Feb
26
2014

Annual Pride Of Stratford Awards 2014

Below is a post written by John McGhee, General Manager at The Charlecote Pheasant Hotel about his experience at the Pride of Stratford awards in 2014

The Pride of Stratford Awards

6th February 2014, Shoes shined, wing collared shirt pressed, tuxedo freshly steam cleaned I started to prepare myself for what would turn out to be one of the most enjoyable nights I’ve had in a long time. We met outside the Holiday Inn Stratford upon Avon at 7 pm everyone looking fabulous, my heart in my throat, nerves were kicking in.

John Mcghee & Colin Montgomery at the Pride of Stratford Award

John McGhee & Colin Montgomery at the Pride of Stratford Award

We had been nominated for Business of the Year 2014! It would mean the world to win! Every year Touch FM hosts the Pride Of Stratford Awards to celebrate local businesses and community efforts with a series of awards. We were short-listed from over 400 entries down to the final three! I had been walking on air for the past few weeks, so proud of the team for all their efforts in the past 3 years which had led us to this point. Just to be nominated was such an honour.

 

Stuart Watts & Denise Watts at the Pride of Stratford Awards

Stuart Watts & Denise Watts at the Pride of Stratford Awards

We presented our golden tickets at the door and were greeted with champagne and canapés, looking around the room there were hundreds of guests all dressed up to the nines, hoping and praying that against all odds they would be the ones to succeed.  After a short while mingling with the crowds we were asked to have our photograph taken with Barclays Premier League Trophy, being a Glasgow Rangers supporter I had realised that this was the closest we would ever come to a trophy for quite some time and we grabbed the chance.

John Mcghee & Denise Watts at the Pride of Stratford Awards

John McGhee & Denise Watts at the Pride of Stratford Awards

We were then asked to take our seats, and took the opportunity for one last glass of champagne on the way through. The room looked amazing with led lighting glowing from red to greens and blues, the stage at the top of the room bathed in the warm glow of the spotlight. Perhaps we would be invited up to receive an award. I felt like we were at the Oscars!

 

 

 

Dan Green at the Pride of Stratford Awards

Dan Green at the Pride of Stratford Awards

We took our seats around a large round table and were served a fabulous 5 course meal with some delicious wine, we laughed amongst ourselves while we waited for the ceremony to begin. The lights dimmed the microphone blared and with a proper showbiz entry came Ollie, Touch FM’s Breakfast presenter. He ran from the back of the room high fiving nominees as he passed, to roaring cheers, the awards had begun.

After about an hour, it was time Business of the Year was called over the sound system, we held our breath as the finalists names were read aloud. Each finalist received a massive round of applause, which was fantastic and reinforced our belief in Stratford’s sense of community spirit.

The Pride of Stratford Awards

The Pride of Stratford Awards

‘And the winner is …..’ My hands were shaking and my heart was beating faster than a very fast thing. ‘Alveston Manor!’ Unfortunately we hadn’t won, My heart  sank but I was so proud of our team for getting so far and was congratulated on being nominated by everyone we met. There’s always next year!

 

 

John McGhee & Stratfords Mayor at the Pride of Stratford Awards

John McGhee & Stratfords Mayor at the Pride of Stratford Awards

The awards continued as we entered the community awards, I was amazed at how many fantastic community projects there were in my local area, along with the passion and commitment from some inspirational local heroes.  After the awards we attended the after party, where we drank and danced the night away, singing along to our favourite songs and celebrating with our local competitors, members of our community friends and colleagues. What a night! I cannot wait until next year. The awards have given us an amazing drive and strengthened our resolved to improve and keep The Charlecote Pheasant Hotel moving forward throughout this year!

 

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About the Author:

I've been with the company for many years and started off working around different hotels however when I am not working I love spending time with my family taking in the amazing sights of the English Riviera. Living in an Urban Geopark area allows for some amazing sea kayaking around different bays whenever I get chance.

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