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  • Most exciting job youve ever done?

    Posted by Simon Worrall on July 9, 2022 at 1:46 pm

    Ill start;

    I grew up in Kenya.

    Age 19 I somehow became the technical director of the Marlboro Safari Rally displays department.

    Marlboro had just bought into this exciting amateur event and wanted to turn it into a worldwide professional spectacle.

    Back then signs were painted by hand.

    I got a couple of Coca-cola sign writers off the street to teach me how to do it, and got some of their mates in, and we set about making a workshop to do this.

    The jobs were scaled from the paper design onto the banner, using squares and soft pencils

    The letters were outlined by the signwriters, and the average guys filled in the letters.

    We knocked out about a hundred very big banners, a thousand crowd control barriers, the start finish ramp, flags, car numbers, checkpoint tents, and we screen printed ten thousand teeshirts. In three months.

    At the last minute, my boss realised we had forgotten the START sign!

    I raced back to the shop, knocked out a sign on a suitably sized piece of white perspex, two holes, and got out a pair of nails to hang it from.

    64 million people saw me walk up the ramp, set up the ladder, and bang two holes into the plywood OMEGA sign over the top. I hung the START sign without bashing my thumb, and people started clapping when I finished! Just in time for the first car.

    The first 8 cars went off without a hitch;

    Car number 9 was a Dodge Ram charger.

    This was a HUGE hummer of a thing, with an enormous fibreglass ariel like a fishing rod, sticking straight up from the middle of the roof.

    As it came up the ramp, it swept under the omega sign, but it whipped my temporary sign off one of the nails, and it swung down and hit the roof.

    People cheered!

    I tapped the ankles of the President’s bodyguard and pointed up at the sign.

    He smiled hugely under his aviator sunglasses.
    He was nearly seven feet tall. He bent his body over the roof of the dodge.

    The President waited while the giant reached out and hung the sign over the nail without even touching the Dodge.

    By now the everyone was cheering.

    Even the President thought it was funny!

    Duncan Wilkie replied 1 year, 9 months ago 9 Members · 21 Replies
  • 21 Replies
  • Duncan Wilkie

    July 9, 2022 at 4:12 pm

    Great story mate.

  • RobertLambie

    July 9, 2022 at 7:09 pm

    😎 As Duncan says, brilliant story Simon. I love reading this type of thing, particularly from back in the day. πŸ‘

  • Mark Johnston

    July 10, 2022 at 9:30 pm

    wow Kenya! thats a cool story and interesting to read mate. πŸ‘

  • Phill Fenton

    July 11, 2022 at 8:18 am

    Great story – I’ll never beat that but here’s my story

    About 15 years ago I received a hushed phonecall from a butcher. He was at great pains to tell me this was to be kept closely under wraps – but his shop had won the World champion Scotch Pie competition and he needed signs to be put on his window. But not until the day the results had been announced so I was sworn to secrecy.

    You can imagine how difficult it was for me to keep this secret, I was itching to tell the world but couldn’t because of my duty to the customer to maintain a radio silence about this exciting news.

    On the great day the announcement was due to be made, I dutifully turned up at his shop in Bo’ness complete with all the stickers I was to put on his window. Lo and behold, during my frantic activity stickering up his window, a TV news team turned up to interview the proud butcher. And they did it in his shop whilst I was working away in the background. That night on the 6 o-clock STV news the interview was broadcast and I could be clearly seen in the background beavering away with my stickers.

    For the following few days a number of my customers mentioned that they had seen me on the telly, even though it was only for a few seconds.

    More recently I have driven through Bo’ness and noticed that the shop has now closed down – so his pies couldn’t have been that good after all…

    • RobertLambie

      July 12, 2022 at 3:29 am


      More recently I have driven through Bo’ness and noticed that the shop has now closed down – so his pies couldn’t have been that good after all…

      🀣🀣 🀣
      Maybe Tescos or Asda now sell his Pies in stores across the UK and the guy is living the tycoon life-style in the Bahamas?
      “say aye, tae a pie!” πŸ€”

    • Leslie Anderson

      July 17, 2022 at 2:19 pm

      good for you being able to keep working whilst all else is happening. I am not yet comfortable working in front of people. i would have hidden if there was a camera, and died if i had actually been caught “on camera”. 🀣

  • Jeff

    July 12, 2022 at 11:23 pm

    love your story Simon i enjoy reading things like this, how and where we started.

    Phill, I would have demanded royalties mate. 😎

  • David Hammond

    July 14, 2022 at 2:30 pm

    We’ve done some intersting jobs over the years, mainly for agencies who come up with wonderful idea’s and we then have to make it a reality.

    Perhaps not PC these days, but the funniest, embarassing, wished I could turn invisible moment we’ve had was installing a large printed wall graphic inside a busy offic in the head office of an LGBT charity in town.

    Spotted up the large graphic off ladders with tape, my dad hopped down, paces across to the other side of the busy, all inclusive office, full of people working away, answering calls, before piping up across the room “Does that look straight to you?”

    A deafly silence fell across the office, all eyes on me to see what the reaction was going to be. I couldn’t believe he’d said it, I’m tried my hardest not crack up laughing, my dad oblivious to what he’d said, and wondering why I was so eager to get it fitted and leave. Explaining in the van, his response was “oh I never gave it a thought”

    • Martyn Heath

      July 15, 2022 at 7:20 am

      and you replied “no its bent!”

    • Simon Worrall

      July 15, 2022 at 11:00 am

      Reckon he knew exactly what he was saying!

      Thats the kind of obtuse comment my old man would have said to get a reaction from me!

      • David Hammond

        July 15, 2022 at 7:15 pm

        Oh no I don’t think he did.

        A bit like when were out for a family meal, just tucking into it and he pipes up across the table “Do you know what a growler is?”

        I didn’t think he was talking about what I thought it was – Turns out he’d heard something on radio about putting a pasty on a barm.

    • Leslie Anderson

      July 17, 2022 at 2:13 pm

      Awkward 😬🀣

  • Leslie Anderson

    July 17, 2022 at 2:09 pm

    that is a very interesting way to start out in your employment journey Simon. i enjoyed reading that. ❀

  • Duncan Wilkie

    July 18, 2022 at 3:49 pm

    I don’t know if this is classified as exciting, but it was shrouded in secrecy. This was about 15 or more years ago. Nike was doing a huge unveiling of Tiger Woods new logo in California. We are not strangers to the non-disclosure of re-branding projects, so we took it in stride. The panels were screen printed prior to final sewing.

    • RobertLambie

      July 20, 2022 at 7:54 am

      Did you make this type of thing in-house, Duncan? or screenprint the logos and a canopy company stitched it on?
      Is this how the text was down around the Perimeter?

  • Duncan Wilkie

    July 20, 2022 at 6:18 pm

    Hi Rob,

    They supplied the panels cut to size. We screenprinted directly on them. They then took the panels and sewed them into umbrellas. We used Flock Adhesive, solvent based ink. We used a floating register to line up the registration. There were two hits of white for coverage.

    We did a lot of this kind of work for them. Luckly, we didn’t screw up any of them. πŸ™‚

    • RobertLambie

      July 20, 2022 at 10:56 pm

      wow, I haven’t heard of flock in years! πŸ˜€
      we used to cut flock, but before that, we had an actual flock machine. where you applied adhesive to the board, fabric of whatever, and it created a charge or something making the flock stand on end?
      I’m going back over 32 years here so my memory is fuzzy! 🀣

  • Duncan Wilkie

    July 21, 2022 at 3:51 am

    Flock adhesive can be used without the flock as a straight textile printing ink. It works well and covers nicely.

    That fact that you used to be a screen printer may be the cause of your fuzzy memory. πŸ™‚

    I can’t believe the chemicals and fumes I’ve been exposed to over the years. I’m shocked I still have any brain cells left.

    We used to print vinyl ink with this puppy and clean up with lacquer thinner.

    • Jeff

      July 24, 2022 at 7:32 pm

      I have never done screen printing but that is a big screen Duncan, is it not?

      • Duncan Wilkie

        July 27, 2022 at 2:18 pm

        5’x13’ we used to print banners with it.

  • Jeff

    July 24, 2022 at 7:36 pm
    64 million people saw me walk up the ramp, set up the ladder, and bang two holes into the plywood OMEGA sign over the top.

    I overlooked this number, 64 “million” people watching you. WOW! 😬😎
    and to think i do not like someone standing over me when i work! 🀣🀣🀣
    Nerves of steel, Simon! πŸ‘

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