The two business groups both met this year, the February group in Lincs courtesy of Peter Wiggins-Davies and March in Berwick courtesy of Donald McPherson. The format is that everyone presents in an open and honest way about the prior twelve months. Year by year the scholars move to new heights, the anecdotes often jaw dropping but the lessons always heart felt. This, In the words of Jack Nicholson, ‘makes me want to be a better man’. Peter treated us to tour of Revesby whose fabric has been lovely maintained while the business around it, transformed. It was a pleasure to see especially as I know the mission for Peter is to invest back into Revesby which will, I have no doubt, cement his place as worthy custodian. The February group were treated to a night in an air B&B conning tower, some sleeping in a converted helicopter; pimping a Lynx being a Lincolnshire speciality. The March group tried to drink the small town of Berwick dry but they were sober enough in the morning to get the message about the Northern Soul Kitchen; a pay as you feel model which utilises the nearly out of date supermarket throw outs. The McPhersons were great hosts and didn’t whinge about the Covid loss of all their outside catering contracts. They had instead reinvented themselves into a hot food delivery service; their angus beef being the best quality delivered burgers for many mile or even county. Following the Berwick visit the lockdown began in earnest causing much uncertainty. The Business groups responded by sharing information and work-arounds via fortnightly zoom calls. Whether by luck or judgment, the scholars who participated do seem to have fared better than most, financially and emotionally, and I know whatever the problem there will be a member with a solution.
Looking forward to next year as always