Thursday 24 November 2011

Warriors of the Sea

On December 9th it will be the 125th anniversary of the Mexico tragedy, when 27 RNLI volunteers from Southport and St Annes lost their lives trying to save the crew of the ship as it floundered off Formby sands.

The St Annes lifeboat – the Laura Jane- launched sometime after 9pm that night as did the Charles Biggs – the Lytham boat.

The official report at the time recorded a force 7 gale and “….the tide setting against the wind caused the sea to break heavily, rendering it extremely dangerous to boats."

The Charles Biggs managed to rescue the crew of the Mexico, the Laura Jane unfortunately never returned. The fate of the Southport boat the Eliza Fearnley was also cruel with only two of her crew surviving, the rest perished in the sea that night.

To this day it remains the worst RNLI disaster.

On the Fylde coast, our RNLI service has a proud tradition and history – they are part of the very fabric of the town, the crews are our neighbours and friends and because of their bravery and professionalism, sometimes people forget that they are all volunteers.

With the opening of the cockle beds in September, we are reminded just what a brilliant job they do and how selflessly they set out to sea to save those in distress.

You may have seen me and Katie Fieldhouse on the front of the Lytham St Annes Express this week as we are committed to helping to raise funds for the RNLI and I hope that you can help us with this task.

I asked for some help and ideas on my Facebook page a couple of weeks and was overwhelmed by the response from people wanting to help and offering support – thank you so much for your pledges and promises and I’d also like to thank Steve Singleton and the Lytham St Annes Express for their unstinting and generous support

A poem was written at the time of the Mexico tragedy and lest we forget why we are so indebted to our service I thought I’d include the last verse

Think of the sailors round our coasts who, braving sleet and snow,
Leave sweethearts, wives and little ones when duty bids them go.
Think of our sea-girt Island, a harbour where alone
No Englishman to save a life has failed to risk his own
Then when the storm howls loudest, pray of your charity
That God will bless the lifeboat, and the Warriors of the Sea.

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Communication is a two way street

George Bernard Shaw once said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”.

Now there was a chap who knew something about communicating with and engaging his audiences. It’s a favourite quote of mine as it encapsulates completely the mistake we all make from time to time; “hey, I told you to do this task” …. “I told you what I wanted”, “I emailed you”, “I texted you”, “I messaged you – its been communicated, I’ve done my bit”.

Of course that’s not communication – at least its not good communication.

The KEQMS/Arnold debate, rightly has taken up a lot of column inches in local papers, periodicals, and radio time and has caused hundreds of hard pressed parents and their sons and daughters (mine included) at both schools much concern and anxiety.

Without getting into the issues and possible solutions, which I accept are complex and challenging for most of us to fully comprehend and grasp, it strikes me that first and foremost the proposal was always going to be difficult to progress, without a carefully thought through communication plan.

Any reasonable person would accept, that due to a very economic gloomy climate, that both schools inevitably might struggle to maintain reasonable numbers of pupils and revenues at this time.

It is a shame that apparently for legal reasons, the schools could not have engaged parents at an earlier stage. Imagine a dialogue between those parents (some of the brightest business minds on the Fylde Coast) and how everyone could have been galvanised and looking for opportunities to secure a prosperous future with an agreed and considered plan, a call to action, a rallying cry – the response would have been overwhelming.

Instead we have mistrust in some quarters, acrimony, resignations and frankly a bit of a PR bump, battle lines drawn and worst of all, at the moment, just more uncertainty for the kids.

All is not lost – far from it.

As I’m reviewing our own communication strategy at the moment, here at Rowleys, it’s a timely reminder that we all get our communication and messaging wrong from time to time – there is no shame in that – we all make errors of judgement, we’re human. Hopefully lines are now being drawn in the KEQMS/Arnold debate and progress will be made really quickly, but dialogue, discussion understanding and agreement is the only way to ensure real communication has taken place.

Thursday 20 October 2011

A Rather Smokin Party For Anthony Febland's 75th Birthday

Lots and Tasty Nibbles, Bubbly and Smoking Cocktails

Location..... The Beautiful Feblands Furniture Store
Wow, Ive never been before, but after a short time of having a wander around I have now got a huge Christmas List. Hands off the Dreadlock Rugs !!!!

Anyway back to the point.. 100 guests were welcomed with some fantastic Rowley's Canapes including
Miniature Sun blushed Tomato, Pesto & Parmesan Tartlets
Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese & Herb Crostini's
Mini Pots of Risotto
Cones of Fleetwood Plaice Goujon's with Shoe String Fries
Savoury Scones with Mushroom Pate and Artichoke
Home Made Pork & Beef Sausages in a Honey & Mustard Glaze
Chinese Spoons with Thai Spiced King Prawns and Noodles

Followed by some of our Finest Miniature Patisserie

After the boring health and safety lecture ! The Team were ready and more than willing to look after the spectacular dry ice Cocktails.

Its not often you see a soft drink sell better than Champagne at a party but all the guests were excited to try these smoking delights

Happy Birthday Anthony from all the team at Rowley's

Monday 10 October 2011

A Very Big Thankyou

Thank you to all of our clients for making 2011 our most successful year yet

You comments and feedback that we have had is the icing on the cake

Here are just a few snippets of what you have had to say about us in 2011

"Superb Evening, Quality Food and Service"
Trevor Underwood - Semper Fidelis Lodge - 3rd September 2011

"All Round Brilliant"
Nicole Neill - Hen Party - 9th September 2011

"Fantastic Food, Your Staff were Superb, Lots of Compliments and Thanks for your Advise"
Simon & Catherine Holdsworth - Birthday Party - 12th March 2011

"Once again Rowley's Delivered. Thank you for all you did at the school ball 2011"
Lorraine Wareing - Kirkham Grammar School Ball Committee - 25th June 2011

"The food and staff were fabulous as always. I can always rest assured that all will be well with Rowley's Catering"
Ann Walmsley - Lytham Tennis Club Dinner - 16th September 2011

"You and your team did us proud. Friendly, courteous and all together impeccable, and Lytham Hall looked Superb"
Jull Sutton - Birthday Lunch - 16th April 2011

"Rowley's were outstanding, The assistance of Paul and his team beforehand and the service on the night was first class. Almost every guest commented on how impressed they were with the quality of the food"
James North - Birthday Party - 7th May 2011

"The food and detailing were amazing and surpassed my already high expectations"
Ewan & Laura Cobain - New years eve wedding 2010 - Staining Lodge

"All you advise before the day and all the hard work of you and your staff on our special day made sure that everything went perfectly to plan"
Andy & Brenda Cunningham - Wedding 30th July 2011

"I simply cannot thank you enough for the wonderful catering at my daughters wedding. The event management by Ben Glover was exceptional and I personally appreciate all he and your calming influences during the stressful build up"
Martin & Sally Wilkinson - Wedding 20th August 2011

"Our guests were in awe of the quality of the food. It has been a pleasure working with such a professional business and you created a day which we will never forget"
Neil & Jan Leeming - Wedding 16th July 2011

"We had a brilliant day. We have heard a few horror stories of Hotels & Caterers not providing the wedding service they had promised, and we are therefore extremely grateful to you for producing (and surpassing) exactly what you promised from the first time we met you"
Ben & Gemma Hardiman -Wedding 10th September 2011

"You really provide the perfect all round service from getting your ideas translated into menus, to being a calming influence. You had a huge impact on the success of the weekend. Thank you from both of us"
David & Lynne Holmes - Retirement Weekend Party - 9th July 2011

"We could not have asked for anymore"
Shane & Erica Frith - Wedding 2nd July 2011

On behalf of the Captain, President and Members a very big thank you for the standard of meal presented by Ben and his staff"
David Brown - Secretary of Burnley Golf Club

"Thanks Paul, You nailed it"
Melissa Peters - Hoghton Tower Sarah Brown Book Launch & Afternoon Tea - 9th March 2011

"Your Catering has taken us to another level"
Arthur Appleyard - Old Links Golf Club House Manager - September / October 2011 - Various Events

"The food and the guys were fantastic, we really appreciate your hard work"
Alison Waite House Party - 25th February 2011

Wednesday 31 August 2011

An Afternoon Tea Event with Sue Johnston (Aka Barbara Royale)

Another Fabulous Afternoon Tea Event next week at Hoghton Tower, this time with Author and Actress Sue Johnston (Barbara Royale, from The Royale Family)

The Event is on Tuesday 6th September and begins at 2pm.

Ticket Price of £29.99 which includes a signed copy of her book, meet and greet, and of course all the usual fine hospitality from Rowley's Catering and Melissa and her team at Hoghton Tower

With 90 people already booked there are only a few seats remaining so book fast !!

See you there

Wednesday 24 August 2011

The Wedding Of Felicity Wilkinson & Garreth Aspinall at Lytham Hall

Although it was not the usual Lytham Hall Sunny Weather, spirits were certainly not dampened as guests arrived for the wedding of Felicity and Garreth

The Team at Creative Coverhire had done a fantastic job dressing the chairs in the Gold Room
We always say it but this has to be the finest room on the Fylde Coast to hold your Civil Ceremony

Below the proud Mother of the Bride, the fabulous Sally Wilkinson looked fantastic and could finally calm down after doing a sterling job organizing all the pre planning for this special day

It was nearly time for 'I Do' as Garreth and Felicity gave the Marital Vows infront of Friends and Family

The Table plan which had been designed by Flutterby Couture matched the elegance of all the other little details

Rowley's were on hand to look after the pre breakfast Drinks and Canapes which consisted of Tattinger Champagne

Miniature Thai Fishcakes
Chicken Liver and Brandy Pate in a Filo Crown with Red Currant Syrup
Brochette of Halloumi Cheese, Oven Roasted Vegetable and Sun Blushed Tomato
with Balsamic Glaze
And Steak, Chips and Pepper Sauce

The Gold Room looked fantastic for the Wedding Breakfast and Flower Design Events simple but elegant arrangement really brought everything together

Everything was set and the chefs were working frantically behind the scenes to create the culinary feast that the bride and groom had chosen

On the Menu Was

To Start
Potted Lytham Shrimps with Phil's The Bakery of Lytham Walnut Bread and Green Salad

For Main
Rack of Ethnically Sourced Lakeland Lamb
Served on a Bed of Mint and Pea Puree with Port, Honey & Rosemary Jus

For Dessert
A Trio of Creme Brulee, Warm Chocolate Tort & Raspberry Pavlova

At night the celebrations started in the courtyard that had been covered with its own special star lit marquee.

The evening food was a Cheese cake hand picked by Garreth, including a super strong Snowdonia Black Bomber, Cropwell Bishop Stilton and Y Fenni, a welsh Cheddar cheese with Ale and Whole Grain Mustard, Served with Phil's the Bakery Breads, Grapes, Celery and Cheese Biscuits. Followed by the very tasty Wedding Cake

Flower Design had dressed the tables with lanterns and candle lit bird cages

The rest of the evening was handed over to the legendary Ian Hooper and The Hooper Band who kept everyone rocking even through the brief tropical storm that appeared to develop outside !!!!

Congratulation Felicity and Garreth from all at Team Rowleys