Category Archives: Party Hire

Things to hire for a party or event

Jolly Good Fun For Army Kids

Jolly Good Productions are based in Richmond, North Yorkshire which is only three miles from Catterick Garrison, now the largest military base in the UK.  Although we are literally on the “door step” we don’t do a huge amount of work in the Garrison. Most of the work we do involves travelling to other areas.

Yesterday Hazel was booked to provide children’s entertainment for the families of one of the Regiment’s based in the camp. They wanted a children’s  entertainer for a couple of hours and asked her to run her “jolly good fun” party. As I was free I offered to accompany her to assist.

As we entered the camp I was amazed at how much new build there had been. The barracks we went into had a lot of new accommodation blocks and there were many other new buildings for headquarters, stores, equipment and training. We were both quite impressed. Having signed in we were directed to a very large modern building in the centre of the complex. Our guide explained that this is where the soldiers come for their meals. It was however a far cry from the old fashioned cookhouses. It was more like a Marks and Spencer’s Cafeteria. Quite posh I thought. The whole place was light and airy, there were comfortable seating areas, games areas with pool tables, electronic games, a mini supermarket, a barbers shop etc etc.  We were allocated a large carpeted area which had plenty of tables and chairs next to it for parents to be able to sit and watch the fun ( in fact many joined in ).

We were set up in good time and the children soon found us. Inevitable there was a wide age range going from preschoolers up to ten or eleven years old. Hazel is a very experienced children’s entertainer and has a great way with kids. Dealing with large numbers and mixed ages requires skill. The children are usually excited and the trick is to keep the fun going whilst also maintaining control. If there is a knack in this then Hazel certainly has it.

I always enjoy watching Hazel running a kid’s disco because of the way she leads the dancing. Hazel is also a  qualified and very experienced dance teacher and so she is always at the front doing all the actions to the party dances ( and she knows them all ) so the children all copy her moves. I’ve never seen another DJ who is able to do this. Most just put the music on and let the kid’s get on with it.

Following  the children’s disco, there were party games, bubble making, parachute games and even some circus skills too.

It had been a wonderful afternoon with lots of variety, lots of fun and lots of happy children.

These are difficult times and it’s nice to know that the army are doing a good job looking after the families of service personnel. We are looking  forward to our next visit to the Garrison.

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Thornaby’s Hidden Secret

If you live in the Thornaby, Stockton or Middlesbrough areas, you are probably unaware of a place described to me as Thornaby’s hidden secret. It’s often difficult to find a suitable location for a private party. I discovered  St Pattrick’s Community Hall recently and decided to write about it because it struck me as  an excellent venue. It’s located close to the main A66 Road, it’s easy to find and has a large car park. Although the building looks old, plain and uninviting from the outside, don’t be deceived. The inside is immaculate. The interior has been fully refurbished, it’s modern, well equipped and quite spacious. There is a lovely cafeteria area plus a bar should this be required. The venue could be used for children’s entertainment for a birthday party, christening, anniversary, race night etc etc. It’s also reasonably priced.

For more information call this number Tel 01642 641707

If you know of any other really good venues in this area you are welcome to submit them in the comments section below.

Is a Bouncy Castle a dream or a nightmare ?

Like them or loathe them Bouncy Castles are here to stay but are they a dream or a nightmare ? If you are a parent thinking about hiring a bouncy castle for a birthday party or an event organizer booking one in for a family fun day, show or gala, what do you need to know ?

Bouncy Castle

Bouncy Castle, Dream or Nightmare ?

Accidents do happen

It’s a fact. There have been lots of accidents on bouncy castles and some of them very serious and there have even been a few fatalities. You need to be aware of this. Remember the inflatable maze that blew away in Chester Le Street ?

Public Liability Insurance

When a serious accident happens there is going to be a claim! The blame will fall on whoever was responsible for supervision. At a birthday party it is likely to be the parent in charge or the person who made the booking. At an event it could be the event organiser. Make sure you know where you stand. If the hire company are not providing a supervisor they are not responsible unless the accident is attributable to faulty equipment or they have not left instructions on how to use the inflatable safely. Finally, even if they are on site the organiser could still be partially to blame if they have not checked that the hire company are doing their job properly. Ignorance is no defence in the eyes of the law. If you are a parent hiring a bouncy castle for a birthday party you should contact your own insurance company and seek advise.

Bouncy Castles are fun!

Make sure your kids play in safety!

Here are some tips

  • Make sure the bouncy castle has a valid test certificate.
  • Check that electrical appliances are PAT tested.
  • Do a visual check on cables, fans etc to ensure there are no bare wires, loose plugs etc.
  • Do a visual check on the inflatable. Look out for tears in the fabric, stitching coming appart, damaged or missing anchor points.
  • Keep electrics away from water and don’t use outside in the rain or during wet weather.
  • Make sure the unit is well anchored down using stout metal ground spikes. If on hard standing substantial weights are required.
  • The surface of the bouncer must be dry. Wet slippery surfaces are unsafe.
  • Don’t put big kids on with little ones.
  • Don’t overcrowd the bouncer. Ask the hire company how many kids can go on at a time.
  • Footwear should be removed whilst bouncing.
  • Soft mats should be placed at the open side to allow safe entrance and exit.
  • No food or drink should be allowed on the unit ( choking hazzard )
  • Sharp objects or toys should not be carried whilst on the unit.
  • Climbing on the walls must be forbidden.
  • The bouncy castle must be properly supervised by a responsible adult at all times. Make sure they know the do’s and don’ts.

What to do if there is an accident

Make sure you know exactly what happened. Write it down and take photographs. Take the details of any witnesses and if possible get statements from them in writing. Inform the hire company. Inform your insurance company ( in case there is a claim at some time in the future, if you don’t tell them they may not cover you ).

Do you have any other advice relating to bouncy castle safety ?

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