Two talks in one for Probus

At THE latest meeting of Kirriemuir Probus Club, President Duncan Brown introduced guest speaker David Broadfoot MBE, the director at Glamis Castle.

Educated at Merchiston in Edinburgh, and following training at Sandhurst, David was commissioned into The Gordon Highlanders in 1974 and spent the next 32 years seeing service all over the globe. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

On his retirement from the Army in 2006, he was appointed administrator at Cawdor Castle near Inverness, and in five years there raised the profile of Cawdor considerably, largely through an outstanding events programme and successful marketing.

David’s talk, ‘Having Been a Soldier’, was really two talks in one – what his Army background has brought to his second career in the world of business, and an account of what he hoped to achieve at Glamis Castle during his tenure as director.

He explained how in the transition he has drawn on what he learned in his Army career - leadership, management on a large scale, man-management and respect for others.

After his five year spell at Cawdor, David looked forward to further retirement and fishing the Findhorn, but a ‘phone call and a successful interview at Glamis put the fishing on hold.

He became director at Glamis Castle, working with the Board of Trustees. He outlined his plans to raise the profile of the Glamis Castle brand, explaining that after the recession, bad weather and the negative effect of the Olympics, changes would have to be made, with restructuring of staff, catering, events and the retail side necessary.

David explained the importance of a new market research programme now operating, and of collaborations with bodies such as Scottish Enterprise, VisitScotland, Creative Scotland, as well as a very supportive Angus Council.

He envisaged the arrival of the V & A Museum to Dundee to be very important to the area, with the many extra visitors attracting new hotels and cruise ship visits.

He stressed the importance of marketing Glamis and the local area in the run-up to the opening of the museum.

High quality events were being planned, some to coincide with the Year of Natural Scotland in 2013, The Homecoming 2014 and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in 2014, all designed to keep Glamis Castle’s profile as high as possible.

A vote of thanks to David for a comprehensive and very professional talk much appreciated by the members was proposed by David Bremner.

The next meeting of Kirriemuir Probus Club will be on Wednesday, November 7 when Malcolm McBeath will talk on ‘Clova to Jura’.