Catering, Event Planning

New Customisable Carts

29 June 2020

We hope you like our new customisable carts range.

Few people can claim that this Covid lockdown has been good. Well, I know a handful whose business has gone through the roof. We have suffered financially, but on another level it has helped us.

Because we have been so busy for so long we have pretty much cruised along. During the lockdown we have taken a long look at everything we do. In many cases we have realised we could be doing things better. Or building more into our services.

We have taken this and decided to do something about it. We are revamping and rebuilding our range of carts and attractions. Adding in house branding services to most of what we do. Generally doing things that at one time we would have been at the forefront in.

Custom Themed Carts

The first result of this has been to adapt our little Alpine huts to take a new interchangeable panel system that allows us to theme them up. We have always been willing to add flowers and ribbons or the occasional sign. The new system allows us to alter the character of the cart to suit the clients event.

Pictured below are the initial batch of options for our new customisable carts. These are being added to as we come up with new ideas. Additionally we can very quickly design and manufacture a custom panel to suit a clients needs.

We are in the process of building a 50 inch video screen, a new pixel art screen and a VW camper themed front. As our staff come up with more ideas they will be added to the lineup.

These are intended to be a starting point, additional decor and customisation can be added quickly, and in many cases at smaller events such as weddings, free of charge.

Check out our range of catering options that can be used with these carts.

Photo Booths

Del Boy Trotter 3 Wheeled Van. Its Cushty!

26 June 2020
Del Boy Trotter Photo Booth Hire

We have a number of different iconic and quirky vehicles. None attract as much attention as our Del Boy Trotter 3 wheeled van. Driving along the road you will suddenly realise that no one has overtaken you for a while. When you look in the mirror, a car will be level with the trailer containing the van, taking photos. Once they start to pass us and get level with our towing vehicle, they look disappointed. I think they expect David Jason to be driving.

Pull into a service station for a McDonalds and when you come out there will be a crowd around the van, never fails.

The van itself is not, as Del claims in the series, a Reliant Robin. The Robin is a much newer vehicle. The actual van has the much more grandiose title of Reliant Regal Supervan MkIII.

Raleigh Cycles

The Reliant motor company was actually formed when a management buyout occurred of the motorised division of Raleigh Cycles. They had decided to concentrate on pedal bike production so sold the motor division off.

The new management needed a name for the company, and as many of the parts they had acquired were stamped with the letter R for Raleigh. They decided to choose a name beginning with R so they could reuse the parts.

Historic Motorised Raleigh Cycle
Historic Motorised Raleigh Cycle

Photo Booth

We acquired the van to convert it into a photo booth. You sit inside and it takes your photo, then the print pops out of the suitcase on the roof. It was actually taxed and tested and fully road worthy when we bought it. The day we fetched it home, I picked my daughter up from school in it. That was the last time I drove it on a road, what a nightmare. The handling, was like driving a jelly, the engine was about 2 inches away from your left leg so it got rather warm. The gearbox was like stirring a knitting needle in a ball of wool. The acceleration, well, I think from a standing start I could beat it on foot to about 25 mph at least.

But for all its faults its fun. We did a job in a shopping centre in West Brom. The amount of elderly gents that come to talk to me and reminisce about it being their first car. How they used to pile 6 or 7 in the back and go to the seaside, boy they were brave men in that generation.

Restoration

During the lockdown, we took the opportunity to carry out a full restoration on the car. The chassis was taken back to bare metal. Repaired where necessary. Treated and fully resprayed. The engine was stripped down for a rebuild but found to be to damaged for economical repair. We managed to source an excellent running moderner version of the Reliant engine. This was fully refurbed then fitted into the chassis, along with a fully restored rear drive axle, clutch and brakes.

The body was sanded back to its gel coat. The myriad of small cracks, dings and gouged sections filled with a carbon fibre compound for strength, then coated with a top glaze. Two coats of high build primer were followed by two coats of Ford Daytona yellow with a matting compound to take the ‘newness’ from the look of the paint.

Finally Craig Ainge, a local signwriter reapplied the lettering (actual signwriting this time rather than vinyl stickers), and added the rust streaks and dirt to the body to make it look, well, dingy!

Del Boys Props

We always provide a box of props for people to use with our photo booths. Usually hats, wigs that sort of thing. With this one we provide props themed around the series, so there is triggers broom, granddads hat etc. We did have Del’s sheepskin coat, till some light fingered prat decided to purloin it on a job. I remember on the West Brom job, my daughter going barmy, all because I had her inflate the blow up doll, cos I was a bit out of breath.

Danger UXD. Our Inflatable Vinyl Vera.

The photo booth software is custom reprogrammed to play short clips like ‘You Plonker’ and ‘This time next year we will be millionaires’

In short I don’t think we have anything that is quite as much fun. So if you need a photo booth that will make an impression, then Del Boy Trotters 3 wheeled van is definitely it!

Event Planning, Fun Story, Funfair Rides

My Kingdom For A Welder. Tales Of Misadventures.

18 June 2020

We put a lot of work into being professional, giving our clients an excellent service and hopefully securing regular repeat business. Sometimes though I think we are a bit like ducks, all calm and serene looking on the surface, whilst paddling furiously underneath to keep things going.

We seem to go for extended periods of time, without any major problems or issues. Then all of a sudden the gods of spite rear their ugly heads to slap us about a bit.

A few years ago we were contracted to provide a small family funfair for the opening of NUS Mutuals new headquarters. I wrote about our run in with Princess Anne’s bodyguards at the same event.

In the event, we got set up in the nick of time, operated to the clients satisfaction and was all derigged ready for the road by about 11pm. That should have put us on getting back home for around 2am.

We sent the girls on ahead in the car, I was in a lorry towing a children’s ride, and Arthur was in another lorry towing a trailer loaded with equipment.

Arthur

I’ll introduce Arthur, he could loosely be described as a business partner. There was nothing official, but we tended to do some of the larger jobs together. Physically he looked a bit like Austin Powers, only much much shorter. Think of a 4ft 10 version of Austin Powers, glasses and all and you would be on the right track.

Anyway, I was just approaching Tamworth services when I gets a phone call from Arthur.

“One of the wheels on my trailer is hot”

“How Hot” I enquired.

“Too FU*&^NG hot to touch”, was his expert opinion. That sounded like a wheel bearing was on its way out. I told him I would wait for him in the services.

When he arrived I found he was pretty accurate in his diagnoses, It was too hot to touch. I told him to jack the wheel off the floor so we could see how bad it was. When he did the wheel promptly fell off. The bearing wasn’t on its way out, it had left the building, deceased, kaput, as dead as a very dead thing.

Collapsed Wheel Bearing
Not our bearing, but one remarkably like it.

When Spares Are A Good Idea

Luckily, the bearing was the same type as used on the wheels of the children’s ride I was towing. I always keep a couple of spares in stock, as they have failed on me in the past. No probs, half an hour and we would be back on the road. We cleaned the stub axle up, changed the bearing, put the wheel back on, and I told Arthur to tighten the locking nut to hold everything in place.

Slight problem he told me, the threads had been damaged and the nut wouldn’t go back on. Crap, we will have to weld it on. “Got a welder” he asked, I did in fact have one, 100 miles away back at base. Why havent you got one was my retort, “Because I didn’t know my FU*&^NG wheel bearing was FU*&^NG going to FU*&^NG fail” was his eloquent reply.

My Kingdom For A Welder

So there we were half past midnight stuck in services on a Sunday morning with no welder. Luckily I thought of my Uncle Michael. About 60 miles away in Nottinghamshire, at that time he would have just been coming in from the pub. A quick call and he agreed to leave a welder at the gate of his property for us to pick up.

Cue a 2 hour round trip for the welder. We got back set the welder up, ran a cable to the power generator, started it up, and welded the nut on. Only we didn’t, as Arthur touched the welding rod to the nut, the generator stopped.

Having just installed it the day before, it didn’t have a fuel tank fitted, instead the fuel was in a five gallon plastic drum. This had moved en route and pulled the fuel pipe out so the engine was starved of diesel. Not an issue, we have purged the fuel system of air plenty often in the past.

My Kingdom For A Battery

We did that, turned the key, and nothing happened, the sodding battery was flat. Now we needed jumper cables, which were also back home. No problem, we were in a services, you could go and buy a set from the garage. You know the type, they are £3.99 a set, only in the services they add a 0 on the end.

No matter the cost we needed the bloody things. We connected them up and yay, the damn thing started. Only the rattling and crunching indicated that the starter motor hadn’t disengaged. It was now being torn apart by the engine running.

Arthur looked at me, “Just weld the FU&*^NG thing on and we’ll repair the starter tomorrow.”

We limped home just as it was becoming daylight, a three hour trip turning into around 8 hours.

Cheap Jump Leads
Our Highly Valuable Cheap Jump Leads

Read one of our earlier tales of woe.

Fun Story, General

Modern Technology, A Brave New World

14 June 2020

Like everyone in the country, or indeed much of the planet. We are all sat here in isolation. But that got me thinking, imagine if this pandemic had occurred say 20 years ago. How much different would things have been without modern technology.

We all had phones 20 years ago granted, so we could talk. Now however look at the options. From video calls on your mobile, to Skype, Portal, Echo Show, zoom, numerous methods of larger screen face to face communication. Sometimes for the isolated just seeing someone as you talk to them can make all the difference.

One of our Photo Booths is a Del Boy Trotter 3 wheeled van. The props for the booth are all themed around the series, so we have Grandads hat, Triggers broom etc. We also have a couple of the original Motorola ‘Brick’ phones. You know the ones, size and weight of a house brick, battery lasted a week, put them in your trousers and the weight would pull them down. And if you were ever mugged you could use it to beat the attacker senseless.

Anyway we did a couple of days at a shopping centre in West Brom. Kids and their dads would rummage through the props box. When they came to the phone the kids would ask ‘Whats this dad?’

When told it was a mobile phone it was like, ‘What, no way, where’s the screen, how do you look at Facebook.’ Now phones are that small you can slip them up your left nostril. Though I can remember when this brick phone was modern technology, the original mobile phone came with a separate battery that you could just about lift.

Motorola 8500X, an early mobile phone
Motorola 8500X. One of the earliest mobile phones.

Information

Besides Google and the other search engines, we also have the NHS 111 number. Checking if your symptoms could be Corvid-19 is only a phone call or search engine away. At one time none of this existed. Instead you would have been calling your local GP. Or more accurately trying to. With thousands of people all worried and panicking, how long would it be before the local health services had to take their phones off the hook. They wouldn’t have a hope in hells chance of coping.

Not connected to the current situation, but think of the way some of the other sources of information have changed. We all had telephone directories, and Yellow Pages. Both of which were a struggle to lift they were that big. You try looking for something in the Yellow pages, it meant hours of wading through adverts trying to find what you wanted.

Now, you type it into Google and the information comes to you. Modern technology at its finest.

Yellow pages business directory
A Yellow Pages Business Directory, This one only covers Bristol.

Medical Facilities

I had the misfortune to avail myself of our medical services recently. A burst appendix meant emergency surgery. I now have 4 tiny little puncture marks across my abdomen, 2 for the keyhole surgery, and 2 from the drains fitted to remove the poison. It wasn’t that long ago when I would have had a large scar across my body where they would have opened me up to remove it. Indeed at one time even an operation such as an
appendicectomy would have carried a high risk. I made the mistake in hospital when talking to the surgeon, of calling it an appendectomy, only to be told off because evidently that is an American term.

It is forecast that, like Italy etc we are going to see a lot of deaths from this terrible pandemic. But imagine if this was 20 years ago, how much higher would the death toll be. It seems that ventilators are going to be one of the key items to save lives. A consortium of tech companies are ramping up to massively increase our supply of the device. Could we have really done this twenty years ago, heck could we have done it ten years ago in the same timeframe?

Dyson Covent Ventilator
I know, I know, this one didn’t go into production, but it was the sexiest looking one.

Entertainment

At one time we had the 5 terrestrial channels. Sky, and a few cable services, if you wanted a particular film you needed to walk to the local Blockbusters and hire it. Now we have the massive list of freeview stations, Amazon Prime channels, Netflix, Youtube, Spotify and so on. There is an unbelievable amount of entertainment that can be accessed, streamed downloaded. Fair enough much of it is crap. But amongst it all there should be enough to keep everyone entertained to some degree.

We are all spoilt with access to almost any movie we wish on demand. At one time you visited your local video tape store, where hopefully they had the film you wanted in stock. If it was a popular one then the chances are you would struggle to get it. Once hired you fetched a tape like the one below back to play on your video machine. What you then got was a sometimes grainy fairly lowish resolution picture, with garbage sound. If the tape you had hired had been well used then the picture quite often would begin to degrade and become grainy, or have bits of the dialogue drop out. None of this 4k or 8k super hi res, with Dolby surround sound processing.

A Video Tape
A Movie On A Video Tape

Working From Home

With the country in lock down, we have been told to work from home where possible. Now obviously a lot of us can’t. You would find the wife kicking a stink up if you tried to build cars in her front room. And most gardens aren’t going to be big enough to fabricate wings for Airbus.

For much of the service industry and creative media industry however its a different story. A multiplicity of conference software, and collaborative office and design software mean that this is a real option for a lot of people. Fast internet speeds are the secret sauce facilitating this. The dial up speeds of yesteryear just would have had us working at the speed of a British Leyland worker in the 1970’s. Instead some parts of the global economy are still ticking over, and hopefully can hit the ground running once we are released from lockdown.

Airplane in a back garden
Crap, Now I Have Built It How Do I Get It Out

Online Shopping

Part of the lockdown is that all non essential shops are closed. But how much of an inconvenience is this in practice. Unless we need something, like, now, we tend to buy online. The mighty Amazon stocks an awful lot of what we need. With its Prime service, delivery tends to be overnight, or indeed on some items same day.

Almost anything else you want can be ordered online, with rapid delivery, and in many cases for less than what you would pay in a bricks and mortar store.

Indeed my daughter has a steady stream of deliveries from various fashion and beauty outlets. So much so that a recent delivery driver remarked that ‘your daughter must have come back off holiday’, ‘How do you know shes been on holiday’ I asked. Dead simple was the reply, ‘Our deliveries dropped by 50% whilst shes been away.’

Online Shopping. The Future Is Here
Online Shopping. The Future Is Here
Catering

World Gin Day

8 June 2020

Today is World Gin Day. A celebration of that hot, on trend drink, which has changed over the years from being a cheap “Mothers ruin“, to an in demand industry. Every day seems to bring another gin flavour, we have had everything from Truffle Gin, to elderberry.

Add in the great range of mixers and gin has something to suit any palate.

The idea of world gin day is to give everyone a chance to enjoy their favourite tipple, not that an excuse is needed. Dating from the 13th century its certain proved it’s long lasting appeal.

Gin And Tonic With Garnish to celebrate world gin day
Gin And Tonic With Garnish

Massive Selection Of Flavours

Gin is building up a fabulous selection of flavours, just the basic range on our bars include;

•Rhubarb & Ginger
•South African Truffles
•Pink Gin
•Raspberry Gin
•Sweet Violet Gin
•Chocolate Gin
•Passion Fruit Gin
•Blackberry Gin

Some of the city centre bars have more offerings than you can count.

So however you like it, raise a glass and enjoy. If you need a set up for a wedding, party or corporate event, we can provide a fully staffed and stocked bar with your choice of flavours.

Lux, Our Gin Bar
Lux, Our Gin Bar

Special Offer

Hire our bar for an event this month and we will throw in a couple of bottles of Presecco for you.

Catering

National Doughnut Day

5 June 2020

5th June, national doughnut day in the States, where else. I think they have a national day for every food ever invented.

The humble doughnut, available around the world in various guises, the traditional ring doughnut that we all know and love. Delicious hot with just sugar on, or with a range of glazes, chocolate and other toppings.

Traditional Ring Doughnuts
Traditional Ring Doughnuts

Spanish Churros

Our Latin friends have their own version known as a churros. A similar taste, but formed as long fingers rather than circles. They can also be made with a hollow inside for cream to be injected. Traditionally served in Spain with a hot chocolate.

Spanish Churros
Spanish Churros

Dutch Oliebol

our Dutch friends have their traditional Oliebol , this is like a ball of dough, with a filling then injected inside. When we were stopping with some Dutch friends on a fairground in Groningen, I watched them being made, they used a mashed potato type scoop to make a ball shaped doughnut.

Dutch  Oliebol
Dutch Oliebol

Whichever way you like them, they are still super popular, and are definitely one of our most popular lines, so happy national doughnut day.

Whichever doughnut version floats your boat, we can supply a fully manned service with hot fresh doughnuts and a range of toppings to serve your guests.

Fun Story

When You Are At The High Rollers Table

29 May 2020

Tales Of Misadventures

Our catering company is called Candy Floss Crazy. Our first ever offering was candy floss. However in the very early days we didn’t actually own a candy floss machine. We used to borrow them from family members until we could afford our own.

On one occasion, when we were contracted to give floss out at the opening of a brand new casino, we borrowed a machine from my wife’s uncle.

On the night of the event, we were situated next to what turned out to be the high rollers table. The Chinese guests were throwing chips down on the roulette numbers like they were going out of fashion. I counted up one spin that come to about £20,000. And they were all like that.

When You Deal With Cowboys

Anyway, about 30 minutes before the end of my hire I hit a snag. The family we had borrowed the machine from, were a bit of a cowboy outfit. At some point they had changed the electrical cable inside the head of the candy floss machine. Now, this part of the machine heats up to 186C so needs special heatproof cabling. Not so on this machine, they had used cheap two core flex from B&Q. The result was when it eventually touched the heating element, it burnt through and caused an electrical short.

This resulted in the electric tripping off. Shit, that also put the roulette table out of action. Things then got worse. Because it was a brand new casino, no one knew where the trip switches were located. SO, call the maintenance guy right. Well no, it was a Sunday evening and he wasn’t working. So they couldn’t get hold of him.

The upshot was it took them about 25 minutes to restore the power, all I could do was keep clocking up mentally how much they were going to charge me for lost earnings. Once the power was on, the manager shouted across to me your good to go you can start making it again. Gulp, “Oh, it takes 10 minutes to warm my machine up and I finish in 5”, I lied. Luckily he bought it and I packed up and came home without a bill for the £250,000 I had racked up.

Nowadays we only buy new machines, and have them professionally serviced regularly. So if you want to hire a candy floss cart then get in touch.

Fun Story

8 Hours Stuck Up A Tree!

25 May 2020

I used to read how suicide was a major killer of men. That’s something you don’t really take notice of until it happens to your friends. Since hitting 45 I have lost a number of friends. Some to illness, an accident or two and one acquaintance with a drugs overdose.

Recently an old friend from my childhood took his own life. Now, usually the death of a friend brings a feeling of profound sadness. In this case it was a mixture of sad, and anger. Some days the anger drowning out the sadness.

Growing up on the fairground, there was a real tight gang of us. Hitting our mid twenties, most of us found love and some of us moved away from the North East, losing touch in the process. JJ and I had been friends up until we both moved. We didn’t see each other for probably 20 years, then we met up at a mutual friends funeral. We ended up sat talking that long, that both of our spouses rang to see if we were ok, as they had expected us back hours before.

Catching up on things we made a commitment to get together again. He was particularly impressed that I had acquired my pilots licence and we agreed to take a flight together. In the run up to Christmas we had been texting each other to try and arrange a night out, but our respective diary’s stopped this. On our last text we agreed to pick it back up after Christmas

That was the last contact I had with him. A few days into the new year, my dad rang to tell me that JJ had killed himself.

There aren’t many funerals I cry at, its just not in my nature, but I did at that one. All the old gang were there, except Cliff, who is in prison. I was struck by how everyone had turned into a hugger. That wasn’t the macho gang I remember from my youth. But is that part of the problem. Men are expected to be macho, not to cry, to be inscrutable with their feelings.

It Can Be Frightening

Deciding to talk about this with my circle of friends, what I discovered was frightening. Probably 90% of them were on antidepressants. A couple admitted that they had seriously taken steps towards ending their lives. One described how he had sat there with a gun to his head trying to pluck the courage up to pull the trigger. Something snapped him out of it thankfully, and he threw the gun down, only to have it go off and narrowly miss shooting himself in the head! I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry with him.

If you read the government statistics then it shows that the so called Generation X, basically my age group are most at risk of dying from either suicide or drugs overdose.

man shooting himself in the head
Can You Accidentally Commit Suicide

Killer Bulls

So whats this got to do with the headline. Well, one of the funfairs we used to operate at when I was a kid, was in a little market town on the Yorkshire Dales called Leyburn. One day me, JJ and Cliff, the one in prison now, had gone fishing. Three of us sat there with one rod, when JJ suddenly jumped up and ran away.

As I sat staring at his back, Cliff suddenly jumped up and ran the other way. Still puzzled I set off after him, catching him quite quickly due to my longer legs I asked between gasps what was up. “They are coming to kill us he screamed”. ???? Looking over my shoulder I suddenly notices a herd of young bullocks stampeding towards us. Now I don’t know if they intended harm, or they had just set off at a gallop because we were running. And to be honest I didn’t care at that point. We reached a tree, which thankfully was climbable and both shimmied up as far as we could get.

Killer bull chasing a man
How I remember it.

The herd of bloody cows, formed a circle around the tree, then all promptly laid down looking up at us. WTF. Eventually they slowly dispersed, probably bored waiting for their meals to come down. In the event we were up their almost 8 sodding hours.

And what of JJ, the one who got away. He went home watched some morning TV, had his lunch, played with some of the other kids, then near teatime decided to tell what had happened. We ran into the rescue party as we finally managed to come down out of the tree and were making our way home.

Fun Story

Rover SD1, British Leylands Finest

21 May 2020
Leyburn Fair Circa 1990
Leyburn Fair Circa 1990

In the picture above is a blue Rover SD1, pictured at a fair we used to attend. My dad bought that when I was about 18. I remember it coming and thinking wow, its the same car as the police used. It sure did look modern and impressive for its time, and I think it was a European car of the year.

Now, truth be told, the impressive police version used Rovers venerable V8 power plant. Ours was the paltry 2 litre version. Which to be charitable was a bit asthmatic on the power front.

Once we started using the car I found it a mixed bag. The space and comfort was far superior to anything I had driven before. But its short comings soon became apparent. One advantage of the smaller engine version was that when you put your foot down less bits fell off inside. You would turn a corner and bits of interior trim would whizz pass your head. The fit and finish looked like Stevie Wonder had done the final quality control.

When Your Best Friends With The AA Man

During our Rover experience we were members of the AA. Which was quite fortunate seeing as quite often the car returned on the back of an AA transporter. I think in the end the AA wrote to us and told us that we were overusing their service and they were going to have to rethink our membership.

In the 3 years we owned it, it had 2 replacement engines. The second engine then had to have a total rebuild.

Other items failed at random intervals, the gearbox, differential, electrical components. In fact midway through our final year of ownership a fuse had blown for one of the electrical windows. When we looked to replace the blown fuse, we noticed that 2 were blown, so we changed them both. Suddenly after 2 and a half years we discovered we had central locking.

Fuel Pumps And A Work Out

Fuel Pump
Fuel Pump

One of the items that seemed to fail regularly was the fuel pump. This was a small cylindrical pump about the size of a bobbin of cotton. It lived in the actual fuel tank and would fail with depressing regularity. At the time it was about £200, which 30 years ago was a not inconsiderable sum.

My dad eventually got sick of paying for this and bought an electronic aftermarket pump that bolted on the side of the engine. At only £100 this was a nice saving.

I was out one day in the car towing a small tourer following dad, when the car once again chucked it. Because this was such a common state of affairs, It no longer caused a panic, and we carried a comprehensive tool kit in the boot.

Whilst investigating which of BL’s finest components had stranded me this day, an absolutely stunning woman pulled up behind me in a brand spanking new Jaguar sports car. Dressed to the nines she was walking down the side of my trailer when she asked, “Do you need a lift, you can jump in with me.”

As she actually reached me she suddenly realised that I was not only wearing an absolutely scruffy boiler-suit, but both my hands and face were scruffy. Some will say this was a rare occurrence for me to have engaged in manual labour, but we had just finished derigging at an event before hitting the road. As she took stock of me I could see her heart sink as she suddenly thought about her new leather seats. I smiled sweetly and thanked her but told her I could repair it. She made a feeble attempt to argue then beat a hasty retreat.

Electronic Genius

And you know what, I could fix it, my first business was building electronic control systems, so I had a good working knowledge of how electronic units worked.

What I managed to work out was how the pump worked. Basically when the ignition was turned on and power applied to the pump, the electric solenoid pumped once. As it pumped it broke a light beam on an optical switch. This immediately cut the power and the solenoid dropped, whereupon the light beam connected and supplied power for another pump cycle.

Unfortunately said opto switch was defunct, deceased, as dead as a parrot. But being a bit clever with electrics, I disconnected the positive feed. Tapped a wire on, and ran it through the door into the car. By tapping it on the cigarette lighter I could pump enough fuel to start the engine.

Trouble was whenever I came to an hill, the engine would splutter and I would have to tap faster. By the time I caught up with my dad, my left arm felt like it belonged to someone else.

I think I flagged my dad down and got my sister out of the cab of the lorry. She was promptly given fuel pumping duty.

Fun Story

The Customer Is Always Right

17 May 2020

But Boy Sometimes You Want To Slap Them

The majority of our enquiries come through our various website’s. We are happy for potential clients to ring us, but email is easier, as when they put all the details down we can work out a price and get a quote to them quickly and efficiently.

But sometimes you get some clients contact you, and you end up thinking “I just don’t need their money this badly”.

A couple stick in mind. The first an enquiry from a lady who wanted to potentially hire a Flying Frogs Ride. The initial enquiry was as follows on our website;

Website Enquiry

Name Jane Doe (not really but we are keeping her details anonomous)

Telephone No 01234 567890

Email someone@gmail.com

Date Of Event 1st June 2012

Requirements I would like to hire a jumping frogs ride.

Venue My House

Now, most of the details are here. But, to give an accurate price, I need to work out where our equipment is going to. The venue of my house narrows it down to approximately 25 million possibilities. However she could be in Europe or anywhere.

I emailed back to tell her I needed her to be more specific about where the event was taking place. Her answer;

In a field at the bottom of the drive outside my house.

That is I suppose more specific, but of no real help. So I politely emailed back to her, informing her that as I didn’t know her personally I had no idea where her house was, and could she enlighten me.

The answer?

Next Door To My Mams!

At that point I gave up.

The second was a guy who rang to hire a burger van. Now, because of the amount of people who wanted to hire an empty catering unit for their own use, we actually used to have it state on our contact page that we don’t hire empty units out for anyone else to use.

Telephone Enquiry

The phone conversation went like this.

Caller “Hello, I know you don’t hire empty burger vans out for other people to use, but could you give me a price on an empty burger van?”

Me “Sprichst du Deutsch?”

Caller “You what”

Me ” Et le Francais?”

Caller “I dont understand”

Me “misschien ben je nederlands?”

Caller “Listen mate why are you speaking foreign languages to me?”

Me “Because I am trying to figure out what language you speak”

Caller “Well I speak English don’t I”

Me “Do you, so what part of we don’t hire empty burger vans out for people to use are you struggling with?”

Caller “Well I just thought you might hire one out to me!”

Me “Oh I do apologise, I didn’t realise you were the Duke of Kent”

Caller “Eh, I’m not am I”

Me “Well in that case we can’t help you.”

Now when they ring up for something similar I find it easier to give them a hire price, then inform them that there is a £35,000 cash deposit required to cover damage. That usually shuts the combination down pretty quickly.