Leading Melbourn Hub regiment is order of the day

Ray Fleming

Ray Fleming - Credit: Archant

He’s just taken over as ‘officer commanding’ Melbourn Community Hub, leading the tea-making troops as they dish out delicious cakes and coffee to hungry punters, but Ray Fleming is no stranger to a military operation.

From left to right: Lisa Fulton, Chloe Dobson, Ray Fleming, Arthur Alderton, Harrison Taylforth-Knig

From left to right: Lisa Fulton, Chloe Dobson, Ray Fleming, Arthur Alderton, Harrison Taylforth-Knights, an apprentice studying Level 2 Business Administration. - Credit: Archant

A couple of years ago the Scot, who hails from Hawick in the Borders, hung up his military boots after a solid 18 years of army service, taking voluntary redundancy from his role as platoon sergeant.

He went ‘everywhere’ with the army, from Afghanistan to Northern Ireland, Kenya to the Falklands.

The 36-year-old said: “The army is changing and it was the right time to leave, plus I was away from home a lot. You’ve got to take the jump sometimes.”

After the army he moved down to Crow country with his family – wife Sam is from Bassingbourn. He worked as a project manager at the barracks, then worked for a few months at Johnson Matthey.

When he saw an advert for manager at Melbourn Hub, he decided to do something completely different and figured he could put his managerial skills to good use.

After taking the reins in August, Ray’s already planning some big ventures.

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He said: “It’s quite different from the army, but still managerial.

“When I first started, I put out customer feedback forms. We wanted to see how to improve the menu and what people wanted.

“It’s a busy little place, it’s starting to pick up.

“I’m also applying for licencing and looking at doing bingo and a Halloween disco with prizes for the best dressed.

“It just seems a waste to have a few people coming in for coffee. We have rooms to rent and local businesses have different rates to companies from further afield.”

Ray is already settling in well to his new role, thanks to the welcoming community at the heart of the village.

He said: “ I think the community of Melbourn is fantastic, we have a lot of volunteers at the Hub.

“Without them it would not be a success – none of it would work.

“We’ve also got a young apprentice in who studies business administration at Cambridge Regional College.

“We are hoping to extend the opening hours with the bingo nights and high tea nights, so people can have a glass of wine and scones – it’s all about bringing the community together.”

To find out more about the Hub, visit the website at www.melbournhub.com.