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Agent tells of shock at Cumbrian shootings

Sophie Griffiths. A TRAVEL AGENT has spoken of the loss of a friend, who was also the uncle of one of his staff, in the Cumbrian shootings last week. Paul Cusack, owner of Cockermouth Travel, said staff and customers were in shock after the massacre by taxi driver Derrick Bird, who killed 12 people and injured a further 25 before committing suicide.

Cusack said one of his employees was the niece of James and Jennifer Jackson, a retired couple in their late 60s, who are believed to have been shot in the street. “It came as a real shock to the system, and their niece is understandably in shock. I’ve known Jimmy for 20 years. He was a great guy, and I will be going to his funeral.”

Cusack described the fear that swept the town Egremont residents gathered for a one minute’s silence on Wednesday in remembrance of the 12 people murdered last week

as Bird carried out his attacks. “Clients and customers were calling and telling us what was happening. One girl in our accounts team received a call from her husband in Whitehaven who had seen a body covered up. People were scared he [Bird] would turn up in Cockermouth.” Cusack said his home village of Lamplugh was also home to Bird’s 52-year-old twin brother, David Bird, the gunman’s first victim. “You could- n’t find a more peaceful community,” Cusack

Barrhead doubles Shearings sales

SCOTTISH TRAVEL agency Barrhead Travel has increased sales on European holidays and cruises thanks to working more closely with operator Shearings. The relationship has helped to more than double Barrhead’s sales of Shearings’ 2010 holidays compared to this time last year. Sales revenue through the operator has also gone up by 175%.

Barrhead’s marketing manager Sharon Campbell said: “We have been working closely with Shearings on a daily basis to keep our offering updated with the latest products and deals. “We have also taken part in Shearings’ joint

advertising opportunities in the national press to promote our tours, which has been invaluable in raising our profile.”


Barrhead has been working closely with 11.06.2010

Sharon Myers, a Shearings sales support rep. She said: “Barrhead Travel’s success demon-

strates how agents can work closely with Shearings to give their bookings a boost. There are many initiatives and joint promotions we can offer to agents to help raise their profile, from one-off mini cam- paigns to regular offers.”

Barrhead, which has 15 shops in Scot- land, also took part in Shearings’ agent initiative to increase bookings to Lake Como in Italy.

added. “It’s just surreal. Everyone is shocked.” Nick Fewtrell-Smith, Asia operations manager

at Wildlife Trails in Calderbridge, told how he locked the shop doors after realising the killer had passed through the village on his way to Seascale. “By the time we knew how severe the situation was, we realised he must have passed through. There were a lot of rumours going round; we did- n’t have a true idea what was happening. It was scary, we felt remote, so we locked the doors.”

Agent struggles on the high street

A TRAVEL agent who moved from homeworker to high street has pledged to battle on despite selling only three holidays in the two months since his shop opened. Michael Leane, owner of Love2Travel and a member of the Global Travel Group, started as a homeworker in September 2009, after being laid off from his job as senior credit controller. He missed interacting with customers face to face, and subsequently opened his own shop at the end of March 2010.

Shearings’ Sharon Myers (centre) presents Barrhead’s Sharon Campbell (left) and Morgan Morrison a hamper of luxury Italian goods as a prize for record bookings

The opening was followed by the ash cloud crisis and the general election, and Leane it was a slow start, with just three holidays sold. “We are the only agents in Kentish Town, and we need to establish ourselves, but footfall has been increasing recently and we’re hoping to expand the shop once bookings pick up.”

John Giles/PA Wire

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