Happy Holidays: Past, present and future

Happy Holidays: Past, present and future

Pete Chambers, heir-apparent to his father’s HPB investment, looks back on 18 years of holiday heaven – and explains why, for him, cashing in is not an option…

We all have them; those little photo-like memories etched on our minds that can flip us, in an instant, to a time or moment past.

I have one such memory from 1993. It was the day that Dad and his business of the previous 43 years finally parted, and Colin Chambers duly entered the ranks of the retired. WF Chambers & Son, a business that had sustained us as a family and acted as the spine of all our lives was finally the responsibility of another.

Of course with retirement also comes a major reappraisal of finances; after all, with a fair wind we’ll all be a long time retired these days. Therefore getting things right at this crossroads of life is vital. Fortunately, when it mattered, Dad received some very sound financial advice and invested well.

Tied intrinsically within the decision-making process were future holidays and, as has always been the case with my parents, the decision taken was aimed at benefiting not only them, but us four children as well.

Dad could see the benefits to all of us in becoming a Bondholder and his decision was made. Necessary paperwork was completed and so HPB became as much a part of Chambers family life as jokes about the state of Dad’s workshop.

A few days ago, in preparation for writing this article we all sat down and tried to remember the holidays we’ve had since that sunny day in ’93 when Dad, metaphorically at least, donned his pipe and slippers.

It proved difficult to remember all the destinations, let alone in chronological order. Family photos gave some clues as to the year that any particular holiday was taken; or more pertinently the greyness of Dad’s hair did.

Pinpointing precise years proved beyond us, so we agreed to drop the “er... that was ’97 not ’01” element of the discussion. What followed became a wonderful meander through Chambers family holidays of the best part of the last two decades.

No dates, no specifics, just a stream of happy memories emerged. Names and destinations that have become familiar to us all; Biniorella, Stigliano, Sibton... What became clear is just how woven into the fabric of our family these sites have become.

Amongst the myriad of happy stories recalled and holidays relived, two in particular remain most precious to me. The first was my honeymoon in 1998. Katie and I spent three weeks camping our way through the Loire and Brittany before concluding with the most perfect week imaginable at Le Manoir du Hilguy.

Our beautiful apartment at the front of the main house afforded some glorious views as well as peace and tranquillity that allowed us the time to explore this oft-overlooked area of France.

The second holiday that somehow shone that tiny bit brighter than the others was to Sibton in Kent in 2007. Dad and Mum, Katie and I, and our children Emily and Tom. Three generations of Chambers, each with our own unique ability to create chaos.

It could have gone very wrong; it didn’t.

Leaving HPB has never been given so much as second thought by my parents. What it offers today is exactly what it offered them, and us, the day Dad joined: quality and peace of mind. Attributes that are, quite simply, priceless.

HPB will remain in the Chambers family.

It will continue to provide holidays of the highest standard, at an ever-growing list of uniquely desirable destinations. As it does, it will give the Chambers family more great holidays to look forward to, to enjoy – and to look back on.

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