February 2007

Published on 

February 15, 2007



In memory of Stuart Dickson

Stuart started work at West Lodge Park in 1980 as a lounge porter. Despite his degenerative Mytonic Dystrophy, he always proved himself to be warm and friendly with our guests and mischievous with staff. In later years, he moved to the wash up area where more plates seemed to get broken than get cleaned, and latterly he worked in the Estates team, sweeping around the hotel, normally with Grant tidying up behind him ! And yet…. he has left a massive hole at WLP and in our hearts – a truly lovely man who fought against his disability, and whose tragic early death robs us of a dear friend and colleague who will be hugely missed by us all. Our condolences go out to Jessie his mother who has had more than her fair share of battles in life, with three children born with the same illness. Stuart’s funeral is at 3.30pm on February 8th at Enfield Crematorium followed by a buffet at WLP.

david and iainWelcome to David Seward (left pic)

who joins WLP from BB as General Manager. Hotel Manager Iain Murray (right pic) remains at WLP as the other half of the senior management team at the hotel. Andrew paid tribute to the way in which Iain has contributed so well to the recent successes at WLP. With all the exciting projects coming to WLP in the next few months including new beds, duvets and pillows, re-opening of the spa, new Front Lounge, new reception area, new boilers, back of house rebuild, bedroom refurbishments, Lancaster Suite improvements etc, now is the time to strengthen the already impressive management team at WLP. David will be a great asset to the hotel, has proved himself able to create a wonderful can-do team at BB, and has seen through an orderly transition to the new owners.


to all who contributed to a great start to 2007 with sales up at BH by 39% and at WLP by 19% – a wonderful start for everyone and one that comes after the busiest of Christmas periods.

Beales Website

Have a look at www.bealeshotels.co.uk for the following updated features this month: New home page; Stunning new gallery for BH; New Special offers for BH; New special events page for BH; The business plan for the company is on the staff area and each section is easily downloadable and password protected. Please contact Head Office for username and passwords.

Just 11 months ago, I wrote that the number of visitors to the www.bealeshotels.co.uk website were 2500 a month – some 100% up on 6 months previously. Well the stats for the autumn are in now and in the September to December period, the visitors numbered an average of 12124 per month or 397 per day – an increase of almost 500%! It vindicates the strategy to ensure everything that we do is online and accessible to all. The next phase will see us putting job descriptions and Standards of performance manuals online – I know I know, not gripping reading but a terrific resource for all in our management team and saves rooting around for that dusty file or that lost CD – everything definitive about the company is online.

Estates News

The Estates team have been busy this new year painting the walls at BH, papering the corridors at WLP, painting the fence on Cockfosters Road, fixing the WLP boiler, replacing worn taps at WLP, and making new wooden painted headboards for many of the bedrooms at WLP that formerly had padded ones.

New National Collection

In the Beale Arboretum, we have decided to retire our National Collection of Elaeagnus for two reasons – we do not now have the requisite 75% of varieties to qualify, and more importantly we are an arboretum – specialising in trees rather than shrubs. For this reason we have decided to apply for a new National Collection of Taxodium – the beautiful deciduous conifers – dominated by the stunning pyramidal Taxodium Distichum or Swamp Cypress by the entrance to the arboretum. We are also planting a second national collection of Carpinus Betulus (Hornbeam) on the top field where there is more room for the collection to grow.

wayneLocal Food

Wayne (pic right) and I paid a visit to Food Smiles – the one distributor in Hertfordshire that specialises in local food from a 50 mile radius. With everything we are reading about the undesirability of long journeys for produce, and the genuine passion for traceable food from defined farms, and as the oldest business in Hertfordshire, we want to play a big part in showcasing food from Hertfordshire in our restaurant, lounge and banqueting menus. One problem is the dearth of dairy, livestock and fruit and veg growers in Herts – nearly the whole county is given over to arable these days. However we are optimistic we can source enough local food to make a real difference to local farmers, giving the best flavours, the most interest to our increasingly discerning guests and doing our bit for the local environment as well.

Andrew Beale
Managing Director