News: Sundial’s Chudbus Returns for Summer 2011!
4 May 2011
Following the spectacular Royal Wedding, no time could be better for the re-launch of Sundial Group's iconic English Routemaster bus, which is set to return to the road next week. On Monday 9th May the ‘Chudbus' begins its ‘Sundial Summer Holiday' tour, running throughout the summer, visiting booking agents up and down the country. The bright red classic London double decker is a promotional ‘vehicle', showcasing Sundial Venues - three specialist meeting and training venues in Northamptonshire, Surrey and Warwickshire.
Sundial Group, the family owner-operated company with over 45 years of experience in hospitality, is known for upholding strong family values, and it is certainly no coincidence that Sundial chose a bus to promote their venues. Before the purchase of Highgate House as a family home in 1964, Michael and Diana Chudley bought a bus, the only feasible way to travel as a family of 11! The Chudbus became well known around Northamptonshire and indeed across the UK when Gaumont Rank showed newsreel (click here to view the original footage) and the BBC broadcast the story about the extraordinary Chudley family and their bus. Publicity also followed with a live appearance on Cliff Mitchelmore's Tonight programme when the family took their bus to America, they were then approached by film makers to discuss the use of the idea as a basis for a movie, which became Cliff Richard's memorable Summer Holiday. Almost 50 years on, at the National Venue Show 2004, a 21st century Chudbus was unveiled, since then the ‘new' (registered in 1964) model has dipped in and out of industry appearances but this summer it is set to make a comeback!
The Sundial Venues Summer Holiday Tour aims to bring a bit of Sundial to every stop. While the image and history of the bus itself illustrates the importance of Sundial's values and culture, the interior brings something more concrete - a Sundial Venue, or as close as possible to a mobile venue. The lower level features the modern convenience of specialist equipment, such as ergonomic conference chairs and a plasma screen, to mirror the high standard meeting rooms available at Sundial Venues. This will also be an informal presentation area, where Mia Butler, Sundial's Agency Sales Manager will demonstrate exactly what makes Sundial Venues so special, before showing some vintage footage of the original ‘Chudbus'. Meanwhile, the top deck is fully kitted out as a Sundial Venue breakout area, complete with fresh fruit, snacks and refreshments.
The ex-London Routemaster, driven by Sundial Group's Managing Director, Tim Chudley, will be touring the head offices of a multitude of booking agents all over the UK in the next few months. Tim explained, "It's great to get out of the office and do something different, I take pride in being involved in every aspect of our business." He continued, "The bus is something that is particularly close to my heart because I have such fond memories of travelling on the Chudbus as a child; it is also an acknowledgement of Sundial Group's very special family history."
It's fair to say that the Summer Holiday theme has not been taken on half heartedly, Mia Butler promises the tour's soundtrack will be based around Cliff Richard's classic ‘Summer Holiday'. Not to mention the summer holiday style tapas bar which will be set up onboard, the Sundial Venues rock and of course the impressive ‘Win a Holiday in Spain' competition prize, available to agents who enter the ‘Donkeys on the beach' caption competition. This tour is certainly set to be Sundial's best yet.
The tour kicks off at Zibrant's head office in Derby on Monday 9th May. Want to be in the know about the Sundial Summer Holiday Tour? Read all about it at www.sundialvenues.blogspot.com and search ‘Sundial' on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with the latest news.
For more information about Sundial Venues please visit www.sundialvenues.com