My Suffolk - Steve Flory
Steve Flory is a well-known local businessman and managing director of the Hudson Group. He tells us about his life in Suffolk
Have you always lived in Suffolk?
I was born and bred in Suffolk and my parents still live in the same house they bought in 1956. I joined Willis Faber and Dumas (now simply Willis) in 1975 and spent many years with them working and living abroad, but always kept a home here in Ipswich or the surrounding area. We now have our main business, Hudson Group, in Needham Market which means a much shorter commute than I have been used to over the years!
What’s it like to work in Suffolk?
It’s often referred to as a small village and that’s not far from the truth, the six stages of separation are more like three stages in Suffolk, you don’t have to go far to find someone, who knows somebody, to get something done. It always been a friendly place to work and people are always happy to help, especially when it comes to raising money for good causes, I have never found a problem to muster support for a charitable venture whether it be to Everest base camp, Kilimanjaro or a Undy 500 car trek to Mount Olympus or the Arctic.
You’re a member of the Rotary Club – why do you like to be involved?
I have been a member of Ipswich East Rotary club for several years and was proud to be their President in 2012. They do a great deal of good for the local community often in the background quietly getting on with it. The biggest event we run is the Orwell walk which supports hundreds of charities and has raised over £1 million in its 30 plus years
What was it like to grow up in Ipswich?
I spent my early youth with a battered hickory shafted 3 iron, some lake balls and a home-made track bike over Rushmere heath and golf course. No mobiles, no computer games just a bag of laughs exploring, making dens in the gorse, scuffing knees and scrumping apples. I was then fortunate enough to witness probably the greatest era of football for Ipswich Town, from 1978 FA cup to the 1981 UEFA cup and beyond, great days at a great family club.
Adnams, Aspalls or Greene King?
It would have to be Aspalls although I am not a big drinker and I wouldn’t need many of them!
Do you have any hobbies?
I have followed through on my track bike days and am now a keen cyclist, I think were called MAMIL's "middle-aged man in lycra". Having the office at Needham helps as it’s a decent pedal to and from work when the suns out and at the weekend I like to ride out to Felixstowe, Aldeburgh or Hadleigh and beyond. I had quite a serious car accident about a year ago and my physio advised me to take up pilates so Cedar Lodge Studios put me through my paces with that as often as I can.
Favourite pub or restaurant?
I would say three of my favourites would be Milsoms, Aurora or Aqua 8. Having said that nothing beats Fish and Chips on Aldeburgh sea front or a swift half in the Woolpack on a Friday evening after work with your mates
Where would you take people who have never been here before?
Suffolk is full of beautiful places and the choices are endless, so it would depend on who it was, but when you have a selection from Dedham, Flatford, Snape, Aldeburgh, Southwold and many others it is clear to see why Suffolk is a county where you will never be short on choice!
Sum yourself up in a sentence
I always know a man or woman who can!