News and Press

May 2016

60 new high quality bedrooms are being built at Greenlands to ensure that the standard of accommodation for all visitors and programme participants at Henley is appropriate and meets their expectations. The initial preparation work has just started and we expect the project to be completed within 12 months. Click here to find out more and to see progress.

June 2015

Inspired by their Nepalese colleagues, on Saturday June 6th, Greenlands staff had a stand at Denham Giant Car Boot Sale raising funds to send Shelter Box aid to Nepal.

One ShelterBox costs £590, each one is tailored to a disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for a family of ten, thermal blankets and groundsheets, water storage and purification equipment, solar lamps, cooking utensils, a basic tool kit, mosquito nets and a children’s activity pack.

Together with the team from CleanConscience they raised £1,258 and are sponsoring two boxes!

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Older News

Diamond Jubilee Garden Party Monday 25th June 2012

A view from outside in:
Henley Business School was delighted to welcome Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh for a summer garden party on Monday 25 June. The event was part of HM The Queen’s UK-wide Diamond Jubilee tour.

JubileeArrivalThe Royal Party arrived aboard the magnificent 1883 steam launch ‘Alaska’. The celebrations commenced with a river pageant marking the role and impact of the River Thames on the Thames Valley region for more than 1,000 years. Over 30 boats including a Viking boat crewed by the University of Reading rowers featured in the pageant showcasing all aspects of the River.

The Party was hosted by the Lord Lieutenants of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, in this stunning Thames-side setting, just outside Henley on Thames. Henley Business School is close to where these three counties converge, and under glorious skies, provided the perfect backdrop for the celebration.

Over 4,000 guests from all walks of life from each of the three counties attended the event held on the beautiful lawns of the historic Greenlands Campus. Over a quarter of the guests were members of the public selected by a public ballot in all three counties. Her Majesty was introduced to representatives from public life, business and commerce, the armed services, the arts and sports and media as well as Henley Business School staff.

JubileePlaqueGuests were treated to a fly past of RAF helicopters after which Her Majesty unveiled a commemorative plaque and, as at all the best parties, was asked to cut the celebratory cake.

Alan Brand, Director of Hotel and Estate Services at the Business School said: “We were honoured and delighted to be chosen to be the venue for the visit of her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. It gave us an excellent opportunity to showcase the outstanding facilities at Henley Business School and it was clear to all the visitors on the day that the Royal party enjoyed the event immensely.”

A view from inside out:
The easiest part of the whole operation for Hotel Services Director Alan Brand was to say yes when in the summer of 2011 a call came through to ask if Henley Business School would we be prepared to host an event as part of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee tour. After putting the phone down the full implications of that executive decision came to the fore. The first big hurdle was that the arrangements had to be kept confidential for security reasons, so Alan could only share this information with his colleague Dereck St Clair who would be responsible for delivering the catering operations on the day.

The overall arrangements were to be organised by the Lord Lieutenants of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire and a professional event organiser was engaged to plan and execute the event. However that still left the Henley Team with the job of organising the logistics of catering for 4,000 guests

JubileeCateringOver the coming months, during many meetings, the plans were developed into the detailed arrangements and in March 2012, some months after the initial contact, the event was confirmed by Buckingham Palace and the date announced publically. At last Alan and Dereck could now draw in the rest of their team to make the meticulous preparations for such a high profile event.

Three main marquees were hired to cater for the majority of guests with the Heyworth Restaurant being used for the VIP party. The terrace to the restaurant was covered to ensure wet weather protection. Additional gazebos were positioned around the lawns so that the invited exhibitors could present their activities and of course additional washroom facilities had to be organised.

Catering was designed around the fare offered at the Queen’s Buckingham Palace Garden Parties, although the Henley Team were eager to showcase their skills and wanted to put their own unique twist to the food offered and how it was presented. The focal point would be a number of ice sculptures, one for each service point on which the food would be presented. Ice Works were commissioned in liaison with the Henley team to create a design and make the magnificent sculptures.

JubileSculptureOf particular concern was how 4000 plus people could be served within the space of one hour from 2pm to 3pm, when The Queen would arrive. Also how guests would handle a cup and saucer and plate and have a hand spare to eat and drink with. A number of solutions were researched including a “plate” that held a cup and allowed space for the food. However no one had the amount to hire and it was too expensive to purchase them for just one event. A source in China was also researched but even this ended in defeat because of the logistics. The eventual solution was to position “poser tables” around the catering tents.

To show how meticulous the planning was, the team even came up with an ingenious way of hiding the tea urns. A wooden frame was made to house the urns and then covered with clip on banquet table skirting.

JubileeCateringEverything was prepared on the premises for the feeding of the 4,000. Preparation of the dainty, crust less, sandwiches alone required 700 loaves of bread, 80Kg of butter, 45Kg of ham and 230 cucumbers. Brioche had to be baked ready for the delicate smoked salmon filling. Then there were carrot cakes, and strawberry tartlets, and the piece de resistance – Henley chocolate brownies each decorated with a gold crown, to be prepared. To ensure adhering to tradition, this was all accompanied by tea and home-made lemonade.

Staffing became a headache, not for the usual reasons of shortage, but rather as a result of too many volunteers from friends and relatives of the Henley Team, all of whom were clamouring to play a part at this momentous occasion, and to see the Queen in person.

It was a wonderful occasion and everyone was delighted that it all ran smoothly, with even the weather co-operating for once.

(Updated: 12 July 2011)