A Year of Lockdowns - October 2020 - textSectionComponent

October sees tiered lockdowns being introduced. Our series of what Gallowglass Event Crew were doing (or trying to do) during the year of lockdowns continues.

In general

Let's start with something positive.

The good news was F1 driver Lewis Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher's record of 91 race wins.

The bad news was a three-tier coronavirus restriction system was introduced in England and a five-level framework for suppressing the spread of Covid-19 was announced for Scotland.

Volume of shifts improves to 37% of normal trading - would the upward trajectory hold?

View from the top

Paul Grecian – Chairman of the Gallowglass Group

It’s a repeat of last month with the same sector delivering decent numbers compared to 2019. Then, strike a bloody light, the Arts Council notify us that we have been awarded a grant! I try to pretend that I was confident throughout the process but everyone can see through my wafer thin veneer. They describe me as nonplussed rather than elated. But it’s a huge boost out of the blue. This, allied to some half respectable trading figures is making me feel human again. The icing on the cake is the performance of our H&S team in the Gulf who have laid a global marker down in the sand with their support of the UFC Fight NIghts with four separate evenings each with 3,500 people and not one Covid case throughout and a similar performance in Budapest for the European Super Cup Final in front of 25,000 fans. Bayern Munich might have won the match but another Covid free spectacular means that in the words of Soccer AM, Football is always the winner.

On the front line

Stephen Bridgewater – Senior Crew Chief – Wales and South West

And we’re back at the Principality Stadium. This time we’re on the lower levels of the stadium and we’re taking out seats from rows that have been affected by the enormous scaffold structure required to build the temporary hospital. This work continues for weeks and sees us remove around 10,000 seats total, in preparation for making the stadium safe again for future spectators.

Scott Young – Senior Crew Chief – Scotland

Odd shift again to break the monotony

The BBC beardist says I can’t work there

“I’m not shaving for you bastards”

Dave Gregory – Senior Crew Chief – London

Work was full on! Great to be on it again and out the house. An update email comes through from Head Office letting us know that the furlough is going to flex. The only thing I was finding hard to deal with was not being able to go into the office and ask face to face what was going on. The other thing was having no place to drop off the cars. All the drivers had to finish a job and then drop it off at another driver’s home.

Mark Visser – Crew Chief – London

Work becomes more consistent, although the size of the crew has been radically reduced which means you are seeing the same faces on many of the shifts. Wearing face coverings becomes the new normal.

My first Covid test to allow me to work on a specific shift – Negative

Marwan Zeghbib – Crew Chief – London

Time spent resting and applying to a few jobs on the side to prove to Universal Credit that one was showing initiative. I never seriously considered switching my crewman job for warehousing jobs. It was only a question of time before we were back on the Gallowglass bandwagon.

What happened in BD

Antony Cook – Head of Business Development

Gallowglass continue to lend our support to #WeMakeEvents and the next demonstration at Parliament Square, a socially distanced, safe, organised showing of the people of our industry to Parliament. Our industry is important and contributes billions of pounds each year to the UK economy. Without major immediate support from government, the entire supply chain is at risk of collapse. A great turn out with Nick, Paul, Conor, myself, Picky & Steve from GGH&S and a fine sprinkling of cc’s and crew in attendance. Again 1 or 2 beers might have been consumed.

I was approached by Sarah Webster, she was aware of my previous incarnation as an illustrator/graphic designer, to see if I knew anyone who could donate work for the #makeitblue auction in December or if I had anything laying around I could donate. Unfortunately, I had absolutely nothing but thought it would be better to create something specifically for the auction so set about sharpening my pencils, been a while since I had picked up a Derwent 3B & paintbrush!

What happened in HR

Chris Parry-Jones – Director of Human Resources

The results of the Cultural Recovery Fund have been announced and Gallowglass have been awarded a grant.  We are truly grateful as this will make such a big difference. This allows us to retain our loyal crew and ensure that they have jobs to come back to. Training can continue and we can continue to pay our bills!  We are all hugely proud of our crew and the efforts they put in for all our clients and being able to protect them through this pandemic has been a massive relief.

What happened in IT

Darren Thorley – Head of IT

We continue to meet the challenges of working without a base and it seems to be working rather well.

Our systems are stable and I am tweaking the setup day to day to keep things running optimally.

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Conor Hourihan

Business Development Manager, Gallowglass Group Posted on 19 Apr 2021
About the author
A Music Production graduate, Conor has spent the last 12 years in customer service roles. Joining Gallowglass initially as a Crewman, his talent for gaining clients' trust and forming lasting relationships, made him a shoo-in for our business development and marketing team. When he's not liaising with clients, Conor is our visuals expert - overseeing video content and imagery for our website, app and new vehicle and uniform branding.
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