Meet Emyr, one of our longest serving team members here at Newmarket Holidays. He’s celebrating 10 years – and 5,000,000 travelled miles – with us, although his experience as a tour manager dates back much further.
In fact, Emyr has worked as a tour manager for an astonishing 55 years. Emyr’s first tours took place before motorways had even been built in Britain and, according to him, “the journey from west Wales to London took 12 hours in those days”. Not to mention tickets to the Royal Albert Hall costing just 75 pence!
Emyr recently led his 200th Newmarket tour, guiding a group of students to Wimbledon. By chance, the students were from the school that his children attended. “It was an amazing coincidence. I conducted the entire two-day trip in Welsh.”
Other memorable journeys for Emyr include a very touching moment when he assisted a guest in a very important mission in Porthmadog. “At dinner one night, a lady approached me and asked for my help. Her husband, an avid transport enthusiast, who had recently passed away, had not had the chance to ride on the Welsh Highland Railway. She asked if we could scatter his ashes at a railway station along the way. We spoke with the Duty Manager in Porthmadog, who allowed us to pass her late husband’s ashes through the firebox of the engine after the last station along the line. She was very grateful.”
The life of a tour manager can be very hard work but also very rewarding. A normal day involves early mornings, organisation and careful planning. We asked Emyr what he thinks makes a good tour manager: “a good alarm clock, a good sense of humour, an understanding wife/husband/ partner, a good sense of direction and – most importantly – a plan B”. And the biggest perks of the job? The pleasure of meeting new people and the strong team spirit among his colleagues, Emyr tells us.
After 55 incredible years of touring, Emyr’s ambition is to continue serving the thousands of customers choosing to travel with Newmarket Holidays for a long time to come.
“Orders are being taken for tour 500!” – jokes Emyr.