Archive for September, 2009

Weathering your marquees to a house

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Marquees often need connecting to a house, especially during the winter.

Someone will be organising a house party and will come to you because they basically want to gain an extra room. How are you going to do it?

First off you need to see if you can butt the marquee up against the house. Always use the 6m flat gable against the house if possible,  that means if it rains the water will go off the side and also as there’s no eaves bar at the end the door should open in to the marquee with few problems (as long as it’s not too high).

Sometimes this simply isn’t possible, in which case you need a walkway. But where can I buy one I hear you cry? Come along to our stand at The showmans show and you’ll see our new modular 2mx6m walkways that can be used as 2mx4m or 2mx2m. Priced very reasonably etc etc [fill in your own sales pitch here].

Other things to think about when using a marquee to gain a room on to a house:

  • Recommend either the food or drink or both is placed in the marquee. People always end up in the kitchen at house parties for a reason.
  • If there’s a window next to the door you’re butting up to don’t cover it over with a marquee wall, leave it open to help the atmosphere at the party (as long as it doesn’t leave draughty gaps)

We’re in our usual spot at The Showmans Show – Avenue E, stand number 267.  Come out of the entrance hall, turn right then first left. We’re along on the right. Alternatively follow your nose to the bar and we’re halfway there on the right.

Thanks for reading.

Spencer

Problems with power to a marquee

Friday, September 18th, 2009

At some point in your marquee erecting career you’ll have a problem with the power supply, generally shown by a lack of available light, lack of music or lack of tea facilities.

What to do?

Golden rule: Start at the power source and work your way to the marquee.

There’s no point dismantling a chandelier looking for a fault only to find the extension lead powering it has accidentally been turned off in the house. Trust me I know as I’ve done it several times (an intelligent person would learn..)

If you’re getting your power from a house using RCD adapter plugs (if you’re not then you should be) then they have little red tabs in the top saying they’re working. No red tab means it’s either tripped (reset it) or there’s no power (house has a power cut) or the fuse has gone (replace it).

Next step is to follow the extension lead across to the marquee – you’re checking to see if it’s been cut through or damaged by a lawn mower/hedge cutter/etc.

Once you get to the marquee end of the extension lead disconnect it from whatever’s plugged in and test it with something you know works (you might need a separate 16amp plug to 13amp socket adapter for this step). Ideally this would be a 13amp socket tester but failing that a radio or hoover. Nothing too valuable in case there’s actually problems with the power supply! If you get power at the socket but not the other end then swap the extension lead.

If you have power then the next step (assuming it’s lighting) is to take the dimmer out -bypass it by connecting the chandeliers straight on to the extension lead. If the chandeliers work then you’ve got a problem with the dimmer (if overloaded they can melt inside which is fatal for them. Remember maximum two 5-arm chandeliers per dimmer). If the chandeliers still don’t work then you’ve got a problem with one or both of the chandeliers. Take them down and test them individually to see where the fault lies.

Problems with power happen quite regularly, generally it’s nuisance tripping (a bulb blowing) that means resetting the RCD adapter or even the trip inside the house. We test the chandeliers last as they’re furthest from the house and can mean taking down all the linings. It won’t be an early day.

Whilst talking about power it’s worth mentioning that most catering equipment isn’t electrically tested regularly enough so often trips an RCD. If it keeps tripping don’t be tempted to remove the RCD, it’s there to protect people. If there’s faulty equipment it should not be used.

Bottom line:  Always have a 13amp socket tester, a 16amp plug to 13amp socket adapter, a few fuses and a small screwdriver in your van. A torch wouldn’t go a miss either 🙂

An early blog this week as I’m away next week. Yes, yes more holidays than Santa. I’d point out that we’re having another baby in November when all hell will break loose so we’re going away while we can!

Thanks for reading

Spencer

There’s already a large marquee hire business in my area

Monday, September 14th, 2009

You want to start up a marquee hire business but there’s already a large marquee hire business well established in your area. What should you do?

In actual fact, this is a good thing. I’ll try to explain why:

Imagine you want to start up a marquee company near us in the South East, the problem is you’ve got someone like Charlesworth Marquees who are already established as the leading hire company. Starting any new business can be intimidating, when you’ve got someone like Charlesworth on your doorstep with their repuation it can be even more so.

But in fact it should be seen as a good thing. A lot of large marquee hire businesses don’t want to touch smaller jobs, and by ‘smaller’ they generally mean anything less than £2000!

Now there’s a lot of good business out there for less than £2k and you can make a comfortable living from doing several jobs of that size every weekend.

There’s also the opportunity of growing a partnership with the larger company, you pass them any job too large for you and they pass on any job too small for them.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

The Showmans Show 2009

Monday, September 7th, 2009

On the 21st and 22nd October is The Showmans Show. For those who dont know the show covers all things to do with marquees and outdoor events. Anyone who supplies the marquee hire industry has a stand at the show. So for anyone who runs a marquee hire business or are thinking of starting up it’s a must-visit.

I was talking to a couple of guys last weekend that are thinking of starting up a hire business who were shocked I recommended they visited the show. “But you’re pointing out somewhere with all your competitors”. I have no problem with that, I’d much prefer people bought from us having researched the industry fully. As well as that we’re quite uniquely placed in the industry in the quality and value for money we offer 🙂

We’re working very hard at the moment to give you all some more hire options next year. Just to reassure existing customers these are all ideas to expand our (and your) range of marquees & accessories, we’ll continue supplying our current ranges so you’ll always be able to buy spare parts etc if required.

What are these new ideas? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see 🙂

Look forward to seeing you at The Showmans Show