Facing the music: why Brunel Rooms failed

This Is Wiltshire: Brunel Rooms former directors Jason Ranford, Paula Harris, left and Helene Simpkins top. Brunel Rooms former directors Jason Ranford, Paula Harris, left and Helene Simpkins top.

The former directors of the Brunel Rooms have blamed a flawed business plan, poor marketing and escalating security costs for the failure of the club and the loss of their £250,000 investment.

Jason Ranford, 27, of Victoria Road, and sisters Helene Simpkins, 35, of Broad Hinton, and Paula Harris, 34, of Hinton Parva relaunched the iconic club in a blaze of glory last August after an appeal to restore it gained huge backing on social media.

But eight months on they are left with a huge tax bill, staff are unpaid and there is a long list of creditors.

They say their problems began when Jason was jailed for fraud and assault in September.

The three directors, talking candidly for the first time about the club’s collapse, said they had not anticipated the huge financial pressure of the terms of their licence and lease.

“The terms of the licence crippled us,” said Helene. After expressing concern around the application for a licence at the club, Wiltshire Police imposed conditions which the directors say contributed to their problems, including a high number of door staff and a restriction on their opening hours.

“From the point of view of the police they could not afford to have us open. We had a huge coverage of security staff built into our licence because the police did not want to have to deal with it.”

“The fact we only had a licence until 1.30am some nights meant we could not attract enough people. They would go somewhere open later and stay there all night.”

The licence of the club had been due for review this month and the building managers revoked the lease in January after the directors went into arrears.

They were in talks for months about a cheaper lease, but said they gave up after a higher offer was made by someone else.

“We owed the leaseholders £1,500 altogether,” added Helene. “After Jason went to prison they said they were no longer happy for him to be on the lease, which is when we started looking to renegotiate it.

“We put in a new offer for the lease, but someone came in with a higher bid.”

Helene and Paula, whose grandfather William Oscar Heyne was chairman of Plessey, which owned Swindon turntable makers Garrard, recieve a yearly income from their inheritance.

“All the money we put in to the club was completely legitimate, and was from our annual income from the trust fund,” added Helene.

“Because it came from Swindon we wanted to give it back to Swindon. The amount we have invested has been in excess of £250,000. Whenever we made any money we put it straight back into the club.

“We tried to do something and it didn’t work. We marketed it wrong, because the business plan was to have two separate nights, the big names in the main room and more regular events at the smaller Amphi room. We concentrated too much on big events, and people only came to us when there was a big name coming.”

Jason said his arrest damaged the business, and staff morale dropped in the following weeks.

“When I got arrested it wasn’t fair on the staff,” he said. “A big part of the problem the police had with the venue was me. They didn’t want me there from the start, and the assault involving me outside the club didn’t help. I had been drinking, but after that I never drank at the end of work again.

“Businesses fail, and there is not much we can do about that now. It happened because the business model did not do very well from the start.

“The first five or six nights we had 1,200 people through the doors and only one incident, but the police picked on us for that. In comparison to the number of people inside the building, that is not bad at all.”

Debts remain outstanding, and the former directors could not guarantee the exact amount or when it could be paid.

“None of us took a wage from September until the day it closed,” added Jason. “The majority of what we owe now is to HMRC, and about 85 per cent of all our debts are to them. That could cause a problem for us down the line.”

After club closed a marketing campaign for a relaunch on February 15 began. It has now been cancelled.

The relaunch of the club was dedicated to Jack Savage, who died on the A419 last May. The former directors have made a donation to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

Police response

Wiltshire Police have responded to the claims made by the club's management, stating it was their duty to make sure licensed premises are run responsibly.

Gavin Williams, Superintendent for Wiltshire Police, said: “Essentially we support the responsible sale of alcohol.

"Clearly, from our perspective, we need to ensure that those who go out in Swindon or anywhere else are safe, but that where we have concerns about either the irresponsible sale of alcohol or the irresponsible running of premises then we will bring them to the attention of the relevant authorities.

"Overall, my view is that we are walking a fine line, we can’t and won’t tolerate violence.

"Where adults go into clubs and drink too much alcohol, or premises are poorly run, it can have a detrimental impact on the surrounding community and surrounding businesses, and in fact, I don’t think there’s anybody in Swindon who wants that to happen."

‘It was a losing battle’

THE task of bringing the biggest and best acts back to Swindon fell to former events manager at the Brunel Rooms, Aaron Woolford.

The 35-year-old quit his position in January after wages were not paid and has spoken out for the first time.

The former directors of the club said they had put in place an experienced team around them, including Aaron and general manager, Nathan Hatter.
Helene Simpkins said: “We had Aaron, who was supposed to be an amazing promoter. He was running all our events, and he should have known how to get people in there.

“We have had great support from most of our staff along the way.”
Jason Ranford added: “We thought the people we had put in place as staff were good enough to make it work.”

This Is Wiltshire:

Aaron, above, said he felt restricted in what he could do at the club, and he had been determined to make it a success. “I was misled from the start about expectations and wants of the owners, but it became clear early on that they had a set budget to open and get them through the first month of trading,” he said.

“It was apparent that they thought by opening the doors people would simply come flooding back with minimal marketing.

“I constantly expressed my concern about the lack of marketing in any national media, the use of trainee staff who had never promoted before and the general lack of funds to push the club in the right direction.

“I personally went out of my way to promote the club but it’s simply not a one-man job. We were fighting a losing battle from the get go.

“I believe the failure of the club is down to poor management and lack of budgets for cash flow as it killed the club not being able to do things way in advance as the first month had started.

“If the club would have been marketed right, and certain events didn’t happen that gave us all the bad press, the club would still be open today.

“I do not feel the failures of the club were my responsibility as I was mollycoddled through every decision.

“I wanted to bring back genres of music and culture that this town lacked from a big venue.”

Comments (42)

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7:37am Fri 7 Feb 14

gambon says...

the simple matter that you had a crook and convicted fraudster helping run this is the reason you failed you may have invested a small amount of money is not enough you should have let the memories of the brunel rooms live on and not turn into the mess you have made it.
the simple matter that you had a crook and convicted fraudster helping run this is the reason you failed you may have invested a small amount of money is not enough you should have let the memories of the brunel rooms live on and not turn into the mess you have made it. gambon
  • Score: 39

7:49am Fri 7 Feb 14

Mango man says...

"The police didn't want me there"
Can't understand why the Police wouldn't want a convicted fraudster and someone who gets drunk and assaults people in charge of a licensed premises!

Wakey Wakey Ranford, despite the farcical goings on at this club since you took over, you still blame others for its demise. The fact is it's mostly down to you and your lack of respect for the law that's got you where you are today, a laughing stock!
"The police didn't want me there" Can't understand why the Police wouldn't want a convicted fraudster and someone who gets drunk and assaults people in charge of a licensed premises! Wakey Wakey Ranford, despite the farcical goings on at this club since you took over, you still blame others for its demise. The fact is it's mostly down to you and your lack of respect for the law that's got you where you are today, a laughing stock! Mango man
  • Score: 58

8:27am Fri 7 Feb 14

6degreessouth says...

Get back the caravan
Get back the caravan 6degreessouth
  • Score: 13

8:41am Fri 7 Feb 14

GiulianoGrazioli says...

Helene Simpkins said: “We had Aaron, who was supposed to be an amazing promoter. He was running all our events, and he should have known how to get people in there.

^ that's hilarious.
She was supposed to be running the club...clearly, daddys money and being babied all her life has meant that she cannot take ownership nor blame for something that hasn't gone right....

Sorry, but I know Aaron and have worked for him, and he doesn't give any less than 110% all the way. I also noticed this when Brunel opened... people where moaning how much promotion he was doing - what did the owners do apart from steal peoples money and get locked up.... the saga goes on. If you own a club and need an events manager - Aarons your man!
Helene Simpkins said: “We had Aaron, who was supposed to be an amazing promoter. He was running all our events, and he should have known how to get people in there. ^ that's hilarious. She was supposed to be running the club...clearly, daddys money and being babied all her life has meant that she cannot take ownership nor blame for something that hasn't gone right.... Sorry, but I know Aaron and have worked for him, and he doesn't give any less than 110% all the way. I also noticed this when Brunel opened... people where moaning how much promotion he was doing - what did the owners do apart from steal peoples money and get locked up.... the saga goes on. If you own a club and need an events manager - Aarons your man! GiulianoGrazioli
  • Score: 47

8:48am Fri 7 Feb 14

Chowmai says...

So it was everyone else's fault, and nothing to do with 'the directors'!
Well I'm glad we cleared that up.
So it was everyone else's fault, and nothing to do with 'the directors'! Well I'm glad we cleared that up. Chowmai
  • Score: 35

9:27am Fri 7 Feb 14

goodgolly says...

“The terms of the licence crippled us,” said Helene. “From the point of view of the police they could not afford to have us open. We had a huge coverage of security staff built into our licence because the police did not want to have to deal with it.”

And rightly so. Why should the tax payer foot the bill for this hole. Police shouldn't have to waste their time and resources providing personal security for a venue. If you can't afford security then you can't afford to trade, if you can't afford to pay the rest of your staff you can't afford to trade, if you can't afford to pay HMRC then you can't afford to trade, If you can't afford to pay your lease then you can't afford to trade.... Simples, now disappear for good I'm sick of reading about you all..
“The terms of the licence crippled us,” said Helene. “From the point of view of the police they could not afford to have us open. We had a huge coverage of security staff built into our licence because the police did not want to have to deal with it.” And rightly so. Why should the tax payer foot the bill for this hole. Police shouldn't have to waste their time and resources providing personal security for a venue. If you can't afford security then you can't afford to trade, if you can't afford to pay the rest of your staff you can't afford to trade, if you can't afford to pay HMRC then you can't afford to trade, If you can't afford to pay your lease then you can't afford to trade.... Simples, now disappear for good I'm sick of reading about you all.. goodgolly
  • Score: 41

9:28am Fri 7 Feb 14

Hmmmf says...

Crime Certainly Does Pay bleated:
When I got arrested it wasn’t fair on the staff. A big part of the problem the police had with the venue was me.

It wasn't very fair on your victims either, and now it's not fair on your creditors. Get back under your squalid little rock.
Let's hope the licensing committee can learn from this piece of whining self-pity precisely what happens when they grant licenses to criminals and the hopelessly unqualified and inexperienced.
[quote][p][bold]Crime Certainly Does Pay[/bold] bleated: When I got arrested it wasn’t fair on the staff. A big part of the problem the police had with the venue was me.[/quote] It wasn't very fair on your victims either, and now it's not fair on your creditors. Get back under your squalid little rock. Let's hope the licensing committee can learn from this piece of whining self-pity precisely what happens when they grant licenses to criminals and the hopelessly unqualified and inexperienced. Hmmmf
  • Score: 35

9:41am Fri 7 Feb 14

Wildwestener says...

Oh well at least the HMRC will be able to raid their trust funds to get their money back. Shame the unpaid staff can't.
Oh well at least the HMRC will be able to raid their trust funds to get their money back. Shame the unpaid staff can't. Wildwestener
  • Score: 18

9:45am Fri 7 Feb 14

London2Swindon says...

Having know Aaron Woolford for many a year and having the pleasure of attending events promoted by him in Swindon I can safely say the comments by these 'directors' are nothing short of farcical. His nights in Suju and Rehab were some of the best I have been to anywhere in the country.

Yet another exercise in pointing the finger. What a shame because half way through the article it looked like finally they were putting their hands up.

Shame they didn't inherit their grandfather's business brain as well as his money.
Having know Aaron Woolford for many a year and having the pleasure of attending events promoted by him in Swindon I can safely say the comments by these 'directors' are nothing short of farcical. His nights in Suju and Rehab were some of the best I have been to anywhere in the country. Yet another exercise in pointing the finger. What a shame because half way through the article it looked like finally they were putting their hands up. Shame they didn't inherit their grandfather's business brain as well as his money. London2Swindon
  • Score: 33

10:07am Fri 7 Feb 14

Davey Gravey says...

Criminals and fools playing with free money and losing. Inheritance doesn't buy sense.
Criminals and fools playing with free money and losing. Inheritance doesn't buy sense. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 30

11:15am Fri 7 Feb 14

Swindon_AOK says...

If most of this £250k came from the annual trust fund income, that is a heck of a guaranteed salary!

People seem to be missing the fact that she will continue to draw this every year, whilst all the creditors of the Brunel will get nothing - apart from HNRC who may or may not pursue them for the cash (hopefully they will).

I actually thought the marketing drive was pretty good compared to other clubs in Swindon. The social media campaign was relentless! But if they did not budget for anything other than the first month trading it was only ever going to end in tears. Shocking naiviety on the part of these so-called directors.

As soon as Ranford got convicted it was game over unless they completely dissociated themsleves with him - but for some inexpicable rasons they brought him back into the fold again. Who would want to step inside a club run by someone who gets drunk and gets into fights at his own venue? It's laughable.
If most of this £250k came from the annual trust fund income, that is a heck of a guaranteed salary! People seem to be missing the fact that she will continue to draw this every year, whilst all the creditors of the Brunel will get nothing - apart from HNRC who may or may not pursue them for the cash (hopefully they will). I actually thought the marketing drive was pretty good compared to other clubs in Swindon. The social media campaign was relentless! But if they did not budget for anything other than the first month trading it was only ever going to end in tears. Shocking naiviety on the part of these so-called directors. As soon as Ranford got convicted it was game over unless they completely dissociated themsleves with him - but for some inexpicable rasons they brought him back into the fold again. Who would want to step inside a club run by someone who gets drunk and gets into fights at his own venue? It's laughable. Swindon_AOK
  • Score: 24

11:30am Fri 7 Feb 14

chrisward2011 says...

Devastated that it closed....I found the regular updates about these clowns hilarious. What am I going to fill my life with now?
Devastated that it closed....I found the regular updates about these clowns hilarious. What am I going to fill my life with now? chrisward2011
  • Score: 28

11:43am Fri 7 Feb 14

PJC says...

It's alway's been rubbish since I came to Swindon in the late 80's. We always used to go to Level 3...
It's alway's been rubbish since I came to Swindon in the late 80's. We always used to go to Level 3... PJC
  • Score: -17

11:44am Fri 7 Feb 14

Wellfire says...

It wasn't their fault yet everything they say makes it clear that it was. To make a success of what is effectively a two nights a week business you have to be pretty sharp. Draw your own conclusions.
It wasn't their fault yet everything they say makes it clear that it was. To make a success of what is effectively a two nights a week business you have to be pretty sharp. Draw your own conclusions. Wellfire
  • Score: 15

12:28pm Fri 7 Feb 14

silvergran says...

Blame everyone but yourselves - they were just playing at running a business and had no idea how to treat staff properly and there's a lot that isn't being made public about their behaviour behind the scenes! It's no surprise that the place went down the plughole but there are still people who have lost out financially due to their incompetence which is a crying shame.
Blame everyone but yourselves - they were just playing at running a business and had no idea how to treat staff properly and there's a lot that isn't being made public about their behaviour behind the scenes! It's no surprise that the place went down the plughole but there are still people who have lost out financially due to their incompetence which is a crying shame. silvergran
  • Score: 15

2:04pm Fri 7 Feb 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

They should have borrowed money from the Council LOL
They should have borrowed money from the Council LOL A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: 10

2:19pm Fri 7 Feb 14

ChannelX says...

A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
They should have borrowed money from the Council LOL
Their business model was as similarly flawed from the outset as Digital City's, that's for sure.

I used to put on some nights back in the early 2000s when Stephen Reid still managed the place. It was a completely different era. There are so many factors at play that have changed over the last 13 to 14 years that now mean large capacity clubs such as Brunel just aren't economically viable.

Reidy was/is a smart guy, he knew exactly what was coming and sold out to a powerful national chain for top dollar - knowing full well they'd flop (which it did).

A pure nightclub the size of Brunel cannot and will not work in Swindon in the current era. The only way it could be made to work is to run it as a live music venue alongside weekend nightclub events, ie, exactly as AMG run their Academy venues - most of which, with O2's sponsorship, run in the black.

While it would be amazing if the new lease holders turned out to be AMG, or similar, it's a little unlikely due to the proximity of both Oxford and Bristol Academies.

I suppose the upside, for the wider economy, is that the sisters have just dumped £250k into contractors, suppliers and (mainly) HMRC, rather than just leave it in their savings accounts, but that will be of little consolation to those they have left out of pocket... and who know the sisters will come into another huge trust fund payout this year.
[quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: They should have borrowed money from the Council LOL[/p][/quote]Their business model was as similarly flawed from the outset as Digital City's, that's for sure. I used to put on some nights back in the early 2000s when Stephen Reid still managed the place. It was a completely different era. There are so many factors at play that have changed over the last 13 to 14 years that now mean large capacity clubs such as Brunel just aren't economically viable. Reidy was/is a smart guy, he knew exactly what was coming and sold out to a powerful national chain for top dollar - knowing full well they'd flop (which it did). A pure nightclub the size of Brunel cannot and will not work in Swindon in the current era. The only way it could be made to work is to run it as a live music venue alongside weekend nightclub events, ie, exactly as AMG run their Academy venues - most of which, with O2's sponsorship, run in the black. While it would be amazing if the new lease holders turned out to be AMG, or similar, it's a little unlikely due to the proximity of both Oxford and Bristol Academies. I suppose the upside, for the wider economy, is that the sisters have just dumped £250k into contractors, suppliers and (mainly) HMRC, rather than just leave it in their savings accounts, but that will be of little consolation to those they have left out of pocket... and who know the sisters will come into another huge trust fund payout this year. ChannelX
  • Score: 6

3:38pm Fri 7 Feb 14

gilly25 says...

I know, lets hold a collection for the poor girls!!! lol! their mum called the people of Swindon 'POOR' on facebook and that we didn't understand and give them a chance. Well we did and unfortunately they are dumasses. They got everything they got. I hope the HMRC get what is owed. Moreover, the good people who trrusted the sisters and didn't get paid.

Lastly, what happened to the contribution to air ambulance?? they played on the fact that they were opening it in Jack Savages (RIP) name. It was well known in Swindon that Paula Harris was seeing him behind her husbands back. They didn't pay that ether?

Personally I think they pocketed a load of the cash. C'mon HMRC!!!
I know, lets hold a collection for the poor girls!!! lol! their mum called the people of Swindon 'POOR' on facebook and that we didn't understand and give them a chance. Well we did and unfortunately they are dumasses. They got everything they got. I hope the HMRC get what is owed. Moreover, the good people who trrusted the sisters and didn't get paid. Lastly, what happened to the contribution to air ambulance?? they played on the fact that they were opening it in Jack Savages (RIP) name. It was well known in Swindon that Paula Harris was seeing him behind her husbands back. They didn't pay that ether? Personally I think they pocketed a load of the cash. C'mon HMRC!!! gilly25
  • Score: 24

3:49pm Fri 7 Feb 14

gilly25 says...

THE CLOCK IS AS BENT AS THE PEOPLE UNDER IT LOL!!!
THE CLOCK IS AS BENT AS THE PEOPLE UNDER IT LOL!!! gilly25
  • Score: 12

3:50pm Fri 7 Feb 14

LordSimmo says...

Can't wait to see where Mr. Ranford pops up next, the lovable scamp!
Can't wait to see where Mr. Ranford pops up next, the lovable scamp! LordSimmo
  • Score: 4

3:58pm Fri 7 Feb 14

swindon281 says...

gilly25 wrote:
I know, lets hold a collection for the poor girls!!! lol! their mum called the people of Swindon 'POOR' on facebook and that we didn't understand and give them a chance. Well we did and unfortunately they are dumasses. They got everything they got. I hope the HMRC get what is owed. Moreover, the good people who trrusted the sisters and didn't get paid.

Lastly, what happened to the contribution to air ambulance?? they played on the fact that they were opening it in Jack Savages (RIP) name. It was well known in Swindon that Paula Harris was seeing him behind her husbands back. They didn't pay that ether?

Personally I think they pocketed a load of the cash. C'mon HMRC!!!
very funny....
[quote][p][bold]gilly25[/bold] wrote: I know, lets hold a collection for the poor girls!!! lol! their mum called the people of Swindon 'POOR' on facebook and that we didn't understand and give them a chance. Well we did and unfortunately they are dumasses. They got everything they got. I hope the HMRC get what is owed. Moreover, the good people who trrusted the sisters and didn't get paid. Lastly, what happened to the contribution to air ambulance?? they played on the fact that they were opening it in Jack Savages (RIP) name. It was well known in Swindon that Paula Harris was seeing him behind her husbands back. They didn't pay that ether? Personally I think they pocketed a load of the cash. C'mon HMRC!!![/p][/quote]very funny.... swindon281
  • Score: 6

3:58pm Fri 7 Feb 14

LordSimmo says...

ChannelX wrote:
A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
They should have borrowed money from the Council LOL
Their business model was as similarly flawed from the outset as Digital City's, that's for sure.

I used to put on some nights back in the early 2000s when Stephen Reid still managed the place. It was a completely different era. There are so many factors at play that have changed over the last 13 to 14 years that now mean large capacity clubs such as Brunel just aren't economically viable.

Reidy was/is a smart guy, he knew exactly what was coming and sold out to a powerful national chain for top dollar - knowing full well they'd flop (which it did).

A pure nightclub the size of Brunel cannot and will not work in Swindon in the current era. The only way it could be made to work is to run it as a live music venue alongside weekend nightclub events, ie, exactly as AMG run their Academy venues - most of which, with O2's sponsorship, run in the black.

While it would be amazing if the new lease holders turned out to be AMG, or similar, it's a little unlikely due to the proximity of both Oxford and Bristol Academies.

I suppose the upside, for the wider economy, is that the sisters have just dumped £250k into contractors, suppliers and (mainly) HMRC, rather than just leave it in their savings accounts, but that will be of little consolation to those they have left out of pocket... and who know the sisters will come into another huge trust fund payout this year.
Agree totally. A live music venue would be best and Swindon needs to attract bigger names. Hoped MECA was going to do this but that's failed.

I remember seeing Dexy's, The Fall, XTC and many others at the Brunel in the late 70s/ early 80s and the demand is surely still there for a town of our size.
[quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: They should have borrowed money from the Council LOL[/p][/quote]Their business model was as similarly flawed from the outset as Digital City's, that's for sure. I used to put on some nights back in the early 2000s when Stephen Reid still managed the place. It was a completely different era. There are so many factors at play that have changed over the last 13 to 14 years that now mean large capacity clubs such as Brunel just aren't economically viable. Reidy was/is a smart guy, he knew exactly what was coming and sold out to a powerful national chain for top dollar - knowing full well they'd flop (which it did). A pure nightclub the size of Brunel cannot and will not work in Swindon in the current era. The only way it could be made to work is to run it as a live music venue alongside weekend nightclub events, ie, exactly as AMG run their Academy venues - most of which, with O2's sponsorship, run in the black. While it would be amazing if the new lease holders turned out to be AMG, or similar, it's a little unlikely due to the proximity of both Oxford and Bristol Academies. I suppose the upside, for the wider economy, is that the sisters have just dumped £250k into contractors, suppliers and (mainly) HMRC, rather than just leave it in their savings accounts, but that will be of little consolation to those they have left out of pocket... and who know the sisters will come into another huge trust fund payout this year.[/p][/quote]Agree totally. A live music venue would be best and Swindon needs to attract bigger names. Hoped MECA was going to do this but that's failed. I remember seeing Dexy's, The Fall, XTC and many others at the Brunel in the late 70s/ early 80s and the demand is surely still there for a town of our size. LordSimmo
  • Score: 1

4:03pm Fri 7 Feb 14

swindon281 says...

its everyone else fault......of course it is and we are so sorry for making your business fail.....

these people in the photo are as crook'ed as that big clock behind them....the photo says it all!!
its everyone else fault......of course it is and we are so sorry for making your business fail..... these people in the photo are as crook'ed as that big clock behind them....the photo says it all!! swindon281
  • Score: 8

4:05pm Fri 7 Feb 14

pastor_of_muppets says...

'Three disgusting chav idiots in failed business shock horror'.

Pay your staff and creditors from your trust fund you bunch of scumbags
'Three disgusting chav idiots in failed business shock horror'. Pay your staff and creditors from your trust fund you bunch of scumbags pastor_of_muppets
  • Score: 18

4:08pm Fri 7 Feb 14

swindon281 says...

pastor_of_muppets wrote:
'Three disgusting chav idiots in failed business shock horror'.

Pay your staff and creditors from your trust fund you bunch of scumbags
totally agree, lets roll out the trust fund you lot so boldly mention and PAY EVERYONE WHO TRUSTED YOU and worked for you as well as the supplier!!!
[quote][p][bold]pastor_of_muppets[/bold] wrote: 'Three disgusting chav idiots in failed business shock horror'. Pay your staff and creditors from your trust fund you bunch of scumbags[/p][/quote]totally agree, lets roll out the trust fund you lot so boldly mention and PAY EVERYONE WHO TRUSTED YOU and worked for you as well as the supplier!!! swindon281
  • Score: 14

4:20pm Fri 7 Feb 14

swindon281 says...

Chavs with money...always the worst combination..
Chavs with money...always the worst combination.. swindon281
  • Score: 21

4:47pm Fri 7 Feb 14

ChаnnelX says...

LordSimmo wrote:
ChannelX wrote:
A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
They should have borrowed money from the Council LOL
Their business model was as similarly flawed from the outset as Digital City's, that's for sure.

I used to put on some nights back in the early 2000s when Stephen Reid still managed the place. It was a completely different era. There are so many factors at play that have changed over the last 13 to 14 years that now mean large capacity clubs such as Brunel just aren't economically viable.

Reidy was/is a smart guy, he knew exactly what was coming and sold out to a powerful national chain for top dollar - knowing full well they'd flop (which it did).

A pure nightclub the size of Brunel cannot and will not work in Swindon in the current era. The only way it could be made to work is to run it as a live music venue alongside weekend nightclub events, ie, exactly as AMG run their Academy venues - most of which, with O2's sponsorship, run in the black.

While it would be amazing if the new lease holders turned out to be AMG, or similar, it's a little unlikely due to the proximity of both Oxford and Bristol Academies.

I suppose the upside, for the wider economy, is that the sisters have just dumped £250k into contractors, suppliers and (mainly) HMRC, rather than just leave it in their savings accounts, but that will be of little consolation to those they have left out of pocket... and who know the sisters will come into another huge trust fund payout this year.
Agree totally. A live music venue would be best and Swindon needs to attract bigger names. Hoped MECA was going to do this but that's failed.

I remember seeing Dexy's, The Fall, XTC and many others at the Brunel in the late 70s/ early 80s and the demand is surely still there for a town of our size.
Back in the day I saw The Brotherhood Of Man, Smokey, The Doolies, Black Lace and even Dollar played there at least once - really great nights. Keith Harris plus Orville were also booked but didn't turn up, one of the most disappointing let-downs I've ever encountered.
[quote][p][bold]LordSimmo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: They should have borrowed money from the Council LOL[/p][/quote]Their business model was as similarly flawed from the outset as Digital City's, that's for sure. I used to put on some nights back in the early 2000s when Stephen Reid still managed the place. It was a completely different era. There are so many factors at play that have changed over the last 13 to 14 years that now mean large capacity clubs such as Brunel just aren't economically viable. Reidy was/is a smart guy, he knew exactly what was coming and sold out to a powerful national chain for top dollar - knowing full well they'd flop (which it did). A pure nightclub the size of Brunel cannot and will not work in Swindon in the current era. The only way it could be made to work is to run it as a live music venue alongside weekend nightclub events, ie, exactly as AMG run their Academy venues - most of which, with O2's sponsorship, run in the black. While it would be amazing if the new lease holders turned out to be AMG, or similar, it's a little unlikely due to the proximity of both Oxford and Bristol Academies. I suppose the upside, for the wider economy, is that the sisters have just dumped £250k into contractors, suppliers and (mainly) HMRC, rather than just leave it in their savings accounts, but that will be of little consolation to those they have left out of pocket... and who know the sisters will come into another huge trust fund payout this year.[/p][/quote]Agree totally. A live music venue would be best and Swindon needs to attract bigger names. Hoped MECA was going to do this but that's failed. I remember seeing Dexy's, The Fall, XTC and many others at the Brunel in the late 70s/ early 80s and the demand is surely still there for a town of our size.[/p][/quote]Back in the day I saw The Brotherhood Of Man, Smokey, The Doolies, Black Lace and even Dollar played there at least once - really great nights. Keith Harris plus Orville were also booked but didn't turn up, one of the most disappointing let-downs I've ever encountered. ChаnnelX
  • Score: 0

4:49pm Fri 7 Feb 14

swindon281 says...

gilly25 wrote:
I know, lets hold a collection for the poor girls!!! lol! their mum called the people of Swindon 'POOR' on facebook and that we didn't understand and give them a chance. Well we did and unfortunately they are dumasses. They got everything they got. I hope the HMRC get what is owed. Moreover, the good people who trrusted the sisters and didn't get paid.

Lastly, what happened to the contribution to air ambulance?? they played on the fact that they were opening it in Jack Savages (RIP) name. It was well known in Swindon that Paula Harris was seeing him behind her husbands back. They didn't pay that ether?

Personally I think they pocketed a load of the cash. C'mon HMRC!!!
agreed..
[quote][p][bold]gilly25[/bold] wrote: I know, lets hold a collection for the poor girls!!! lol! their mum called the people of Swindon 'POOR' on facebook and that we didn't understand and give them a chance. Well we did and unfortunately they are dumasses. They got everything they got. I hope the HMRC get what is owed. Moreover, the good people who trrusted the sisters and didn't get paid. Lastly, what happened to the contribution to air ambulance?? they played on the fact that they were opening it in Jack Savages (RIP) name. It was well known in Swindon that Paula Harris was seeing him behind her husbands back. They didn't pay that ether? Personally I think they pocketed a load of the cash. C'mon HMRC!!![/p][/quote]agreed.. swindon281
  • Score: 10

5:17pm Fri 7 Feb 14

BigBarry says...

I would like to go into business and discuss a few moves with the blonde one.
I would like to go into business and discuss a few moves with the blonde one. BigBarry
  • Score: 5

6:03pm Fri 7 Feb 14

house on the hill says...

ChаnnelX wrote:
LordSimmo wrote:
ChannelX wrote:
A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
They should have borrowed money from the Council LOL
Their business model was as similarly flawed from the outset as Digital City's, that's for sure.

I used to put on some nights back in the early 2000s when Stephen Reid still managed the place. It was a completely different era. There are so many factors at play that have changed over the last 13 to 14 years that now mean large capacity clubs such as Brunel just aren't economically viable.

Reidy was/is a smart guy, he knew exactly what was coming and sold out to a powerful national chain for top dollar - knowing full well they'd flop (which it did).

A pure nightclub the size of Brunel cannot and will not work in Swindon in the current era. The only way it could be made to work is to run it as a live music venue alongside weekend nightclub events, ie, exactly as AMG run their Academy venues - most of which, with O2's sponsorship, run in the black.

While it would be amazing if the new lease holders turned out to be AMG, or similar, it's a little unlikely due to the proximity of both Oxford and Bristol Academies.

I suppose the upside, for the wider economy, is that the sisters have just dumped £250k into contractors, suppliers and (mainly) HMRC, rather than just leave it in their savings accounts, but that will be of little consolation to those they have left out of pocket... and who know the sisters will come into another huge trust fund payout this year.
Agree totally. A live music venue would be best and Swindon needs to attract bigger names. Hoped MECA was going to do this but that's failed.

I remember seeing Dexy's, The Fall, XTC and many others at the Brunel in the late 70s/ early 80s and the demand is surely still there for a town of our size.
Back in the day I saw The Brotherhood Of Man, Smokey, The Doolies, Black Lace and even Dollar played there at least once - really great nights. Keith Harris plus Orville were also booked but didn't turn up, one of the most disappointing let-downs I've ever encountered.
I really do hope that all that was tongue in cheek. I would rather stick pins in my eyes than see that lot.
[quote][p][bold]ChаnnelX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LordSimmo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: They should have borrowed money from the Council LOL[/p][/quote]Their business model was as similarly flawed from the outset as Digital City's, that's for sure. I used to put on some nights back in the early 2000s when Stephen Reid still managed the place. It was a completely different era. There are so many factors at play that have changed over the last 13 to 14 years that now mean large capacity clubs such as Brunel just aren't economically viable. Reidy was/is a smart guy, he knew exactly what was coming and sold out to a powerful national chain for top dollar - knowing full well they'd flop (which it did). A pure nightclub the size of Brunel cannot and will not work in Swindon in the current era. The only way it could be made to work is to run it as a live music venue alongside weekend nightclub events, ie, exactly as AMG run their Academy venues - most of which, with O2's sponsorship, run in the black. While it would be amazing if the new lease holders turned out to be AMG, or similar, it's a little unlikely due to the proximity of both Oxford and Bristol Academies. I suppose the upside, for the wider economy, is that the sisters have just dumped £250k into contractors, suppliers and (mainly) HMRC, rather than just leave it in their savings accounts, but that will be of little consolation to those they have left out of pocket... and who know the sisters will come into another huge trust fund payout this year.[/p][/quote]Agree totally. A live music venue would be best and Swindon needs to attract bigger names. Hoped MECA was going to do this but that's failed. I remember seeing Dexy's, The Fall, XTC and many others at the Brunel in the late 70s/ early 80s and the demand is surely still there for a town of our size.[/p][/quote]Back in the day I saw The Brotherhood Of Man, Smokey, The Doolies, Black Lace and even Dollar played there at least once - really great nights. Keith Harris plus Orville were also booked but didn't turn up, one of the most disappointing let-downs I've ever encountered.[/p][/quote]I really do hope that all that was tongue in cheek. I would rather stick pins in my eyes than see that lot. house on the hill
  • Score: 2

6:10pm Fri 7 Feb 14

gilly25 says...

A convicted criminal, with two sisters who appear dishonest in their public as well as their private lives. I cant understand how these people show their face or have the guts to do an interview.

Well done Adver for bringing us pure ENTERTAINMENT you ever thought of setting up a club? the entertainment business is beckoning...lolololo
!
A convicted criminal, with two sisters who appear dishonest in their public as well as their private lives. I cant understand how these people show their face or have the guts to do an interview. Well done Adver for bringing us pure ENTERTAINMENT you ever thought of setting up a club? the entertainment business is beckoning...lolololo ! gilly25
  • Score: 14

6:23pm Fri 7 Feb 14

ChаnnelX says...

house on the hill wrote:
ChаnnelX wrote:
LordSimmo wrote:
ChannelX wrote:
A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
They should have borrowed money from the Council LOL
Their business model was as similarly flawed from the outset as Digital City's, that's for sure.

I used to put on some nights back in the early 2000s when Stephen Reid still managed the place. It was a completely different era. There are so many factors at play that have changed over the last 13 to 14 years that now mean large capacity clubs such as Brunel just aren't economically viable.

Reidy was/is a smart guy, he knew exactly what was coming and sold out to a powerful national chain for top dollar - knowing full well they'd flop (which it did).

A pure nightclub the size of Brunel cannot and will not work in Swindon in the current era. The only way it could be made to work is to run it as a live music venue alongside weekend nightclub events, ie, exactly as AMG run their Academy venues - most of which, with O2's sponsorship, run in the black.

While it would be amazing if the new lease holders turned out to be AMG, or similar, it's a little unlikely due to the proximity of both Oxford and Bristol Academies.

I suppose the upside, for the wider economy, is that the sisters have just dumped £250k into contractors, suppliers and (mainly) HMRC, rather than just leave it in their savings accounts, but that will be of little consolation to those they have left out of pocket... and who know the sisters will come into another huge trust fund payout this year.
Agree totally. A live music venue would be best and Swindon needs to attract bigger names. Hoped MECA was going to do this but that's failed.

I remember seeing Dexy's, The Fall, XTC and many others at the Brunel in the late 70s/ early 80s and the demand is surely still there for a town of our size.
Back in the day I saw The Brotherhood Of Man, Smokey, The Doolies, Black Lace and even Dollar played there at least once - really great nights. Keith Harris plus Orville were also booked but didn't turn up, one of the most disappointing let-downs I've ever encountered.
I really do hope that all that was tongue in cheek. I would rather stick pins in my eyes than see that lot.
Some of these acts are my personal friends. Sadly, there is nothing around to compare with that era today.

So, no, it was *not* 'tongue in cheek'.
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ChаnnelX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LordSimmo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: They should have borrowed money from the Council LOL[/p][/quote]Their business model was as similarly flawed from the outset as Digital City's, that's for sure. I used to put on some nights back in the early 2000s when Stephen Reid still managed the place. It was a completely different era. There are so many factors at play that have changed over the last 13 to 14 years that now mean large capacity clubs such as Brunel just aren't economically viable. Reidy was/is a smart guy, he knew exactly what was coming and sold out to a powerful national chain for top dollar - knowing full well they'd flop (which it did). A pure nightclub the size of Brunel cannot and will not work in Swindon in the current era. The only way it could be made to work is to run it as a live music venue alongside weekend nightclub events, ie, exactly as AMG run their Academy venues - most of which, with O2's sponsorship, run in the black. While it would be amazing if the new lease holders turned out to be AMG, or similar, it's a little unlikely due to the proximity of both Oxford and Bristol Academies. I suppose the upside, for the wider economy, is that the sisters have just dumped £250k into contractors, suppliers and (mainly) HMRC, rather than just leave it in their savings accounts, but that will be of little consolation to those they have left out of pocket... and who know the sisters will come into another huge trust fund payout this year.[/p][/quote]Agree totally. A live music venue would be best and Swindon needs to attract bigger names. Hoped MECA was going to do this but that's failed. I remember seeing Dexy's, The Fall, XTC and many others at the Brunel in the late 70s/ early 80s and the demand is surely still there for a town of our size.[/p][/quote]Back in the day I saw The Brotherhood Of Man, Smokey, The Doolies, Black Lace and even Dollar played there at least once - really great nights. Keith Harris plus Orville were also booked but didn't turn up, one of the most disappointing let-downs I've ever encountered.[/p][/quote]I really do hope that all that was tongue in cheek. I would rather stick pins in my eyes than see that lot.[/p][/quote]Some of these acts are my personal friends. Sadly, there is nothing around to compare with that era today. So, no, it was *not* 'tongue in cheek'. ChаnnelX
  • Score: -7

7:08pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Blackmalkin says...

I'm taking a copy of this comments page for posterity, because it won't last long. Thanks for a great laugh, Adver!
I'm taking a copy of this comments page for posterity, because it won't last long. Thanks for a great laugh, Adver! Blackmalkin
  • Score: 9

9:15pm Fri 7 Feb 14

ChаnnelX says...

Copy away Blackmalkin, our judiciary 'friends' will never lock up anyone so you may as well record it for posterity.
Copy away Blackmalkin, our judiciary 'friends' will never lock up anyone so you may as well record it for posterity. ChаnnelX
  • Score: 0

9:42pm Fri 7 Feb 14

southside7 says...

LordSimmo wrote:
Can't wait to see where Mr. Ranford pops up next, the lovable scamp!
Travelling gyppo boxing events - white collar of course.
[quote][p][bold]LordSimmo[/bold] wrote: Can't wait to see where Mr. Ranford pops up next, the lovable scamp![/p][/quote]Travelling gyppo boxing events - white collar of course. southside7
  • Score: 6

7:05am Sat 8 Feb 14

gambon says...

LordSimmo wrote:
Can't wait to see where Mr. Ranford pops up next, the lovable scamp!
any idiot that gives this bloke a job must be an even bigger idiot
[quote][p][bold]LordSimmo[/bold] wrote: Can't wait to see where Mr. Ranford pops up next, the lovable scamp![/p][/quote]any idiot that gives this bloke a job must be an even bigger idiot gambon
  • Score: 5

4:03pm Sat 8 Feb 14

tower resident says...

I just wonder if the trio have realised that the HMRC may well apply for an Attachment of Earnings, and take the money from any income they have.

This should worry the sisters, as the money can be taken from the payments they get from their trust funds before it is issued to them.
I just wonder if the trio have realised that the HMRC may well apply for an Attachment of Earnings, and take the money from any income they have. This should worry the sisters, as the money can be taken from the payments they get from their trust funds before it is issued to them. tower resident
  • Score: 8

10:48pm Sat 8 Feb 14

1 2 Could B says...

Back in the day I saw The Brotherhood Of Man, Smokey, The Doolies, Black Lace and even Dollar played there at least once - really great nights. Keith Harris plus Orville were also booked but didn't turn up, one of the most disappointing let-downs I've ever encountered.

LOL
What about Mr Blobby ? Did you queue up for that too?
[quote]Back in the day I saw The Brotherhood Of Man, Smokey, The Doolies, Black Lace and even Dollar played there at least once - really great nights. Keith Harris plus Orville were also booked but didn't turn up, one of the most disappointing let-downs I've ever encountered.[/quote] LOL What about Mr Blobby ? Did you queue up for that too? 1 2 Could B
  • Score: 1

9:46am Sun 9 Feb 14

ChаnnelX says...

1 2 Could B wrote:
Back in the day I saw The Brotherhood Of Man, Smokey, The Doolies, Black Lace and even Dollar played there at least once - really great nights. Keith Harris plus Orville were also booked but didn't turn up, one of the most disappointing let-downs I've ever encountered.

LOL
What about Mr Blobby ? Did you queue up for that too?
I was never keen on Mr Blobby, the music was of a poor standard.

In the business, to get Orville's signature was quite an a achievement, since he can't really write, so I was personally devastated that he didn't turn up with Keith. Coupled with the fact he only gave an hour's notice of not being able to attend and gave the excuse had 'avian flu' was simply too much to take.

Smokey were fabulous though - really professional, even though they only had one song, 'Living Next Door To Alice', which they played six times.
[quote][p][bold]1 2 Could B[/bold] wrote: [quote]Back in the day I saw The Brotherhood Of Man, Smokey, The Doolies, Black Lace and even Dollar played there at least once - really great nights. Keith Harris plus Orville were also booked but didn't turn up, one of the most disappointing let-downs I've ever encountered.[/quote] LOL What about Mr Blobby ? Did you queue up for that too?[/p][/quote]I was never keen on Mr Blobby, the music was of a poor standard. In the business, to get Orville's signature was quite an a achievement, since he can't really write, so I was personally devastated that he didn't turn up with Keith. Coupled with the fact he only gave an hour's notice of not being able to attend and gave the excuse had 'avian flu' was simply too much to take. Smokey were fabulous though - really professional, even though they only had one song, 'Living Next Door To Alice', which they played six times. ChаnnelX
  • Score: 2

2:48pm Sun 9 Feb 14

michael36 says...

So as if this saga couldn't get any worse, they try to drag Aaron Woolford down with them ? Aaron is a great promoter, he clearly tried his best despite them tying his hands. I'm sure he will be snapped up in no time by a big company unlike these jokers
So as if this saga couldn't get any worse, they try to drag Aaron Woolford down with them ? Aaron is a great promoter, he clearly tried his best despite them tying his hands. I'm sure he will be snapped up in no time by a big company unlike these jokers michael36
  • Score: 3

9:01pm Sun 9 Feb 14

house on the hill says...

ChаnnelX wrote:
house on the hill wrote:
ChаnnelX wrote:
LordSimmo wrote:
ChannelX wrote:
A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
They should have borrowed money from the Council LOL
Their business model was as similarly flawed from the outset as Digital City's, that's for sure.

I used to put on some nights back in the early 2000s when Stephen Reid still managed the place. It was a completely different era. There are so many factors at play that have changed over the last 13 to 14 years that now mean large capacity clubs such as Brunel just aren't economically viable.

Reidy was/is a smart guy, he knew exactly what was coming and sold out to a powerful national chain for top dollar - knowing full well they'd flop (which it did).

A pure nightclub the size of Brunel cannot and will not work in Swindon in the current era. The only way it could be made to work is to run it as a live music venue alongside weekend nightclub events, ie, exactly as AMG run their Academy venues - most of which, with O2's sponsorship, run in the black.

While it would be amazing if the new lease holders turned out to be AMG, or similar, it's a little unlikely due to the proximity of both Oxford and Bristol Academies.

I suppose the upside, for the wider economy, is that the sisters have just dumped £250k into contractors, suppliers and (mainly) HMRC, rather than just leave it in their savings accounts, but that will be of little consolation to those they have left out of pocket... and who know the sisters will come into another huge trust fund payout this year.
Agree totally. A live music venue would be best and Swindon needs to attract bigger names. Hoped MECA was going to do this but that's failed.

I remember seeing Dexy's, The Fall, XTC and many others at the Brunel in the late 70s/ early 80s and the demand is surely still there for a town of our size.
Back in the day I saw The Brotherhood Of Man, Smokey, The Doolies, Black Lace and even Dollar played there at least once - really great nights. Keith Harris plus Orville were also booked but didn't turn up, one of the most disappointing let-downs I've ever encountered.
I really do hope that all that was tongue in cheek. I would rather stick pins in my eyes than see that lot.
Some of these acts are my personal friends. Sadly, there is nothing around to compare with that era today.

So, no, it was *not* 'tongue in cheek'.
Thank god for that, anything that compared with that would be laughed off stage and personal friends would explain a lot too.
[quote][p][bold]ChаnnelX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ChаnnelX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LordSimmo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: They should have borrowed money from the Council LOL[/p][/quote]Their business model was as similarly flawed from the outset as Digital City's, that's for sure. I used to put on some nights back in the early 2000s when Stephen Reid still managed the place. It was a completely different era. There are so many factors at play that have changed over the last 13 to 14 years that now mean large capacity clubs such as Brunel just aren't economically viable. Reidy was/is a smart guy, he knew exactly what was coming and sold out to a powerful national chain for top dollar - knowing full well they'd flop (which it did). A pure nightclub the size of Brunel cannot and will not work in Swindon in the current era. The only way it could be made to work is to run it as a live music venue alongside weekend nightclub events, ie, exactly as AMG run their Academy venues - most of which, with O2's sponsorship, run in the black. While it would be amazing if the new lease holders turned out to be AMG, or similar, it's a little unlikely due to the proximity of both Oxford and Bristol Academies. I suppose the upside, for the wider economy, is that the sisters have just dumped £250k into contractors, suppliers and (mainly) HMRC, rather than just leave it in their savings accounts, but that will be of little consolation to those they have left out of pocket... and who know the sisters will come into another huge trust fund payout this year.[/p][/quote]Agree totally. A live music venue would be best and Swindon needs to attract bigger names. Hoped MECA was going to do this but that's failed. I remember seeing Dexy's, The Fall, XTC and many others at the Brunel in the late 70s/ early 80s and the demand is surely still there for a town of our size.[/p][/quote]Back in the day I saw The Brotherhood Of Man, Smokey, The Doolies, Black Lace and even Dollar played there at least once - really great nights. Keith Harris plus Orville were also booked but didn't turn up, one of the most disappointing let-downs I've ever encountered.[/p][/quote]I really do hope that all that was tongue in cheek. I would rather stick pins in my eyes than see that lot.[/p][/quote]Some of these acts are my personal friends. Sadly, there is nothing around to compare with that era today. So, no, it was *not* 'tongue in cheek'.[/p][/quote]Thank god for that, anything that compared with that would be laughed off stage and personal friends would explain a lot too. house on the hill
  • Score: 0

2:34pm Thu 13 Feb 14

swindon281 says...

looks like they have opened up comments for the latest lies from the three. My heart bleeds! check out the current story....re 'police riot gear'
looks like they have opened up comments for the latest lies from the three. My heart bleeds! check out the current story....re 'police riot gear' swindon281
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

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