Heaven and Hell: George Bradley

A picture of George Bradley

George Bradley, who is passionate about workplace wellbeing. - Credit: Contributed

Framlingham-based George Bradley is director and co-founder of Three Eggs, a mental health and wellbeing solutions company for businesses looking to improve and support good mental health in the workplace. Now in another national lockdown, the effects of physical social distancing, social isolation and working from home are all taking their toll. With the negative mental health effects of the pandemic likely to last much longer, caring for our mental health has never been more important.

What’s been the impact of Covid-19 and how have you adapted? 
Our business provides mental health training and employee assistance programmes for companies regionally and across the UK predominantly, although we do have global clients. Fortunately, we were able to move a lot of our training to online services via Zoom and we have started producing lots of in-house e-learning packages as well. A lot of what we do involves talking over the phone and video chats, so we have been able to cope but we certainly have 
missed the real face-to-face contact that I genuinely believe we need as humans. It’s a very challenging time and we are finding the need for our services and support has been a crucial lifeline for many.

What is your connection to East Anglia? 
Extensive. I was born in Bury St Edmunds where I lived until university and both my parents still live. My maternal grandparents are from Woodbridge and Waldringfield. My paternal grandparents are from Saxham and Swaffham Bulbeck. We didn’t go far. Suffolk is a great place to raise my children with my partner, Olivia.

What is your East Anglian Heaven? 
Two things stick out – Bury St Edmunds and Framlingham, I have lived in both and love them both dearly. The shops, the eating, the people and the colours. I love how quickly you can move from a vibrant, bustling town centre to the calm tranquil countryside in minutes. 

What is your East Anglian Hell? 
Norfolk, well, not Norfolk exactly, just how bloomin’ long it takes to get to the wonderful beaches on the north Norfolk coast, that we enjoy visiting throughout the year.

What’s your favourite East Anglian restaurant? 
Can I be greedy and choose two? Folk Cafe, just outside Bury, which has the best atmosphere of any eatery I have ever been to. And The Lighthouse in Aldeburgh – brilliant food, an extensive wine list and great staff led by Sam.

What’s your favourite way to spend an East Anglian evening? 
Probably with a pint of Victoria Bitter at The Station in Framlingham with Olivia, followed by a board of charcuterie, breads and cheese snuggled up with a good film.   

What’s your favourite East Anglian landmark? 
The Abbeygate in Bury. I went to St James Middle School (sadly not open any more) and we walked through there twice a day to and from school. My memories of that school, like thousands of others, were of wonderful friends, inspirational teachers and really happy times.

What’s the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year? 
Well apart from this year, the Bury Christmas Market – ridiculously busy, but the start of Christmas for my family and I. Traditionally we must, simply must, eat mini Dutch pancakes, a Bratwurst hot dog and slip into the One Bull for a glass of red. Not always in that order.

What’s your specialist Mastermind subject? 
Ipswich Town – although I try not to remember too much of the past couple of years. I used to be a season ticket holder until the lockdown and have enjoyed great memories following the Super Blues. 

What is always in your fridge? 
Cheese, always cheese – great hunks of punchy Stilton, gooey rounds of Baron Bigod produced at Fen Farm Dairy and yellow bricks of salty Mull of Kintyre Cheddar. 

What’s your simple philosophy of life? 
Take a risk and be confident. My parents were keen that both my sister and I had a sense of good humour and confidence and sent us both to a local stage school to develop those skills. A lack of risk-taking and confidence can leave too many regrets. 

What’s your favourite film? 
Notting Hill – love it, and I love the way it shows the pain of romance and courtship.  

What was your first job? 
My first memory of a sort of job was helping stuff Burger King vouchers into the Bury Mercury that my sister had to go and deliver. But my passion for people and food was developed as a weekend assistant at Waitrose. I worked in various positions for Waitrose and John Lewis over the years in stores and at their head office operations and it was and still is a lovely company.

What is your most treasured possession? 
My grandfather’s gold signet ring, I recently had it re-polished, re-engraved and re-sized for my finger (must be all the cheese). It is a very special connection to a very funny and lovely man. 

Who do you admire most? 
Both of my parents. My Father for his continued good humour and for wanting his children to be able to express themselves and grow up in a way he wasn’t allowed to. My Mother for wanting us to develop our minds and gently pushing our inquisitive brains.

What is your biggest indulgence? 
My Mercedes 380 SL. It’s a 1985 (a year younger than me) convertible, with a big 3.8L V8 engine and makes a lovely burbling roar when I drive it through the streets of Framlingham. It takes a lot of my money but it is great fun in the summer with the roof down. 

What do you like about yourself most? 
I’m extremely driven and have a high capacity for learning new things which really helps in the varied businesses that I have run. You need to understand how a business operates from the ground up and find the things that you can improve to make things work better.   

What’s your worst character trait? 
I’m rather impatient. Don’t ask me to help you work your laptop.  My family learnt that lesson a long time ago.

Where is your favourite holiday destination?  
I love Portugal, I would love to have a villa there one day or an apartment overlooking the Marina de Vila Moura. In the UK, I could still spend many holiday days in Suffolk.  

Best day of your life? 
When my son Henry was born.  It was touch and go for a little while and there were a lot of different emotions at play. I have grown more proud of him and my daughter with every day I see them grow up.

What’s your favourite breakfast? 
A full English at the recently relocated Common Room, Framlingham. The food and relaxed environment are brilliant, they have a record player always playing something fun to 
listen to.   

What’s your favourite tipple? 
Chateauneuf du Pape by the bucket load, please.

What’s your hidden talent? 
My fingers are double-jointed so I’ve never lost a game of mercy in 36 years. Does that count as a talent?

When were you most embarrassed? 
I am always embarrassed. I’m 6’4’ with size 13 feet and really quite ungainly. I’m always tripping over kerbs or feeling extremely self-conscious. I have a habit of thinking everyone is watching me when I eat or drink out on my own. Essentially, I am always embarrassed. 

What’s your earliest memory? 
Trying to dig up the footings of our garden swing in Sicklesmere, when my parents told my sister and I were moving and told we wouldn’t be able to take it with us. They never did replace it.  

What song would you like played at your funeral? 
Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole, although maybe to add some humour to the occasion, I may pre-record the lyrics myself.

Tell us something people don’t know about you? 
 I have always been disappointed never to have been given a middle name. My mother didn’t like hers so didn’t give me one. It means, if ever I wanted a personalised number plate, it’s more expensive, especially as my initials are GB!

What’s the worst thing anyone has ever said to you? 
A personnel manager referred to my ambition to move up the career ladder as ‘just wanting to wear a shiny suit and shiny shoes’. It was amongst lots of manoeuvring designed to stop ambitious managers and it felt like a way to crush my spirit.

Tell us why you live here and nowhere else. 
The people – without a doubt, the people of East Anglia and Suffolk, are friendly, kind and generous to a person.

What do you want to tell our readers about most? 
2020 was a very difficult year for all of us. 2021, I hope will become a better one. I plan to focus all of my energy on talking to employers and employees about how they can look to improve how they feel and think, along with how they can help take control of their feelings, which in the current climate isn’t easy. I sincerely wish your readers a better year. If we all work collectively towards the same goal and we try our hardest, let’s hope the outcome will be a positive one.  For more information visit www.threeeggs.co.uk

 If you are living in Suffolk or Norfolk and have an interesting story to tell please do email me at gina@hallfarmfornham.com or follow Twitter: @geewizzgee1 Instagram: ginageelong

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