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The Spark

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Beccy Golding


production manager, writer



• How long have you been involved with The Spark?

I’ve worked in The Spark office since February 2003.  And I had an article printed in the magazine the year before. And I’d been a reader for several years before that.


• What's your role at The Spark?

For 3 days a week I am Production Manager – rather a grand title that means I spend 95% of my time in front of the computer. I’m in charge of Listings – all the small ads in the back – from booking them in to laying them out on the page. I’ve also done a huge amount of work on the revamp of the website, and manage it day-to-day; The Spark Web Mistress, I like to say! I open the post, order stationery, administer standing orders, know my way round our database like the back of my hand, proofread, copy edit, and generally lend a hand wherever I can be useful.

I also write for The Spark in a freelance capacity. I’ve written the Family page for about six years and have recently been writing for the MBS page, as well as writing testers, reviews and last minute bits of copy at deadline time.


• Before I worked for The Spark…

I worked with young people. I’m a qualified Youth and Community Worker and worked in the Bristol voluntary sector for about 15 years – a large part of that time I worked with young homeless people with an organization called Bristol Cyrenians, and after that I was Youth Development Worker for the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens.


• What are your particular interests/strengths/focus?

As a Youth Worker, and as a single mum of a 17-year-old son, I am interested in youth issues and giving young people a voice. I’m interested in practical everyday things we can do to make the world a better place (that’s my Miss World bit..) and people who are doing interesting things to make a difference – most Sparky things really. I’m also into the Bristol music scene, creative writing, green/eco issues, good food, family and friends, and cats.

I’m open to new experiences, both in and out of work – from Go-Karting for my 43rd birthday, to learning basic html for The Spark website. My strengths are that whilst my home is chaotic and filled with piles of stuff, at work I am super organized and am extremely loyal, committed and proud of The Spark. I’m quick-witted and quick to learn; I’m an optimist and quite good at making people laugh.


• When I say I work at The Spark people say...

‘Do you get paid to do that?’ (yes I do, it’s my job). And ‘oh it must be great to work there’ (it is).


• Something that might surprise you about my job is...

We are a cynical bunch of down-to-earth old curmudgeons who take a lot of things with a pinch of salt and our tongue in our cheeks (tricky). But we are also open-minded, respectful, hope-filled, generous-spirited and golden-hearted :)


• I know its been a good day when...

My email inbox is empty (rare!). But to be more philosophical, I am a contented person and know I am lucky to be able to say that most days are good days for me.


• The thing I'm most proud of is...

My son Billy. Born in March 1993, he’s the same age as The Spark, and he’s fab! A lovely lad, with loads of ace mates, working hard at college and at his part-time job, and a drummer in a rock n roll band. He lets me roadie for him. And sometimes I get in on the guest list.


• When I'm not working at The Spark I...

Spend too much time on Facebook. But I also run a local Stitch n Bitch knitting/crochet group, sporadically write my blog (rocknrollmum), and am a proud member of Bristol Feral Choir - an improvising choir that is very playful and performs random stuff at eclectic events. I watch live music, go to arty events, and hang out with family and friends. I also do proofreading, copy writing and copy editing for voluntary groups/charities/interesting people generally.


• What I like about working for The Spark is...

The flexibility, the fun, the folk and the opportunity to have my fingers in lots of pies.


• What I like about The Spark is…

I think we achieve a quirky, non-preachy, human tone while talking about some pretty serious stuff. John, our founder, set this tone, and I hope we continue it.


• How would your colleagues describe you?

I just asked this question out loud in the office and they said:

“team worker”

“the glue that holds the spark together, with sparkles”

“Like Castrol oil or GTX – without it we’d all seize up”

“a people person”

“you’ve got a bubbly zany left-field creativity thing going on”

aw, you guys!


• If anyone would like me to write for them, or do some proofreading or copy editing, my rates are reasonable and I can be contacted here: