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Challenges for Charity
3 July 2015

I feel compelled this week to write about my amazing team at Jamb who all work so hard for the company. As if it isn’t enough in the week to move tons of marble to create our reproduction fireplaces; install antique chimneypieces and juggle the constant hustle of the Pimlico showroon, they went on to achieve another goal. Last weekend seven members of the Jamb team became the ‘Dandy Chargers’ and completed a gruelling bike ride challenge for the Force Cancer Charity.

The Dandy chargers name derives from the first Georgian bicycle. Satirically named it had no pedals and the rider would push themselves along the ground with their feet.

The First Bike of 1817.

The Dandies in the Jamb team put themselves down for the 55mile option and the chargers the 100mile circuit. The Nello bike ride has been running for sixteen years in memory of Nello, a local restauranteur and a much loved man who died of Cancer and now the race raises thousands of pounds a year for Cancer research.

Geoff our Warehouse manager who organizes all our fireplace installations, sewed the challenging seed, reeling in; Szymon our brilliant draftsman, who creates over fifteen custom drawings a week for our Bespoke fireplaces , Tomasz and Michal – who I’m sure are the strongest men alive and work as our head restorers in the Antique Fireplace and reproduction fireplace workshop

Tomasz completing an installation of an antique George II Chimneypiece

Then Kryzstof joined in, taking a break from quietly and expertly carving our bespoke fireplaces. Not being left out Ladislaw signed up and to try and balance the sexes Eva did too. We didn’t know if we could afford her taking time away from the showroom where she heads up the lighting dept but we didn’t have to worry as she didn’t train for it anyway! She had never done a challenge like this before and with a wonderful open spirit just borrowed a bike and went for it. When she got to the finishing line, being the last to finish the 55 miles round, all the supporters were frantically cheering her on thinking she was the first to finish the 100 mile route!

Their collective determination reminded me of a period of life Charlotte and I went through when our son Monty was very ill with Meningitis when he was three and we had a year of hell until he was given the all clear. At the time I wanted to do something to raise money for the Neuro Foundation and I did the ‘Three Peak challenge’ : Ben Nevis, Scafell Pyke and Snowden with some of the same Jamb team.

Misty Mountain Peaks

Very much like Eva I hadn’t done much preparing and it was a challenge to say the least. In addition there was one hair -raising moment when a member of the team disappeared over the edge of Ben Nevis. It was so misty and in a second he suddenly wasn’t with us. Luckily he’d fallen down a grassy bank Fof about 15 ft and although shaken was fine…

I will never forget that feeling of euphoria when we got to the hotel bar on the last night and that first sip of beer … and the delight in raising over £20, 000.

Some of us felt we left a little piece of ourselves on those mountains but I don’t think I will be returning any time soon to find it…However there is nothing like completing a challenge and finding the strength in yourself during those hard times. Congratulations all of you.