After years of planning and six months of building, Spartan Press commenced trading from the new custom built music distribution centre on Monday July 5th, 2008. On the previous Saturday, all Spartan's employees, their partners, children, their dogs and most of the Laggan Cricket Club as well, worked as a well oiled machine in shifting the 35,000 books that constitute the Spartan Distribution "forward stock" across a gravelled courtyard into the new sales wing. This magnificent feat of team work observed a strict one-way system, and each 'runner' carried about 50 books each in a plastic box (on loan from the Royal Mail) completing one full circuit of the course every five minutes for a total of over four hours. Bunting, to lend a sense of festive occasion to the day, was made by Tess and Rose Goddard.
Sandra Grant was in charge of decommissioning the old shelves in the 'Smoking Room' on a shelf by shelf basis, ably assisted by Catriona Ward and Postie: Sharon Curtis. The heroic runners included Jim Langley, Chris, Jamie, Connor and Rachel Ward, Peter-John (hungover) Veen, Ken and Pat Haines, Keith and Scott Grant plus Pat George Goddard. Meanwhile, on the new sales floor, Mark Goddard received the endless flow of music, populating the new 'Walnut' racks with the valiant and energetic help of Ian (Sergeant Major) Stevenson, supervising the strict box queuing system.
Having completed the exhausting 'migration', the largest Chinese takeway in the history of Strathspey was delivered to the lodge, along with two barrels of real ale from the Cairngorm Brewery (Wildcat 5.1% and Sheep Shagger 4.8%). The grand banquet (including after dinner speeches) began on the sales floor (in the not insubstantial area earmarked for a further batch of music racks still to be erected). Party highlights included a sponteanous Shove Ha'penny contest up the full combined lengths of the new Walnut office furniture, and a marathon pub quiz: the Spartan Does versus the Gaelic Stallions. I can't remember who won either game (the beer was that good) but the long wait was over, and the new distribution wing a reality.