A LABOUR OF LOVE – JAMIE’S STORY
My father and mother, Hedley and Ann Lamb bought Barmoor Castle in 1979, as a landlocked, derelict and neglected 12 acre estate which needed an awful lot of love and care.
My parents spent 11 years transforming the castle grounds from a wilderness, renovating the courtyard property and making ready to open the first area of Park in 1990. In fact, the very first family who bought a holiday home here on Cannon Lawn, are still here today and enjoying being owners in our community 30 years on.
After developing Cannon Lawn, my father decided that the 20ft statutory space between pitches was not enough for people to feel mentally replenished.
So the vision to create a park parallel to none was born. Palm Lawn which was the 2nd phase of park development was my father’s masterpiece. He began work on this area in 1991 creating an additional 35 pitches which were occupied very quickly.
In 1999 we had the opportunity to buy the surrounding farm land and this included the original west entrance which had been excluded from connection to the castle for nearly 100 years and no longer resembled a road. So began the reinstatement of the West Drive and two new holiday home lawns, a period of exciting development. It was at this point that I returned home after working in Germany to work with my parents, shadow my father, and try to learn quickly and absorb as much knowledge about the building and creation of a park and general maintenance. Meanwhile, I also tried to learn as much as I could from my mother, who sourced quality holiday homes for our niche clientele. My mum’s focus has always been the care and attention of our guests and she has always managed to get the highest quality holiday homes at very good prices.
Together, as a family we set about trying to develop two new Lawns, Pony and South, each of which needed to have a character of their own. This was a very good learning experience as part of my apprenticeship as we all truly felt each area needed to be unique, and as such, different areas of Barmoor Castle will appeal to different people.
In 2011 my mother and I unfortunately lost my father. This, as you can understand, was a dramatic change in my life as I had been my father’s understudy just short of ten years. For the first time in 21 years of the business first opening, and me growing up a part of the park, my mother and I saw and felt the true sense of community and friendship that we are fortunate to have here at Barmoor. Our customers helped and supported us through what was an incredibly difficult and sad time. We realised that we were not just seen as the ‘service desk’ of Barmoor, to our guests we are an important part of their holiday home community and they rallied around us offering their support.
This for me captured the true understanding and ethos of what my mother and father’s vision had been for Barmoor. An environment where you can feel restored, recovered and replenished.
My mother, my wife Jodi and I continue to run the Park with an ambition for excellence that would make my father proud. And the addition of our young son Freddie to the family has made us all even more committed to fullfilling the potential he spotted in this place all of those years ago. We’re all very much looking forward to the exciting new developments we have planned, including the full restoration of the castle to being a functional working building once again and our own take on peace and tranquillity at Barmoor with our new holiday home placements. We hope you’ll come along with us on the journey.