CIB - 30 TODAY CIB - 30 TODAY

Dateline: Tuesday 28th May 1985

CIB started trading


Shoe-horned in between the Bradford Fire Disaster and the Heyssel Stadium Riot, CIB was pushed kicking and screaming into existence that cold post Bank Holiday Tuesday. It was a different world then and the pioneers of that period directors John Woodberry and Andy Cassie were keen to open up the whole construction industry to new marketing techniques and creative styles, well not really we just thought we knew better than anybody else.

So what else was going on at that time. Cultural references.

19 by Paul Hardcastle was the number 1 single, Shaky was a big ticket number still,  EastEnders and Neighbours had both just started, the Clash were still going and Billy Bonds did still play for West Ham United – those were the days. Top films read like football results – Death Wish 3, Rocky 4, Rambo 2, Wild Geese 2 (score draw for the Italian lad), Only Fools and Horses was at its zenith, Sky didn’t exist and there were only 4 television channels to choose from...just imagine.

Now not a lot of people know this –  but 1985 also saw Ernie Wise make the first mobile phone call (on a phone the size of a telephone box), Live Aid, Blind Date, Howards Way, Dolce & Gabbana, Dominos Pizzas all appeared for the very first time, it's nice to see that we have the same pedigree as other iconic brands and communication tools starting out on their way that year.

Others appearing for the first and last time – the Sinclair C5 (that was technology for you), Mrs Slocombe’s pussy (Are You Being Served finished 1st April), the Miners Strike, Bobby Ewing in Dallas, pound notes, power dressing, mullets and braces, style may well have been at a nadir come to think about it.

My, how things have changed, mainly but for the better. That is except when you see what we delivered as work in 1985 - it was hardly award winning, it was different times but it got us moving in a direction that has lasted 30 years. We literally did anything and everything to make a crust.

Technology for us then was a typewriter (PC’s did exist but were far too expensive), a coffee machine and a fax machine (well actually we didn’t get one of those til 86). People communicated by telephone and did not hide behind a screen all day or email to communicate to clients (because we couldn’t).

Social media was talking down the pub, tinternet and the world wide web was a twinkle in the military’s eye, on line tended to be grandads pants or nan’s drawers, people read things called 'magazines' and used their fingers to dial on a telephone, telex was still in its prime (anybody younger than 40 check it out, it might make a comeback).

E-mail was an exclamation only used in Yorkshire when the post arrived, Twitter was strictly for our feathered friends, a tablet was something you took for a hang-over. And you say the world is a better place now.

How did we ever do business, when a lunch was really a lunch, not a polite orange juice and lemonade, people disappeared for days sometimes never to return.

Where are those intrepid CIB pioneers of 85 now. Sadly for me I’m still here, despite the promise (to myself) of retiring at 40, John Woodberry packed up his drawing board and felt tip in 2012 to move on to better things – teaching and exhibiting his art – well done Johnny.

So how did we survive – God only knows. If it had all gone badly wrong, what would we have lost. Would we have been able to start the same way in 2015 – not a chance. In the era when being politically correct meant not smoking more than 20 a day in the office or voting for the Social Democrat party, a dodgy double entendre or two went down well, having a laugh was integrally linked to the working day and enjoyment was simpler. Utopian days – no not really.

On a celebratory note - We look forward to taking you up the Oxo Tower on the 2nd September this year (for those lucky enough to get an invite that is) to lift a glass or two, to what has been a very interesting and turbulent three decades and very few others can say that.

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