On Friday 30th September Cass-Stephens celebrated its 50th Anniversary in style with a party at the Mecure Bowden Hall Hotel, raising just under £4,000 for local charities.
One of the highlights of the celebrations was twelve brave people undertaking a fire walk. Together with other guests including the Leader of Gloucester City Council Paul James, our three directors James Cass, Matt Cass and Paul Baldwin walked across the glowing embers in their bare feet watched by almost 90 guests.
Thanks to expert training from UK Firewalk Team, no one was hurt and the fire walk, together with a charity auction and a “head and tails”, helped to raise more than £3,600 for Young Carers and Young Gloucestershire, which offers support and guidance to disadvantaged young people in Gloucestershire.
The party was the high-point of the 50th anniversary year for Cass-Stephens Insurances which also entered a charity fundraising team in the Gloucester City Marathon earlier in the year and raised over £1,000.
Cass-Stephens Insurances is marking half a century as one of Gloucester’s most successful family-run companies and raising money for charity is an important part of the company’s determination to put something back into the community.
Gloucester town crier Alan Myatt was master of ceremonies at the anniversary party which included a three course meal for the company’s clients, staff and friends.
Cass-Stephens managing director James Cass explained how the business had been started by his late father Mike Cass and had grown to become successful. It now provides a complete insurance service for all sectors of business, property owners, personal insurance, together with Parksure which provides insurance for Park Homes, Holiday Lodges and Static Caravans.
In addition, Cass-Stephens provides insurance for the care sector as well as financial services through its sister company, Cass-Stephens Life & Pensions Ltd. James thanked the company’s clients, many of whom have been with Cass-Stephens for more than 30 years.
Matt Cass praised the staff for their professionalism and loyalty.
“Without them we would not have become the success we are today. They really are the backbone of the company” he said.
James and Matt Cass’s mother, Mrs Hilary Cass said it was a great sadness that her late husband Mike Cass had not lived to see the great success the company had become. But she said he would have been immensely proud of what his sons had achieved.Many of the staff at Cass-Stephens have been with the company for a great many years (some over 40) and had become family friends.
The magnificent evening was arranged event-planner extraordinaire Gill Kirkham of Rare Event.
Article and photo credits to Moose Marketing of Gloucester
A Rare combination of talent brings a new vibe to Cheltenham nightlife
Friday 26th February saw the launch of a new concept for nights out in Cheltenham with the first event taking place in funky new bar AquaVitae. "A night to appeal to all of the senses, exceed expectations, and create an amazing new vibe" was the order of the event, devised by Rare Event founder Gill Kirkham.
Gill saw an opportunity to create a guest-list based night in Cheltenham, which is much more than just the average night out. Gill explains why she devised the night: “Cheltenham has a number of cocktail bars and night clubs , yet many people say there is nowhere to go. I feel that the choices of venue are plentiful, but the vibe is often harsh and follows the same ‘get drunk, get drunker and dance’ formula, which is wrong for many. AquaVitae, is a perfect size, layout and oozes quality without being pretentious. We teamed up with AquaVitae as they have a cracking Bose sound system and the volume can stay low so people can talk and dance as they please - the music encompasses them rather than reigns over them.
"A Bowie theme ran through the veins of the night, with optional dressing up, and an amazing theatrical makeup artist stencilled and sprayed the Bowie tag on guests' faces. I also wanted there to be a charity element, with all change over the bar encouraged to go into gold painted money boxes for the James Hopkins Charity. Adding to the unique vibe of the night were on-site photographers and big screens showing music videos, along two incredible magicians. Our nights offer a whole new sophisticated experience for people in Cheltenham."
Based on the huge amount of positive feedback from the close to 200 guests, the collaboration between Rare Event and AquaVitae has created a much-needed, new, fun sociable and energetic vibe. Gill says she pulled all the best bits together from nights out in London, Birmingham and even the more trendy venues in Ibiza. Along with the DJ and her Media team, Gill spent days choosing music remixes, so songs and words are recognisable but the beat stayed funky enough to keep the vibe consistently good. Gill adds, 'We planned the lighting, the video graphics, and the cocktails with a really attractive drinks promotion. We mixed up all of the right ingredients the perfect recipe for fun. This event and the next six will continue to be guest list only.’
The next six nights planned for 2016 will be as imaginatively themed, beginning with April's ‘Pixies and Divas’. If people are keen to be on the guest list and be part of these events, at the moment all they need to do is ask via contacting email@example.com
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A really honest appraisal of the night shows that something special happened, with guests feeding back comments such as:
'I've been out to a fair few social / business events in town. Sometimes I find myself pretending to have a better time than I actually am, or aware that I'm the odd one out in a crowd that all know each other. I have a number of friends who don't go out to clubs for those reasons - "Will I know anyone", "Will I fit in", "What will I wear?" etc. The atmosphere was great, an eclectic group of people and everyone relaxed. Good music and people dancing. Later, I was sitting, enjoying one of the new cocktails and it occurred to me - this was the first time I had felt completely at ease on a club night out - everyone was so friendly and laid back, as always the. Staff were super friendly and welcoming. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience - it would be great if there was a regular night like this in Cheltenham!' Hazel Scott, local resident
'What a great night! At Gill's parties you get to see all the people who you only see on Facebook most of the year, and then everyone makes a big effort to show up because any event Gill puts together is fantastic!' Sali Green, I Work for U Glos
Anna Byrne, B.A in Music: 'I had a fantastic night at AquaVitae, one of the best nights that I have had for years. It really bought the cool back in to going out in Cheltenham, something that had been seriously lacking for quite sometime. The music great and the entertainment was original, everyone dressed to impress. I will most definitely be highly recommending coming events like this to all my friends and can't wait for the next one.'
Claire Bolden McGill
PR & Communications Coach
Garfunkel Communications & Niche Brands
Filming underway for new Gloucestershire-set zombie comedyThe pilot for a new IMDB-accredited ‘zomedy’ series, Z Pozitive, is currently being filmed at secret locations throughout Gloucestershire
Featuring a cast of fresh new talent and a local film crew, the pilot for zombie comedy series, Z Pozitive, is currently being filmed in Gloucestershire.
Written by Gloucestershire-born model, actor and director, Malcolm Modele, the pilot’s concept has been described as The Hangover meets Shaun of the Dead, and features a stellar cast of up-and-coming stars.
The talented cast includes Malcolm Modele, who previously appeared in Mr Selfridge and Endeavour; ‘Vine King’ Stuggy who boasts almost two million Facebook followers; Dixie Arnold from the latest Star Wars; Jack Harrison; and Gavin Lee Lewis.
The home-grown show has been written with passion and looks to be ‘an absolute winner’, with plans for pitching the pilot to industry giants such as Netflix already underway.
See more at http://www.soglos.com/film/39834/Filming-underway-for-new-Gloucestershire-set-zombie-comedy#sthash.Bp7dASPW.dpuf
Lucia Silver, founder of The State of Grace, is a delectable designer of outrageously wonderful couture, bridal, evening and bespoke accessories, Luckily for us, she has made generous donations of all kinds at our events...
WHAT THE PRESS HAVE TO SAY!
“Reminiscent of a sumptuous Parisian atelier” – Vogue
“Full of temptations – an opulent treasure trove of totally irresistible garments and accessories…” Harpers & Queen
“Want something original? Head to Lucia Silver” The Times
“Lucia Silver an arbiter of feminine chic” Financial Times
“Lucia Silver is a modern day alchemist” The Standard ES Magazine.
Finally a bespoke design house for brides and one that understands the modern bride doesn’t want to look like a vestal virgin meringue but a stylish fashion-forward individual” Tatler.
“For vintage with a thoroughly modern touch, Lucia Silver is the hottest destination in town” Wedding Day
“The one place you can go to in London where you are treated like a red carpet Hollywood celebrity. A team of experts making sure you look the best you possibly can, designing exclusively for you….” The Standard ES Magazine.
“Tired of never finding a bridal dress that expresses you in the shops? Head to The State of Grace and turn your ideas and desires into your perfect reality” Metro
About Lucia's new overwear collection launching this Autumn… "Brides-to-be are crying out for this dedicated range of breathtakingly exquisite over-wear … each trans formative piece has Lucia’s trademark flair and attention to detail. Brides
WHAT HAS SHE BEEN DOING?
The State of Grace’s highly specialised skills are in increasing demand to design and style for women wanting to create their own signature look rather than trotting out as clothes-horses for designer labels.
Following an appearance on the front page of The Daily Telegraph as the best dressed at Ascot, a hat and head to toe outfit by Lucia Silver's bespoke house was then selected as third best outfit of the decade by Ascot; Paloma Faith chose The State of Grace to design her first sell-out UK tour look. The State of Grace clothes, accessories and styling have graced shoots and women as diverse as Jerry Hall, Sade, Kate Moss, Helen Mirren, Lucy Yeomans, Keira Knightley and Claudia Schiffer. Lucia was asked to comment for The Times and The Telegraph throughout the Royal Wedding on all areas of luxury bespoke design and weddings. Lucia has been described in the media as everything from ‘an arbiter of feminine chic’ (FT) to ‘a modern alchemist, miraculously transforming women and their homes.’ (ES Magazine).
Tales of a Top Hat- Interview with the gorgeous and talented milliner Lisa Von Hallwyl, who is now featuring regularly in the national glossy magazines with her amazing creations, a good friend to Rare Event and has appeared at many of our ladies even
Tales of the Top Hats
So what was your first ever inspiration for hat design and how did your first hat work out?
Wow. That takes me back. My first hat was 7 years ago for a mother of the bride based on mondrian so very colour driven and sculptural. Amazing just fun to be so experimental.
You have been famous in Cheltenham for a while, how amazing that you are also recognised nationally in huge fashion magazines such as Tatler, and Vogue. Was this due to self PR? a specific design? and if so how did it happen?
Ah wow never seen myself as famous per say. I was hugely honoured when Vogue contacted me and then Brides was just amazing. A company I’ve wanted to recognise me for years. I promote myself a lot and have been trained in marketing all my life whilst undertaking my masters at uni as well. Plus overwhelming support from companies friends and family. The design that did it was my starflower that I placed in Vogue.
London fashion houses are calling out for up and coming designers like you, have any been looking into you at the moment?
Yes I had my recent trip to London as Fenwicks Bond Street wanted to see my new collection along with John Lewis and House of Fraser so all very exciting.
I hear you design for the amazing Beatrice von Tresckow, that must really get your create juices flowing…. Please describe a few requests you have had from customers and show us pics of the finished products with the outfits you have designed for.
Beatrice von Tresckow is one of the most insanely talented creators I have ever met. She not only designs the most exquisite pieces but is so lovely as well. I think of them as friends too. I get so many amazing requests from clients who are so open to my creative ideas which is great.
On a fun note have you any tales of hats being so huge or fly away that they have become a accidental menace?
Ha! Once I had one lady who was dare I say eccentric beyond words and wanted the biggest hat ever to walk this earth. Me being me I wouldn’t go over the top unless it suited them. Referring back to my hat time the hat ended up being a magnet for a poop war. A duck decided to fly and dollop on the hat which was quite humorous and some say good luck too.
I hear you are an animal lover, and you using your millinery skills to help a charitable cause, who and how are you going to put this into action?
I adore animals and hate the thought of them being harmed or in pain and unloved, my plan by collaborative efforts of others is to do a wonderful event with cakes tea champagne and music with a fashion show all proceeds to go to help animals.
Lisa von Hallwyl millinery. Making your personality wearable
As featured in Tatler June issue 2014 & British Vogue july 2015