Town security bouncer celebrates budding new career

PUBLISHED: 16:51 18 June 2020 | UPDATED: 16:51 18 June 2020

Ipswich bouncer Ray Wilson on his gardening and horticultural course at Suffolk Rural  Picture: JOHN NICE

Ipswich bouncer Ray Wilson on his gardening and horticultural course at Suffolk Rural Picture: JOHN NICE

John Nice

A town bouncer has swapped the boisterous night life of Ipswich for a calming course in growing plants.

Ray Wilson heading out for bouncing duty Picture: RAY WILSONRay Wilson heading out for bouncing duty Picture: RAY WILSON

Doorman Ray Wilson, 36, got the bug for bulbs after taking on a security role at the University of Suffolk.

He moved into a caretaker job at the university and recently oversaw the design and installation of garden areas in and around Ipswich Waterfront.

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As part of his development - and with thanks to the support of the University of Suffolk - he has now started a gardening and horticultural course at Suffolk Rural based at Otley and says he finds the change of pace very therapeutic.

“I’m still involved in bouncing and security every now and then when I need, because I enjoy it - but I really love my new job – even though it feels a bit strange at times,” he said.

“The plants certainly don’t talk back to you or give you any trouble. You also don’t have to throw the plants out – you just have to put them in pots,” he joked.

He continued, “This is a real antidote to the security. You can really relax and ‘zone out’ when you are working outside or in the greenhouses with plants.

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In his new role at the university, he will be involved in helping to revamp some areas of the university.

“It will allow me to be very creative – it’s all been a good experience,” he said.

As part of his course, Ray worked on a project with Ipswich seeds firm Thompson and Morgan where Suffolk Rural students learnt how to grow plants for prestigious events.

These were destined to go to flower and county shows – but after the events were cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis they were sold locally.

The college team has also grown plants for Thompson and Morgan which were sold on the QVC shopping channel.

Lorna Oakley, a member of the horticultural team at Suffolk Rural, said people from all walks of life came on the courses.

“Ray is one of many students who come to us to retrain,” she said.

“In previous years we have had former lawyers who have become garden designers. We are always keen to work with people so that they can fulfil their future career dreams.”

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