Haemorrhaging money due to the pandemic, the hotel’s owner Oliver Sterling has been forced to sell the controlling interest to some shadowy city interests, whose representative, Adil Khan, immediately made all the staff redundant and closed the hotel for refurbishment.
Like many small rural and larger market towns, the loss of some 20 jobs in the community is a massive blow to the local and individual finances.
Fortunately, one of the UK’s fastest-growing pub, hotel and restaurant groups, The Oakman Group, which runs the Cherry Tree in Olney, The Woburn in Woburn and White Hart, Ampthill, in Beds, Three Locks, Stoke Hammond, Grand Junction Arms , Buckingham, and the Betsey Wynne, Swanbourne in Bucks, Grand Junction Arms and The Akeman, Tring, and Kings Arms, Berkhamsted, in Herts to name but a few, is riding to the rescue.
With 37 venues across the North-West, Midlands and Southern England, they have launched an advertising campaign in The Caterer and across social media channels, offering the entire workforce from Gray Gables a job, promising “real-life careers” and “jobs you can’t be written out of. “
Talking directly to all those made redundant, the innovative pub group has won many awards for its staff training and career development programs and has again featured in the top 3-star echelon of The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For.
Peter Borg-Neal, chairman and founder of The Oakman Group, said: “Art, in this case, is imitating life. So many companies have suffered during the pandemic.
“I’m no Archers expert, but when we heard about the plight of the Gray Gables’ staff, I knew we had to help and offer not only a new career – but one with no danger of being written out of the script.
“I know how tough it has been since March 2020, but unlike Gray Gables, we retained over 90% of our 1400-strong team I sympathize with Oliver Sterling having to sell his beloved Gray Gables.
“Unfortunately, much of our industry’s hardships are due to a tsunami of government meddling in the working world. Luckily for Roy Tucker, Freddie Pargetter, Tracy Horrobin, Lynda Snell and the rest of the redundant Gray Gables team, the Oakman Group needs you. ”
Full list of Oakman venues in Beds, Bucks, Herts, Ox, Warks and Northants:
Akeman Inn, Kingswood, Bicester
Beech House, Beaconsfield
Grand Junction Arms, Buckingham
The Pointer, Brill * (SPC)
Three Locks, Stoke Hammond (SPC)
Grand Junction Arms, Tring (SPC)
Kings Arms, Berkhamsted *
Crown & Thistle, Abingdon *
Old Post Office, Wallingford
Four Alls, Welford-on-Avon