Stunning setting lined up for major event in Cumbria’s business calendar

Members of the business elite will gather in the most stunning of settings to celebrate family businesses and all they achieve.

The much-anticipated Cartmell Shepherd Summer Social will be held at Warwick Hall on August 2 in association with The Family Business Network Ltd.

The event will see guests enjoy gin cocktails and canapes before hearing the inspirational stories behind three local businesses.

Peter Stafford, managing director at Cartmells, said: “Family businesses come in many shapes and sizes, from large operators such as Stalkers to smaller businesses and new start-ups. When you add them all together they form a significant part of our economy, both rural and town, and in many ways are the lifeblood of Cumbria.

“The Family Business Network feeds into this very cleverly and supports businesses across all sectors. And of course Cartmell Shepherd as a company is proud to work with many of these family businesses too.

“We have three fantastic and very different businesses lined up to speak at the event; a large transport company, a relative new business at 10 years old which is growing rapidly and exporting all over the world, and a business which has truly embraced diversification.

“They will be sharing the knowledge they have built up over the years – and of course there will be a social element to it in one of the greatest of Cumbrian venues.”

After networking over drinks, guests will hear from three family-owned businesses; More Handles, Stalkers Transport and Ryecorn Ltd.

A question and answer session about the stories behind each business will be hosted by Director of The Family Business Network Ltd, Sue Howorth, followed by a focus on some of the key issues family businesses face.

She said: “This will be the first in a series of events hosted by Cartmell Shepherd and the Family Business Network. At the heart of each of them will be a desire to encourage collaboration and learning from each other.

“The partnership between Cartmell Shepherd and The Family Business Network Ltd works so well because we have a similar ethos and approach to business and to family businesses.

“The beauty of this event is that it is not just for Cartmell Shepherd clients. The focus is on bringing businesses together and opening them up to the opportunities which exist – and of course that works in both directions.

“I am very much looking forward to the evening. We have some amazing family businesses which are ready to share their stories. I’m sure it will be a fantastic event.”

Among the speakers will be Karen Stalker who, with her brother David, runs Stalkers Transport, a third generation family business.

She said: “We are very proud of our family business roots at Stalkers Transport and in this, our 50th year of trading, we have taken the time to reflect on what has been achieved over the years.

“Through successes and failures we have learned so much along the way and it is those experiences which have helped us create a strong, loyal team who all contribute towards making our business successful.

“Family businesses are so important to the economy of Cumbria and the UK as a whole, and its really important we celebrate all that they achieve.

“I’m looking forward to sharing our story at the Summer Social and hearing about other family businesses and their success stories.”

This is the first time that Cartmells have held their summer social in association with the Family Business Network. The event is free to attend, but places are limited and only a few tickets remain.

If you would like to attend this free Summer Social, please visit and search for the Cartmell Shepherd event to book your place

Meet the speakers

Paul Rheinbach of More Handles

Paul Rheinbach, MD, More Handles is regarded as the go-to person in the industry and represents his sector on a global basis due to his wealth of experience in both success and failure along with his passion, drive and commitment. He likes to share his knowledge and experience and is often found on Linked-in and attending and presenting at networking events. The business growth of More Handles and planned future expansion is testament to Paul’s business skills and creative mind. He empowers his team to be part of this, as he sees wider participation and engagement as integral to More Handles plans for the future. Paul is very well known in the local community for being one of the driving forces behind Carlisle #giveaday.

Karen Stalker and David Stalker of Stalkers Transport

Stalkers was formed in 1968 when Edward Stalker purchased his first heavy goods vehicle, a tipper, which he used to transport stone for use in the construction of the M6.
The business was called E.T. & I Stalker and was run from the home of Eddie and his wife Rene on the outskirts of Carlisle.In the years that followed the Stalkers fleet grew. After steady expansion, sons Hughie and Gerald joined the company as working partners.It moved to its current site in Brampton in 1985 when Hughie Stalker took to the helm and continued to grow the business which was rebranded as Stalkers Transport Services Ltd. Eventually joined by his children, Karen and David Stalker, they run what is now a genuine 3rd generation family business. Sadly, Rene passed away in 2004, Edward in 2011 and the family lost Hughie in 2013 after a long battle with cancer leaving the business in the hands of Karen and David.

Richard and Kate Mawson of Ryecorn Limited

Richard and Kate Mawson are both directors and founding members of Ryecorn Ltd. The family history lies in the world of dairy farming and they have lived and farmed in the area for decades.
From the need to diversify and with an ever expanding family Richard Mawson took on a derelict local hotel (Bailey Ground Hotel, previously the Wansfell) with the idea of using it as a family home and renting a few rooms to contractors to pay for the renovation.
With the demand for accommodation and good food at a reasonable price, the business started to grow. There are now five hotels in the group all within a two mile radius boasting more than 90 en-suite bedrooms.