Restoring and beautifying London's most prestigious homes with love for almost 100 years.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Family Business of the Year 2014: We Are Winners!

We are proud and delighted to annnounce that at last night's Family Business United awards, Bastows were honoured as the UK Construction and Property Family Business of the Year.

The event was hosted by Farrer & Co in Lincoln's Inn Fields in the heart of London and the city felt very beautiful last night as we joined other family businesses. Familiar faces were greeted and new connections made as we shared stories and cheered each other on as the awards were announced.

Andrew approves of the new addition to the office
We were thrilled to receive the UK award for our sector- a completely unexpected moment as I can testify; my acceptance speech began with an flabbergasted me saying "Blimey!"

It was wonderful to be shortlisted as a regional finalist too alongside some truly brilliant and diverse companies and our congratulations go to F Hinds Ltd, the deserving winners of the regional title.

Thank you to the judging panel, to Paul Andrews who is the heart and soul of Family Business United, and to all our fellow family business nominees and winners. We really are keeping the economy going and the values of family alive around the UK. 

Bastows attains Safecontractor standard for fifth year

For the fifth successive year, Bastows has been awarded accreditation from Safecontractor for its commitment to achieving excellence in health and safety.

Safecontractor is a leading third party accreditation scheme which recognises very high standards in health and safety management amongst UK contractors.

The company’s application for Safecontractor accreditation was driven by the need for a measured and independently evaluated safety performance standard across the business.

Safecontractor accreditation will enhance the company’s ability to attract new contracts and its commitment to safety will be viewed positively by its insurers when the company liability policy is up for renewal.

Safecontractor is applicable to most sectors although it is particularly relevant to food manufacture, property, facilities management, retail and leisure sectors, all of which are big users of contracted services.

John Kinge, technical director of Safecontractor said, "Major organisations simply cannot afford to run the risk of employing contractors who are not able to prove that they have sound health and safety policies in place."

"More companies need to understand the importance of adopting good risk management in the way that Bastows has done. The firm’s high standard has set an example which hopefully will be followed by other companies within the sector.

Safecontractor plays a vital role in supporting our clients in meeting their compliance needs, whilst working with their contractors as they progress through the accreditation process.”

Under the Safecontractor scheme, businesses undergo a vetting process which examines health and safety procedures and their track record for safe practice. Those companies meeting the high standard are included on a database, which is accessible to registered users only via a website.

Client-organisations who sign up to the scheme can access the database, enabling them to vet potential contractors before they even set foot on site. These clients agree that, as users of the scheme, they will engage only those who have received accreditation.

Over 210 major, nation-wide businesses, from several key sectors, have signed up to use the scheme when selecting contractors for services such as building, cleaning, maintenance, refurbishment or electrical and mechanical work.

Bastows Managing Director Andy Racxinkaitis said, "We are proud to have been recognised once again for our efforts and will continue our commitment to safe working practices in the years to come.

Bastows approach to safety and responsibility is unsurpassed in our market, meaning clients have complete peace of mind on quality, value and safe methods of working.

Our continued accreditation means clients know we have been open and have welcomed an independent inspection of our safety policies, procedures and systems to ensure fair and transparent benchmarking."

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Party like it's 1963/1989 (delete as appropriate)

What a swell party...

The Bastows Family got together in late May to celebrate 50 years of Making London Beautiful and 25 years of happy marriage for Frank and Amanda Bastow. 

The party was hosted by Frank and Amanda- sorry, expertly hosted- and was held in the beautiful Surrey countryside.

Over 200 guests of all ages were treated like A-list stars, with live music, beauty treatments, beautiful marquees, gorgeous food and drinks- even a cocktail bar and a vodka luge, suitably branded with our anniversary logo!

Afternoon tea was followed by an incredible buffet expertly served and presented by specialist caterers Scotts.

From fresh fruit and canapes to pastries, from salads and sandwiches to a hog roast, we were spoilt for choice- even if everyone felt momentarily guilty about sampling and ruining the works of art on offer.
A close-up magician entertained us with amazing tricks and illusions, and never gave away a single secret....

The spaces created were sumptious, comfortable and welcoming whether you needed to kick up your heels or have a quiet moment to catch up with friends.

For a while everyone was on their best behaviour...


 ... brotherly love was in evidence...

... contractor/ client relations were at an all time high...

... and the garden looked stunning as night fell. It was a sophisticated do, the highlight of the year and everyone was enjoying the elegance of the day.

Then the swing band kicked off, the cocktail bar got busier and it all got a bit messy.

The band were amazing- storming, stomping and whipped up the crowd, filling the dancefloor and rocking not just the house, but the whole street. 

Shoes were kicked off, and the dancers gave it their all.

The food became props for silly photos... here's Nim and Dave sharing a baguette and not messing about at all, oh no...

... while Raz and Frank challenged all comers to try their luck on the vodka luge. Have you ever tried marmalade flavoured vodka? We have. Twice. Trust us- it's potent.

Our thanks to all who celebrated with us, to all who worked so hard to give us all a great experience, and to Frank and Amanda for organising it all. It was a brilliant event made more special because we shared it with Family. 

Though the 75th anniversary party is going to have a LOT to live up to...