Archive for June, 2012

Sad news

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Some sad news: Joe Weston-Webb passed away last week. Most people know him through his portable flooring range including dance floors and furniture but also as being one of life’s true eccentrics, he’ll be sorely missed in the industry. RIP Grumpy Joe.

Ways to reduce stress

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Marquee hire can (hopefully) be a busy business and during the summer you’re generally flat out. With that in mind you should try to reduce your stress whenever possible:

  • Have two mobile phones, a personal number for close family and friends that you rarely hand out and a business one that anyone and everyone can have. Turn the work phone off when you’re not working. Nothing breaks up your relaxing day off more than a work phone call that could have waited until the next work day. Incidentally turn your work phone off at night – the worst call we ever had was one at 4am asking if we hired napkins..
  • Buy a hands free kit – you will receive calls when you’re driving
  • Buy a live traffic sat-nav – it will save you travelling time and therefore improve your companies efficiency.
  • Have a pad of paper & pen with you everywhere

Customers like the idea of not being abandoned with their marquee, it gives great peace of mind if they have your mobile for any problems. On your side being able to turn the work phone off when you’re not working will help you relax away from the world of marquees.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Marquee & linings manufacturer

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Most of the time this blog is used to offer help and advice for anyone on the marquee hire industry. Sometimes we use it to promote our new products and things (hey, we’ve got to pay the rent). Very occasionally we’ll use it for our own vanity, such as today. Feel free to stop reading now and come back next week 🙂

DIY Marquees is part of C & D King Ltd who started manufacturing in 1979 when my mum (the D in C & D) fired up her sewing machine. We’ve scaled up quite a bit from then (not that we make absolutely everything we sell obviously) but at a time when people have quite loose interpretations of the word ‘manufacturer’ it was good to get back to our roots recently:

Water Chariots (the 2012 Games Canal Boat Service) approached us to help convert their functional new boats in to vessels suitable for VIP trips. The difficulty came not just in the awkward shapes and sizes required but how to attach it to a boat when you can’t make any permanent fixings (and no one’s invented sky-hooks yet).

Just to be clear – we don’t normally take on any custom-sized linings, indeed as a purely business decision it was up there with the chocolate tea urn I got from eBay last year. But everyone wants to be involved with the games in London this summer.

This is the interior of the boats before we made the linings:

And this is what it looked like with our custom linings fitted:

If you need linings made for marquees then please contact us.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Marquee linings tip

Monday, June 11th, 2012

This is something we learnt over the years.

It’s very difficult keeping marquee linings clean, especially when you’re flat out and they’re going up and down every weekend. To start with we used a commercial cleaning company who turned round the linings within 2 days, the only problem with that is the linings came back crinkled, we’d often get comments from customers that they needed an iron -we even hired a steamer for one particular wedding as the wrinkled linings were so bad.

Most linings fit into a domestic washing machine -all of our DIY Marquees are designed that way intentionally. Pleated linings up to 9mx3m can fit but you need a commercial washing machine for 12m and 15m.

So here’s my recommendation -wash the marquee linings at home in your domestic washing machine but only do it just before putting your marquee up the next time it’s out. Don’t put the linings in a dryer, put them up damp:

  • The linings dry very quickly
  • The linings dry in place, so no creases
  • You avoid having to use dryers – our biggest cause of small tears and damage
  • Make sure your hands are clean, damp linings will pick up any dirt (we used to keep a pack of baby wipes in the van for this)

If your linings are really bad (if they’ve been stored damp for a long time for example) and have mould on then simple washing won’t get it out, it needs something more drastic. Spraying a small amount of bleach will usually get rid of patches, if the area affected is large you actually have to soak the linings in bleach, just make sure you wash them thoroughly afterwards and don’t leave them soaking for too long as it damages the velcro etc.

I hope that’s helped some people out there, thanks for reading.

Spencer