One of the lighting industry’s longest serving individuals has hung up his boots after 40 years’ service, and is retiring from his role as operations director at the lighting business of Mitie.
Ray Worrall, 62, started his career in lighting in 1969 aged just 19 – back when the Beatles topped the charts and Neil Armstrong had become the first man on the moon.
Ray was on leave from the Merchant Navy when he met someone who was looking for a helping hand at Parkersell, a specialist lighting services company that later became part of Mitie.
He joined Parkersell when it consisted of only three people and three vans and his career in lighting began. A short while later he met his future wife, Carolyn, who worked on the No 7 cosmetic counter at a Boots store he serviced for Parkersell. Ray continued to work on the Boots contract for 40 years.
Forty-three years on Ray is retiring from his role as operations director at the lighting business of Mitie, the FTSE 250 outsourcing and energy services provider, where he was their longest serving employee within the lighting business.
Ray has two children – both of whom now work for Mitie in the Eccleshall lighting depot in Staffordshire. His son an electrician and his daughter a regional support manager.
“It was completely co-incidental that I entered the lighting industry but it’s been a great 43 years. The work has been fascinating and it’s how I met my wife,” Ray said.
In the 1970s, Parkersell expanded, pioneering a new concept in the UK lighting industry that moved clients away from on-the-spot replacement of lamps to a planned maintenance approach.
Over time new technology and developments in lighting have had a dramatic impact on the industry, with the old fashioned fluorescent lights that were universally used in the 1970s being replaced with energy efficient LEDs. Ray said,
“One of the biggest changes I have seen in this business has been the fantastic advances in lighting technology. We always need to keep pace with developments to ensure our clients get the best solution.”
In May this year, Ray was involved with the development and launch of a new Mitie lighting service called Lighting In Future Environments (LIFE).
The service involves Mitie taking on the long-term management of an organisation’s lighting systems for a fixed term, giving property owners control of their budgets and peace of mind.
LIFE covers all aspects of the lighting process, including design, installation, energy supply and technical upgrades, making up a ‘total lifecycle package.’ Ray explained,
“It’s great that new technology is providing the tools to help us reduce our clients’ energy costs and tackle CO2 emissions and climate change issues.
“One of the ways we can keep the lights on in the future is by ensuring they run as efficiently as possible – and Mitie can be a big part of that.”
Ray has not completely retired from the lighting business and will be supporting the lighting team at Mitie in a technical capacity.
Mitie’s lighting business continues to thrive by keeping pace with these technology and market changes.
With over 300 dedicated lighting engineers working out of 13 regional depots, they provide a national lighting service to most of the major retailers and large numbers of commercial clients in the property and industrial sectors.
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