When others are thinking of retirement, the former hotel maintenance manager has switched careers by launching a new business venture supplying cleaning and hygiene products. Ray has invested in a franchise with Chemex International covering Newcastle Gosforth, Tynemouth, North Shields, Prudhoe, Whickham and Longbenton.
Ray set up the franchise after deciding he needed a new challenge in life. He says: "I've worked in the building sector most of my life and I'm a member of the Chartered Institute of Building but with market conditions the way they are I felt it was time to take a new direction.
"Chemex is a long-established company which has a track record of innovation and customer service and I am delighted to be part of it and looking forward to developing the business. In today's volatile economic conditions Chemex is as close to a recession-proof business as you can get because we supply necessities not luxuries.
"Our customers stretch across all industry sectors and we are particularly strong in healthcare - especially residential homes - leisure, the licensed trade and hotels and restaurants.
"I have always fancied being my own boss and I'm looking forward to developing the business and providing the best possible service to my customers. I know some people are thinking of retirement at 58 but not me. I enjoy a challenge and I am excited at the potential for my business on Tyneside."