Weetwood Hall toasts to success after First World War in Retrospect Conference proves to be a roaring success

Over 70 people from around the globe with a mutual interest in the First World War united at Weetwood Hall in Leeds between the 28th July and the 1st of August, for an imaginative World War One Conference held to mark the outbreak of the conflict 100 years ago.

The five day event, that attracted delegates from as far as Australia, New Jersey and Texas as well as Europe, saw 20 eminent academics, authors and military officers come together to deliver a series of workshops, lectures and historical excursions that enabled people to reflect and consider the impact that The Great War had on the nation’s people.

The Conference, that was planned by Dr Peter Liddle and Military Consultant, Colonel Alan Roberts, also had a very special Patron play an important role in bringing people together to reflect on the past, The Dowager Countess, Lady Haig.

Conference delegates were also able to explore history through a series of performances that saw appearances from the Yorkshire Volunteer Corps of Drums, Piper Thomas Mulholland of the Leeds Caledonian Society, Noel Whittall, a motorcycling enthusiast who rides a 1918 Model H motorbike, honorary farrier Jarvis Browning of the Wagoner’s Special Reserve and Darryl Foxwell and Roy Hirst, miniature model railway enthusiasts depicting scenes of WW1.

Events included a reception by Charles Dent, MD of Timothy Taylor explaining its links to the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding) now the Yorkshire Regiment, a visit to the Liddle Collection and Royal Armouries, a walking tour of Lawnswood Cemetery with Andrea Hetherington highlighting its 1914-1918 links, a visit to Heugh Battery on the headland of Hartlepool and Yorkshire Film Archive presenting “Filmed and not Forgotten”.

The event was rounded off with a three-course dinner that saw guests sing-along to songs of the era with singer Fiona Harrison and the conference concluded with a two minute silence and The Yorkshire Volunteers Corps of Drums playing The Last Post.

Dr Peter Liddle, commented: “As the Conference Director of the Weetwood Hall First World War in Retrospect Centenary Conference, I am happy to report that the Speakers and Delegates and, in every respect, Weetwood Hall, lived up to my high expectations.  An informative, stimulating, friendly, conference was the experience we all shared. Well done Weetwood Hall.”

Co-organiser and Military Consultant, Colonel Alan Roberts said: “The delegates remarked that the programme exceeded all their expectations. The diversity of the lectures and presentations engendered participation and discussion. The conference had something for everyone.

“The aim of the organisers was not to make it purely academic but to engage with people who had an interest in that world changing war. Included in the programme was the opportunity to see a professional demonstration of the actual weapons used in the Great War by both sides, and in the uniforms worn. Other practical presentations gave the conference further dimension as to the reality of life at that time.”

Peter Chubb, Development Director at Weetwood Hall, said: “I am delighted at the success of our first World War One Conference that saw people travel from all around the world. The feedback from delegates has been fantastic.”

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Weetwood’s rising star toasts to success after winning accolade

(Left to right: Huw Southcott, Head of Hospitality and Catering at Leeds City College, Lukasz Opilowski, Conference Operations Manager at Weetwood Hall)

Weetwood Hall toasted to success at a glittering awards ceremony this month, after fighting off stiff competition and scooping an accolade for the determination and hard work of one of its team members.

Conference Operations Manager, Lukasz Opilowski, was honoured to win the Rising Star Award  at the Leeds Hotels and Venues Association’s (LHVA) awards on Thursday 12th June at Leeds United’s Centenary Pavilion, that celebrate the best in service from over 30 hotels and venues across the city.

The awards celebrate exceptional talent in all aspects of hospitality. The categories are Team of the Year, Customer Service, Rising Star, Bright Idea and Mentor. Awards are only given to the best of the best in the hospitality industry.

Lukasz joined Weetwood Hall as a Conference Porter in 2006, and has since worked his way up the ranks to team leader and then Conference Operations Supervisor. He successfully secured his current post as Conference Operations Manager in April of this year.

Michael Longstaff, Director of Operations at Weetwood Hall, said: “I would like to congratulate Lukasz on this great success and believe it is well and truly deserved. Lukasz’s evident commitment to the team, business and customers shines through and all who come into contact with him remark upon his ‘can do’ attitude, knowledge and flexibility.

Lukasz said: “I am delighted to have won the Rising Star Award and would like to thank Weetwood Hall for the opportunity to develop my skills and to grow my career. The awards were great fun and provided a chance for our team to celebrate in style. Here’s hoping for next year’s awards!”  

Posted in Conferences, News | Leave a comment

Historical blue plaque marks 21 years in business

(Left to right: Martin Hicks, Managing Director of Weetwood Hall, Sheila Griffiths, former Leeds University warden, John Stoddart-Scott, Chairman of Weetwood Hall).

The 21st business anniversary of Weetwood Hall Conference Centre and Hotel in Leeds has been marked this week by a historical Blue Plaque unveiling and a celebratory dinner for key clients and partners.

The University of Leeds bought the estate in 1919 with the house becoming a hall of residence up until the 1990s when it was reinvented as a hotel and conference centre.

Sheila Griffiths, former halls of residence warden during the 1960s and 70s, unveiled the plaque with the help of Leeds Civic Trust and reflected on her time at Weetwood Hall.

Martin Hicks, Managing Director at Weetwood Hall, said: “We are proud to have celebrated 21 years in business and to have that marked by a very significant plaque that acknowledges the history contained within the walls of Weetwood Hall. Thank you to all of those that have played a part in the success of the business and helped us to provide outstanding service for all of these years.”

Dr Kevin Grady, Director of Leeds Civic Trust, said: “Weetwood Hall and its owners and residents have played a significant role in the history of Leeds since the 17th century. The Trust is very pleased to be able to celebrate its very varied and interesting history with a blue plaque. For many former students of the University of Leeds, such as myself, it is very well remembered as a small but characterful women’s hall of residence.”

Posted in Events | Leave a comment