Which Way to Turn
In October 1988 I was sat at my desk mid
afternoon at Darlington when I received a call from Brian Fairey
in London at the Earls court show he told me that Martins had sold the business
to a company called Lookers P.L.C. and that he wasn’t getting the chance to
buy, he was devastated as we all were. Lookers Directors arrived on the scene
at Burtree Darlington on the Monday morning after the
Earls Court Show. The following two weeks were very unsettling, nerves and
tempers became a little frayed, after all B.F. had built this business up and
there was no way he was going to work for someone else especially a P.L.C.
Quietly I couldn’t care less, I was either in or out and didn’t quite know
which way to turn, I could easily go back to work for myself, the miners strike
was over and the outlook was brighter, I decided to wait and find out what was
on offer. Brian decided to leave and left on very bitter terms. Brian got
backing from some of his contacts and set up a new company called Ebor
Caravans, working out of a small depot near
Prior to meeting Mr. Martindale I had received a rather strange unsolicited call from a person working in the Manchester office who said that Lookers were a great company to work for and that he had formerly worked at B.S.C. in Sheffield and that I would do very well to stay with them. At the meeting with Mr Martindale he asked me about my background and asked me if I was prepared to stay with the company. He then offered me an increase in my salary to stay and work for them. I agreed, after all I was better off than before and had nothing to lose.
I settled down to work for Lookers and it’s fair to say I helped them to make a lot of money.
Shortly after Lookers took over we bought Landieu Caravan Park Frosterley from Mr Snowdon for £215,000 I mentioned this earlier. It‘s a beautiful Park situated on the banks of the river Wear.
We were given a free lease on
Our Faye was born 20th April 1991 we now had two lovely granddaughters.
The caravan parks were making good profits and I was getting very good bonuses, but the depots were hardly keeping their heads above water, and it was only a matter of time before big changes would be made.
I was on a weekend holiday with Violet in
June 1992 and came back home on the Sunday night to be told, phone Jarlath Bancroft immediately at his home. I learned that Burtree Caravans main Depot at