Posted on 19th September 2019
On Wednesday this week members came together at the Woolpack for a Hog Roast. The idea was given to me for such an event by Lance, the owner of the Woolpack, who is always looking for ideas to continue the fantastic success he has achieved with this venture. He is also a great supporter of the BHBPA and of the town of Burgess Hill, as well as being a genuinely affable and genial guy.
I arrived early and he showed me around the pub, the gardens and the pond, and told me about all the work they had done to clean out the pond, which used to be a clay pit when Burgess Hill was a brickmaking centre. The pond had become clogged up with silt and eventually this had absorbed all the water and the pond dried up. After months of work removing hundreds of tons of silt and using most of it elsewhere, the pond was restored to life. Now, they have a group of ducks who live there permanently and other strays who stay occasionally.
They have created an adult area which has become popular with groups, and a lovely patio area where we enjoyed our hog roast. By 5pm members were arriving and within half an hour the place was quite crowded. I counted 42 members and friends at the event by the time the consuming of the roasted pork had begun. Networking was of course the name of the game, but it was networking through socialising and eating and drinking, which makes it more enjoyable. Several BHBPA Directors were there, including Jaffer and David Shore, although unusually Susan Fleet, the Chair, missed an event as she was in France doing good things for the Vera Lynn charity I believe.
How good it was to speak to old friends such as Dave Connaway of Cirrus Laser, Steve Powell of fresh Display Ltd and Paul Williams of Rewards. Good too to see former members there such as Jacky Hilary, Accredited Mediator, and Ann Druery, The Bookkeeping Ladies, and to hear that they are keen to rejoin the BHBPA. Of course it was good to see all other members who regularly turn up to events – they are the bedrock of the Association, without whose support it would struggle to continue. In general the subject of Brexit did not dominate the conversations, and I got the impression that people were generally wishing to see an end to it and feeling rather let down by government. It seems that the biggest problem, unsurprisingly, is the uncertainty and the inability to properly plan ahead.
By 7.30 pm most people had drifted away having had a couple of ales or wines perhaps, and just the hard core were left, including Phil Karn and Chris from Bio and the Geals, Matthew and Allison. How good it is to see a successful thriving pub at a time when pubs are, I believe, still closing in large numbers. Lance and Dee have been great supporters of the BHBPA and indeed of Burgess Hill. They have to be inventive, inclusive and very hardworking to make a go of it and they do a fantastic job. Long may it continue! Thanks again to them for hosting such a great event, and thanks too to all those who came along to support the BHBPA and the Woolpack.
"“Sutton Winson have been members of the BHBPA for around 7 years. We have found it a great way to keep in touch with Burgess Hill businesses and to meet with likeminded people. It’s not just another “networking” group, as it tackles the real issues and gets things done”"
"I am delighted to have a long-standing relationship with the BHBPA. Since its foundation the Association has gone from strength to strength and there is no doubt that it has brought huge benefits to its members and the business community as a whole through the partnerships it has formed with the local authorities, Sussex Police and local organisations. It is paramount that Burgess Hill businesses have an effective collective voice."
"The BHBPA is the most effective and dynamic business organisation I have ever worked with in over 30 years in Local Government. It has a very active and large membership whose points of view are taken seriously by all government structures. Peter Liddell does an excellent job in providing unique and enjoyable networking opportunities where members interact and discuss points of mutual interest. It provides a forum for businesses to discuss common issues, to share experiences and to play a powerful and meaningful role in the Burgess Hill community. The BHBPA provides important and credible support for all its members and ensures that their best interests are represented where necessary. "
""BHBPA is a really well organised and run group, great for networking and benefitting from knowledgeable local speakers with real business insight. Peter brings enthusiasm and humour which helps drive the association forward. I am glad to be part of it.""