The Home Counties were brought to a snowy standstill by the pre-Christmas snowfall. There were amazing scenes of gridlock and abandonment of cars along Henley’s leafy lanes. I got away early enough to get back to Oxford, but other colleagues were not so fortunate. And this morning’s (22 December) drive in via Marlow looked like a middle-class disaster movie, with many people unable to retrieve their BMWs, Mercedes and (ironically) their 4 x 4s.
Many sought refuge at our venue at Greenlands which played its part yesterday in what must be some of the worst snow conditions on record for this area. All available bedrooms were full (some people even doubling up!) with a mix of staff who were unable to get home (some tried and gave up, choosing to return to work!) and some local business clients.
There were reports of some journeys being five hours-plus around Henley and surrounding areas.
The Henley team rallied round for what turned out to be an enjoyable evening for most. Some special mentions go to Lee and the catering team for providing a hot meal (Thai curry and scampi and chips: yum yum!), Delphi for looking after our diners, Gary for providing refreshments, Tim for laying on the disco and Kalyan for managing the night shift which included some delicate negotiations regarding room sharing. Many other colleagues assisted throughout the evening to ensure all our guests were comfortable.
Beth Hunter, having sent the Front of House team home in the afternoon, manned the phone and reception until late to ensure all staff and clients were settled. Security officer David Amara, having abandoned his car, walked from Caversham to Greenlands to cover his shift finally, finally arriving at 11.30pm. Given that we outsource Security, that’s dedication in the extreme.
All great examples of the Henley Experience.