Captains Blog Stardate -17334.07(8 February 2019)
BLOG ALERT – THIS ONE IS A BIT LONGER, BRINGING POSSIBILITIES OF SEVERE HEADACHE AND MAY CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION NOT AVAILABLE ELSEWHERE
If you weren't at the Grand Opening of the main bar last Friday evening, where were you? The heady cocktail of free Prosecco with canapés, mixed with a dash of intrigue was sufficient to see 130 members register online, with probably close 150 people actually in attendance. Whilst declaring a bias, personally I am delighted with the outcome of the refurbishment. You probably know the story of how we got to this point, if you don't then ask me and I will give you chapter and verse on the whole affair but the reality is we pulled it off on time and a smidgeon under budget.
There are still some bits not quite finished. We have some special effect paintwork to be applied by Silvio and a few final components to fit but we are very very close. We also need further dressing of the room to bring out the desired sparkle and then for the new systems and procedures to bed in but please don't forget that your feedback on working practices, hours of operation, menus, prices and so on are required and welcomed please.
On the evening, I tried to explain the journey and pay tribute to those who had completely bought into the concept and went the extra mile to make the difference. In the redhot heat of the moment, I missed out some who deserved a mention. At the risk of repeating the crime, I have noted below the majority of the key individuals who genuinely made the difference and responded to anguished cries for help;
CCB the Primary Contractor – Principle of the company and of the BHPGC installation team, Ross Russo who was masterfully represented on site by Silvio, Roman and Andrew. I owe a great debt of gratitude to Ross and his team who not only carried out all of our wishes without fuss but executed all of the works at zero profit to Ross's company. Why did Ross do this would be the question and the answer is simple, Ross shared our excitement, enthusiasm and the challenge and was prepared to risk his reputation to complete on time. We get to see heights Ross is capable of and simply, the exposure is what Ross gets in return. Ross, it's congratulations on a job well done and a massive thank you from me on behalf of the club.
Advanced Vision Surveillance (AVS)
Destruction of the downstand section over the old bar and removal of the false ceiling revealed a plethora of spaghetti masquerading as surveillance camera cabling and more. A nasty but not totally unexpected surprise which required a siren call to Scott Francis, the undercover, unsung hero of the club's security and access equipment provider. Within hours Scott and his side kick Mark Hall stripped, cabling that is and provided the plan which allowed the works to continue at full pelt. We also agreed with Scott at the same time to implement the new HD security system which had been approved in last year's budget but not implemented. Being the kind of guy he is, Scott stood by a significant error in his cost proposal, which enabled us to make a big saving over the already extremely competitive price. Scott and his company sponsor a hole and are great supporters of the club, we owe him a big thank you and well done Scott.
I was convinced that the original staircase was not only a design dodo but also a potential death trap. The angle of the stairs meant that there was no safe way to traverse the staircase and we know of two people who came a cropper just trying to walk down them, which could have been extremely nasty. They needed to go and be replaced by a safe but elegant design, enter Paul Elkin of Excel Stairs. Again, I declare an interest having known Paul for too many years. Paul is the staircase guru, nay, doyenne of staircase design in UK. Paul duly did what he always does and provided us with a beautiful design which included with a super 3D rendering to help those of us without any imagination, to see what could be achieved if some thought was applied. The staircase was manufactured on CNC machinery in Paul's local factory and duly installed with the aid of Paul's own hand. When you try walking up and down this staircase you will instantly appreciate the difference even if, like some members, for some unknown reason it doesn't look all that different. There is a name for people like that but I can't quite remember what it is. You know it's right when it looks like it's always been there, well done and thank you Paul
Dean Rowe of ROCK IT, aka Mr Fixit came to our aid once more on the morning of the Grand Opening. Dean had done his fair share of stripping out redundant cabling and installing new into hidden locations when the till server crashed on the Friday morning. Not good when you are hoping for an unprecedented number of members descending on the bar, all virtually at the same time. Dean calmly, or so it seemed at the time, rebuilt the server and got the old girl up and running again. Dean was one of the principle architects in the move to broadband over fibre optic cable, which is now supporting the IT system at the club. Thanks Dean, another great job by ROCK IT.
It is generally not a good idea to change interior design plans midstream but the works were going too smoothly so we decided to shake it up a bit and go for a radical new carpet design. But who could possibly take on that type of challenge, no one other than one of our playing members, the indomitable Chris Vowles. Chris provided some super samples and we chose the aptly named STORM. By the close of play on the Thursday night, the new carpet looked incredible and the storm had passed. Well done Chris, a statement installation that will last some time.
Hilary Kent of Casabella and her team ensured that the fabrics chosen for our blinds and curtains were fire proofed and manufactured and hung on the morning of the Grand Opening. Hilary is a known quantity to several members of the club and once again she has produced quality products, well done and thanks Hilary.
We are also grateful to our brewery supplier, Marstons. Stewart took our new account manager, James, through our plans for the refurbishment and our longer term vision for the social aspects of the club. This was very positively received and between Stewart, James and his immediate superior, a very favourable loan was agreed. In principle this is an interest free loan of £20,000 which in cash terms has an equivalent repayment of approximately £5000, yes, we didn't believe it either. The principle sum is repaid or offset, against future discounts and barrelage. There is no real fixed term but taking into account some uplift in consumption, we expect this to be 'repaid' in a few years. There is no direct increase in the net cost of our beers, because our discounts are effectively reduced and there is no change in the price of wine or spirits. This is a very good deal for the club, which comes in addition to a stunning purchase contract agreed by Stewart last year. Marstons are committed to providing us with quality products at good prices but should we decide to go elsewhere, we can, we are not tied in and we would simply port the reminder of the 'loan' to the next supplier. We don't see this happening and I am looking forward to some great summer events where Marstons will have some surprises in store, no more Bombadier Bus but something altogether much more exciting.
Obviously, great thanks must extended to all of our great staff at Bush Hill. Whether they were directly involved or not, the disruption caused by the works required careful handling and some discomfort in just trying to get on with their work. The new single front of house and catering team is already working better than expected but we must expect some gremlins for a short while since virtually all of our procedures are now new. Our staff have always been brilliant but I think right now, they are even more brillianter.
Finally, thank you to you, our members. I appreciate your good humour during the works and remind you that this has been carried out to make your club even better and I sincerely hope that you will enjoy the new bar and all that goes with it.
Well, congratulations if you have got this far, award yourself a little pat on the back and enjoy the bullet points;
- The Grand was a huge success, no more to be said.
- A name for the new bar, any suggestions or thoughts?
- The subs renewals have gone out – save money and help your club, pay as soon as possible please.
- My Captain's away day details will follow very, soon please keep the dates free Sunday 19 and Monday 20 May, this is not to be missed.
- Valentine's Night at the club on 16 February, please book in and I will see you there.
VERY LONG Golf Blogs©
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