Member Monday #028

Every Monday we profile one of our Members. This week in we are joined by Proprietor 248, Les Spencer!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of The Athenaeum.

Who are you ?

Retired 2019 having spent all my working life in the provision of corporate and domestic vehicle asset finance. Worked at executive levels for various national banking organisations in a sales and marketing capacity. Innovated a new market concept in the broking of vehicle asset business and created a national business which I subsequently sold. Spent 10 years with Mercedes and a further 10 years in a freelance sales management, recruitment and development consultancy capacity, covering the North of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Scouser and Evertonian from birth. Spent 25 years living in Kendal, Carlisle, Newcastle upon Tyne, Durham and Edinburgh before returning to Merseyside and moving to the Wirral. Married with two grown up children and four grandchildren.

Current chairman of a small conservation society, ex manager and chairman of a large boys football club, current President of Wallasey Conservative Association, ex Wirral Metropolitan Borough Councillor.

Interests – history (BA History, OU, upper 2:1, 2006), game fishing, fell walking, family history, politics – BREXITEER

What is your greatest achievement  ?

Though by no means my only achievement, having left school at 16 with 5 undistinguished O Levels, a cycling proficiency certificate and little else, I am a proud graduate of the Open University, having graduated with an upper 2:1 in History aged 55, at a time when I was in full time work, a Metropolitan Councillor, school governor, husband and father. 

Can you give one interesting fact about yourself ?

Due to my fathers occupation I attended six schools in four different cities in ten years. I am probably the only person in Britain that failed his 11 plus, went to a secondary modern, moved location and entered one of the first comprehensives and moved again and finished in a grammar school. 

Another interesting fact – In 2017 my then 93 year old father and I were invited ‘special guests’ at the global TV remembrance service for the centenary of the Third Battle of Ypres which included the battle for Passchendaele in which over 250,000 died. My grandfather was one of a few survivors of the 2/7thLancashire Fusiliers who fought in that battle and went on to be awarded the Military Medal for valor. He also had two brothers fighting in the same area, one of whom was killed and has no known grave. Their father, my great grandfather was in the merchant navy dodging German submarines off the Belgium coast at the same time. In 1945 my father was involved in the liberation of Belgium once again. Because of our generational involvement in the liberation of Belgium, and the Third Battle of Ypres in particular we were invited by the UK government as ‘special UK guests’ and personally introduced to the Prince of Wales who had a very pleasant chat with my dad. A proud family moment to cherish.

What brought you to the Athenaeum ?

I came to the Athenaeum because I knew of its history and I hoped that it would fill part of my post retirement void.

Is there anything you would like to change about the Athenaeum ?

I only joined a few weeks before the pandemic broke so I have not been able to enjoy many Athenaeum experiences as yet, but I am looking forward to researching who has previously held my members number. It would be presumptuous for me to suggest any changes to membership at this early time.

What would you say to anyone considering joining the Club ?

Upon reflection I would probably have made more use of the club facilities if I had joined when I was working within the city and I recommend it to anyone who wishes to entertain colleagues or clients somewhere special.