Meet the Oaker Wood family. If you’ve visited us before you’ll no doubt recognise these faces, and probably a few of the characteristics described!
The boss, (or at least he thinks he is!) better known as Dickie, founded the company back in 1989 and now deals with all sales enquiries. He is well known for his constant reminiscing about “the good old days”, something the staff will tell you is a great cure for insomnia!! Thinks he can sell ice to the Eskimos. He’s always on a diet but is an expert on local Takeaways and loves the slogan “Did somebody say…just eat”!!
Former rugby player for Luctonians.
Married to Dickie, so officially “The Boss’s Wife”! She heads up the Housekeeping Team, keeping camps tidy and is head chef, looking at Dickie she must be an excellent cook (or he isn’t a fussy eater, one or the other!) Totally unphased by anything, you will see her and Deb “cruising” around the site in one of the Utility Trucks looking like Thelma and Louise (lucky we don’t have any cliffs for them to drive off, they just have to avoid the lake!).
Is an expert on Gin!
Mikey is better known to his work mates as “Shoulders”. In his eyes he is the King Pin at Oaker Wood and nothing can function without him (his views not anyone else’s!) Our longest serving employee, Mike is a valued instructor and is in charge of all site maintenance, nothing too big or small that he can’t fix with a hammer and a 4” nail!!
A former rugby player with Luctonians and currently 1st Team Coach at Ludlow.
Chris, better known to everyone as Brooksey, joined us a 16-year-old wayward soul. He has progressed well and is now a 26-year-old wayward soul!! He is our Activity Co-ordinator & Staff Training Supervisor (although he is yet to train himself in the art of washing up his coffee mug!) His motto is: do as I say not as I do.
Plays football for AFC Wooferton (or as his teammates describe it “he turns up and runs around like a headless chicken!!)
Nicknamed The Big Wanna!! He’s been with us for 3 years since leaving Worcester University, but as the Boss’s oldest son seems to have been here for years (or so he says!). Also known as The Seal due to his very young-looking face (he thinks it’s because he likes to go clubbing !!). Sam is currently working as The Apprentice to Mikey and Brooksey as he hopes to fill his Dads shoes one day (big shoes to fill, Size 13 !!).
Plays rugby for Luctonians.
Kate is in charge of marketing, website, social media, and anything else Dickie doesn’t fancy doing…which is a lot!! She is rarely seen out of the office without a camera in her hand (often known as Kodak Kate!). She has been with us for 10 years and is always enthusiastic to start new marketing projects (no matter what it involves the staff doing to get the right picture!!)
Keen on outdoor exercise (she leads the office walks) & extreme sports (like going swimming in rivers in January, which is surprising considering she lights the office wood burner in July!)
Neeks has been with us for 3 years and is responsible for the general admin along with H & S and Staff Training Records (so has to work closely with Brooksey, the poor soul!). Renowned for wrecking the boss’s weekly diet (he does literally start a new one every Monday) by bringing in Donuts every Friday, and whenever we have an Asda delivery…which can be 3 times a week in peak season!!.
An avid follower of Luctonians RFC.
Our most recent recruit, replacing Louise (Weaze) as our accounts manager, we don’t ever mention that she is off “The Hill” (apologies local joke!!) something I think she is still in denial about! Hasn’t yet had the opportunity to bring a Donut in for Dickie (due to working from home!). When normality resumes I think she will get a baptism of fire from the lads (they are just biding their time with her although she holds the upper hand and she is in charge of payroll!)
Caz is one of the Oaker Wood “twins” alongside her non-biological twin sister Helen (only a few years between them!!) Joined at the hip, whatever one does, the other does! Caz has been with us for 10 years and makes a damn fine Pizza in our Pizza Ovens (or so the boss says!) Very much a Tom Boy, if she wasn’t at Oaker Wood she would undoubtedly be running an English language and elocution course, we learn new words from her weekly!!
Former Luctonians Ladies RFC member.
Our other favourite “twin”, between her and Caz (and as a former Landlady) they keep the lads in their place (or at least they think they do!) and give as good as they get when needed! Has been with us for 5 years and lists Rafting as her favourite activity due to her love of that cold water!
Brought up on a farm above Clun in the wilds of Shropshire, she is quietly adapting to civilisation and other human beings!
Better known as Wayne or Doc (as when his hair is long he resembles the Doc in Back To The Future !!) Mark has been around for 15 years. His main activities are Clays and Quads (and complaining when Dickie starts waffling!). He can turn his hand to anything, constantly reminds us that “I am too old for all this !!”
President of The Three Elms Drinking Crew
El Chappo, as he is affectionally known, is part of Quad Instructor Team, and also helps Nick out with the Quad Maintenance. He scuttles around the wood like a badger, clearly has Mexican roots in his past, hence his nickname!! Along with Mark, he forms part of our Quad double act, a bit like Morecambe and Wise (we haven’t worked out which one is Wise !!)
Chairman of the Three Ems Drinking Crew!
Nick or Prem as we like to call him, is in charge of Quad and Vehicle Maintenance, very keen on Oriental Food (we think it’s an addiction he caught whilst working on Asian Quad Bikes! Luckily its not contagious !! Also works as a mechanic in his family business.
Supports Liverpool (I suppose everyone has to have some faults!!) and prides himself on being the best “Wind Up” merchant at Oaker Wood!
“Our Debs” is part of Alibobs “Housekeeping Team”. She has been with us for 3 years and is totally unflappable (as she usually doesn’t know what’s going on around her!). She still needs a Sat Nav to find her way around the wood and has very nearly learnt which Camp is The Oaks and which is The Beeches. Between her and Ali they keep us updated with what’s happening in “Love at First Sight….Australia!!” The Company sanity would fall to pieces without Deb as she keeps us all amused!!
Keen amateur runner.
Known as Derf (well thought out nickname…Fred spelt backwards), he is the Boss’s middle son who is currently studying Management and Marketing at Aberystwyth University in the hope he comes back to the business to ensure someone in the office knows what they are doing !!
Favourite food is “Fast” Food but the word fast is not easily linked to him !! Plays rugby for Luctonians.
Ben is the Boss’s youngest and is better known as Lee or Playboy, as he does think he is the kid about town! Luckily for him, he doesn’t look anything like his elder brothers (he says he’s a male Cinderella)! Currently doing a PE Apprenticeship at Wigmore Primary School, but is on hand to work weekends and holidays, his dad describes him as Feral (which for those unsure means “he has escaped domestication !”).
Plays football in goal for Knighton Town and is an avid Derby County fan.