Archive for February 2019

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Archive for February 2019

Wedding Shows in Kent

Wedding Show blog image

Upcoming Wedding Shows

It's that time of year where we're out of the peak proposal dates (Christmas, New Year, Valentines Day) but not quite in wedding season yet - which means wedding show time! 

Wedding shows are THE place to be if you are looking for inspiration for your big day, not to mention you can pick up some great deals at the events too. From catwalk shows to sweet carts, DIY workshops to dream honeymoon destinations, wedding shows have it all. We've got a few favourites that are worth popping along to...

The National Wedding Show 

When: 13th - 14th April 2019
Where: ExCeL London

The National Wedding Show is the perfect place for wedding inspiration. The shows boast thousands of suppliers and host hundreds of thousands of visitors each year! With their next local event happening at ExCeL London, it's made it onto our go-to list. You'll find everything you need for your special day at the ExCeL show. With over 200 suppliers exhibiting, you'll have the chance to watch showstopping catwalks, take part in free creative classes and enter into some amazing competitions. 

Did we mention we'll be there exhibiting too? We're your perfect transport provider for your wedding guests, we'll make sure they get picked up, taken to the ceremony, transferred to the wedding reception and back home again. We're also giving away the chance to win FREE tickets to this incredible wedding show, head to our Facebook page for more details. 

Gay Wedding Show

When: 3rd March 2019
Where: Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel

It's back! It's Kent's first Gay Wedding Show since 2005, a lengthy 14 years since the last event. Prepare to meet Kent's finest wedding suppliers, set over 3 rooms at the Mercure Great Danes Hotel. This one-day event will give you all the inspiration you need for your big day. From bridal and menswear to party planners, DJ's to photographers, you'll leave with so many new ideas, you'll want to have them all! 

The Wedding Experience 

When: 14th April 2019
Where: The Kent Showground, Detling

The Wedding Experience at The Kent Showground is the largest wedding show in the South of England. Every year the show brings over 200 exhibitors and attracts over 1,200 couples. The focal point of this wedding fair has to be it's fantastic entertainment throughout the day. Hosted by the KMFM Radio presenters, the suppliers take centre stage with presentations, fashion shows and interactive entertainment that will see couples entering for the chance to win some fabulous prizes. 

Wedding Showcase 

When: 16th - 17th March 2019
Where: Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle's Wedding Showcase will leave you dreaming of that fairytale wedding. As this historical Castle marks its 900-year anniversary it is one of, if not the most romantic place in Kent to hold your wedding day. Sip sparkling wine as you take a tour through the Castle, Maiden's Tower and the newly restored, Battel Hall, all decorated with gorgeous floral displays from the RHS award-winning in-house Floristry Team. 

Medway's Biggest Wedding Fair 

When: 2nd June 2019
Where: Medway Park, Gillingham

Medway's Biggest Wedding Fair is brand new for 2019. With over 60 wedding professionals from the Medway towns and surrounding areas all under one roof, you are sure to find inspiration here. The fair will see exhibitors showcasing wedding dresses, lavish cakes and stunning photography along with some more unusual ideas. Even though the show is brand new, the exhibitors have an abundance of knowledge and experience when it comes to helping you plan your wedding day. 

 

5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Commute

5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Commute

Commuting, that tedious notion of travelling between home and work on a regular basis. It’s no easy feat when, according to research by the TUC, the UK spends 58 minutes a day commuting. With Londoners leading the way travelling 1 hour and 21 minutes each day to and from work. Whether you’re commuting by train or coach, we’ve got 5 ways that will help you make the most of your commute.

Learn a language

Learning a language can be beneficial to your work life, as well as adding a new skill to your CV. Known as the business language of the future, Mandarin Chinese is a great language to learn, although maybe not the easiest. Any language learnt will put you in good stead for that next promotion or life-changing interview, whatever comes your way. One of the best apps you can download to learn a new language is Duolingo, it’s also completely free.

Read

Commuting is the perfect time to lose yourself in a book. You’ll feel awakened before you get to the office, or it will help you escape the stresses of the day. With so many e-readers available nowadays, you’ll be spoilt for choice on what to read. Or perhaps you take a more traditional approach to reading where nothing beats a hard-backed book. Swap recommendations or trade books with your fellow commuters to open your mind to reads you wouldn’t usually consider, just be sure not to miss your stop.

Set daily goals

Get ahead of the day by setting yourself goals. Whether they are work or personal goals, they’ll help you finish the day with a sense of achievement. You could even use your commute to work towards bigger goals, perhaps weekly or yearly goals. Some have even started their own successful businesses using their commute time, such as the case for Seat Sixty-One and Web2Carz.

Socialise

This may seem an obvious one, but talking to others is a great motivator. Everyone on your commute are doing the same thing, travelling to work, but how many have you actually spoken to? Speaking to others will help you on a daily basis to take influence from them, share your ideas, get their feedback, and get you out of your comfort zone. It’s far too easy to revert to our digital devices and scroll through countless posts on Facebook, on average we spend three years on social media. Imagine the relationships you could build in that time.

Puzzles

You’re sure to see many commuters on their travels immersing themselves in a Sudoku puzzle, crossword or word search. Not only does it pass the time but it also keeps your mind active – think of it as brain-training. You can choose to pick up a puzzle book from your local store or download one of the many apps on your phone. It’s a great way to stimulate your mind ready for the day ahead.

With all these new ideas on how to make the most of your commute, you need to be able to put these into practice in comfort. When commuting by coach you’re not only saving on average 52 minutes compared to a train but you’re guaranteed a seat!

For more information on commuting by coach, click here

 

Business Travel Show 2019 - What a Show!

Business Travel Show - What a Show!

This year marked the 25th anniversary for the Business Travel Show, Europe’s largest specialised exhibition and conference. A show that brings travel professionals across Europe together to explore the latest technology releases, meet suppliers and learn from the industry’s top influencers. 

We’ve been exhibiting at The Business Travel Show consecutively for the past 6 years. This year was our best so far!  

Stand Design

Late 2018 saw the formation of The Kings Ferry Group, while the Group was formed, the corporate identity had only recently been made public. Our focus for the stand this year was to showcase the new brand, that’s why we went bigger and better!

Business Travel Show Stand 2019

Our trusted exhibition manufacturers, ESM Ltd, were on hand to design and build our stand. We wanted to concentrate on providing a ‘Complete Transport Management Solution’ for businesses, no matter the scale, all across the UK. We featured a few clients who we work with; BBC, British Airways, Blue Cube, UEFA, Metropolitan Police and See Tickets. As well as our stand entertainment, Matty Evans the magician and a Strike-A-Light game.

Strike-A-Light Game

Our Strike-A-Light game was one of the highlights of the stand, it was incredibly effective and successful. The aim was to test your reactions and see if you have what it takes to be a Coach Driver. The game could be played solo or head-to-head in a race to push as many lit-up buttons as possible in the allotted time. The highest score over the two days of The Business Travel Show won a fantastic prize. We had visitors come back multiple times to try and beat their score and reach the top of the leader board, one woman had 6 attempts over the two days!

One player led the way from Day 1, many tried to beat him but failed. Our Strike-A-Light champion was Eddy from Travel by Inspire. He scored a whopping 163 points, while second place scored 152.

No-one came close to his score, he was so quick!”, says Ashley Close, Business Development Manager.

Strike-A-Light Game at Business Travel Show 2019

 

The game itself represented National Express’ ‘Driving out Harm’ safety scheme, which is part of a nationwide program to provide safety training for drivers, engineers and staff on our sites.  

Matty Evans – Magician

Back again on our stand for 2019 was Matty Evans, a close-up magician who continued to wow visitors for another year running. Matty’s amazing sleight of hand, tricks and illusions kept our visitors entertained and mesmerised while the rest of the team were busy talking to prospective clients.

Matty Evans Magician at Business Travel Show 2019

 

I’m glad to see Matty Evans was back for another year, his magic tricks impressed the visitors which kept them on the stand until one of us was free.

Seeing their reactions is always a highlight when working with Matty. He’s a great magician and never fails to impress!”, says James Hill, Business Development Manager.

What a Success…

“The show was a great success for us this year. We spoke to many new clients all with a real need for our offering. We met with a number of existing clients who were keen to tell us how pleased they were with our service and how we have made their coach and car travel requirements so much easier to arrange.

The days flew by as we were so busy, it was a really enjoyable and positive event. Business Travel Show is the biggest event in our calendar year on year, it’s always our most successful and valuable event.

We’re looking forward to working with some of the new clients we met this year and will definitely be back for 2020!”, says Vikki Street, Head of Business Development.

The event was a huge success, thanks to the hard work and support of our marketing, business development and management teams for ensuring such a great show. Thanks to ESM, BigFunUK and Matty Evans for creating a brilliant stand and providing amazing entertainment. More importantly, thanks to all the visitors and prospective clients who came to meet us on our stand.

 

February's Driver Open Day

The Kings Ferry Driver Open Day - February 2019

Driver Open Day

On Saturday 23rd February, we held our first ever Driver Open Day at our Head Office in Gillingham, Kent. The event was open to both licensed and non-licensed PCV drivers; the day was a hit with close to 100 visitors walking through our gates, and over 60 expressing their interest in working with us!

On The Day…

As the fog lifted in the morning and the gates opened at 10am, there was an immediate influx of people. We saw many visitors who had come from different backgrounds, most of which were looking for a career change.

At one point, we had people queuing outside the building to sign up!”, says Anthony Smith, Operations Manager.

Visitors were able to tour the coaches, listen to real experiences from our drivers, discuss opportunities with the management team and learn about the training programme for non-licensed PCV drivers. There was also an ice-cream and waffle van to keep visitors refreshed, along with hot dogs to fuel their day. Delicious!

The day went fantastically, we had close to 100 visitors attend. We showed off some of the VIP fleet, including our new Mercedes Executive and the VIP Yutong coaches. The training team did an emergency evacuation display using the ‘50th Anniversary’ coach and we also did a short coach trip into Rochester and back for our visitors.

An area was set up where the trainees could all sign up to join which Debbie Mann, Lawrence O’Neill and Lok Gurung managed. They processed everyone that expressed an interest, (which there were quite a few) and managed to maintain a calm and professional demeanour all day, they were superb!

The rest of the team held meet and greet sessions, selling what we offer as a business and what we can do as a team. They were all great and answered all questions with enthusiasm and honesty.

Overall, the day went extremely well and the ice-cream van was a big hit. We have learnt from this event and are looking to stage another later in the year.” states Anthony Smith, Operations Manager.

The Kings Ferry Academy

One of the company’s newest ventures, The Kings Ferry Academy has had a great start, with over 50 people from the event interested in starting their career as a Kings Ferry Coach Driver. The in-house training team, headed by Simon Le-Mar, will be in full force over the next couple of months to get those interested trained up and out on the road.

PCV Training takes on average one month to complete and those successful will be given a two-year employment contract with The Kings Ferry.

What’s Next?

Over the next few weeks interviews will be held at our Gillingham office and those who are successful will be given the opportunity to join our growing company, either as a qualified driver or as a trainee.

If you wasn’t able to make it to the Driver Open Day on the 23rd February then do not fear! You can still apply for jobs on our Work With Us page, or follow us on Facebook to be one of the first to know when the next Driver Open Day will be!

A Huge Thanks To...

On behalf of Anthony Smith, and all at The Kings Ferry we would like to thank the following staff members for their exceptional support on the day, from our head office; Darren Cleaver, Simon Le-Mar, Lee Miller, Dave Mann, Steve Pennell, Lewis Byrne, Kevin Jenner, Jaimie Florea, Ollie Taylor, Izaak Mann, Denny Gale, Mike Mabaleka and Pete Raven.

From our East Kent depot, we’d like to thank Quin Dodkins and from Clarkes of London we’d like to thank Joe Westgate and Wayne Jamera.

We would like to give a special thanks to Debbie Mann, Lawrence O’Neill and Lok Gurung who went above and beyond on the day. A huge thanks to all those mentioned above, all of whom we would not have been able to do it without.

Of course, we would also like to express our thanks to all of our wonderful visitors and prospective new drivers. It was a pleasure to meet you all and we hope to be in touch very soon!

Finally, we would like to take the time to appreciate and congratulate Anthony Smith for all his hard work in arranging and making the event such a success.

 

Business Travel Show 2019 - We're Exhibiting

Business Travel Show 2019

It’s that time of year again when Europe’s largest specialised exhibition and conference brings together more than 9,000 travel professionals. This year the Business Travel Show will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary at Excel London on 20-21 February and we can’t wait to exhibit!

Last Year’s Exhibition

Last year’s show was a success, we partnered with some fantastic companies and forged excellent business relationships. Visitors were dazzled by Matty Evan’s magic tricks and enjoyed sipping on cocktails as we discussed ground transport solutions.

Kings Ferry Connections Stand at Business Travel Show 2018

Cocktail Bar on Kings Ferry Connections Stand at Business Travel Show 2018

What’s New For 2019

In addition to Clarkes of London, The Kings Ferry has acquired two more coach hire companies, Stewarts Coaches of Reading and Woods Coaches of Leicester. With all four well-established coach hire companies working together, The Kings Ferry Group was formed. The Group will be showcasing itself for the first time at the Business Travel Show.

2019 Exhibition Stand

This year’s stand will see more fun and entertainment than last year. We’ll be pulling Matty Evans out of the hat for another round of magic. And if magic isn’t your thing, get competitive in our new game that will pit you against the entire Business Travel Show in a bid to win one amazing prize.

We’ll be exhibiting on Stand B161, opposite The Artisan Bakery. Our industry experts will be on hand to answer your questions and have a chat about all things ground transport. 

The Kings Ferry Group to Reveal New Brand Identity at The Business Travel Show 2019

The Kings Ferry Group Logo

The Kings Ferry Group to reveal new brand identity at The Business Travel Show 2019 

The Kings Ferry Group will be revealing to the public it’s new brand identity for the first time at the Business Travel Show on the 20th and 21st February 2019. It’s an exciting time for the Group, having only been formed recently after the acquisition of two more coach operators, Stewarts Coaches and Woods Coaches.

The Group consists of four established, professional coach hire businesses each boasting a long history of award-winning excellence; The Kings Ferry, Clarkes of London, Stewarts Coaches of Reading and Woods Coaches of Leicester.

The Kings Ferry Group 

 

The Kings Ferry Logo

The Kings Ferry 

The Kings Ferry is the leading private coach hire specialist in Kent and surrounding counties. The company has an outstanding reputation and is a multi-award winning coach operator, having won UK Coach Operator of the Year over 17 times. The Kings Ferry is renowned for its ability to provide the very best luxury coach hire service.

 

Clarkes of London Logo

Clarkes of London 

Clarkes of London has over 60 years’ experience in delivering a first class service. Offering great value and high quality coach hire, Clarkes of London are recognised within the coach industry as one of the top UK coach hire companies. The company have won numerous awards for its high quality fleet including Mercedes-Benz Award, Best in Class and Route One Excellence Awards.

 

Stewarts Coaches Logo

Stewarts Coaches

Stewarts Coaches are one of only 21 UK companies to be part of the prestigious Guild of British Coach Operators. With a focus on providing the best drivers, highest safety standards and a luxurious fleet of vehicles, Stewarts have an unrivalled reputation as one of the country’s leading coach providers.

 

Woods Coaches Logo

Woods Coaches 

Woods Coaches have a long-standing history of delivering the ultimate travel experience. With a state of the art fleet and professional industry leading drivers, Woods Coaches ensure their customers’ experience is second to none. Their tours programme is of exceptional value and also one of the main contributors to their impressive reputation.

 

Kings Ferry Connections Logo

Kings Ferry Connections

Working within The Kings Ferry is Kings Ferry Connections, specialists in transport management solutions and the UK’s largest network of fully audited operators. From nationwide contracts, disaster contingency to complete transport management, Kings Ferry Connections has the ability to offer any coach, at anytime, anywhere across the UK.

What’s Next 

The Kings Ferry Group will be the face of all four coach hire businesses when attending exhibitions. To showcase the Group further there are a few exhibitions lined up throughout the year, such as South East Bus Festival and National Wedding Show.

Keep your eyes peeled for more exciting news about The Kings Ferry Group as and when it happens.

 

Hold Your Own Anti-Valentine's Celebration

 

Anti-Valentine's Celebration Blog

Hold Your Own Anti-Valentine’s Celebration

Valentine’s Day, the day of celebration for love and affection. Everywhere you look there’s bouquets upon bouquets of red roses, cute teddy bears saying ‘I Love You’ and more chocolate than Willy Wonka’s.

Singletons, be prepared for a weekend filled with listening to stories about candle-lit dinners, romantic hand-written poems and countless ‘We’re Engaged!’ posts. 

Sound all too familiar?

Well it doesn’t have to be, take a stand this Valentine’s Day and treat yourself. Grab a bunch of your single friends, a fancy coach to travel in style and a great destination and there you have it, your very own anti-Valentine’s celebration.

Get Out Of Town

With the town’s bursting with loved up couples this weekend, head out of town. The countryside is filled with cosy cottages, luxurious manors and stylish barn conversions that can be hired for the weekend. Many of which have hot tubs, indoor swimming pools or games rooms, the perfect addition to a group weekend away!

Singles Parties In The Capital

London is filled with swanky pubs and clubs that are hosting singles parties on Valentine’s Day or at the weekend. These lavish parties see celebrity appearances, famous DJ sets, cocktail displays and much more. While most of the parties require tickets to be purchased in advance, there are still some pubs and clubs that allow entrance on the door.

Take Your Mind Off It

There are many activities available to groups up and down the country. Enjoy a relaxing spa weekend with treatments all round to help you and your friends feel pampered and refreshed. In contrast, challenge your mind and body with an adventure day at the newly opened Bear Grylls Adventure in NEC Birmingham.

With so many ways in which you can celebrate being single this Valentine’s Day, why not get your friends together and make this year one to remember.

 

Newest Recruits & Promotions February 2019

We’d like to say congratulations!

After weeks of training, Kim and Sarah, our newest recruits have completed their PCV training at our Gillingham office. Both coach drivers have been on the road for over a month and have been providing a fantastic service to our customers. Our in-house trainer Simon has been thoroughly impressed with the progress our new recruits have made, saying: “They are both doing really well. The speed in which they have been able to adapt and rise to the challenge is great. We are all very proud of them and pleased they have joined our driver’s team”.

Perhaps you’ve seen them on your travels?

Say ‘Hi’ to Kim who is on our University of Kent campus shuttle service. And to Sarah who is one of our commuter drivers connecting Medway to London. If you think they are doing a great job, why not leave them a Trustpilot review.

At The Kings Ferry we like to invest in our employees, in addition to rewarding them for exceptional work. One of our coach drivers, Steve, has recently undergone training to be a Driver Trainer. He’s now fully qualified and ready to help new recruits on the road to gaining their PCV Licence.

At the end of February we’ll be welcoming 5 more drivers to our PCV training programme; we can’t wait to get them on-board and continue to grow The Kings Ferry family!

We're employing!

We are always on the look-out for talent. If you have a PCV Licence and would like to apply for a Coach Driver position you can apply on our ‘Work With Us’ page. If you need to renew your licence or are looking to get into coach driving, we are hosting a recruitment day that offers the perfect opportunity to start your career and get back behind the wheel!

Our driver recruitment day is on the 23rd February, and we are pleased to invite you to come and meet our team, speak to the drivers, trainers, managers and much more! For more information on the driver recruitment day, visit our dedicated page here.  

Clients we are proud to have worked with:

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