The company’s progress was such that by 1984 they needed to strengthen their management team and Australian Paul Brunner, then working for British Airways in Sydney, successfully applied to join them as Operations Manager.
Paul Brunner – joined Barton Hill in February 1984, left in November 2008 read his short story about his time with Barton Hill Travel below:
I first met Stan Barton and Derek Hill, the founders of Barton Hill Travel in the late 70’s, shortly after the company’s inception, when I worked for British Airways in Sydney NSW. The success of company meant that by 1983, they needed an Operations Manager, so after due consideration, we agreed to relocate to Poole in Dorset – an Australian wife, two young children and another on the way.
Poole was a bit of a culture shock after Sydney but we soon settled into the English way of life – so much so that we stayed for almost 25 years.
Derek Hill emigrated to Australia in the early 90’s at which point I became a minority shareholder in the company, taking over Derek’s sales and marketing role shortly afterwards. Stan Barton retired in 1998 and I became the proud owner of the company until 2008 and the sale of the company to David Lyne and our return to Australia.
The travel business has always been a roller coaster ride and I remember clearly the highs (normally coinciding with a sinking pound sterling) and the lows (US bombing of Libya, Gulf War) when business virtually stopped overnight. We were always fortunate to enjoy a wide geographical spread of activity and this was particularly pertinent during the Middle East troubles when Australians, South Africans and New Zealanders kept travelling as the North Americans stayed home.
Of course any business is only as good as the quality of its staff, and I was extremely fortunate to inherit a nucleus of experienced people who enjoyed their work and produced virtually faultless travel programmes. The 40th anniversary of Barton Hill Travel – longevity is quite a rare occurrence in the travel industry – is testimony to their application, care and attention to detail which was drummed into us all by Stan Barton from the very start. David Lyne, Karen Hampton and their team now continue the tradition to this day.
My life at Barton Hill didn’t end in 2008 when we returned to Australia. I still represent the company in Australia and New Zealand from my home in Adelaide and often think fondly of my 25 years in the UK.