Mike Fox welcomed everyone to The Cinnamon Club at The Bowdon Rooms, and told the audience how he was attending to enjoy a pint of larger and sit where they were, however CEO Sue Aldridge was stuck in traffic and he kindly did the honours and stepped in to host the evening! Mike himself has enjoyed a number of excellent evenings at The Bowdon Rooms, so without further ado handed over to Owner, Neil Hughes to learn more about the fantastic venue.
Neil began by initially reflecting on what he described as ‘a funny year’, but quickly turned thoughts to the excitement of a new year on the horizon, and exclaimed how 2018 was looking great for The Bowdon Rooms. As well as welcoming a new Operations Director, Taz Kapur, to offer support on a daily basis, Neil recently signed a new 25-year lease with Trafford Council and exclaimed ‘you can’t get rid of us now!’ which was met with laughter across the room. 2018 will also welcome the celebration of 15 years in business for Neil at The Bowdon Rooms, and in true style, there will be a big party and a great band.
“What a great business to be involved in – we’re always partying and there’s always a bar open!” Neil exclaimed.
Focussing on community participation, this has been a real driving force for the business; “it has been really interesting to observe how people are happy to hand over money in order to participate and gain something” Neil told the audience. So what exactly goes on at The Cinnamon Club and Bowdon Rooms? Everything! They have dancing, live music, functions and weddings on a regular basis – in fact, 2018 will see their 300th wedding held at the venue! That’s not all either, The Bowdon Rooms is used by the likes of Altrincham Film Club, University of the Third Age (U3A), The Fine Arts Society and was even used by the BBC for filming a drama series with Robson Green!
Their choirs have been going for over 10 years, and incorporate a real social aspect with coffee and cake breaks in between all of the singing! Neil also recalled seeing a documentary about Singing for the Brain, an initiative organised by the Alzheimer’s Society which involves bringing dementia patients and carers together in regular singing groups – this saw the conception of his very own Vibrant Voices Choir, which sees around 50 people attend each week from care homes.
After speaking for just a short amount of time, it was clear to everyone in attendance that The Bowdon Rooms is a real community hub, with something for everyone and a great asset to the local area. Before everyone enjoyed some delicious canapés and more drinks, Neil picked a winner from the business card draw for a bottle of bubbly – Sudipta Moore from Moore Accountancy.