HEARTLANDS the truth!

HEARTLANDS the truth;
Several years ago, Car Boots Cornwall were asked by the management of Heartlands if we would be interested in running Car Boots on their land. Lou and I visited and decided that we would not be interested because there were loads of other events going on involving young mums and their children and our Public Liability Insurance would not cover other activities than the Car Boot Sales and its customers. Another consideration was that we had tried Car Boots in Camborne at the Rugby Club which was run by LTC Catering and was a miserable failure not the fault of the caterers simply the wrong decision made by myself. I also decided to avoid Pool Redruth and Camborne as they were not happy with our admission charges which to explain briefly we do have considerable overheads starting with most Landlords wanting up to 50% of the takings, further huge costs involve staffing, toilets, publicity and travel so please do not think the we (that is me and Lou) are making fortunes cos we bloody-well aint me hansom!
I digress, I was most surprised to receive the following email for the management of Heartlands;

Ronnie Hughes
Thu 02/05/2019 20:49

Hello,
I’d like to discuss a car boot here at Heartlands. Initially one in July, run by yourselves here on our 19-acre site.

As you may be aware, we are a charity for the local community and feel there is considerable mileage running this here at heartlands to generate income through perhaps a shared % entry fee.

May you be in touch to discuss the possibility further.

Many thanks

Ronnie

Ronnie Hughes MBIFM MinstLM
Facilities Operations Manager

I thanked Ronnie for his enquiry pointing out that I had already been contacted years earlier however Lou and I went to meet with him and to familiarise ourselves with Heartlands. Ronnie was over-enthusiastic that if we ran Car Boot Sales at Heartlands that the locals would happily pay up to £1.00 admission so we decided to give it a trial after Ronnie had offered to print thousands of leaflets and his teams would deliver them to all the houses surrounding Heartlands. I became suspicious that things were not going our way when we arrived when he sent me the following email;
From: Ronnie Hughes
Sent: 27 June 2019 12:44
To: Geoff Camden-Wiles; Amelia Commons
Subject: RE: Car Boots.

Hello Geoff,

Please see attached. I’ve been out to our external designer, cost £380 with 1000 leaflets including design. Are you happy with the draft before I print?

Notwithstanding your email regarding catering, would you be happy to agree we trade from our catering unit on the launch day only (03/07) to attempt to recover cost? Your catering thereafter….

The aforementioned, if agreeable, will support marketing pictures on launch day for us where I intend to get our photographer in on 03/07.

Many thanks.

Ronnie Hughes MBIFM MinstLM
Facilities Operations Manager

Now then, I have been around for a very long time and I absolutely know that I could go to my ‘external designer’ and he could supply me 1000 design and printed leaflets for around £60.00 so who is on the fiddle here then?

From: Geoff Camden-Wiles [mailto:]
Sent: 20 July 2019 18:02
To: Ronnie Hughes; Amelia Commons; Nigel Webber;
Subject: Leaflet Distribution;

Hello Ronnie,

Respectfully you have advised me on several occasions that you have had up to 3000 leaflets distributed in and around the Heartlands housing complex and other areas in Pool & Redruth. We know of at least 3 people who live at the above areas yet none of them have received any leaflets in connection with our joint promotion for Car Boot Sales.

One of our team members has researched a small area to find no-one has seen nor received leaflets, may I also point out that within you Red River Cafe where you have large amount of leaflets advertising various entertainments that are in Cornwall yet there is not a single leaflet giving any reference to our Car Boot Sales which I am sure you will find as disappointing as our team.
We are now approaching week 4 when we would anticipate well over 25 sellers and being able to charge sellers the full price to sell also to be able to charge buyers for a short period until business improves.

It may be that you are paying a team of distributors who are putting the leaflets straight into the bin?

Disappointed!

Regards,

Geoff

Now then, a serious worry that we had was that Ronnie had told absolutely nobody on his staff that the Car Boot Sales would start until the day before our first sale but worse was that he had not told any of the diminishing shopkeepers at all of our arrival. I cannot imagine a worse situation than being a tenant-owner to arrive at their shops to find our bloody sellers are parked up and set-up and selling right outside their bleedn shops WAFN and they knew sweet sod-all about it ffs. How non-management is that? Ronnie had promised that the parking meters would be covered for our sales also none of our customers would have to pay for parking which pissed off lots of our customer who had paid because Ronnie kept his promise for one week only. Over the few weeks we were at Heartlands I got the impression that we would not succeed we had spent on all the brand new publicity signs we had gimmicked with money off vouchers and free to sell days and I personally waived all admission costs, the total effort made by our team with a few of our very respected loyal devoted sellers because here we were fighting an uphill battle because the Manager had totally reneged on his promise of his cooperation. This alleged hands-on Manager of Heartlands was disliked by the majority of his staff the shopkeepers a first-class maintenance team, the lot! In August we went on holiday on our return we had as you all know weeks and weeks to this very day of persistent rain, despite writing to Ronnie on several occasions rumours were that he had ‘done a bunk’ with the takings and whipped off all financial information from the pc screens including future bookings for weddings no less fs; read on!

Wendy Robinson
Thu 05/12/2019 09:20
Hi Geoff
Ronnie has left and I am the new COO. I agree the weather has been dreadful for the past three months and therefore the car boot has not been a great success.

I didn’t realise the parking machines should be covered up so maybe that’s my fault. If you come in, I’ll refund yours and Nigel’s money for you.

The biggest problem we had on site was visitors not knowing the event was cancelled as some of them don’t use Facebook. We had a lot of complaints that people had travelled for the car boot and then it wasn’t on. As soon as we knew from you, (via a message to Kevin) it was cancelled we would put it on our Facebook page to try and help but the negative feedback was not worth the effort. I know cancellations were mostly due to the weather but some Wednesdays were bright here and the car boot was still cancelled. As customers think Heartlands run the car boot privately any way, I think we will try and do it ourselves next spring and see how we go.

We have spoken to a lady who has enquired regarding hiring the hall for a car boot sale every two weeks. We can’t guarantee a specific date each week as we rent out the space for conferences but if she wants to hire the space herself for an event, she is welcome to.

If you would like to talk this through further please get in touch again.

Kind regards

Wendy

Chief Operating Officer

E
W www.heartlandscornwall.com
T 01209 722329
Wendy Robinson
Thu 05/12/201

From: Geoff Camden-Wiles [mailto:]
Sent: 05 December 2019 13:25
To: Wendy Robinson
Subject: Re: Car Boot Sales

Hello Wendy,

Thank goodness for Heartlands that there has been a change of management!

Ronnie really put pressure to take on the Car Boot Sales despite the fact we had been asked before several years ago I agreed to give it all a second chance reluctantly. Ronnie was absolutely certain that it would be a success which it was not most of the recent weeks were spoiled by persistent rain.

Ronnie absolutely assured me that he had delivered thousands of leaflets around which was proven to be wrong as we have some of our customers who live on the actual Heartlands housing who claim they did not receive any leaflets.
I believe that the lady who asked about doing Car Boots in your function suite could be successful on a fortnightly basis but nothing is guaranteed in Redruth, Pool and Camborne.

May we wish you every success as the new boss and could I ask if members of your team could take our signs down and store them for us and I will ensure they are uplifted. I will advise our public of the decision not to continue however if you do decide to do Car Boots yourselves let me know the details and I will most certainly give publicity to your events.

Kind regards,

Geoff Camden Wiles

Hi Geoff

Thank you for your email, I have no idea what Ronnie was on!!

Would you mind if we kept the signs up until next spring as I’m just about to wrap a Santa’s grotto poster around them to advertise our Christmas event. This would really help me out.

Thank you

Wendy Heartlands, Dudnance Lane, Pool, Redruth, Cornwall, TR15 3QY
From: Geoff Camden-Wiles [mailto:]
Sent: 05 December 2019 13:36
To: Wendy Robinson
Subject: Re: Car Boot Sales

Go for it Wendy, let me know when they should be collected, had we of been working with you we may have had success but Heartlands is a hard task, good luck!

Geoff
Geoff Says;

So that is the truth about us and Heartlands a total loss to ourselves and certainly no income for them. This is a really happy location with wonderful freedom for mums and dads and their young children to enjoy and play happily over the 18-acre complex.

Ronnie;

This man was totally ‘up himself’ with his 40s gay salon style dyed blondish yellow hairstyle (description by our Nigel the man in the know) but acting totally outside of the real world and out of touch with his decent team of workers and a few shopkeepers. Now then, I am not casting Nasturtiums but there are all sorts of rumours that Ronnie has fiddled the Heartlands Registered Charity Complex but I won’t be spread rumours that cannot be substantiated. My own personal opinion of Ronnie was that firstly the man was totally-totally up himself and that he lacked the ability to be the hands on real Manager he treated people with total ignorance and disregard disrespect as though they were all nutters and that he was the only sane one amongst the rest which is totally wrong, only one nutter here Ronnie mate ‘Twas you!!

Geoff

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