Emma went to 10 Downing Street!

When I went for my first job interview, fresh out of university and in my new suit, all ready to answer the hardest questions I could imagine any interviewer would put to me and certainly ready to explain why I was the best person for the job I never imagined that 21 years later I’d be double checking with a Downing Street Security Guard that “…it really is OK for me to just walk down there and knock?”. However, it seems all roads on my career led to that moment and yes, I did, just knock on THAT door.

Having jumped on a train at Market Rasen Railway Station I have to say I was already feeling very good about myself; taking the train, reducing pollution, using our much-needed railways and with every faith that my journey would be simple and trouble free I found myself at Kings Cross Station uttering a sentence the taxi driver never thought he’d hear “Downing Street please.”

For the man on the other side opening the door and saying “Welcome to Downing Street” it was just another day, but for me, for Red Herring Games, for the hours we’ve worked, the battles we’ve fought, the hills we’ve climbed, the clients we’ve entertained and been cheered on by and the successes we’ve toasted in Prosecco this was THAT moment! Somebody recognised what Jo has achieved with her home-started murder mystery company and I was there to accept that recognition (Jo would have been there, but a pre-booked trip to Orkney, to escape the chaos of the office in order to write several new games for clients and to celebrate her Mum’s birthday prevented her going and I have to say, on this occasion I didn’t suggest she change her plans at all!).

Downing Street really was every bit as amazing as I thought it would be. There are endless books and websites dedicated to the history of the building, the people who have lived there and those who have worked there in days gone by. Not to mention the pets who’ve found homes there too! So there’s no need for me to wax lyrical (or otherwise) about the paint work, the décor, the works of art, the number of rooms (trust me, there is a loo, but don’t challenge me to ever find it again!). The staircase with the photos and paintings of Prime Ministers past fascinated me, with their ministerial dates and personal signatures, all lined up in chronological order. Mind you, even Downing Street runs out of wall it would seem, as the parade ended with Gordon Brown and apparently there’s nowhere for anyone since to go. I shall say nothing… (oh, other than Love Actually. Yes, the “golden oldie for a golden oldie” dancing scene with Hugh Grant. It’s that staircase, except there’s a Lowry on display at the top of the stairs now!).

Visiting Downing Street is one thing, being invited in takes it to a huge new level, but to be asked to exhibit our murder mystery dinner party games and events there takes it into the stratosphere. With Sherlock the Red Herring on display too everyone wanted to talk to me; I guess the novelty factor of a murder mystery company being in Downing Street wasn’t lost on many of us! Meeting the Minister for Small Businesses, Margot James and hearing her say that, in her opinion, ours was the most original and unique business she’s met for a long time was just the icing on the cake (I did wish, at that point, Jo had been with me, as it seemed mean taking all the credit for her hard work, although I will admit the moment passed and I have basked in the glory since!).

The hardest part of the day wasn’t the departing (I love that guests were invited to leave. So English!) it was leaving my mobile phone in a pigeon hole, next to the front door. Leaving my coat at the door was lovely (seriously, it’s tax payers money, turn the heating down!) but leaving my phone was almost heart breaking. So, I can’t show you the portrait of Queen Elizabeth I that I stood in front of, the Changing of The Guard on Horse Guards Parade that I watched from the Drawing Room window, the canapes that were not only so delicious but beautiful looking too, or the black and white checked floor in the hallway that we’re so familiar with from Heads of States visits we see on the news. What I can tell you is this; if you’re a small business owner reading this keep an eye out for an application form for the 2017 recognition and fill it in. I can’t begin to tell you how much you’ll get from the whole experience, not least, possibly, a visit to the most famous address in Great Britain.

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@__accioash Looks fun!! Were you the murderer?
Clean white teeth again... it won't last. I like cups of tea too much.
Busy sorting supporting accessories for this year's @CrimeFest . Should all be ready for dispatch tomorrow. Who is… https://t.co/neeiMMlQ0j
From customer today "wow, such excellent customer service. I can see why so many of your customers come back time and again"
@dconama Who you going to kill? I always have this question first on my list with a wedding. Bridegroom always say… https://t.co/zTAp2Ty3fG
@devilsgalpal If you need help finding the right one just ask!
Rain AGAIN?? When will the lawn ever be dry enough to mow??
RT @GeorginaGrogan_: We’ve been reviewing a 1920s murder mystery party game and it’s so much fun! Coming to the blog next week ❤️ https://t…
RT @GeorginaGrogan_: Had a great new playing murder mystery from @Redherringgames! https://t.co/SaT8UsWe8M
Note to self.. . Remember to photograph plotting sheets. That way I can read them anywhere and work without them.

Flexible and fun!

We contacted Red-Herring-Games for a party for a special occasion. Why going to restaurants to eat is the preferred activity to mark milestones is beyond me and my friends.   The choice of mystery was obvious, looking at the options from New Zealand on the web Red Herring stuck out from the international options.  A quick look at the site and games showed subtlety as well a range of choices.  The numbers you could have for each evening was important,  Red Herring had scaling options a good range of scenarios but most importantly were Jo and team being flexible, responsive and helpful.

Rachel McWilliam, Arts Development Officer, Lincs Inspire

Thank you Red Herring Games for the marvellous 'Murder!  Cargo Connections?' event that you organised for us as part of Museums at Night at the Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby. The whole evening went so well and was brilliant fun.  I know from all the feedback that our visitors had a fantastic time. It was really good working with you and I have no doubt that we will do again in the not too distant future.  

A. Nonymous (council employee)

I would like to thank you and your colleague for helping contribute towards our successful conference last month.  Everyone really seemed to enjoy the evening and it was rewarding that so many delegates were able to participate in addition to the main "Actors".  Our conference evaluation froms included the following comments:
  • "Enjoyed the evening entertainment!"
  • The evening entertainment was great and the confusion made it great fun!"
With thanks and best wishes.

Sarah Spencer (Cleethorpes Chronicle)

I had no idea what to expect before purchasing a ticket for Old, New, Borrowed, Blue, which was being staged at a nearby hotel, and feared it might involve taking part in some way. However thankfully for me no acting was necessary, just some amateur sleuthing. "Wedding guests" of which I was one, were called upon to move from room to room in the hotel in groups, questioning a number of possible murderers with the aim of solving the mystery of the dead bridegroom. The interviewees were really fun characters and gave us all some good laughs. Of course they all had motives and it was a case of identifying the shiftiest. The wedding theme was particularly good, as it fitted well with the venue, the buffet that was part of the evening (with a wedding cake in the middle) and the fact that everyone had been able to dress up to fit in without going to the trouble of fancy dress. I didn't think I had enough "evidence" to actually accuse anyone but later regretted not even writing down my first guess as it wouldn't have been too far off the mark. The evening was great fun and everyone seemed to enjoy it and take part. I would definitely recommend Old, New, Borrowed, Blue as good for getting even reluctant or first-time mystery party-goers involved.  

Alan Young (Personal Touch Mortgages)

What a cracking nights entertainment! We don't get out much nowadays with 2 kids and this was exactly what we were looking for in a good night out. Lots of fun with tongue firmly in cheek and everyone kept guessing whodunnit right to the very end. Would definitely attend another!!!!!  


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