January 2014

In the vanguard or the guard's van?

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We are continuing our preparation for reopening in February half-term. We don’t want to change things for the sake of change but need to be sure what we offer continues to be attractive to our customers and that others don’t steal a march on us.

Bill has been working on the paperwork we need to have in place to comply with our new licence - we have an inspection coming up. He’s assessed risks and made plans and prepared training sessions for staff. Emily has been contacting the young people who will be working with us through the season. Some of our regular staff are moving on so we will be running training sessions for the new members joining the team.

We were disappointed when we discovered that the steam trains won’t be running to Grosmont in half term week; they’ll shuttle between Pickering and Goathland. It will be interesting to see how the change affects our trade. Hopefully it’s just a temporary change to allow track repairs. Fingers crossed for good weather to tempt walkers on to the hills.

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On a more practical level Bill used our new step-ladder to get up high to clean the lights and the beams in the coffee shop with the aid of an extra long hose on the vacuum and the longest feather duster in the world. Not a cobweb in sight now. It is very pleasing to know the place is clean.

We are trying out some new recipes. Borscht soup is a contender at the moment. The challenge will be to find a name that sells it. We thought ‘Yorkshire Beet t’ root’ might work, especially around Valentine’s day. Emily is perfecting her Sachertorte after our trip to Vienna.

Outside, we can see the shoots of plants poking through the earth as the bulbs come to life. Let’s hope we don’t get a late winter blast in February.