William brings a touch of the Orient to the North
A SOUTHPORT man who was a butler to pop stars, VIPs and royalty on the famed Orient Express is about to take up a new job bringing the same standards of luxury to Britain.
William Bradley, 55, is joining Lancashirebased Northern Belle, which runs luxury excursions to destinations across the country, as operations and banqueting manager.
And he has vowed that passengers can expect identical luxurious treatment to that he once ensured for Orient Express guests like Rod Stewart, Liz Taylor and Phil Collins.
“This is a very special train and so nothing but the best will do,” said William.
“My job is to make everybody’s journey extra special – to take expectations to the next level.”
His wife, Adele, son, Rory, and daughter, Hannah, all work in the railway business
Hannah, 24, used to spend her holidays working on the
Northern Belle while at university in Preston.
It will be William’s second spell working on the seven carefullyrestored 1930s-style Pullman carriages that make up the Northern Belle.
After spending seven years having a “fabulous life” based in Venice on the Orient Express, travelling to cities such as Prague. Budapest, Bucharest, Paris and Istanbul, he grew homesick for Southport.
So he joined Northern Belle in 1999 and worked there until 2003 before switching to Virgin Trains, where his job was looking after football teams and other celebrities travelling on West Coast mainline route.
But now after a spell in Scotland with Caledonian Sleepers, William is moving back to the Northern Belle.
“I am looking forward to the new challenge,” he said.
“I recently took my wife, Adele, back on the Orient Express from Venice to Prague to celebrate our silver wedding anniversary.
“The trip was absolutely lovely. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff to ensure our comfort and we had a wonderful time. That is the sort of service I am determined to maintain on the Northern Belle.
“There are some great trips lined up for 2019 and my job is to ensure that they are all extra-special for every one of our passengers.”
Northern Belle general manager Jeanette Snape said: “We like to think that Will is coming home for Christmas and we are absolutely delighted to welcome him back to our top team.”
A special “Christmas lunch” Northern Belle train will depart Liverpool Lime Street on December 19 this year serving up a sevencourse meal with wine during a round trip through the wintry countryside.
Excursions from Liverpool arranged for next year include a Mother’s Day lunch in March and day trips out to Bath, Bristol,
Stratford upon Avon, Edinburgh, Scarborough and London.
For more details of these and other trips see www.northernbelle. co.uk or phone 0844 8404525.
William Bradley, above, has joined Lancashirebased Northern Belle. He is seen, left in uniform on the Orient Express