He was stunned to win - but what a night it was for Ray Spencer as he collected a What’s On Where Award.
Now, as we launch the competition for another year, Ray reflected on the evening he got a standing ovation for his services to entertainment.
It was a surprise to be nominated. It is something I will remember for a long timeRay Spencer MBE
It was last February when Ray Spencer MBE collected the honour for the Lifetime Achievement Award in the 2015 competition.
It was a deserved honour for the executive director of the Customs House in South Shields who has enjoyed considerable success over the years. He was made an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list in June 2010.
He later became a stalwart with the Westovian Theatre Society and spent 15 years as a performing arts lecturer at South Tyneside College, before taking charge at the Customs House in 2000.
He has also long been a champion for young talent to write, produce and perform in front of packed houses.
His What’s On Where award was well deserved but Ray admitted: “It was a surprise to be nominated.
“It is something I will remember for a long time.”
He praised the awards and urged people to enter this year’s challenge.
He said: “It is particularly important when times are hard, to recognise the best in different areas of life.
“It is always good to say well done and people should take the opportunity to say it to people who have made a difference in the community.”
Ray’s nomination praised his tireless work to bring arts and entertainment to everyone. It added: “He works with more than 120 schools delivering arts awards, arts marks and offering educational resources.”
His was one of the many highlights at the 2015 awards.
They are held in association with our weekly entertainments guide, Wow 24/7. Now, we want nominations for this year’s competition which will culminate in a grand finale at the Best Western Roker Hotel next February. Sponsors already on board are Hebburn-based UK Asbestos Specialists (UKasl).
lIf you want to nominate a worthy cause for this year’s competition, fill in the nomination form on this page or visit www.jpne-events.co.uk.
Nominations close on February 1.