William brings a touch of the Ori­ent to the North

Southport Visiter - - Family Health -

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

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