Well today I called Sarah Kingston, she is the valuer that is going to look at the Boniface on Thursday, I guess she is the next significant hurdle since she could value the business below where I have pegged it and cause a mortgage issue.
Sarah was great, loves the island and Ventnor is her favourite town! She is going to view the premises then we have a call scheduled to discuss my plans and how I will grow the business. All sounded incredibly positive and kinda makes me think I’m not as mad as I think.
I’m hoping that I get a good steer on Thursday so that I can hit the big red announcement button next week, its getting tough keeping quiet.
Todays task was to strip a compressor that had been tripping a breaker and making a noise, all of the expertise pointed at a Vv or piston failure whilst my own diagnosis was fan end bearing failure on the drive motor. When we confirmed my diagnosis I was talking to the suppliers Engineer who asked the standard ‘have you been here before’ to which his colleague answered ‘gav has spent more time in this factory than you and years before in the old factory’. Its then you realise just how ingrained this odd lifestyle is and how long you have been in it.
Looking around the test cell and watching 20 year old machines on test next to the latest designs, knowing the Engineering detail and looking at the modifications that we have fought and battled for over the years. All reminds you of the comfort that you feel when your secure in your knowledge, machines are fantastically simple unlike human beings and over the years I have come to know some of these machines and these suppliers like family.
There will never be a call to use a 40mm spanner or megger test or to connect test supplies to motors suspended from a crane in the pub, large boxes of my tools will languish in the cellar or the office as they do in my fellow publicans premises ( thinking of you here Dave)
Rounds of meetings and modifications to write tomorrow and try and get hold of the bloody planning department to fight the outbuilding rules!
Well I always enjoy an overnight stay in the beautiful national trust village of lacock in wiltshire, although repeatedly twatting your head on a low beam by the bed can take the shine off!
One of the pubs has just changed hands and it was interesting to watch the interaction between two tenants of the same brewer in the same village. Also interesting to see trade still strong on £3.25 for a pint of ale!
On the down side my debates over the cost of sky with Karen from the Boniface were rather hampered by an abject lack of signal! It would seem that there is a saving to be made on a new contract but its not a big saving, roll on 24th Feb when the foreign satellite case comes to the supreme court, although given Sky’s stance at the moment it would seem unlikely that it will go against them . . . . .
Valuation is now booked in this week and once that bit is down we really are on a race to completion, need to get through to the planning officer at the council and get an SIA booked as priorities this week.
Well all still progressing at a rate of knots and still a bit dreamy here I can’t quite get my head around what I am doing so instead I am kinda letting it do itself! Have discovered that Isle of Wight planning office is always engaged which does not help me answer the problem of garages, I want to put a wooden garage on the land at the rear of the pub for the bike but the planning rules are measured against the original house, herein lies the problem there is no house! I am hoping that I can use the consented plans as my comparator but need confirmation from the planning before I go building things.
Of note, I had a final pint in the tenure of Del and Carol at the Walton Victory last night and I am told that the girls are coming out of the Queens Head in May, with one other pub up for lease that makes 3 landlords exiting stage left! I am rather nervous that the ever reported ‘death of the local’ is getting too close for comfort.
Delightful drive to Wiltshire today in order to strip a compressor tommorrow, just wanted to write that whilst I still could as still can’t quite fathom how I will survive without heavy Engineering and massive budgets.
We established yesterday that there are now a number of people engaged in the transfer of the new premises, unfortunately this is England and the state wish to interfere wherever possible, to this end they all require hands on access to my ID, that’s 5 separate organisations that want my passport/driving licence!
Its ok I don’t have to take it to them directly, I could just post them…. the real world (which I still currently inhabit) is subject to short notice trips abroad which necessitate both of the ID forms that they require so post is out. Then a brain wave occurs, why don’t I get certified copies? That works for the Passport Office and these people are charged with protecting our borders after all….. No that will not suffice, well technically that’s not true because whilst it clearly will not suffice the absence of an alternative results in some interesting answers and I think that we now have a way forward.
The weird thing is that if I was a criminal then I could send fake docs to all 5 at the same time and there is no check for that so that would be ok, lunacy. Seriously every system in this country is designed to prevent the workaday types using it.
Today I have had communications with the lawyer acting on the pub, the lawyer acting on the land and the lawyer acting on my ever so long running divorce, that’s a lot of lawyers for an innocent man! Starting to wish I hadn’t watched Shawshank redemption again this week.
On the positive side, its all good news so far and just discovered that LBC was granted for converting the letting rooms into en-suite, its expired now but very positive news
Well just had a call from the very helpful Grant Higgs and heads of terms should be out this week, valuation instructed and awaiting confirmation and lawyers instructed. so far no hurdles. . . .
Tonight my old mate Andy Melton gave me the same incredulous look that Paul Paynter gave me (albeit over the phone) that just couldn’t accept that I would be able to cope full time in a pub without the challenge of constantly juggling engineering and contractual problems.
Now herein lies an interesting point, I believe that the pub is a full time challenge that will test me further than the world of industry and these guys think it is too simple, worrying about peanuts and carlsberg can’t be that tough can it?
Watch this space and we will see who is right . . . .
Well that’s the first draft of the mortgage offer through and a very nice solicitor on the case all feeling very scary lol
So I guess that the night time thoughts need a little more than writing down on hotel notepaper! Now have a ‘to do’ list and in keeping with my industrial history the list has a percentage complete against each task and a running KPI 😉
Well I am entirely new to this and its a very strange experience writing to an invisible or as yet absent audience but hey if there is ever a time to write a blog I guess this is it!
For those that will (hopefully) come to know me through this an introduction is in order. I am gav young a 38 year old happily divorced father of two gorgeous children. I have worked as an engineer in various industries over my career and travelled the globe, I have spent the last 18 years working away from home and now that’s changing.
I am busy purchasing the St Boniface Arms public house in Ventnor on the south coast of the Isle of Wight. No more Engineering, no more travel and for the first time since I was 20 years old I will be spending more ( a lot more) than my previous 3 night maximum at home!
It has always been my plan to come into the licensed trade as I got older and having recently been the proud landlord of The Ship I realised I was older and needed to make the change now, unfortunately I was beaten to the freehold of that venue but made some fantastic friends for life there.
For those of you that know me you are likely to have seen my posts on Facebook detailing the trials of running a 17th century pub, the blog will reflect the trials and hopefully successes of the new venue.
I would explain why I am doing this but as most of you will guess this type of life change has no rhyme nor reason its just something ya have gotta do.
At the moment I am struggling with the concept of leaving walton, my home for 9 years. I will miss the lovely people, the sense of community and the cold comfort I draw from the ghosts and memories associated with every part of the town. I will also miss the world of heavy engineering and ‘big boys toys’ and large budgets (as well as missing the wages) but sometimes we need a change to survive and I am excited to return to the licensed trade and control of my destiny.
Very much hoping that my son will join me on this new journey and that many of you will come to enjoy the hospitality of this delightful new venue.
This week revolves around mortgages and valuations but watch this space as the story develops – gav