By Martyn Gregory, Practice Senior Partner, South West & Wales
Our yearly South West & West Business dinner took place this week at Bristol’s newest venue – Aerospace Bristol – the day after it officially opened to the public.After having seen so many stories on social media over the summer about the museum, I was really looking forward to hosting this year’s dinner in such fantastic surroundings and under the wings of Concorde.
It was great to have so many people from diverse businesses across the South West and Wales joining us, from major players in retail to the leading lights in finance. We really do have some of the country’s most successful businesses based in our region. Talking to our guests and hearing first-hand what they’ve been up to certainly makes me appreciate the wide spectrum of industry and expertise within our region
Roger Bootle, our keynote speaker, gave an interesting and thought provoking talk on the European and UK economies amidst the current political landscape and briefly outlined his outlook for the future. I’ll have to wait and see whether Roger’s forecasts and predictions turn out to be accurate, but they have been in the past and in the current climate, who can say what the future will bring?
Concorde, as well as Roger, certainly created a buzz in the evening’s proceedings and many people, like myself, were excited to see the plane up close and step on board. The memorabilia and exhibits were well worth a visit and reminded me that the plane was designed and built in Bristol. Having never flown on Concorde myself and looking at the flurry of guests waiting to board the plane, I could tell I wasn’t the only one who was eager to see inside.
To continue the aviation theme we’d invited a former Concorde pilot, Captain Les Evans, to talk to us after dinner about his experiences of flying the supersonic jet and what the future holds for business air travel.
Les really brought to life the wonder of Concorde and how it was ahead of its time, explaining its sound barrier breaking design to us in layman’s terms. His insights into the future of aviation were truly fascinating with references to next gen supersonic jets, sonic booms and sub-orbital travel.
I wonder whose predictions – Les’s or Roger’s – will make the headlines first?