Wednesday, 27 May 2009

This week my wife treated me to a fantastic birthday gift of a trip to see Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall. The venue was spectacular and the gig was really superb. We also took time during the afternoon to visit the Victoria & Albert museum which is a favourite place to view the glittering heritage of wonderful art that we have in this country. During our trip around the British art segment we were both taken aback by the volume of magnificent works which were manufactured right here in Stoke on Trent. Majestic pieces from Minton, Wedgwood, Spode and others grace the halls of the V&A and remind us of just what a powerhouse city Stoke on Trent once was and how pivotal it's businesses were in the late 18th and 19th century.
Inevitably this made me think about how the city has coped with the pace of change and how leadership over many decades has allowed the contemporary world to overtake the local, traditionally strong industries.Of course change is inevitable and nowhere is immune.But change can be managed, and opportunities seized. In relation to The Hanley, we strive to combine the verve of a modern, customer-focused business with the traditions and roots of a locally-based building society. The pace and depth of change in our sector remains challenging and frenetic at times but we are extremely optimistic that this local building society is not a museum-piece,but rather is a vibrant contributor to a diverse financial services sector where we like to glance back occasionally but where we much prefer to look forward and seek ways to make our own mark.

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