A Visit to Network

A Visit to Network on Monday 20 March

Craigie's Farm 
 

     
 

What is Network?

Craigsbank Network is a women's group set up as Craigsbank Church amalgamated the Women's Guild and the Young Woman's Group a number of years ago. Single-sex groups were popular in the past and we can still see the traces of this in the single-sex organisations the church supports such as the Brownies or the Boys' Brigade. You will also be aware, from Julie Walters & co perhaps in the film Calendar Girls, that the WI is a very popular organisation in England. The Church of Scotland 'Woman's Guild' is now renamed the 'Guild' as it has opened its doors to men but in reality very few men actually attend it.I was assured that Craigsbank Network would have welcomed any man who turned up.
 

          
                                                     left to right: Susan, Jill and Linda
  

A Typical Evening at Network

A typical evening takes the form of a presentation followed by chat and refreshments. The seats are laid out in rows and anybody coming in is given a warm welcome by the organisers Linda McAndrew, Jill Nicol and Susan Ross. This session presentations have included "Forth Bridge Story", "Christmas Crafts" and "Jane Austen" and there is time for the odd meal out as well. Network describes themselves as a 'thriving friendly group' and that is indeed true. They meet every second week on a Monday evening from 7.30pm - 9.00pm Oct - April.
You can read more about Network here

 

                                   a timeline of Johhn's family starting from 1892 
                                     Craigie's :slide showing timeline of family's interest in farming
 

The Talk on 20 March - Craigie's Farm

Craigie's Farm is a popular local attraction which has expanded significantly in recent years. To hear the proprietor himself give the PowerPoint presentation to the group was of significant interest and it was an added bonus to find a goody bag on our seats which included a voucher for a free cup of coffee at Craigie's. John Sinclair was unphased by the large group of women he was talking to and took us through a fascinating talk, mixed with humour, about the development of Craigie's from it's roots in 1892. You can read this for yourself on their website. 
http://www.craigies.co.uk/about-us/our-history.

 

       John Sinclair and group
                                                                                   
John Sinclair after the talk
  
      group looking at goody bags
                                              
                                         Opening the goody bag
 

      women socialising 
                                                                                         
A time to chat

      women sitting talking after presentation.
                                                      
Tea and coffee ready to be served at the back

 

And finally................

After the talk we had a chance to ask questions and also to talk to John privately over the tea and biscuits offered. There was also a chance to socialise with others and people spent the last 45 minutes or so moving around the room and catching up with friends old and new. 

 

                                                 thinking cloud
 

Time to Reflect

With the talk still going round in our minds it seemed there were some lessons for the Church of Scotland itself and how it might grow. Craigie's Farm has grown from insignificance twenty years ago to the thriving and profitable attraction it is today. Reasons for this from John include:

  1. An overwhelming desire to embrace change. How can he do better?
     
  2. Constantly listening to customer feedback. John thought there was no point in a cafe, for example, but the customers said otherwise, so he opened a cafe. He gave several examples of customer questionnaires.
     
  3. Caring for his employees. Once he was shocked to find a male employee burst into tears when he spoke to him for being a bit slow. John realised the way he handled employees needed to change and he set about improving his skills in that direction. He invested time and money in learning about this as he sees that everybody working happily together is to the benefit of Craigie's. 
     
  4. Constantly planning for the future as he listens to customer feedback. His older customers don't come during the school holidays as there are too many children around. Planning to make another nearby plot into a childern's play area so that he can attract his older regular customers all year round.

                                                
                                               John Sinclair, proprietor of Craigie's farm

 


We hope you can come along to Network when it starts up again in the autumn. Look out for its starting date on our calendar. Meanwhile if you would like further information please contact susanross@craigsbankchurch.org.uk


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