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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

It’s more rewarding to be your own boss

STEVE Attwood, co-owner of Port Haverigg Holiday Village.

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ALWAYS KEEPING BUSY: Steve Attwood at his Port Haverigg Holiday Village which is open all-year round

What was your first job?

An apprenticeship at Leyland Motors, in Leyland, where I became a fitter building the double decker buses. There were 7,000 people working there when I was there, but it’s closed down now.

How did you get your current job?

I grew up in Derbyshire and was going to go into agriculture, but there were no bus services where I lived, so I went to live with my auntie in Lancashire and served my time in Leyland.

We arrived here in 1974. My first job here was at the Haverigg tannery. Then I managed to get a job at Eskmeals Gun Range as a vehicle inspector.

Then I built a fishing boat and took parties out, as well as helping on the caravan park and as it grew I eventually became full-time. After my father died in 1996 I became the senior partner.

Describe the company you own in one sentence?

It’s a caravan park with associated leisure activities – water skiing, trout fishing, camping.

How many hours do you work a week?

I’m getting older now so my son, the younger generation, are taking over. When you work for yourself, you basically don’t stop. You’re always thinking, always planning. We’re open 12 months a year, we don’t stop for the winter.

How many people are you responsible for?

Ten.

What’s your greatest achievement?

Developing Port Haverigg. When we took over there were only 30 caravans and now we’ve got 180.

How do you think your employees would describe you in three words?

Probably too soft! I’ve got a good relationship with them.

What gives you the biggest work buzz?

Sales. When you sell a caravan or a lodge, it always gives you a buzz. Also, when people come up and tell you they’ve enjoyed themselves.

What’s the best thing about being a boss?

The advantage of being your own boss is if you want a day off, you can have it. I would encourage people to be self-employed. It’s much more rewarding, especially if you’re successful.

What’s your motto at work?

Treat people as you would wish to be treated.

What’s the worst thing about being a boss?

The responsibility.

Your first car?

An Austin A35 I bought when I was 17.

How do you relax?

I’ve got a boat in Whitehaven which I built myself. I like to relax by working on that.

What’s the best thing about doing business in Cumbria?

The scenery, it’s just a great place. The snow on the mountains this morning is beautiful. And we get fantastic sunsets on the West Coast. In Haverigg we’ve got the best of both worlds, with the beach and the Duddon Estuary and the Lake District just down the road. Also the people – they’re really friendly.

Something your employees would be surprised to find out about you?

I don’t think there is anything. We’re like a family here, really. No skeletons in the cupboard!

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