I have lived in Holbrook, on Pond Road, for nearly 40 years and love our village. I was devastated when I learnt that the Spotted Cow was to be partially demolished and become part of a housing development, so I am delighted to have been a member of the present committee working towards re-establishing this iconic pub as an integral part of our village life.
As part of the present committee I have worked on soft furnishings, reupholstering the restaurant area chairs and benches and helping with painting and decorating. I also produced and presented the findings of the original village questionnaire.
I would like the opportunity of continuing to support the shareholders of this exciting venture, with particular focus on the café and bed and breakfast, as I have enjoyed being involved in interviewing the staff and setting up the practices and procedures for this part of the business.
Before retiring I taught for 45 years and was a member of the middle management team for the last 15 years of my career, so I have extensive management skills. I also have a wealth of local knowledge which may prove useful as we extend the business.
I have supported this project from the beginning and have been a part of the team making decisions so far. I feel I can offer a balanced and realistic view of the way forward which will enhance the community and make the most of our lovely pub!
I designed and landscaped the gardens during the renovation work, and led a small team to creating the lovely outside space people have enjoyed all summer. I’ve also helped Sean with a lot of the stonework, inside and outside. I built the log store at the back of the pub and am in the process of building some compost bins so that the pub and cafe can review its waste management system. This will save costly trade waste bills and help generate free organic matter for the gardens. I am very keen to remain on the committee and would like to continue to monitor and maintain the outside landscaping and planting.
I have lived in and around Holbrook for three years with my girlfriend Charlotte. We bought our first house on Belper Road in Bargate just over 12 months ago. I love the area and spend most of my spare time walking our Border Collie Donnie.
I have a technical background and am Head of Product for a £40m turnover software business for my day job. In the current project I host and maintain The Holbrook Community Society, The Spotted Cow and The Spotted Calf websites and manage online questionnaires. I built the till and card system within the café at low cost, produce financial reporting and other data analysis and am generally capable of advising on all aspects of strategic reporting and technology.
Going forwards I would be looking to ensure that the Calf and Cow meet the needs of Holbrook and its visitors through continuous analysis of sales patterns and customer feedback ensuring that the venture stays successful and maintains an agility to change with the needs of the community when required. Providing tenants, AGMs and the committee with relevant data to make informed decisions.
Alongside this, continuing to maintain and grow our online presence and advising on technology matters.
Previously I and my partner Wendy Freeman lived in Belper for 6 years and have now lived in the village in The Nook also for 6 years. We both enjoy living in the village and have recently taken delivery of four Chickens. I have been a CAMRA member for over 20 years and support local character Pubs that have Real Ale. I have worked for my present employer for over 28 years and have an Engineering background, but have been an Aerospace Buyer for 26 years having an annual spend of £26 million. The current Supply Chain Unit (SCU) I work in has an annual spend of £1 Billion. I am proud to say that I am one of the 225 shareholders of the Spotted Cow & the Spotted Calf and support the Holbrook Community Society. During the restoration I committed my time and did a lot of the Painting upstairs and around the Bar area I also helped clear the back of the Pub Garden. I support the democratic values and the right of each member to vote and elect a Committee. Looking to the future I want to make sure both the Pub and the Café are profitable and successful and that they will continue to offer our Village and the wider community the very best in good service, food and drink. My future vision is that the Pub could Brew its own Beer via a Micro-Brewery and have a mention in the Good Beer Guide. I would also like to see the Pub have more character complete with a young inspiring Chef to take the Pub Food to the next Gastro level using locally fresh produce.
I am currently a contractor in business and test analysis. My present contract is with Rolls Royce and I have worked with numerous national and multinational firms: The Post Office, Royal Mail, Experian, NHS Supply Chain, British Gas and also for a number of smaller firms.
I have supported Stephanie every step of the way in this process. I lead negotiations with the owner to make the purchase. I have done many of the behind the scenes tasks like dealing with HMRC for the VAT arrangements; with the VOA regarding the business rates and council tax; all of the utility companies getting heat, light and water back into the building.
I set up and now co administer all of the social media sites. I also organise the design work and printing for promotional literature.
I run the B&B side of the business at present. I act as host, deal with bookings, organise the cleaning rota and the laundry rota. I also manage maintenance issues in the room. We are currently at about 80% occupancy in the guest room and have excellent feedback on Airbnb.
My background is in teaching but I have discovered that my heart lies in community projects! Since I gathered the signatures of 21 people and got The Spotted Cow listed as an ACV back in August 2016, The Spotted Cow has taken over my life. I registered Holbrook Community Society with the FCA in November 2016 and the last year has been a rollercoaster, every day bringing a new challenge.
Phase one was fighting the planning application for change of use.
The next phase was writing the share offer and raising the money, which also involved fulfilling all of the criteria to get match funding from Big Society Capital.
I passed the negotiations with the vendor to Christian (since Mr Collins had threatened to report me for harassment); but securing a bank loan to renovate the premises was also an involved process and I had to develop new skills.
The final phase before opening was managing the renovation and ensuring everything was done on budget and on time, which was also a huge challenge. The past year has felt a little like an extended series of The Apprentice, but I have enjoyed it and really value the opportunities I’ve had to learn.
I particularly enjoyed the renovation phase- there was a real camaraderie and so many people invested love, time and skills into this building. The Spotted Cow is not just a building to me, it symbolises a sense of community and belonging and I love watching people enjoy socialising here.
In the next phase, I am focussed on getting The Post Office Local contract and helping to oversee the management of the cafe. I am also currently pursuing grant applications to make improvements to the cafe to help it to flourish.
I am still 100% committed to this project and believe even more passionately than before in the ethos of a community owned facility that aids social cohesion. The venture must remain viable and financially profitable to be sustainable but the real profits are the social benefits that the café and pub can bring to Holbrook.
I would like to remain as Secretary of the Society so that the knowledge and skills I have developed over the last few months can be used. I'd like to see the community hub develop to meet the changing needs of the village and build on the foundations which have been laid.
I think there is plenty of room for improvement with both The Spotted Cow and Calf. I am keen that the direction is decided by the community and that everyone's views are listened to. I have always believed strongly in the democracy of one member one vote and think key decisions should be made by all members of the Society. We have a beautiful pub and cafe, which are open and trading but this is an evolving model and I'd like to see this hub getting better and better with your help.
I would like to continue to serve the community group as part of a team who share the responsibilities and workload. I am committed to maintaining a community owned, community centred venture, that crucially, remains profitable and sustainable.
I would like to put myself forward for election to the Spotted Cow Committee.
I’ve lived in Holbrook, opposite the Spotted Cow, for over 40 years and have frequented the pub in its previous incarnations, some good, some bad! Like many others, I was horrified when plans were lodged to demolish part of the Spotted, convert it to a house and build in the car park. The centre of the village would have died and an iconic building at the heart of a conservation area destroyed. I drew up the petition objecting to the plans and Vernon Hunt placed it in the village store.
Over the years I have renovated four houses in the village and have a broad range of abilities and knowledge in building and maintenance.
Prior to retirement I ran an Electrical Contracting company in Ripley employing 14 people specialising in both domestic and commercial heating installations, solar PV and other general electrical work. I took over this business at the bottom of the recession and turned it round to profitability without making anyone redundant. My background is in Electrical Engineering, I have worked in research and project managed the world’s first commercially operating magnetic levitation minitram system at Birmingham Airport. Following this I managed other major projects and was technical director for a store fitting company specialising in total refurbishment of department stores all of which had licensed cafe/restaurant facilities.
I am on the current committee & have helped with various matters including electrics, plumbing & general building issues.
Strict financial control is important, no business will survive unless it makes a profit, a community venture is no different.
I can offer the new committee my business & practical knowledge to ensure the project proceeds in a professional, businesslike & profitable direction. I would like to see quarterly financial statements circulated to all members so they can see what is happening with their investment.
When alerted to the danger of losing the Spotted to developers, I became a passionate devotee of saving this iconic pub and social core at the heart of the old village, active in the early negotiations to persuade the developer to rethink, sell or reduce the development, then actively campaigning with the team to address the councillors in the chamber, win a stay of development and then invest time and money into the successful publicity campaign.
I co-purchased the now familiar Penny the Cow, organising her mysterious appearances throughout the village in the Winter, (drawing local press campaign publicity) while sustaining an active role in the emerging action committee.
As well as joining the extraordinary community mass clearance and skip filling, once the successful purchase was won, I have been involved in restoring, renovating, building, rebuilding, designing and creating a range of internal and external features, many with other team members as follows; fitted new secure locks to all entrances, renovated the rotted entrance portico and the main side window, rebuilt the derelict sections of front entrance stone walls, designed and built a set of circular stone steps to open up the popular top lawn, built access steps to the rear garden area, paved the wall edging at the entrance to Well Yard, designed and located the popular 'snug' partitions to create intimate, cosy spaces, participated in the internal fireplace restoration including sourcing and assisting the fitting of the new main fireplace and hearth, and the restoration of the small fireplace, assisted with saving and restoring the main beam in the beer snug, fitted the mini bar partition, sourced the externally purchased furniture with the furniture team, sourced and co-fitted the hop bines for decoration, co-built the external log store, and sourced or painted the advertising banners, as well as other incidental team work on a daily basis as problems emerged.
I now wish to participate in ensuring that the devoted work and achievements of the community team, and the aspirations of the community for a lively social hub are fulfilled. I believe that we should expect the development of varied menus of high quality home-cooked foods, real ales, quality café products, excellent service and a developing programme of varied and popular social activities. We need a responsive, creative management team which continues to build on existing achievements, with a progressive development model, through investment, creativity and the determination to provide the best for the community and the shareholders.
I was born in Holbrook 61 years ago and although I have only ever lived in the village for a short period of time during those years I have never ventured far away and currently live just along the road in Bargate. I have always had strong links with Holbrook and for the last twenty five years I have been the relief sub-postmaster, covering for Linda’s holidays and also working regularly on Mondays each week. I have also been involved with the Holbrook Village Magazine from the very early days and am currently responsible for the invoicing of advertisers as well as being on the Editorial Team.
I have always spent a lot of time in Holbrook and all the pubs have given me much pleasure over the years. It was therefore a cause of sadness to me to see The ‘ Spotted ’ close a few years ago after a downturn in its fortunes. When I heard that plans were afoot to save this famous old hostelry and bring it back to its former glory I knew that I had to become involved in some way. I attended the initial meetings and was present at the Planning Hearing when the Holbrook Community Society was given the go ahead to try and secure the future of the pub. I am particularly keen that the village does not lose its Post Office and feel passionately that this important facility must be transferred to be incorporated in the cafe area.
I have been a member of the Steering Group from the outset and feel a sense of pride in all that we have achieved to date. We know this is just the start and that there is a lot of hard work ahead of us if this venture is going to be a long term success. As time goes on this project will evolve and I think it is important that the people who have been so heavily involved are given the chance, if they wish, to move things forward. I would like to be considered for continuation on the Committee.
My involvement so far has included helping to clear the outside areas of overgrown weeds, bushes and assorted rubbish so that the garden could be turned into the beautiful area it is now. I helped with the internal painting of both the pub and the cafe and did a lot of the wood varnishing in the pub. I also helped with other projects such as the laying of the plinth in the snug fireplace and the construction of the steps to the side of the pub and generally lending a hand where it was needed.
Along with Jan and Hilary, I was involved in interviewing and appointing the members of staff for the cafe and we feel that we managed to get a good team together. I have also taken on the responsibility of the cafe volunteer rota and liaising with the volunteers which on the whole seems to be working well. I have also written a couple of articles in the Holbrook Village Magazine aimed at keeping everyone in the community informed on the progress of the venture and also our ambitions and plans for the future.
As I said previously, we are all fully aware that this community based project is a work in progress and I would like the opportunity to continue to be involved.
I have been practicing law for nine years and have been a qualified solicitor for over eight years, in July 2017 I was called to the Bar and now practise as a barrister. I have practised in all areas of family law but my expertise is in child protection, particularly for Local Authorities in the interests of safeguarding children. I do have experience of business and property law as part of my legal practice and have many contacts in the profession.
I am one of the Founding Members of the Society and therefore am one of the official signatories.
During this project I helped in the early negotiations with Ian McNair and I was part of the team who presented our case and won at Amber Valley Planning Board.
During the renovations I took an active role, particularly demolishing superfluous walls! I did a lot of painting and helped with the interior design by choosing the lighting. With Lizzie, I sourced the light fittings which hopefully give the pub a lovely ambience.
I want to continue to serve the community by giving free legal advice and helping to guide the pub and café going forward.
Up until 2012 I worked within the business division of a high street bank. I spent 10 years there working with local SMEs and alongside the banks' credit and securities divisions requiring me to liaise with solicitors, accountants and surveyors. I am also a partner of a local beef farm and have been for the past 15 years. I am involved with all aspects from cattle handling to book keeping. I have lived in Holbrook for the past six years and hope to live here for many more
I have been on the committee since the very start and am one of the four founding members of the Society, registered with the FCA. I set up the business bank account when we began raising the money. I met Ian Rothwell, our account manager at Cooperative and Community Finance with Stephanie and helped us to get the loan finance secured.
I also helped to find a bookkeeper and tax accountant for the Society and I meet regularly with him to monitor the financial performance of the Society. I collect the time sheets each month, liaise with payroll and pay the staff wages.
Throughout the renovation I helped to paint and clean the pub ready to reopen. I really believe in this community venture and would like to continue to support the team to see the pub go from strength to strength.
Having recently retired from my job as a School Business Officer at Stanley Common Primary School, I would welcome the opportunity to now be more involved in the Holbrook village community and would like to be considered for election to the Holbrook Community Society,
Based in Kent before moving to Derbyshire in 1992, my career since 1976 has been predominately secretarial based both in finance and sales and marketing. For ten years I was also Parish Clerk for Quarndon Parish Council and for sixteen years Clerk to Governors at Stanley Common Primary School.
I am thoroughly enjoying being a volunteer at The Spotted Calf, I currently volunteer for one or two shifts per week. I would like to offer my assistance and any experience I may have in helping this village project to develop further.