Like all working mothers, I wake up in the morning with a whole list of things that I need to do before the day is over. I have twin girls, so mornings are usually a manic rush getting ready for school you can imagine three females in the house, all vying for the mirror!
After the girls have been dropped off at school, I make my way to the office where my PA, Sharn, and I go through the order of the day and my workload.
Sharn and I have worked together now for nearly 25 years and we, together with my fellow director, Adam Wadlow, are like a well-oiled machine. We have the same work ethic hard work, dedication and diligence which is partly the reason why Barber Wadlow has been so successful over the past five-and-a-half years.
I started my career as a chartered surveyor at GVA Grimley back in the ’80s where I began as a graduate in the ’Garages’ department. After qualifying as a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), I was quickly promoted to associate and then became the firm’s first female partner.
Just over five years ago, I, together with my fellow director, Adam Wadlow, set up Barber Wadlow I know everyone says it, but I mean it I wish I’d done it years ago! One of the main differences (apart from a distinct lack of bureaucracy) is that we can be totally focused on our clients offering a personal service.
This is all tailored to the needs and demands of business and property in the retail petroleum and automotive industries, and the wider roadside development sector.
We have been fortunate to be involved in a great number of significant transactions including the acquisition of Motor Fuel Group on behalf of Patron Capital in 2011 (48 sites), the sale of Harry Tuffins’ 11-site business to Mid-Counties Co-Operative and, more recently, the acquisition of the Murco petrol filling station network on behalf of Motor Fuel Group and Patron Capital.
We also handle single-site acquisitions, lettings and disposals. In respect of the latter, we will be bringing a number of sites to the market in the autumn, which will be keeping us busy!
An important element of my role at Barber Wadlow is dispute resolution. I am a member of the RICS Panel of Independent Experts and Arbitrators and regularly receive appointments relative to rent review disputes. I am also a member of the RICS Trade Related Valuation Committee and was chairman of a RICS Working Party tasked with drafting the Guidance Notes and Information Paper for the valuation of petrol filling stations.
Back to my day, and late afternoon is the rush to pick up the girls from school and then a trip to the stables so that we can all tend to my horse and their ponies.
I have always been very passionate about horses and having kept horses and competed in my early years, I was very glad to learn that my girls were equally enthusiastic about riding.
This gives me time with the girls, who talk incessantly about their day and what they’ve been up to at school. Some days I give them lessons to get them ready for horse trials that are coming up, and on others we just hack-out together.
Horse competition weekends are very busy. We always make sure we and the ponies are all turned out immaculately. There are usually lots of rosettes, but also the occasional fall in the cross-country phase which is very nerve-wracking when it’s your own children. The girls are more resilient than me and easily pick themselves up and get back on. I don’t bounce quite so well these days.
Early evenings are spent preparing tea and helping the girls with their homework. Even though they’re twins, they are so different. One is strong at maths and the other at English, so their competitiveness can sometimes take on a life of its own! Once the girls are in bed, I will carry on with my paperwork, which I will inevitably have brought home with me from the office, and get ready for the next working day.