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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Saturday, 31 July 2010

"The Someries" executive lounge - it was my idea!

The SomeriesI've been following London Luton Airport's tweets on Twitter (@LDNLutonAirport) since shortly after they joined the 'social networking revolution' - not least because the airport is the departure point for the main part of my commute to work, so it's good to know if anything untoward is happening there!

A few months back, I saw a tweet saying that Servisair, who look after a lot of Luton Airport's functions, had issued a competition to name their new executive lounge. After a little thought, I decided that the obvious answer would be "Someries", since Someries Castle lies just the other side of the runway, and it gives the name to the scout group to which Chris and Lenni both belong. In fact, I'd not visited it until April 2006, where we sought our first geocache - which I wrote about in an earlier blog entry.

As often with such things, I had forgotten about it - and hadn't really paid much heed to the prize - until I received an email to say that my suggestion was the winning one, and that I'd won a year's access to the lounge (for me and a guest), and an invitation to the naming ceremony.

Yesterday was the naming ceremony. I'd exhanged emails with the marketing office, and we'd come up with rather a nice notion - to bring the children in their Beaver and Scout uniforms with us, to be photographed with the Servisair team, but the airport has strict rules about where children can go, and they weren't allowed 'airside', where the executive lounge is. Coincidentally, Christopher had a barbecue at his new school to attend, so Lenni was looked after by Servisair staff with her 'goodie-bag' (Chris was given one, too, which he very much enjoyed investigating once he returned home!), while Beth and I were taken through airport security - with all the fuss of shoe and belt removal (it really did feel like we were going on holiday, especially since we left the car in the airport car park!)

We then met up with Elliot Renton, the finance director of the airport, and we all chatted for a while as we posed for photographs with a framed poster depicting Someries Castle and the name of the executive lounge. It was all very good-natured, and not at all formal (just how I like it!) and we had a good time. Apparently my idea was unique, among many suggestions of "Lorraine Chase" and "Campari" - I'm not entirely sure a seedy beige television advert is quite the image they'd want to portray, especially in such a luxurious lounge.

After the photos (of which I'll hopefully get a copy, so I'll upload them to the gallery), we walked back to.. whatever the opposite of 'airside' is (groundside?) via a very strange tube thing, that was designed only to let one person through at a time, and, after picking Lenni up, we left for home. It was like the shortest holiday ever!

Now, of course, I'm waiting for an opportunity to make the most of my year's free use of the Someries Executive Lounge at Luton airport - will it be for business or for pleasure, though? I'll be sure to write about my experiences, in either case!

Here are a couple of photos from the naming ceremony...

Elliot Renton and me with the Someries framed poster
Elliot Renton and me with the Someries framed poster

Celebrating with champagne (shame I was driving!)
Celebrating with champagne (shame I was driving!)

Posted by james at July 31, 2010 6:41 PM

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