I rang Ray’s doorbell for about five minutes. He was expecting me around 7:30am. The lights were on, so was his gas fire. It wasn’t until his friend turned up at the house that we managed to alert Ray to our presence.
”Ray! Ray! Have you got your trousers on?” barked his friend through the letterbox. Moments later Ray led us into his mammoth, if chaotic, home.
|Ray Gosling's scripts and writings|
I shook his hand, he was very friendly if a little distracted, there’s a lot going on in his head at present but I think that’s always been the case. Friends say they’d be in mid-conversation with him when he’d pop out his notebook and start scribbling away.
He led me into his archive room. Two of the walls were taken up by shelves containing stacks of scripts and notes that had been turned into TV and radio documentaries down the years.
He pointed to the shelves on his left and muttered that he "did well with them", meaning that there was once some semblance of order. The rest of his stuff is just piled up on top of dusty cupboards.
Occupying the other walls are newspaper cuttings and various notes stuck on with tape; there’s also pictures of Stefan Edberg, Johnny Wilkinson and, bizarrely, Fungus the Bogeyman displayed around the room.
|Ray Gosling's notes and press cuttings|
But this fascinating room come Monday (24.01.05), will be no more.
Last year Ray was made bankrupt after he failed to pay mounting debts and bills. He’s now got to leave his home in Mapperley Park and live, in his own words, in a “granny flat”.
Thankfully his archives will be preserved. John Goodridge from Nottingham Trent University will be providing a home for Ray’s vast collection of archives and documentary footage for generations of journalists to use and learn from in the future.
You would think it would be sad for Ray to be parting with his life’s work but surprisingly he’s “glad to be shot of it”. It’s like a new start for him and at least he knows it’s all going to a good home and not the dustbin.
* Take a look at our 360 degree image of Ray’s archive room in all its glory, by clicking on the link on the top right-hand-corner of this page. On Monday it will be just a empty room…