‘my’ Squash club hosted a professional squash league match. The club was sold out – and there was a great atmosphere! We lost the match 5-0 but we still have a chance of the play-offs.

But for the first time ever, a video montage of some play and post-match interviews was prepared by my son Jak. The result is here on YouTube. You might recognise the interviewer!

By Tim Garratt Posted in Business, Nottingham Tagged Air-IT Notingham, Jak Garratt, Nottingham Squash Club, PSL, YouTube

The reality of fighting cancer – a special blog


Nick’s blog post this morning is timely. Yesterday I had news that someone who I knew from sometime ago had been killed in a car crash; two weeks ago one of my son’s friends lost his mum. A bit sobering but these things put life in perspective and make you realise the fragility of life. I’m off piste with you today Nick – and perhaps we should all join in from time to time? I only met Theo a couple of times – but wish him well.


I’m going rather ‘off piste’ with this special blog, but I want to show my support and hopefully raise the profile a little more of the terrible range of diseases referred to as Cancer. Perhaps more specifically, this is about the reality of fighting and living with the disease.

I suspect most people in the world have some personal link to Cancer, either personally or perhaps more commonly through family/ friends etc. I know its still something that some people struggle to talk about which is entirely understandable. Fortunately my personal experience of cancer in relation to close personal family/ friends is rather limited (and long may that continue!), but I do know many people who’s experience and loss have been significant. It is an utterly cruel disease.

Recently I have met with a close former colleague Theo Pywowarczuk. Theo was unfortunately diagnosed with cancer last year and has undergone…

View original 265 more words

Nottingham – great things #8

Much as coffee is an important part of my day – so is food. Delilah’s is one of Nottingham notable ‘deli’s’ – in fact in its second incarnation.


It was always a very cool shop on High Pavement but moved in late 2012 to 12 Victoria Street. The building is one of the fine Victorian stone buildings from a rich architectural period in Nottingham – until recently it housed HSBC Bank. It is rightly Listed – you only need go in and look at the backdrop – notably the ceiling.

The new deli is 3000 square feet. Big for a deli!

It needs to be though – they stock an amazing variety of food from around the world – and some more locally sourced. There are over 150 cheeses. Quality is clearly key here.

But better still there are seat weber you can get an array of snacks and meals – with at a bar on the ground floor or at more formal tables on the mezzanine level. Lunch is great – but so is breakfast!

The only downside – it’s so good everyone knows about it – and it can often be busy. Trying to get a table will include a wait at peak times. But the wait is worth it.

A deserved place on the list!

Lessons from New York and Toronto?

Putting to one side the 24 hour city that New York regards as a norm, there are some things I have noted in New York particularly – and specifically in Toronto. I have had a few days to reflect on my latest trip.

Daniel Liebskind's Royal Ontario Museum - Toronto

Daniel Liebskind’s Royal Ontario Museum – Toronto

New York epitomises ‘change’. In fact it is constantly evolving. I probably visit, on average, every six months. And in that period shops come and go. Or, specifically they move.

Bleeker Street records is a joyous place – but it’s not on Bleeker Street these days – it’s around the corner on E4th. They moved because the rent was too high. No tears / rants – just moved. I blogged about the Samsung ‘shop’ last week – when I was last in NYC it was a Victorinox penknife shop – that is now around the corner. Earnest Sewn in the Meatpacking district is gone. Etiqueta Negra clothes were fantastic – but the shop is boarded up!

The City evolves into a new ‘thing’. That is perhaps the attraction.

It seems to me that nothing is precious. Location is not the key (5th Avenue may be the exception). They have a confidence in their product not their location?

Don’t we get bored with the vanilla High Streets around our Cities? Claires’ Accessories may have a place in some peoples hearts but they don’t differentiate?

To some extent technology helps New York. Social media keeps people posted on where things are now at. This will be key in the future.

Both cities (New York and Toronto) have managed to ‘bag’ some world class Architects to do work – Daniel Liebskind has buildings in both – his Royal Ontario Museum is spectacular! Frank Ghery has two buildings in New York. These, in their own right, give a place a huge vote of confidence. Their buildings may have a ‘marmite’ quality – but that doesn’t matter really – people talk about it. People stop and look.

These places also have plenty to do; they hook you into dwell time. And the longer you dwell the more you spend! They make it easy to stay and spend.

There are some great lessons in here for us in Nottingham?