Wednesday 11 July 2018
We find out what a typical day is like in the life of WPP Editor, Anthony Bailey
He's the man who knows his way around a router, is partial to rescuing a rusty old hand tool and handy with a camera, too. But where did it all start? Well, as the son of a civil engineer, Anthony has always been practically inclined, and at Dartford Technical High School, he learned woodworking, metalworking and technical drawing by hand. But it was photography that he chose as his first career path, working at a photographic studio from 1971 to the mid-1980s, learning many of the skills which would eventually lead him to GMC. Anthony made a shift to antique restoration in the mid-1980s, running his own successful business in Tunbridge Wells, and went on to work for an interior design company as a cabinetmaker, then for a joinery company, and finally a bespoke kitchen company. “All of this was with no real training really,” you may be surprised to hear, “… strictly the university of life – the fees are high!” Anthony came into contact with the late Paul Richardson – founder of Furniture & Cabinetmaking magazine – when he started his own furniture design and making business, and the two shared a workshop. Anthony worked for F&C on a freelance basis, mostly as a photographer, but also contributing some tests. The combination of Anthony's skills and expertise in both woodworking and photography made him an invaluable asset in woodwork publishing, and in his 13 years – and counting – with GMC, he has worked as the editor on The Router and Power Woodworking, and of course now WPP.
Anthony's working day is mostly based in our workshop, situated on farmland a few miles from our offices. He's got plenty of projects to make, techniques to demonstrate and kit to test, but the first thing to do is plug in the laptop, catch up with the emails and phone calls, check and update the online 'flat plan' – our progress map of the magazine's production – and of course, stick the kettle on! Finally, once this is all done, he can get on with some woodwork in the newly revamped WPP area of the GMC workshop, punctuating the day with cups of tea. The workshop isn't your average one, as it has to be functional for both woodworking and as a photographic set, and Anthony recently stripped out the old orangey 'Pocket Workshop' setup to make a lighter, brighter area for all things WPP. Once or twice a week, Anthony is with the rest of the team in the office, checking through proofs, assisting with designs and all the other things that can't be done by proxy. As GMC's head photographer, Anthony also takes snaps for our other woodworking magazines, and even other craft titles such as The Dolls' House magazine.
Anthony's Golden Rule
“Measure twice, cut once, and still screw up!”
“Working at the bench, particularly with hand tools – with power tools mistakes happen in an instant… but with hand tools you have time to mess it up! Also, working in a team â€“ it energises me having people to work with – it's much easier to get things done, and more enjoyable, when you are working together.”
“My main concern is today's 'I want' generation where people seem to want quick and easy solutions; there is something desperately wrong with an education system where young people's access to learning practical skills is very limited.”