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That Was the Year That Was

Sunday night and a quick request from our new staff in the web team: can I write a piece for the newsletter, a 'that was the year that was' thing?

I said “yes of course, no problem, piece of piss.” I thought I'd just reel down a list of good stuff: a great year, loads of cool new stuff, a new showroom, lots of new staff, slicker systems, and Brant's back. Easy peasy, quick review of the year, no problem.

But then like a frying pan smashing you in the face, you remember again that it was a horrific year, the worst year at Planet X, but they don't even bloody know it. My team don't even know what a truly shite year we had. And it's my fault because I haven't taken the time to tell them; shame on me.

It's not right to be looking back positively on this year. Sales growth, targets, KPIs etc etc. Yes we probably hit them all but it's all complete nonsense that just doesn't matter. We should not look back with any good thoughts whatsoever. It's not right at all.

Theres a big, gaping hole at Planet X and there isn't a single day, even hour, when we the original Planet X team don't miss the big, argumentative, arsey, loyal, dedicated Scouser with the heart of a lion and lungs of a champion who was cruelly taken from us in March this year: Ray Eden.

Ray Eden was a big character, an absolutely massive part of Planet X for over 15 years. He was our longest standing stalwart, a solid granite mountain of loyalty. He held our warehouse together for a good 10 years. He picked, packed, processed, answered the phone, and was the backbone on which this business was built.

Yes, we have evolved into a much slicker operation that's less dependant on any one person or character, but we still had the hard core of the original staff who did the hard yards, learnt things through trial and error, and made it up as we went along. Then all of a sudden Ray was cruelly taken from us and I look round the office and there's something – someone – missing.

I am worried now, with the passing of Ray in such awful circumstances, that we now have some staff who never knew him. They don't know where we came from, they don't know about the depths of loyalty and spirit that Ray brought to both the company and me personally. They don't remember the Optimum Performance years, the starting of On-One, the road trips, the hard miles, the arguments, and the good laughs at shows and races all over the world. They didn't experience the building of a company and brand with spirit, a spirit truly embodied and often voiced with vigour and defended by Ray.

ray2

My biggest worry is that we are losing these memories and one day we will have forgotten Ray Eden and what he brought to us. He brought to us spirit and commitment, and we shared a journey together intertwined through our years at Planet X. We shall not forget.

RIP Big Ray and our deepest wishes to Gail and Finn at Christmas.

ray1

 

 

 

18 December 2011

Comments

  • Coops

    Gone....but NEVER forgotten...

  • Deirdre

    We knew Ray from pre Planet-X days when he was first in London. My thoughts are with his wife and son this Christmas, as there will be a big empty space that was filled by Ray.

  • David.S

    Rays still very much in my thoughts..apart from Dave and occationally Frank (both of whom I pester with e-mails). Ray was my friend on the telephone inside of Plt-x and I miss is easy gentle manner.

  • MatthewR

    Ray fitted me up for my first PX bike an SL Pro Carbon, I used it to race with him / agianst him in the NMRRL on Thursday evenings, he was a top bloke! RIP Ray. Matt Rodgers