Airedale’s 30th Anniversary celebration

A celebratory dinner was much enjoyed by all the guests

In late January, over 180 customers, guests and suppliers celebrated Airedale’s 30th anniversary at the TLH Derwent Hotel in Torquay. Amongst the guests was Clive Kessell, GTO for East Grinstead Probus, who, since 2009, has chosen Airedale Tours to organise two holidays a year for his group.

Clive says that the four-day event was excellent with a warm welcome from the hotel staff and the Airedale Tours team. ‘We enjoyed nightly entertainment, special receptions and a gala dinner.’ In the day time, during trips to Babbacombe Model Village, Kents Cavern, Bygones, Bicton Park, Seaton Tramway and a River Exe cruise with Stuart Line Cruises, Clive chatted to other GTOs to find out what trips had worked well for their members.

The group’s next holiday with Airedale Tours is to Luxembourg in May, and, as usual, around 50 members will be taking part. Clive adds, ‘I was delighted to be invited to join Airedale’s 30th anniversary celebration. The team understand the needs of my members very well, and are excellent at sorting every detail for us. I have no hesitation in recommending them to other GTOs, whether for trips in the UK or overseas.’

Malta is a hit for STARA

Evening relaxation for STARA

On 29th September, 28 members of the STARA active retirement group departed for an eight-day holiday in Malta organised by committee member Marlene Munroe through Saga holidays. Based in Snodland, near Maidstone, the group is part of the KENTARA club and their name comes from using the ST from Snodland Town and ARA from the parent association.

Flying from Gatwick, the group stayed on Sliema’s seafront at the Diplomat Hotel. Marlene says, ‘The hotel had excellent views from the roof-top swimming pool. The staff were friendly and the food delicious. We all enjoyed the nightly free bar – a benefit exclusive to Saga guests. The whole break was good value for money.’

There was a bus stop 50 metres from the hotel where the local hop-on hop-off bus stopped, as well as regular buses to Valetta (four miles away) with onward bus connections to other parts of Malta.

Excursions included the neighbouring island of Gozo, the Malta Aviation Museum at Ta’Qali and to nearby pretty coastal bays, but there was also free time for members to relax or to explore on their own. Marlene adds, ‘One member booked a local guide for a walk around Valetta and the cathedral. Our Saga rep joined the 14-strong party, as he had only been on the island for three weeks.’

About the holiday, Marlene says, ‘We all loved Malta, and we hope to return next year… so watch this space.’

Chestnut Tree House children see behind the scenes at Gatwick Airport

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Children from Chestnut Tree House meet crew onboard the aircraft.

Five children from Chestnut Tree House in Arundel, the children’s hospice for East and West Sussex and South East Hampshire, recently had a unique all-access trip to Gatwick Airport.

The trip was arranged by Your Service Centre Gatwick and airport representation company Skybreak, who collaborated with low-cost airline Norwegian, Gatwick Airport and No1 Lounges to create the experience for the children.

Terrina Barnes, Corporate Fundraiser for Chestnut Tree House, explains, ‘The day involved being escorted through security to board a Boeing 737-800 Norwegian aircraft, where the group met the crew, toured the aircraft and sat in the cockpit with the pilot. Leaving the plane, the children were guided to the No1 Traveller’s Clubrooms in the South Terminal.’ Launched in September, these rooms have the best views of the runway and provided the perfect backdrop for everyone to enjoy lunch.

She continues, ‘To see behind the scenes at Gatwick Airport and to go into the cockpit of the Norwegian plane, and speaking to the pilot and cabin crew, was a truly wonderful and fun experience for all the children. The lovely lunch in the No1 lounge looking out over the runway was fantastic. We would like to thank everyone at the airport who made this special trip possible and for the support Gatwick Airport and Your Service Centre Gatwick gives to Chestnut Tree House and to some of the children.’