Getting to know Dale Thomson from the London Borough of Bexley

Tue 24th September 2013, 10:06 am

This week, Dale Thomson (below), economic development manager at the London Borough of Bexley, gives an insight into his world outside of work.

1)  If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go and why? 

I love big cities and architecture – which as an 'urbanist', is probably a good thing – and although I have been to the States I have never been to New York. A couple of weeks roaming the city with my camera and indulging my inner "tall building geek" would be wonderful.

2)  What is your most memorable sporting moment?

Scotland almost beating Brazil in the 1998 World Cup Finals. Unfortunately, in the end we did exactly the opposite of what the official anthem by Del Amitri, Don’t come back too soon, was attempting to extoll, and in the end Scotland were the very first team on the plane home.  

3)  Which book or film has had the biggest influence on your life and why?

Without a doubt the film that made me love film has to be Lawrence of Arabia, directed by Sir David Lean and released in 1962. I had seen it on TV as a child and it had obviously made an impression but it wasn’t until I saw the restored version in widescreen at the Odeon Cinema in Marble Arch in 1989 that it truly blew me away.  

The cinematography is pure art and the cast is awash with movie legends - Spielberg once said it was the film that made him become a filmmaker. At its heart, amongst other things, the film is about the brutality of war but it also managed to capture the visual and cultural beauty of Arabia which has never left me, and started a life long interest in the middle east. It clearly also had a lasting impact on many of my generation to such an extent that it almost single-handedly created a tourist industry for Jordan which is still going strong.

It is also one of the reasons that I jumped at the opportunity, a couple of years ago, to work on a seafront masterplan project in Aqaba City. Finally I had the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Lawrence….one of my key conclusions being that it’s a lot hotter in real life than it is watching it at the cinema!


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