An occasion to celebrate
Some supplier events are more fun than others but it takes something special to make me cancel an early afternoon flight from Germany and instead take one requiring me to get up at 05.00 (04.00 UK time) just to make sure that I don’t miss it.
The fact that I also missed an England World Cup game travelling down for it, was to be honest, less of a hardship than I had hoped only a little over a week earlier.
I’ve always been a bit of a sucker for the gold edged invitation with the same portcullis emblem you used to get on the back of an old thrupenny bit that indicates a call to the House of Commons. There’s something about walking past the spot where Charles 1st faced his Parliament and more recently Margaret Thatcher lay in state, as well as all the rest of the associated history that just makes it a very special place to be.
On Tuesday night in the Churchill Room, amid paintings by the great man himself, Iain Stewart, the Conservative MP for Milton Keynes South, hosted a gathering at which Dawsonrentals Bus & Coach celebrated 20 years of providing services to the bus and coach industry. After Iain had praised the company’s contribution to his constituency, he handed the floor to MD, Paul Sainthouse, who recalled the early days of the company when the promise that one day they’d be buying hundreds of buses at a time had failed to cut any ice on reducing the price. Today the business has owned or provided 5,000 bus and coaches and aims to go on from there to the 10,000 mark.
Impressively, apart from a very small number of rental contracts inherited with the LHE Finance business, all of Dawsonrentals Bus & Coach’s growth has been organic. From the outset two decades ago with that first batch of 15 Caetano Algarve bodied Dennis Javelins and a small number of step entrance Dennis Darts acquired before the low floor revolution came in, the company has served the needs of a huge variety of users from all sectors. Bus and coach operators of all sizes, local authorities, car park operators, minibus companies, airports and many more are among the customers with representatives from all of these groups present to join the celebration along with staff from all levels of the company.
It was a convivial evening of informal chatter with interesting people and, as I said goodnight to the policeman on the gate who bade me ‘goodnight sir’, it occurred to me that, even if we didn’t win the World Cup, as a nation we have a lot to celebrate and an enduring sense of occasion.
By Stuart Jones