Archive for September 2019

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Archive for September 2019

Luxury Travel meets Luxury Travel at Rolls-Royce Charity Event

Rolls-Royce Evelina Art for Allergy x Dine on the Line Charity Event

Luxury Travel and Art come together to raise £1.7m for children’s charity

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars are unquestionably the creator of the world’s finest luxury motorcars and the brand epitomises the ultimate luxury car experience.  Having been at the forefront of VIP and luxury travel for many years The Kings Ferry Group was the natural choice when it came to transporting their VIP guests to the prestigious Evelina Art for Allergy x Dine on the Line charity event, held at the home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex.
 
This major philanthropic event was held in support of allergy research at Evelina London Children’s Hospital.  The event was held on 21st September 2019 and raised over £1.7m.  One of the highlights of the show was the collaboration between Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and world-renowned artist Marc Quinn who will now design a bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantom featuring the iris of the winning bidder’s daughter.
 
The Kings Ferry Group were delighted to provide seamless transportation to the event on-board their luxury VIP coaches including three transfers from three different locations.  The Kings Ferry Group’s fleet of luxury VIP coaches sets the standard in opulence and grandeur featuring the finest fittings, sumptuous seats and display lighting. 
 
Sophia Jackson, Sales Executive at The Kings Ferry Group said ‘After working on this for a few months I was delighted to see it all come together and I felt very proud to have helped contribute to such an incredible event.’
 
The Kings Ferry offers the highest standards in customer service and is fully equipped to provide tailor made travel solutions to their customers.  The superiority of their attention to detail is second to none such as ensuring that everything served on-board was British from the Belu Water to the Nyetimber wine. 
 

First Year Anniversary For Stewarts Coach Group & The Kings Ferry Group

Woods Coaches with anniversary gifts from The Kings Ferry Group
 
On the 12th September 2018 The Kings Ferry Group acquired Stewarts Coach Group Limited, an award winning independent coach business with bases in Reading and Leicester.  Stewarts provides corporate travel and private hire services as well as operating an established day tour and holiday programme, incorporating the brands Woods Coaches, Woods Tours and Stewarts Tours.  In order to ensure a smooth transition to the new ownership, the existing Managing Director of Stewarts Coach Group, Andy Cotton stayed with the business to drive business growth opportunities.  One year on and Stewarts and Woods are celebrating substantial growth and success.
 
Managing Director of The Kings Ferry Group, Ian Fraser has been delighted with the progress that has been made this year.  In response to the first year anniversary he said "I would like to begin by thanking all the people in both Stewarts and Woods for their fantastic attitude to the new ownership. I can say that the overwhelming impression has been one of open mindedness, cooperation and a brilliant ‘can do’ approach. I have been impressed by everyone I have met."
 
"Andy kept telling me how good his people were but now we have experienced it first hand, I can say that we didn’t realise just how good they all are."
 
"Since day one I wanted us to work with our new colleagues in a collaborative and consultative way. Whilst acquiring a new business isn’t always plain sailing, I truly believe that the business as a whole is reaping the rewards of working collaboratively. Together we have made a number of developments in the businesses which has helped drive improvements in a number of key areas including customer satisfaction, revenue, fleet investment, pay and profit."
 
"I am very proud of the achievements everyone within the business has made and they should all be incredibly proud of themselves. They have played a huge part in the success of the acquisition over the last 12 months."
 
The acquisition last year sparked an ambitious strategy focusing on a significant increase in revenue and profits across the Stewarts and Woods brands.  A new marketing strategy, which rolled out new product offerings to passengers, as well as developments in key areas of the business, has seen a substantial increase in revenue for FY19 particularly the Woods Holidays Programme, which is on target to hit a 23% year on year increase in revenue.
 
The fleet investment has certainly benefited Stewarts and Woods.  At Woods this first year saw the introduction of the very first Double Deck Coach as well as the start of a new airport service from Stansted Airport to Manchester and Liverpool.  The coach fleet has increased from 16 to 25 vehicles and an additional 18 full-time drivers have joined the team.  The ongoing increase to the coach fleet will offer a wider choice of vehicles on the tours programme and bring in new business opportunities.
 
The drivers at Stewarts have certainly been kept busy with a significant increase in the amount of transfers being completed in July 2019 than the previous year. The drivers have been enjoying the variety of different work this year including international travel.
 
When it comes to employment The Kings Ferry Group has not held back in supporting Stewarts and Woods.  As well as several new appointments there has been an increase in opportunities for both employees and workflows. New positions have been created in Training and Compliance, Sales, Mechanics and Drivers.  
 
Linny Smalley-Ward, General Manager at Stewarts says "There is no doubt that every single person in our team at Stewarts has pushed that little bit harder to ensure we have delivered on each task that has been set, I couldn’t be prouder of everyone and everything that we have achieved."
 
Stewarts Coach Group with anniversary gifts from The Kings Ferry Group
 
Looking ahead the future is bright.  With a focus on providing the best drivers, highest safety standards and cutting edge fleet of vehicles, leveraging the increased geographical presence that The Kings Ferry Group can offer will ensure that a higher volume of customers can experience the unrivalled reputation and customer care that both Stewarts and Woods deliver.
 
As Bill Tanser, General Manager at Woods says "All at Woods are really excited to see what the future holds."
 
 

Anti-Bullying Ambassador, James Okulaja, Tackles Hate Crime With A Brand New Song

When the opportunity arose for us to sponsor the aspiring rapper James Okulaja AKA Oktave in his new music video, we couldn’t say no.

The anti-bullying ambassador for the charity The Diana Award, uses his incredible talent to raise awareness around social issues. James is one of 25,000 ambassadors in the UK and Ireland who help create campaigns to tackle cyber-bullying and hate crime. He has worked with the likes of Google, Snapchat and Facebook, as well as HRH Prince William. 
 
James Okulaja with HRH Prince William outside Google Headquarters
Photo: Outside Google headquarters in London (left to right; Brent Hoberman (Chair Taskforce), James Okulaja (Young People’s Panel), The Duke of Cambridge and Matt Brittin (President EMEA Business and Operations at Google))
 
Using his youth as an advantage, James is able to connect with young people when discussing the importance of keeping safe online. With the support from Kent Police, he regularly communicates his message in schools through assemblies and workshops. More recently James has discovered a new way of getting his message out there – through his love of music. 
 
James’ previous song ‘Oso Saucy’ is about rising above bullies and haters. The music video was sponsored and filmed in the popular dessert café, Creams, in Chatham Dockside. Since being released at the Medway Youth Awards, the video has received over 30,000 views and has gained the praise of several celebrities, including lead guitarist of popular boyband The Vamps, James McVey.
 

TEAM

Off the back of the success of his first music video, James decided to write his next song ‘TEAM’. A song which carries a strong message around hate crime. James explains, “TEAM is about lifting up the people around me, exaggerating the excellence of the people I surround myself with and amplifying the fact that we don’t care about the hate we get or approval from society. We will still be successful regardless of people’s negative opinions.”
 
When one of our Operations Controllers, Ollie Taylor approached us and told us about the work James had been doing, we had to invite him in for a chat. James came to The Kings Ferry head office to discuss a sponsorship opportunity and it was clear our values aligned. 
 
Carl O'Neill, Group Sales and Marketing Director says, "We have really enjoyed working with James (AKA Oktave) on his latest Music video. It's encouraging to see a talented and driven individual make such an impact in his local community by using what he enjoys the most to raise awareness around such key and relevant topics. James’ latest number is around the challenges we face in day to day life and how our support system, and team help us to tackle these."
 
"It was great to be a part of the video by providing one of our VIP coaches and we are really excited to see the finished outcome. The TEAM had a lot of fun during the filming and we are pleased to be working with such a talented individual and look forward to the exciting projects ahead."
 
 
Ollie Taylor, James Okulaja and Carl O'Neill
Photo: Outside The Kings Ferry Head Office (left to right; Ollie Taylor, James Okulaja and Carl O’Neill)
 
We arranged for one of our luxurious rear-lounge VIP coaches to transport James and his crew between filming locations. We also let them take over our Kings Ferry VIP Instagram to offer exclusive behind the scenes footage. 
 
James Okulaja (Oktave) exiting Kings Ferry VIP Coach
Photo: Exiting The Kings Ferry VIP Coach, James Okulaja with his crew.
 
We weren’t the only ones who felt inspired by James’ anti-bullying message, the Medway Rugby Club and McDonald’s Chatham owner Gian Chahal kindly sponsored the music video and allowed James and his team to film exclusively on the rugby grounds and inside the McDonalds restaurant. They were gifted free meals by owner Gian, and given delicious Apple Pies for the coach journey. In addition, they were also allowed behind the counter in the fast-food restaurant where the team made their own iconic Big Macs!
 
“A massive thank you to everyone at Kings Ferry, McDonalds Chatham and Medway Rugby Club for supporting this project. I look forward to continuing to work with you in the future and what we come up with next!”, says James.
 
The music video for TEAM by Oktave will be released on 11th October 2019 in association with Kent Police for Hate Crime Awareness Week.  
 

Top 3 Christmas Markets

It’s that time of year where people are starting to think about Christmas shopping, some of you may be so incredibly organised you have already finished! 

If you’re in search for some Christmas magic and gift inspiration, the best place for you to go is to a Christmas Market. With cute wooden chalets, handcrafted decorations and traditional festive foods, you will find everything you need at one of these markets. 
 
We’ve been taking people to Christmas Markets for many years now and over time these three have proved to be the best in our eyes;  
 

Christmas Markets

Arras, France

30th November – 30th December 2019
 
Arras Christmas Market
 
Surrounded by Flemish Baroque architecture, is the magnificent Grand’Place. Each year the main square transforms into a magical Christmas wonderland. With over 140 artisans and exhibitors, you are bound to pick up some delicate Christmas goodies. From authentic wooden toys to handcrafted decorations, this French Christmas market has something wonderful for everyone. 
 
If Christmas shopping has left you feeling a bit peckish, there are plenty of food stalls dotted around serving roasted chestnuts and spiced bread.  
 

Bruges, Belgium

25th November – 31st December 2019
 
Bruges Christmas Market
 
The Bruges Christmas Market is a wonderful event that embodies Christmas spirit. Grote Markt is where all the magic happens. Lined with pretty, wooden chalets and a glittering ice rink, Bruges is Belgium’s most popular Christmas market. The festive atmosphere spreads beyond Grote Markt as there are unique little markets all over the city.
 
Belgium is famous for its incredible food with the Bruges Christmas Market showcasing all the best delicacies. Warm up with some freshly baked waffles and a cup of hot cocoa or perhaps celebrate with a traditional Belgian beer. 
 

Bath, England

28th November – 15th December 
 
Bath City Christmas Market
 
The award-winning Christmas Market in Bath is a wonderful event lasting 18 magical days. With over 150 twinkling chalets to wander around, you are bound to pick up some festive goodies for a loved one.  You will find personalised presents, traditional Christmas decorations and artisan gifts created by local makers. 
 
Throughout the market you will find plenty of delicious food to satisfy your appetite. From tasty burgers and hog roasts to caramelised nuts, all washed down with a warm glass of mulled wine. 
 

How to get there

Christmas is all about spending time with your loved ones; family and friends. So what better way to spend time with them than to hire a coach to travel to one of these fantastic Christmas Markets.
 
Coach travel doesn’t have to be expensive and you don’t need huge groups to make it worth your while. The key is to hire the most accurate size coach to keep costs low for everyone, we have 16 to 77 seater coaches. There’s also more than enough room to transport all the presents you’ll be buying!
 
Make this Christmas magical with coach hire through The Kings Ferry. 
 
 

Brexit | Travelling to Europe After A No Deal Brexit

Visiting Europe after Brexit

Brexit

Stay up to date 

A Brexit deal has been agreed in principle with the EU. Both the UK and the EU need to approve and sign the withdrawal agreement.If the withdrawal agreement is not signed by the UK and the EU, the UK could still leave with no deal on 31 October 2019.We have been advised by the Department of Transport that there will be changes that may affect you travelling to Europe in the event of a no-deal Brexit. 
 
We will continually update this page with the latest Brexit related travel information. However, please be advised to check the Government website for the latest information on a regular basis if you are planning to travel or are travelling into Europe in the immediate future. 
 
You can sign up to get email alerts from the Government to get the latest information.
 
You can also get travel advice for the country you’re visiting, including local information about travel, laws and customs, and money.
 

Passports: Check if you need to renew

Did you know you may need to renew your British passport earlier if you’re travelling after Brexit.
 
On the day you travel, your passport will need to:
have at least 6 months’ validity
be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)
 
If you do not renew your passport, you may not be able to travel to most EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
 
If you are unsure if your passport will allow you to travel, you can use a Government tool to check whether your passport is valid for the country you’re visiting.
 
Please note, it usually takes 3 weeks to renew your passport. Although, there is a premium service if you need it sooner.
 
These rules do not apply to travel to Ireland. You can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay.
 

Healthcare: Check you’re covered

You should always get appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover before you go abroad.
 
After Brexit your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) card may not be valid.
 
It’s particularly important you get travel insurance with the right cover if you have a pre-existing medical condition. This is because the EHIC scheme covers pre-existing conditions, while many travel insurance policies do not.
 
You can read advice on buying travel insurance with the right cover.
 

Travel

There may be changes after Brexit. What these are depend on how you’re travelling.
 
However you travel, check before you leave for any delays or disruption.
 

Flights, ferries, cruises, Eurostar and Eurotunnel, bus and coach services

 
After Brexit, the following will be able to run as before:
flights
ferries and cruises
the Eurostar and Eurotunnel
bus and coach services between the UK and the EU
 
If you’re flying:
airport security procedures will not change for direct flights to and from the UK
there should not be delays at airport security if you change flights in EU airports
 
Bus and coach services to non-EU countries, for example Switzerland or Andorra, may be effected and as a result may not be able to run. The government is working to make sure that these continue to run with minimal or no disruption. Please check the Government website for updates or contact your dedicated travel consultant if you have any further questions.
 

Entering other countries

Visas: you should not need one for short trips

After Brexit, you will not need a visa for short trips, according to European Commission proposals. You could stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. You may need a visa or permit to stay for longer, or to work or study.
 
Please check the Government website for updates. 
 
When the rules are confirmed, information about how to get a visa if you need one will be on each country’s travel advice page.
 
Travel to Ireland will not change after Brexit. 
 

Border control: you may have to show your return ticket and money

 
At border control, you may need to:
show a return or onward ticket
show you have enough money for your stay
use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing
 

Other Brexit changes

You’ll need to declare cash of £10,000 or more (or the equivalent in another currency) if you take it between the UK and any other country.
 
If you’re a business:
you may need to make a customs declaration if you take goods with you to sell abroad or use for business
find out what else you need to do to prepare your business for Brexit
 
 
For further details on any of the above and for information regarding; driving, travel insurance policies, pet travel, mobile data roaming or if your travel company goes out of business, please visit the Government website
 

The Great Office Bake Off

Here at The Kings Ferry we love The Great British Bake Off. We love it so much so that we decided to hold our own ‘Great Office Bake Off’.

After enlisting the help of the team, we created our own awesome promotional video on-board our VIP coach and the #GOBO Challenge was born. 
 

The #GOBO Challenge

We challenge other companies around the UK to take part in the Great Office Bake Off and to show us their best bakes. With the likes of National Express and Waterstones already getting involved, there’s still time to share your office’s bakes. 
 
To be part of the challenge, all we ask is that you use the #GOBO and tag us in so we can see your delicious creations.
 

Vote for Your Star Baker

As if we could settle for a bake off video, every Friday staff at The Kings Ferry bake that week’s theme. We’re not sure about everyone else but in this office we are fuelled by cake and sugar!
 
It’s then up to our fantastic followers to vote for their favourite on our Facebook page and crown the weeks’ Star Baker.
 
Let’s take a look at the entries so far… 
 
 

Week 10 | The Grand Finale

Your #GOBO 2019 Champion...

Over the past 10 weeks, our bakers have treated us to some incredibly delicious treats. They’ve combined flavours, experimented with colours and took on each weeks’ challenges like pros! 
 
So without further ado, it’s our pleasure to announce that your #GOBO Champion 2019 is… JAY!
 
Great Office Bake Off Champion 2019 Jay Watkiss
 

Entries...

Our 2 most notorious bakers have entered the tent for the last time for their chance to be crowned the #GOBO 2019 Champion!
 
Will it be Jay with her no soggy bottom Sausage Rolls, or Charlotte with her eye catching Cheeky Chocolate Oreo Cake?! 
 
Vote for your winner now!
 

Week 9 | Patisserie

Your Star Baker...

The independent adjudicator Mrs Betty Crocker was on hand to call this one!! Your week 9 star baker is the brilliant Jay with her stunning Profiteroles!! 

Entries...

Our bakers this week are both previous Star Baker winners – so it’s going to be a tough one this week!
 
Both bakers have created some delicate treats for our Patisserie week. Our Cake Star Baker Jay has made Profiteroles and Festival Star Baker Charlotte has made Eclairs. But who will add another Star Baker to their belt? 
 
Vote for your favourite! 
 
 

Week 8 | Pastry 

Your Star Bake...

The votes are in and the nation has decided on their favourite Gregg's pastry bake. The classic sausage roll is this weeks' Star Bake!

Greggs Sausage Roll

Entries...

Our bakers had a few disasters last night baking their pastries so we have enlisted the help of our good friend Gregg!

We've got two incredible bakes that have torn the nation, Gregg's succulent Steak Bake and the classic Sausage Roll, both equally delicious but only one can win! 

Vote for your favourite! 

 

Week 7 | Festivals 

Your Star Baker...

Charlotte's adorable Easter Bunny cupcakes hopped their way into becoming our Festival Star Baker, thanks to your votes!

Week 7 Festival Star Baker Charlotte with her Easter Bunny Cupcakes

Entries...

Our bakers this week are Cassie and Charlotte.
 
Both bakers were working hard all night to bring some delicious treats for festival week. Cassie has made spooktacular Halloween Gingerbread biscuits and Charlotte has made Easter Bunny Chocolate and Vanilla cupcakes.  
 
Who will be your Star Baker? 
 
 

Week 6 | Dessert

Your Star Baker...

Jade’s melt-in-your-mouth Chocolate Ganache Tart was rich, moreish and decorated delicately with chocolate leaves. Thanks to your votes, Jade is our Dessert Week Star Baker!

Jade with autumnal Chocolate Ganache Tart Great Office Bake Off Week 6 Winner

Entries...

Our bakers for this week are Steph, Jade and Alison. 

All three bakers have been waiting for this week to showcase their delicious desserts. Steph has made a luxury Millionaire Shortbread Cheesecake, Jade has made a autumnal Chocolate Ganache Tart and Alison has made a White Chocolate Cheesecake Surprise.
 
Who will be your Star Baker? 
 

Week 5 | Roaring '20's

Your Star Baker...

Jodi and her scrumptious Pineapple Upside-Down Cake was the centre of attention and thanks to your votes she is our Week 5 Roaring 20’s Star Baker!

Jodi with Pineapple Upside-Down Cake for The Great Office Bake Off Star Baker Week 5

Entries...

Our bakers for this week are Jodi and Graham. 

Both bakers have dedicated their bakes to the Macmillan Coffee Morning. Jodi’s Pineapple Upside-Down Cake embodies the 1920’s, a classic bake. Graham’s Lemon Cupcakes take inspiration from the famous 1920 Ritz Carlton Lemon Cake. 
 
Who will be your Star Baker?
 

 

Week 4 | Dairy

Your Star Baker...

 

Vikki's Banoffee Pies were the obvious winner for Week 4 and thanks to your votes she was crowned our Star Baker for Dairy Week.

Vikki Street with Banoffee Pies

Entries...

 
We only had one baker this week, Vikki. 
 
Vikki’s duo of Banoffee Pies went down extremely well in the office, but she’s not giving the recipe away as it’s a family secret. As no one else in the office volunteered for Dairy Week, we had to improvise and find a fake image of a cheesecake. 
 
Who will be your Star Baker?  
 

 

Week 3 | Bread

Your Star Baker…
 

Gemma's spectacular Rosemary & Sea Salt bread went down a treat and is our Week 3 Star Baker thanks to your votes. 

Gemma's Rosemary & Sea Salt Bread | Bread Week Star Baker

 

The Entries…

 
Our two bakers this week are Gemma and Jay.
 
Both bakers raised the bar with some interesting flavours. Gemma’s homemade Rosemary and Sea Salt bread has filled the office with its sensational aroma. Jay’s homemade Sweet Cinnamon Sugar bread has the perfect amount of sweetness to satisfy any sugar craving.
 
Who will be your Star Baker?
 

 

Week 2 | Biscuits

Your Star Baker…

 
Sophia’s Gingerbread embodied the infamous Kings Ferry crown this week winning the majority vote. It was so delicious, it was gone within the hour!
 
Biscuit Week Great Office Bake Off Star Baker Winner

 

The Entries…

 
Our two bakers this week are Nicki and Sophia. 
 
Nicki’s chocolate-chip shortbread cookies are coloured in our iconic green and yellow, a winning combination. While Sophia’s giant gingerbread is in the shape of our fabulous crown, definitely a crowd pleaser. 
 
Who will be your Star Baker? 
 

 

Week 1 | Cake 

Your Star Baker…

 
Jay’s homemade fruit cake won the heart of the nation in our first ever Great Office Bake Off. A delicious entry and well deserved!
 
Great Office Bake Off Cake Week Star Baker Winner

 

The Entries…

 
Our two bakers this week are Jay and one sheepish baker who wished to remain anonymous.
 
Jay’s homemade fruitcake is garnished with edible daisies, a sweet bake cooked to perfection. Whereas our sheepish baker had a little help from the local Tesco, in the shape of a chocolate birthday cake. 
 
Who will be your Star Baker? 
 

 

 

The Great Escape to the Countryside

Breathe in the fresh air of the British countryside as you sit back and relax.

Embark upon a rural escape where you’ll find rolling hills and cobblestone streets. 
 
With most Britons living amongst the hustle and bustle of cities, a countryside getaway is the perfect solution for some downtime. Reconnect with nature and watch the world go by from one of these idyllic destinations;
 

Lake District

Lake District Countryside
 
Located in North West England, the Lake District is a World Heritage Site. With its high fells, glacial lakes and rural villages, it’s no surprise tourists from around the world visit this magnificent destination. It is home to England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike. Scafell Pike is part of the National Three Peaks Challenge, a challenge that involves climbing the three highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales, often within 24 hours.
 
The Lake District not only has the highest peak but it also holds other national records. It has Wastwater, England’s deepest lake and Windermere, the longest lake in England.
 

The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds Countryside
 
The Cotswolds span almost 800 square miles across five counties. It is the largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales. With lively market towns, typical quaint English villages, breath-taking castles and gorgeous country houses, sightseeing in the Cotswolds will take you on a tour of all things countryside. 
 
The Cotswolds also benefit from a rich harvest of cheeses, meats and locally brewed drinks. Visitors can enjoy a spot of fine dining and taste the fresh local produce in one of the many Gastropubs and old Inns.
 

Snowdonia 

Snowdonia National Park Mount Snowdon
 
Snowdonia is a spectacular National Park in northern Wales surrounded by mountains and glacial landforms. It is home to the highest peak in Wales, Mount Snowdon. Many have scaled the mountain as part of the National Three Peaks Challenge. However, for those who don’t fancy hiking to the top the iconic Snowdon Mountain Railway will take you up to the summit. Mount Snowdon has some of the most beautiful views from its peak, treating its visitors to views across the sea to Ireland.  
 
Snowdonia has plenty of activities to do in addition to hiking to the top of its famous peak. Take a refreshing dip in the deep, clear waters of the Watkins Path waterfalls. The park also has countless mountain biking trials for you to discover. If you’re looking for a thrill why not whizz along the sky on the world’s fastest zip line! 
 

Getting to the Countryside

Many National Parks welcome coaches in a bid to reduce the amount of cars roaming around. Coach travel is one of the most eco-friendly modes of transport. 
 
If you’re travelling as a group, no matter the size, we can get you to your destination altogether. We regularly transport groups to the UK’s National Parks; from ramblers to wedding parties and everything in-between!
 
Find out how you can escape to the countryside with The Kings Ferry. 
 
 

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