We Are Your – Guest House, b&b relief manager
Firstly, let me introduce ourselves to you –
We are Anne and Chris Hirst and we currently live in Tankersley, South Yorkshire. We are fully insured and CRB checked – So you could say we are ‘certified!’
We have recently relocated back to England, having owned and operated a Guest House business in Grantown on Spey, in the Scottish Highlands, for the last 12 years. During our time there, we renovated the 10 bedroomed guest house and built up a very successful business from virtually nothing.
In addition to providing bed and breakfast to visitors from around the world, we provided dinner to groups of guests, as well as operating a bistro and tearoom from the premises for a period of time.
The size and scale of our business did require house keeping and dining room staff, all of whom were managed by ourselves. As such we appreciate the importance of good teamwork and how that can reflect on good customer service and satisfaction.
In order to satisfy the hopes and aspirations of guests, and maintain the smooth and efficient running of a business, ‘people skills’ are paramount .
Over the past 12 years, we have both honed our skills but we did have an excellent grounding to begin with, and you can read a little more about that below.
Having worked in the hospitality business for 12 years, we absolutely appreciate how important it is to rest and recharge your batteries, if you are to give your maximum to your guests and give them the optimum experience.
We know how difficult it is to entrust your cherished business to someone else, but you can be assured that we will maintain your high standards and can offer you the opportunity to take a stress free break, knowing that your business will stay open and that the till will keep ringing.
Since selling our business and moving back to our family roots, we now feel that we can offer you our time and expertise, whether it be for a few days or a few weeks, to keep your business ‘Open as Usual’, and are available to be your guest house, b&b relief manager.
It’s important that you get a feel for who we are, so we have given our main points of interest below, and if you want to read our own version of ourselves, that can be found below the bullet points. It’s important to us that we can also offer you peace of mind, knowing that your business is in safe and honest hands.
Skills and Qualifications
|Food Hygiene Certificate||ONC Business Studies|
|Diploma in Home Economics||EFQM Assessor|
|HNC Business Studies||Former Police Inspector|
|Former Police Officer||Former Fire Service Station Manager|
|Drink Aware Certified||Fire Safety Risk Assessment Trained|
|Event Organisation||First Aid Trained|
|Event Management||Business Association Chair for several years|
|Good sense of humour!!||Advanced Computer skills in Office, Dreamweaver, web site creation and management|
|My sense of humour is better than Hers!|
Having left school at the usual time, and moved into further education, I was employed by a national construction company and placed on their training programme to be a site administrator. It did have a fancy title, but the bottom line is it was my job to make sure that the construction site was safe, admin done and staff and employees kept happy – easy!!
My next post was as a depot manager with a car hire company, and that was the beginning, of the customer service skill set I was about to undertake. One of my staff there was a recently retired Police Sergeant, and suggested that that would be career for me. Following the application process, and standing on my tippee toes to meet the then height requirement, in 1981 I began a career that shaped my future at Dishforth Training centre. Within a short period of time I was promoted to Sergeant and then Inspector, serving most of my career split between uniform patrol and CID work. It was whilst I was with the Police that I undertook the EFQM Assessor programme.
In 2001, following a throwaway remark whilst on holiday on Royal Deeside in Scotland, that Anne and I decided it would be a great idea to put our skills into play at leaving the Police, and the promised pension, owning a business and making our own way in life. Police colleagues used phrases like ‘you must be mad’ and other ditties like ‘what about your pension?’ – But who cares about such things when you have the itch to follow a rainbow. Shortly after we bought, what can only be described, as a bit of a disaster of a guest house business in sunny Grantown on Spey, deep in the Scottish Highlands. An absolutely beautiful area for people like us who just love the outdoors and wildlife. The business was non-existent when we took over, and it was a massive task to start from ground level, change the building, build a customer base and provide a service that ranked as ‘Superb’ on the review sites when we finally sold to the new owners in December 2013.
In the midst of all this, and missing the Police Service like mad, I joined the Highland and Islands Fire and Rescue Service (HIFRS), serving as an operational fire fighter for almost 10 years, until a tiny injury put me at just under 100% fitness. It didn’t stop my running, cycling and swimming sessions and the triathlons continued. Still doing that now, but a lot slower than before. Whilst with the HIFRS, I became qualified to carry out Fire Safety Risk Assessments, and have been doing that since then through my website at http://www.stampoutfire.com, with most of my experience aimed at Risk assessments at accommodation based businesses.
Whilst in Grantown on Spey I became heavily involved with the local business association, and spent several years of Chair, which gave the opportunity to pull together businesses within the area into a constituted cohesive group. That was a great learning experience too.
So what now? Well we have discovered we are not the retiring type, golf and gardening are not for me – just yet anyway, so here we are offering our own brand of personal service and experience just to you!
I don’t think that I am quite as interesting as Chris – but here is a little bit about myself.
Having left school with the required ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels, I attended Sheffield City Polytechnic for 3 years, obtaining a Diploma in Home Economics. Unfortunately, being unable to find a suitable job for that qualification, I was temporarily employed as a personnel assistant with South Yorkshire Transport. This temporary status however, got a little too permanent and I sought another career direction. I joined the Special Constabulary to begin with, which latter progressed into the regular Police in South Yorkshire. I gained extensive personnel experience in various positions, including patrol officer, control room operator, major incident room computer operator and community constable.
My police service lasted for 17 years until we had the ‘eureka’ moment in Scotland, which Chris explained above. Our new lifestyle gave us a whole new direction and challenges which we feel have enhanced our abilities.
Apart from being absorbed in our guest house business, we made the time to help to progress other businesses in the town, through the business organisation. One event which I organised in town, was the Thunder in the Glens – 2000 strong Harley Davidson motor cycle rally, which attracted participants from all over the world. Ear plugs were distributed! In addition to this event, I assisted with the organisation of the Motormania car rally event in town, and still do, even though we have left. (Facetime is a wonderful thing)
When I did have any spare time, it usually involved wildlife and our beautiful surroundings. We are both passionate about wildlife and learned a great deal from our ‘twitcher’ guests. I even found time to paint some of it in our local art group.
So, there you have it – my life in half a page!
As you can see, neither of us are the type to do nothing, as we feel we still have a lot to give in one way or another.
We are here to help – please call us for a chat.