All in a Days Work for Hire Fitness
Telling a customer you deliver to celebrities all the time is a massive ice breaker, and even helps to comfort them when they know Lady Gaga has rented the exact same machine that is currently taking up said customers living room. Once on the topic you tend to get asked exactly what celebs you have met in the course of your work. Madonna, Robert Downey Jr, Woody Allen, I could go on but I’d sound like a pretentious so and so. And on most occasions the customer will remark that “it must be amazing meeting all those stars”. But despite being flashed by Michelle Rodriguez during a routine treadmill collection, it’s not any so-called Hollywood “A Lister” that has made any specific job a highlight.
My personal favourite job highlight came a few years ago, when we were hired to install a complete gym fit-out for the purposes of a film shoot. This type of job crops up quite often, and more often than not it’s at some stately home or similar. I’ve delivered to Midsummer Murders, where our multigym was instrumental in the death of one of the towns ill fated residents. More recently we delivered to the set of Worricker where Ralph Fiennes, acting the part of our Prime Minister, could workout in his supposed copy of Downing Streets own gymnasium. And I can’t leave out our trip to the set of the short-lived Hyperspace TV series on BBC2, where of course we were tasked with trawling an entire gym through the starship HMS Camden Lock, wheeling treadmills through the “medical bay” and across the “bridge”.
On this particular occasion we were sent to Wrotham Park Estate in Hertsmere, Hertfordshire. A beautiful place, commonly known for the idents seen on Dave TV, Simon Cowells 50th birthday bash, and Ashley and Cheryl Coles wedding blessing. I can’t quite remember what the particular shoot was for, but upon arrival we were greeted by our contact and then walked through to the set. The job entailed us moving the equipment up the stone stairs at the front of the house, through the entrance hallway, down a long corridor filled with elaborate paintings of Lords and Earls of England, and then onto the set. This all seemed pretty straight forward for myself and my colleague, we’d done harder jobs before.
Upon returning to the entrance hallway we noticed a very beautiful looking table, very large in size, covered in marble. It was slap-bang in the middle of the room, and although not exactly obstructing our movement through with heavy gym equipment, we asked if it could be moved over just to make life easier.
At this point the estates caretaker, who had been tailing us since we arrived, jumped in and cautioned us from even touching the table in any manner. Curious, and somewhat annoyed that this seemingly random piece of furniture couldn’t be moved to aid our cause, we had to ask why. The caretakers nonchalant reply took us back a bit. The table once belonged to none other than Napoleon, a gift from his spouse Josephine. The caretaker informed us that the “Emperor” would have it transported from site to site, and used it to study battlefield maps and the like. If someone tells you the paint on the walls is still wet, you have to touch it yourself. Likewise, if someone tells you Napoleons battle table is not to be touched, I’m sorry, but it had to be done. For every piece of kit we took into the building, on the way out we would run our hands along the table. The caretaker saw us, smiled to himself a few times when he caught us at it.
To be able to put my hands on a piece of history like that will beat any celebrity meeting I’ve ever had. Jackie Mason can have his five dollar tip back.
Hire Fitness, Windsor