Friday, September 4, 2009

That was the week that was!

The last week has seen the end of August (and summer!), preparations for the annual Horse Trials, my wife is a year older and we remember the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of WWII.

The August Bank Holiday weekend ran smoothly with a wonderful turn out of classic cars and a good crowd - the weather certainly affected attendance but the month overall has been amazingly strong - up 52% on last year. For the first year for many we have 'banked' very good numbers across the critical June to August period and this should now hold us in good stead for the rest of the year - the primary driver continues to be the annual pass scheme and we now have nearly 75k annual pass holders on our database. The target was always to hit 100k in the full year and this looks as though it could be achievable - an amazing outcome and great to see the Palace and Gardens busy every day - sometimes even despite the weather!

There is now a brief interlude on the events front until the International Horse Trials take place next weekend - the site is a hive of activity and the ground (touch wood!) is in superb condition at this stage. The memories of last years muddy cancellation are horribly fresh in the mind and we are all praying that the event is luckier this year as everyone - especially Mandy Hervieu the Event Director - has worked incredibly hard to 'recover' the event from last years cancellation and to deliver it successfully this year. The signs are all reasonably positive - weather permitting! It is a fantastic event and one of the crown jewels in our events calendar - even the non-horsey person has a vast array of things to do and enjoy - not least the shopping arcades!

The week saw my wife get a year older - always potentially a stressful occasion but at least she can take comfort in knowing that I am 10 years ahead of her! We had a great day out in London with the girls and I hope that we celebrated her birthday in fine style - and the highlight was seeing the matinee performance of Oliver! - what a fantastic show - great songs, great sets and great actors. Memorable stuff - I strongly recommend it to anyone.

This week many have remembered the 7oth anniversary of the declaration of war on Germany back in 1939 - a sobering reminder of those darks times. Neville Chamberlain set up a War Cabinet with nine members including two new ministers - one of them being Winston Churchill as the First Lord of the Admiralty - and it was only a matters of months until he took the helm of the coalition government on 10 May 1940 following Neville Chamberlain's decuision to stand aside - and the rest, as they say, is history.

Important to never forget our past as this has helped to shape the world we live in today - and even more important to remember that our actions and decisions today will shape our future and the future for our children.

Easy to be negative in the current climate of war and debt - but we must all work hard to shape the future as we can all make a difference - the glass is half full not half empty!

Have a good week!

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