Archive for May, 2011

Something to think of when buying a marquee

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

That listing I linked to on eBay was for one of our marquees bought in March with accessories for £1,684 and used once for a wedding. It sold for £1,600. Find me something else wedding-related that holds it’s value that well after using it!

For some reason the last few weeks have gone crazy with requests from people with other makes of marquees wanting spare parts. I’m not sure what it is, whether it’s just the time of year for people to be planning their summer parties or whether there’s just been some unexpected bad weather somewhere but I’d say we’ve had an 800% increase than this time last month.

How does this affect you? Well generally parts of different marquees aren’t compatible with one another so if you have an accident with your marquee you’ve got to go back to the original supplier. But a lot of the requests we have are for other suppliers marquees who clearly state on their website that spares are readily available, which is confusing. I thought everyone was like us who send spares out immediately as the time you need a replacement is invariably when you need the marquee.

Now I’m not trying to criticise all of our competitors, I get on well with most and the reason for that is mutual respect and knowledge that we each offer a good service. But there are some out there who say one thing and do another. What I suggest is if you’re thinking of buying a marquee (whoever it’s from and whatever style it is) you phone them up anonymously saying you’ve got a 2 or 3 year old marquee already and need some spare parts for it, just see what reaction you get and keep that in mind when finding a supplier.

All of this and indeed our philosophy on spare parts comes from my own experience. Years ago I was really in the mire for one weekend and approached our usual supplier only to be hit by a brick wall. It was made very clear that they weren’t going to help me or go out of their way at all. So I approached another supplier we rarely used who bent over backwards to help even meeting us out of hours so we could get the job done. Who do you think we went back to in the future? Years of growth later and we were one of his best customers and I never forgot him helping us out that one nightmare weekend.

I’m not saying we’re the only marquee supplier who offers a good after sales service but just put a supplier to the test before buying. That way you can have more confidence if anything should go wrong in the future.

Thanks for reading


Used 6x12m DIY Marquee

Friday, May 27th, 2011

One of our customers is selling their once used  6x12m DIY Marquee on ebay at the moment if you’re quick

Upside down Fridays

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Now bear with me on this one..

One of the best marquee erectors I ever worked with was Darren. He was faster and stronger than just about anyone else around and he fought women off with a sh*tty stick. In short everyone loved working with him. However, he was also a very shrewd chap.

On Fridays if the day was quiet with only a small marquee to do then he’d let whatever young lad was working with him be in charge for the day and boss him around. It sounds a laugh (and it was) but it’s also a very educational thing to do. You learn what winds the lads up (as that’s what they’ll make you do!) and you get to ham up any annoying things they do.

Try it one (quiet) day, it’s a laugh and might surprise you 🙂

Thanks for reading


Essential items for your van

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Over time you find there are certain things that you want to have in each vehicle, if you’re starting up then this is the sort of list that you need to equip each van/lorry with:

  • Wire cutters to cut all those cable ties (preferably a few pairs)
  • A few hammers (for nailing down matting/carpet)
  • sledgehammer
  • A pair of steps large enough for whatever size marquees you offer
  • several packs of cable ties
  • spare nuts/bolts/bungees/drop-nose pins whatever easily lose-able small parts your style of marquees use
  • spanners
  • ratchet straps
  • vacuum/leaf blower, whatever you use to clean up flooring
  • map book or sat nav
  • pack of baby wipes to clean hands before putting up linings etc
  • stake puller (if you use them)
  • purlin lifter (if you have the style of marquee that requires them)
  • hard hats (if you’re lifting metalwork over your head then you should wear them)
  • Cloths, bucket and some cleaning fluid (plant sprays are good for keeping cleaning fluid in)
  • a roll of rubbish sacks
  • 13amp fuses
  • selection of screwdrivers
  • 13amp socket tester (worth it’s weight in gold for testing sockets to trace any problem/fault)
  • small container of bleach (in an emergency you can remove marks on a lining at the last minute)

It sounds a lot but most of it will just stay permanently in the compartment above the cab or in a tool box. There are bound to be some things that I’ve missed but these should cover most eventualities that you may face.

Thanks for reading


New Marquee Cleaner

Monday, May 9th, 2011

No blog for a couple of weeks due to the bank holidays. Poor health was also a factor – can someone older and wiser than me let me know if a family of 4 can ever be completely illness free? You just seem to take turns. Anyway, back to marquees.

Cleaning marquees is a regular thing (or at least it should be!). It might only be a quick wipe on site or a full on scrub down in the yard as part of general maintenance. You need a decent cleaner to use.

We always used a generic Traffic Film Remover (TFR). It’s like concentrated washing up liquid that you water down in a spray or power washer.

UnoChem now produce a specific marquee cleaner which might be worth a try. I haven’t used it myself, I don’t know if it produces heaven in a jay cloth or adds nothing to your elbow grease. But it’s aimed at marquee people. We are marquee people. I thought it might be worth a try.

Thanks for reading