The deal with Travelbag’s Chairman and owner, Peter Wade was sealed at a lunch in London’s characterful Langan’s Brasserie. The important thing was that we decided to keep the two brands operating side by side, each with their own marketing budget. There were redundancies to be made at the very top levels of the business which needed to happen to find the necessary cost savings and synergies. I think for my partner and friend, Brian Barton, it was a blessing in disguise as he later went on to set up his own company called Turquoise Holidays.
Peter Wade – travel industry friend & legend – the man I merged Bridge the World with whilst he was owner & Chairman of Travelbag…now living in Noosa – Queensland and still a friend with lots of new ventures up his sleeve!
Air New Zealand’s Roger Poulton’s thank you and seasons greetings letter —Jerry ‘guru of guru’s’ – I miss you Roger, thanks for all your support & friendship over the years
Jerry & Peter Wade…now what are we gonna do? Who wants to buy £200m worth of turnover & business? Two of the UK’s best known brands join forces – Bridge the World & Travelbag…what a combo!
Now don’t mess with me, Bridge the World is worth at least 25% of the newly created holding company. We have 150 staff, a turnover of £50m, offices in Camden, Kingston & Regent street and numerous awards from the travel industry, media & general public…take it or leave it!
The long awaited SPA (share purchase agreement) between Bridge the World, Travelbag & ebookers, the online travel company that finally bought us. My good friend Dinesh Dhamija (below) the MD & owner had to tell the city a good story…
Jerry with Peter Liney, MD of Travelbag at Heathrow airport having just watched Concord’s last flight arrive back – end of an era? Oh, how our paths keep crossing!
Well, for Brian & I it certainly was time to move on as this picture (published in the Sunday Times business section) shows and what a great article that was too…
Well towards the end of our time, before moving on from our wonderful company, Bridge the World, the new owners at ebookers asked me to write down how I spent my working day and this is how it looked…
8.30 start – Day in the life of…Jerry Bridge @ Bridge the World
change voice mail message – E-mails, post & tea
9.05 walkabout the office, by dept, general hello/hows it going conversations – check number of incoming on-line bookings/webquotes from the weekend and compare to previous week
9.20 check/compare with sales Director – the days schedule
9.30 quick marketing/sales update for weekly report – peter Liney
10.00 call to Farringdon – update on previous week/weekend sales activity and see what needs to be done on group basis – how can I contribute?
10.15 customer services update, any issues, can I help/speak to a customer if need be to solve an issue
10.30 go back over previous days check list, ensure everything is done i.e. chase an invoice that’s been sitting on an airlines desk for a month or finish off some action points from an IIP meeting or give feed back on someones forthcoming appraisal
11.30 make a few calls to suppliers/airlines (always have a target list of at least 5 key industry people you don’t normally speak to on a regular basis but wish to keep in touch with) ie Sally Martin @ QF or Barry at the NZTB, Anton – MH and so on
12.30 Quick call to PR agency re press forthcoming releases, previous w/e newspaper PR etc
1-30/2. Lunch – usually a sandwich from the organic bakery around the corner, otherwise with Bruce, key management/staff, an airline representative/supplier and once every two months an editor or journalist from one of the main papers
2.30 check e-mails, call back from voicemail messages
3.00 another walkaround, making sure severyone happy in sales, no probs etc
3.30 catch up with marketing, start looking at what changes we might need to make to the following w/e’s advertising
4.00 calls to ebookers – Peter/Ian/Elaine if need be or to Travelbag – Peter Bradshaw/ Julie or Colin
4.30 ensure outstanding cheques are signed and all ok
5.00 sales meeting – with Gill (OZ/NZ Manager) – discussion about latest stat reports and results or with Jake (Asia/Africa + internet) similar chat – how’s the day gone etc
5.45 finish off e-mails, voicemails, make list for following day (if need be)
6.00 call to Peter Liney (when he’s available) for update on days activities
6.30/7.45 Pub/cycle home !