Anyone who has visited The Cliff Hotel & Spa over the last 15 years will be recognise this character! The ever-present and multi-talented Keith has seen it all, and certainly had a few surprises up his sleeve. Enjoy…
1. Where are you from?
20 miles from Portsmouth in Hampshire – I thought he was Welsh!
2. How long have you lived in the area?
From 1st March 1974. I was only meant to be down for one week’s holiday! Came down to stay with friend’s living in Cwm Cych (about 15 miles from here) at the age of 17 and came down a couple of times to visit and help some friends out on an extension they were building before deciding to stay here for good.
3. I really did think you were Welsh as you speak it fluently, did you just learn it when you arrived?
Yeah picked it up just living in Cwmcych which was then about 98% Welsh so I started with a few words so I could understand and then the regular Welsh guys in the pub then started teaching me things here and there. So I’m definitely a Wenglishman now! Practically Welsh, I’ve been down here 42 years now
4.What do you do at The Cliff Hotel & Spa?
What do I not do?! Really, anything that’s needed! And he really does do it all – Keith is now part of our maintenance team and Operations Coordinator for Wedding and large events.
5. How long have you worked here?
I actually started off as a barman here in 1999. I had been working as a manager in another hotel in Newcastle Emlyn but that didn’t work out and then moved onto working here – we poached him! – So for 16 years now.
6. So you are the longest serving member of staff here?
Almost, we have a waiter called Ffransis who has been here longer but he has taken breaks working away so I’m the longest continuous staff member!
7. What has changed over the years?
Well up until two years ago when the new owners took over, practically nothing at all, and since then everything! Any type of investment in the hotel was virtually non-existent previously and now the new owners are investing in making something great.
8. So what’s the difference in working before and now?
It’s a totally different challenge back then, we are constantly busy now!
9. What is the biggest improvement?
More staff means we are able to cater for larger numbers; and of course the refurbishment has made such a difference. I particularly like the patios which follow out through from the restaurant, ballroom and Island Bar which we can make really good use of in the summer.
10. So some more about you now Keith! What’s your favourite food?
Chinese or steak.
11. What’s your greatest achievement?
Being married and having 3 children I’d have to say! I can’t say I have any particular hobbies but I really do enjoy working and that is why I do so much of it.
12. What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
My wife once bought me a trip to fly in an airplane. So we went down to Haverfordwest Airdrome and we went up in a little 4 seater plane and I was able to actually fly for a few minutes of the journey. And my wife and daughter (his daughter Sophie works here too!) were able to join in too.
13. Favourite colour?
14. If you could have super power, what would it be?
Oh my god, ermmm…. – invisibility I suggest? Flying? – yeah maybe, no actually – to go back in time and see places you know and how different they were.
15. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take with you?
You have some weird questions! I suppose some people would take some technology but I’m really not like that so I’m not sure. – maybe you would take only practical things? – yes obviously a boat and maybe your partner in life, and coffee because I don’t like water.
16. Favourite past time?
Spending time with family inevitably, I always have Sundays off if possible.
17. The best place you’ve ever been?
I’ve only been abroad twice – both times to the Canary Island and I really enjoyed that.
18. Do you have a special talent?
Probably just working with people – he certainly is brilliant and making people laugh and keeping them happy!
19. Most memorable moment working at The Cliff Hotel & Spa ?
Probably a wedding a number of years ago – it was filmed by S4C and she had a dress by David Emmanuel who designed Princess Diana’s dress; that was a busy day.
20. What’s your favourite thing about working here now?
Definitely the variety because I do different things so one day I might be digging a trench or doing plasterboard and then overseeing a wedding of x160 the next day! Overall I just like for people to be enjoying themselves because if they are then I am too.
21. Do you have a motto that you live by?
Yes, treat people how you want to be treated. You shouldn’t ever expect someone else to do something you wouldn’t do!
What a perfect note to end on! Thanks very much to Keith, he really is so invaluable to us and hopefully you all feel like you’ve learnt something about him – I certainly did!