As the Pegasus Macclesfield office officially celebrates its second anniversary, Senior Account Executive and unmistakeable southerner Billy Johnson discusses why he moved up North, and why he’s staying.
‘The North’ wasn’t quite the culture shock that family and friends at home in Windsor had warned. And although Mancunions ‘do things differently here’, as the Tony Wilson quote goes, I quickly fell in love with the UK’s second, and fastest growing, city.
Manchester’s famously got everything but a beach – amazing music scene and history, a craft brewery in each railway arch, the Peak District on the doorstep, Christmas markets to rival Munich, and two leading football clubs. I just wish I could enjoy a Chelsea double in Manchester more often, though at least the city is blue for now (albeit the wrong shade).
It’s been 18 months since I moved back up to Manchester to join Pegasus, a full seven years since my love affair with the Stone Roses, Oasis and the Smiths became a religion after first moving up to go to university. After a brief hiatus – one year in France and two back down South – I’m in no hurry to leave again.
I’ve seen the Macclesfield team grow over the past year and a half: from only three when I joined to an eclectic eight, inspiring healthy decisions with each pie, mash and gravy lunch (not every lunch). It’s fantastic working with such a diverse, fun and lovely group of people here, and helping to make the North feel like home. Our base is in the heart of Ashfield Healthcare Communications 500-strong Macclesfield hub, and yet with skype, zoom and speed-dial it feels like our colleagues in Brighton are here with us.
The Brighton south coast connection allows me to touch base with my own people every so often, so I’m in no danger of losing my southern twang. But despite this I’ve become well-versed in the Macclesfield office ‘brew’ round (tea)! But make no mistake, lunch will never be dinner. Perhaps give it a few years…I’m definitely not going anywhere!