Welcome to the January edition of the Fairford & Lechlade Business Club newsletter and a Happy New Year from the Chair and the Steering Group. As a member of the steering group, who are all volunteers, I have been asked to tell you a little about myself and my business.
I bought Lechlade Marina with my wife Jules in June 2018 from Trustees in Bankruptcy, and knew we were embarking on a restoration project that would take several years to complete. But we saw the enormous potential to restore the marina and were ready to take on the challenge of returning it to a first-class facility at the head of the navigable Thames for annual boat moorings and slipway launching.
I came to Lechlade with the benefit of 25 years’ experience managing private rural estates, on which I was responsible for the renovation of properties and running diversification projects. With a 25-year career in office management and bookkeeping, Jules brought a great deal of administrative knowledge and experience to the business.
The long-neglected site required some significant clearing before specific projects could be started, but, by the spring of 2019, the loo and shower block had been refurbished, and a new marina office was up and running.
Then began the mammoth task of replacing the entire electricity and water supply, which hadn’t been upgraded since the marina opened in the early ‘80s. At the same time, the bridge that gives access and carries services over to moorings on the island was overhauled.
This summer we installed a new floating pontoon, a very welcome addition for owners of smaller vessels using the slipway either for day trips or longer expeditions.
After 25 years of managing estates for other people, the last two years have been incredibly rewarding, knowing all the work Jules and I have done is for our own business. We’ve had some first-class contractors and suppliers carrying out the more specialist work, but we’re extremely grateful to all our moorers that have helped out as well. 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, but we’re all working together to ensure Lechlade Marina continues to prosper and are looking forward to even greater success in the years to come with many more projects to plan and complete.
Through the Business Club I met many local businesses and several them have undertaken work for us. I found the club so valuable I have been delighted to give something back by joining the steering group. I also currently sit on Lechlade Town Council and am Secretary for the River User Group for the Upper Thames.
FLBC Steering Group Member