Thursday, 20 December 2007

December - End of Year

Well, I've completely failed in my attempts to post a regular blog. Work has been hugely busy with all the end of year events, The Illuminated Trail at Spetchley (some lights pictured above) has taken all the spare time up and I've got to rush things through now for Chrimbo. At least there is some time off to look forward to. Bets start thinking of my New Year Resolutions too. Probably less work and more fun......

Monday, 10 September 2007

Summer is Over - But it seems to have finally arrived

Here in Berkeley we've had a tough summer, like many parts of Gloucestershire lots of flooding and wet weather has caused huge problems for businesses. We got away with it relatively well but as a charitable trust, Berkley Castle has suffered from the lack of income, notably the loss of the concerts and JOUST. But as the calendar says summer is over we're getting lots of sun and warm weather! Aaarrgghh!!! Just too late for the year to be saved.

On a more positive note (with reference to the picture above!) our Ghost Tours with Richard Felix look like they may sell out for next week and we still have the Edward II play to look forward to. So we can get some more people in hopefully. Where is the skull? In Edward II's Cell, where he was murdered........

Events for next year need to be planned now - this is the busiest time for tourist attractions: not sure when I fit in my 6 weeks leave I'm due to take before the end of December!

Tuesday, 31 July 2007


Well the summer events at Berkeley Castle have been well and truly scuppered. The Concerts were cancelled when the company providing them went into liquidation (some sort of weird joke in there) because of the rain.

Because the Meadow was waterlogged we couldn't hold the Tuffley Dog Show and we had to cancel JOUST at the last moment because of the flash flood we suffered - along with the whole of Gloucestershire.

We've been lucky that we haven't suffered an injury but it is frustrating we aren't able to offer our customers the events they were looking forward to.

We're now trying to assess the damage to the meadow, but we'll need to wait for the water to completely subside and there is an awful lot of sewage etc that the floods have brought in.

Should make an interesting autumn and winter anyway, trying to generate income for teh Charitable Trust to keep the CAstle going through the winter......

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Berkeley is Wet, Will it be Dry for the Rally?

The heavy fairground stuff is in, we just need to wait for the other several hundred vehicles, tractors lorries and so on for the Lister Tyndale Steam Rally, being held at Berkeley Castle for the first time.

Sadly we've just had a heavy downpour and the weather doesn't look good for the next few days. Having said that, the weekend itself should be OK. Heavy traction engines and other vehicles may not mind the wet, but we want our showground to be in as good a condition as possible for the rest of our events at Berkeley during the Summer.

I went to Spetchley first thing today, our sister estate in Worcestershire, and the gardens look great after the recent mixture of sun and rain. I'm off to look at a trailer to convert to a mobile ticket office and shop for the gardens tomorrow morning. We'll be discussing what colour to paint it and what the interior will be like. All to a budget set by the Trustees.

Hope the motorway tonight will be not too crowded with Muppet drivers driving badly in the wet!

Monday, 11 June 2007

Working in a Norman Castle

What do I do I hear people cry as they yawn over the blog. I work at Berkeley Castle, in Gloucestershire as the Marketing Manager, for the Berkeley Family.

It is a Norman Marcher Castle (the Keep was started in late 12th Century) built midway between Bristol and Gloucester: the purpose was to keep the invading Welsh out as the River Severn is just a mile away. I have Welsh roots and I felt compelled to admit this at interview, but luckily it was not held against me and I have not, so far, been seen as a Fifth Columnist.

The survival of the Castle and the Berkeleys who built it over 24 generations ago is fascinating and working for an historic Estate which deals with issues for the next 100 years, rather than the usual 5 year business plan is also different - and very rewarding.

Working in the country and not being snarled in commuter traffic has major benefits too.

Better get back to organising the events, despite the gloomy weather forecast.

Friday, 8 June 2007

First Blog

I'm not sure how this will go but it seems worth a punt as everyone else seems to be doing it. Why should I end up being the "Last man blogging" at the end of it all?

As a first post I have little to say except I started this on the spur of the moment and will have to see how often I return to it, but as a Friday afternoon distraction it seems an interesting way to launch a presence on to the interweb.


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