Tag: Black History Month

Come in No. 10…

It was a difficult decision for me: spend the day on my own putting the finishing touches to a variety of upholstery projects, or attend No.10 Downing Street to mix with the great and the good and actually see what is on the other side of that world famous black door.

It took me about 0.68 seconds to
decide but, as Star Trek fans will know, for an android, that might as well be an eternity..

Having made sure that my visa for travelling was in order, I set off and not, I have to admit, without a degree of trepidation.
Arrival outside that famous street required the kind of security checks you’d find at an airport. I did get a sense of stepping into another “State/Country” and once I’d got through there I was: Stepping across the threshold of a door that throughout history that has opened to heads of state, Kings & Queens, Musicians, artists, pop stars and celebrities.

For obvious security reasons all guests were required to leave their Mobile phones off and waiting in the reception area ( So no pics from me I’m afraid , However the event photographer took one or two shots which were shared amongst all the guests.)

Inside No.10 I climbed a staircase which went up 3 flights adorned with portraits and photographs of all the previous prime ministers going up in Chronological order towards the top, at which point the event took place across a corridor which lead into 3 rooms: The “White” Room , The “Terracotta” Room and the “Pillar ” Room.

There I was mixing with a group of around 200 other entrepreneurs and business leaders, rubbing shoulders with one or two (Conservative) ministers – like properly brushing up against some of the figures I’d only ever seen on political debates on TV – and read about in the papers, from across the African diaspora, all there to celebrate Black Businesses and achievements during Black History Month.

Whatever your political viewpoint, I’ll leave you to imagine my thoughts as we all watched and listened to a presentation in the Pillar Room by the Chancellor, Sajid Javid.

After sipping (perhaps) a few tall , Rum-based cocktails and snacking on Canapes,
Naturally I began to cast my eyes (and hands )over some of the furniture. (Well, after all, that is what I do.!)

This may of illicited some odd sideways looks from one or two of the Downing Street Staff. However one particularly courteous and friendly member of the staff must have twigged that I meant no harm and directed me towards a black leather bound folder embossed in silver letters with the number “10”, which within contained a catalogue of all the artworks on display within the Terracotta room (I found no other catalogue for the White room and Pillar room unfortunately)

She then went on to give me a brief whirlwind history of some of the artworks within the Terracotta Room which I found absolutely engaging if little difficult to absorb all the info amongst the noise of 200-odd people.

I have to say, whatever your thoughts on the state of the nation, the state of a couple of the sofas and easy chairs within No.10 left
me thinking that perhaps they could benefit from the skilled attention of a certain Upholsterer and soft furnisher!

And on my way out I was gratefully given the name of
a facilities manager whom I could contact .

Watch this space for further news.
Eventually I had to return to the slightly less mundane but no less exciting world of colour and fabric that is my studio.
However you might have have noticed a slight spring in my step and a glint in my eyes.

A lovely evening and My Thanks to all who organised the event for inviting me and for being such great hosts!

Atelier Ray Clarke Ltd T/A Ray Clarke Upholstery & Design Company registration number :12018355