It’s been a little while since my last newsletter, but a busy business and a busy life seem to always throw in a larger priority. But, occasionally something happens that makes a ‘pen to paper’ or finger to iPad moment suddenly seem very important to me - this is one of those times.

Recent events have meant that I’ve spent little time at the business in Ashington, but on my return I commented to Verity (one of our wonderful shop managers) that I was really pleased to be back as I’d really missed the place.

Then I had to stop myself because what I meant was I had really missed the people: our customers, staff and suppliers - not the building or the land.

This was born out only last Friday when unusually, we had a member of staff leave us.  It was always going to happen as Mike, from our sales team, had said on day one that he was going to emigrate to Australia with the love of his life, Bonnie. I sort of always joked that we only had Mikey on loan. But the day finally came and that Friday Mikey thought we should go to the nearby Frankland Arms for a goodbye drink.

At SCC Ashington we now employ 25 people for the 7 day a week business, and do you know, everyone turned up - even those on days off and in one case, on annual leave. We stayed until quite late with quite a few adding food to the occasion - all in all it was a wonderful evening....made by the people. I felt very proud to be associated with those people, and even the landlady said to me what a great bunch, and great business it must be, and in my mind it is.

I wrote in my 25th anniversary ‘mutterings’, back in 2014, that the best thing about my time in the caravan business has been the people and that’s as true today as it was then.

Life brings many problems on a day-to-day basis, often minor ones, but they can really get us down.  If you have a problem with your caravan or motorhome I hope that you know we are here by your side wanting to fix the problem so you can enjoy yourself on your holidays, seeing new things, meeting new people, chilling and relaxing - the more important things in life.

In the bigger world picture we often see that the actions of a minority impact the majority.  Currently I’ve been having to deal with events caused by a minority and that is having a large effect on my and other people's time and life.  What is helping to get through this is that, whatever their actions, the minority can’t really beat the decent, fun loving, genuinely nice people who make up the majority. You have been so supportive and helpful and that not only restores one’s faith in human nature but actually makes it stronger.  Thank you from me as this is what makes it all worthwhile.

As for Mikey, him living in Australia will be their gain.  We will miss him, but as Jack (our accountant) said “Mike is migrating”.  I said: “don’t you mean emigrating?” but he said: “no migrating, as he will be back sometime!”  We wish Mike and Bonnie all the best and a very happy future together, and look forward to seeing them again one day.

We wish you all a wonderful festive season - all the very best not only from me, but all the people at Sussex Caravan Centre.