Intermedia Services (Stornoway) Ltd turns 20 this month.
Company founder Fred Silver’s daughter and fellow company director, Melissa, takes a look at the last 20 years…
“All week: do what your daughters tell you to do,” a nine-year-old me wrote on my dad’s white board, supposedly used to remind him of his most pressing up-coming engagements. Branching out on his own, based in the tiny spare bedroom in our Lower Bayble house, my dad began Intermedia Services – and I clearly thought that his now working from home meant that he had time to spare.
Jump forward 20 years, and almost the only relic from the original set-up is that message, lovingly kept by my dad as he moved it from one company base to another, most recently to Church House on James Street – the current home of Intermedia Services (Stornoway) Ltd. In many ways, the business is unrecognisable, but it also seems, to me, exactly as he dreamt it.
The name “Intermedia Services” was coined in order to describe what he envisaged the business would one day be – a bridge between different forms of media and members of the public. As technology developed and more forms of media were created and became more widely used, things started to really change, and Intermedia Services truly began to live up to its name.
When I was in the Nicolson (2003-2007) and using the Rigs Road office as a quiet place to study, Intermedia Services was using purely print media. When EVENTS was born in September 2005, my dad, my sister and I ran around Ranish delivering the first-ever edition. I remember it had the word “REVOLUTION” in giant letters on the front, and an old man asked me, as I left him holding his paper, (and you should conjure your best maw accent for this one) “Oh! Are you starting a revolution?” I told him that, yes, we were. About time, too, he replied.
By the time I had finished university, and I became an actual paid employee, Facebook and Twitter had already begun changing the world – and as superfast broadband and 3G came to the island, the changes were really felt locally. For us, things took huge leaps, when, suddenly, we were able to do real-time reporting, updating our social media platforms and our (then) brand-new website, welovestornoway.com as things were happening – be it local breaking news, election counts or agricultural shows; it no longer had to wait to be printed and distributed. Being able to update a website on a phone in the middle of a field was incredible at the time but something that is now (probably unsurprisingly) common for our team. It’s all a far cry away from the fax machine that was a crucial part of initial communications, and which is the second relic surviving from the original office and kept as souvenir in our interview room.
Since then, the business has continued to change – the main recent changes being it moving premises and taking over SignPrint. This means that Intermedia Services (Stornoway) Ltd is now the sole occupier of Stornoway Media Centre – a far cry away from that tiny bedroom in Lower Bayble and leaving my father (unfortunately) a little too busy to do everythingmy sister and I tell him.