The FLBC Steering Group is a collection of Members elected by you at our Annual General Meeting to run the Club, organise events, and provide valuable support for local businesses and organisations in Fairford, Lechlade and surrounding towns and villages. If you'd like to join the Steering Group or think you could help the Club in any way please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I started attending the Business Club when I became Head of Marketing at the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises, the organisation that runs the Air Tattoo in 2008. I was soon co-opted onto the Steering Group to help with marketing and has been involved ever since, as Vice Chair for 3 years and Chair for 6 years.
I am proud to be part of the local Business community and the club, contributing in some small way to provide networking opportunities, knowledge and training, and to celebrate achievements through our annual awards.
Hi, I’m Shirley Wheeler, of Cotswold Boat Hire. We run a boat hire and boat moorings business at Brandy Island, Buscot. You might know the big old waterworks building next to Buscot Lock, that’s us!
We’ve been club members for many years, we were delighted when my husband, Greg, won Business Person of the year in 2015. Winners are often invited to join the Steering Group, he nominated me - I became a Steering Group member that year. I’ve been Vice President for 3 years and was delighted to be the Recipient of the Howard Dowler Award 2020 – goodness knows how they managed to surprise me with that!
I bought Lechlade Marina as I saw enormous potential to restore the marina and return it to a first-class facility for annual boat moorings and slipway launching.
I used my 25 years’ experience managing rural estates to manage the renovation projects at the marina.
Through the Business Club I met many local businesses, and some have undertaken work for us. I found the club so valuable I have been delighted to give something back by joining the steering group. I also currently sit on Lechlade Town Council and am Secretary for the River User Group for the Upper Thames.
I am passionate about educating and helping others. After several years in my first career choice in the Education sector, I made the decision to join the family business, Davidson Financial Planning in 2017. As a mother and daughter team, we are dedicated to supporting and guiding the goals and objectives of the families we work with, seeking to provide clear and concise financial advice across the generations. From the beginning of your financial journey to legacy planning and beyond our bespoke advice is tailored to meet your needs, whatever your circumstances.
In June 2021 I decided to join the Business Club to learn from other likeminded professionals and develop my professional network. Social interaction is the heart of what I do and like many others after various lockdowns and adapting to a virtual way of working I felt slightly disconnected from real life!
Upon attending my first group meeting I quickly learnt this was different to other networking groups I had attended before. A friendly and supportive environment has been created and I knew this is something I wanted to be part of. I look forward to developing my role in the steering group and giving back to the local community where I can.
I joined the Business Club after attending some breakfast meetings around 2017 when I took over the business and became the managing director and owner of T A Reed (Wiltshire) Ltd, a small verbatim reporting and transcription business in Highworth – changing the name to include “Wiltshire” to reflect where we are based. I joined the business club mainly for the social side and agreed to join the Steering Group at the AGM this year.
I try and give back to the community I live and work in – small businesses are so important to communities like Highworth, Fairford, Lechlade and a networking and business support group is invaluable and fun to belong to.
I am a dentist who joined the FLBC and set up my dental practice DentArtWork Dental Care in Lechlade in 2012. The FLBC networking events have been invaluable and a good way of meeting other like-minded people in business. DentArtWork Dental Care won new business of the year in 2013. I was also a finalist for business person of the year 2015. The FLBC is a fantastic group that continues to support me and my journey as a local business woman.
As well as running a business, I am also a dental advisor, examiner and forensic odontologist. I believe it is important to make time for things you enjoy and to give back to those who have supported me. I look forward to helping our local business community grow stronger and I encourage those who wish to set up their own business to join us.
I grew up on a small farm near Evesham and joined the family business after studying at Pershore College of Horticulture. I was involved with Young Farmers and became Gloucestershire Federation County Chairman. I learnt many skills such as running a club, working with committees and public speaking. I was also treasurer for 9 years. In 1987 I changed career and was appointed as National Farmers Union Group Secretary for Swindon and held an insurance agency with NFU Mutual. This was similar to a franchise so I was responsible for employing staff, sales, compliance, etc. A demanding and rewarding occupation. As well as providing insurance and financial services, as NFU Group Secretary I would help farming members with their problems, recruit new members and lobby local MPs. I was also treasurer for the National Association of NFU Group Secretaries for 16 years.
In 2019 I left NFU and started my business consultancy. I spend two/three days a week working for a firm of contractors, I look after their accounts, quotations, HR, and help with business decisions. The rest of my time I take on project work, I have helped with the purchase of a business, a complicated insurance claim, and negotiated the end of a farm tenancy.
I have lived in Lechlade for 28 years with my wife Kate who is a freelance bookkeeper and HR consultant. I enjoy road cycling, tennis and horse racing. I have been treasurer for Lechlade Tennis Club for 20 years, there is a theme here! I have two obsessions music (The Beatles are a favourite) and railways.
Cotswold Woollen Weavers, Filkins
Witney Blanket Hall, Witney
I read Chemical Engineering and then History at UCL, taught in Northamptonshire for a few years, then moved to West Wales in the '70s and bought a long-disused woollen mill with machinery, learned to weave and got the bug, moved to Filkins in 1982 to start a woollen mill and visitor business, about 1992 bought an old weaving business near Stroud and re-established it in West Yorkshire, sold woollen cloth all over the world, revived a small stonemasony and stone-carving business, restored Witney Blanket Hall and re-opened it in 2015, and very happily still live in Filkins with my partner, Trish Poole, still happily dabbling in woollen, stone, retail, and 'visitor' matters, and always thinking that small rural business matters very much.