Most of my professional career in London was spent at the COI, Central Office of Information, formed in 1946 succeeding the wartime Ministry of Information. Ok, at times it could be a bit of a ‘boring office gig’, there were some meetings with other civil servants where the phrase ‘win-win’ situation was used several times. But overall, I loved it, cycling every morning across Waterloo Bridge, down to Hercules House. Here’s 2009, Comic Relief, and my Ace of Base medley –
I left in 2010, deciding at 31 (while some being rich and some dead, no less), it was time to try something new, in somewhere new for me, that being Kiev, Ukraine. COI closed at the end of 2011 (no connection), and the building was sold to a hotel company in 2013. Back in London over recent weeks, I’ve been charting the downfall of the 1960s office premises which once house 700+ civil servants, as it gets torn down en route to rebirth as a hotel.
There were certainly mixed feelings here, as with the area a building site and all that comes with that, a man took the opportunity to crimp one off. I took it as no comment on my career with the COI football team, which saw around 25 John Salako-esque performances on the left wing yield 2 goals. It really should have been a few more if being honest. Anyway, here he is –
On non-football days, I could often be found at the Pineapple Pub as of a lunch, and in this very special video – my mum on camera, likely my last while COI stands in any form, it’s time for a look back on those ‘civil servant lunches’ and more –