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‘New blood needed’ for Old Abtarians

THE OLD Abtarians Association is starting a recruitment drive for 2013 and may consider altering its membership requirements. The organisation, which holds

three social events a year, said it would consider looking at expanding its member pool. Chairman Alan Partridge said:

“The association has been very successful at bringing together old friends, many of whom gave Abta long years of service on national and regional committees, Tour Operators’ Council or Travel Agents’ Council, and the secretariat. “But new blood is always needed.

We would be interested to hear from people who were not council, committee or secretariat members, but who feel they have made a positive contribution to Abta’s success.” About 60 people belong to the association, formed in 2000. Current members include ex-Abta presidents John Harding, Martin Wellings and Mike Grindrod. Membership includes various holiday discounts.

■Membership costs £25 a year. For more information, visit

Time Travel

buy back empires” Two independent travel pioneers bought back control of companies that they each founded, built up and sold for more than £1 million less than two years ago. They were Harold Bamberg, who reacquired a majority shareholding in Cunard Eagle, and Max Wilson who repurchased the Overseas Visitors’ Club.


February 22, 1963

“Travel pioneers

Trade anger over holiday discount schemes looked set to boil as Thomas Cook took on 100 staff to deal with demand from the Access Holiday Club. Travel Club of Upminster boss Harry Chandler warned the expansion of credit card discount deals would be “disastrous”.

25 21.02.2013 07

February 18, 1988 “Travel clubs row hits boiling point”

FromMiseryto success 21.02.13 News

Lucy Siebert

A GRAND UK Holidays staff member is celebrating her first novel being published, a thriller set in the US. Keri Beevis, contracts controller for the Grand UK and Sunrise brands, has finally found publishing success after years of trying. Now, Dead Letter Day will be published in paperback and as an ebook, primarily available via Amazon. The story, according to Beevis is “a

twisty serial killer thriller set in Oregon” focused on protagonist Rebecca Angell, a “rookie police officer”. However, this recent publishing success has been a long time coming. Beevis started writing her first novel when she was 20 after reading Stephen King’s Miseryon holiday in Tenerife. Since then she has faced numerous setbacks, including a deal falling through with one of the country’s biggest publishers, Harper Collins. That, she explained, was at the time of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books first coming out and “everyone wanted wizards and supernatural”. While she carried on writing for herself, it was one of her colleagues

Beevis: new publishing deal

at Grand UK Holidays, Paula Armes, who more recently encouraged her back on the publishing path.

“It was a friend and work colleague who saw an advert for a writing competition, with the winning prize being a publishing contract, who persuaded me to enter,” she said.

The writing competition was the

New Novels Competition 2012, held by Rethink Press. Beevis decided to rework and rename a novel she had

already written, called The Underling, which subsequently got turned into Dead Letter Day.

Despite setting her novel in the US, Beevis has only visited the country on holiday and has never lived there. “I also adore Italy and would consider setting a future novel there. I also have a mad urge to drive the Death Road to La Paz in Bolivia,” she said. Her work in UK

holidays has also sparked some creative thoughts for a more domestic story. “Closer to home, one place my company has always sent a lot of holidaymakers to is Cornwall. This

of course is the setting

for Du Maurier's Rebecca, one of my favourite stories, and my protagonist in Dead Letter Day, Rebecca, is named after the book,” said Beevis.

■Dead Letter Dayis available on Amazon from March 11

The TTG archives: 50, 25 & 5 years ago

claimed trade support for his all-business class airline had been disappointing because many agents were too “set in their ways”. Hunt revealed that only 30% of his sales came through the trade, when he had expected 70%, which he believed was down to agents being overly cautious.

5 February 22, 2008

“Hunt rallies trade for battle” Silverjet founder Lawrence Hunt

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