12 years on… Thomann-Hanry® MD Mark Styles recalls the story of our first ever project

By Mark Styles

Back in 2008, we received an enquiry from a Mr Moni Dhanjal from Grange Hotels about cleaning their Holborn Hotel. At the time we were busy submitting quotes but had not actually carried out a job in London.

So, with the assistance of Jean Delaporte from Thomann-Hanry® in Paris, we carried out samples using portable equipment and a hired compressor. To our delight, Grange Hotels confirmed they wanted to proceed with a façade clean.

I still remember the euphoria of getting home and finding an envelope with the Grange post stamp. Despite knowing that it was a deposit cheque inside I couldn’t quite believe it and spent the next few hours just looking at it!

Then followed an intensive period of preparation involving weekly trips to Thomann-Hanry® in Paris to liaise with my colleagues. These trips were generally by the cheaper option, Easyjet – making it the best part of a 21-hour journey door to door.

One thing that hasn’t changed over the years is the permit situation. We were originally scheduled to start in March 2008, but the permits were not issued in time, moving us back to May – but at least the weather improved.

For the start of the project, I travelled to Paris to meet up with the team and accompany them on the long journey back to London. Then disaster struck. I lost my phone on the Metro just when I needed it most and, being the days before cloud backups, I had none of my contacts numbers… no one was sure if we were coming or not.

Thankfully, after this early setback, the project proceeded smoothly with everything going to plan. One resplendent hotel, one happy client. Our first UK project was complete, we were up and running…

By 2020 the Grange Hotel had become a Jury’s Inn and was now being branded as NYX Hotel London Holborn. We were asked to clean the east elevation prior to signage being replaced. 12 years on this was a much more straightforward affair but made special by the fact that three of the team were there at the start back in 2008. This time the equipment simply rolled out of our Park Royal depot a mere thirty minutes away and, after the project, made the short trip to London Wall to work the weekend on another building clean.

What a contrast with those early days in the spring of 2008 – from The Grange to NYX Hotel London.