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Last Night of Freedom - About Us

LNOF's office + warehouse

About Us

LNOF on a staff night out

Team LNOF

Established in 1999, we were the first purely stag & hen company on the market. With over 15,000 successful weekends under our belts to date, we are now the world's biggest stag and hen weekend travel agency. We have gained an industry-wide reputation for consistency and quality driven from our unique approach to each customer.

Put simply, we listen to what you (the organiser) want and then tailor-make the kind of stag or hen package that we know will put the biggest smile on your face – all with a great price to match!

Personalising such a potentially stressful process requires nerves of steel and balls of crystal... which leads us to our crack squad of specialists below – an elite band of characters who've helped more plans come together than the "A Team"... Let's roll, suckas!

In April 2008, we launched the UK's largest range of stag night accessories and hen night novelties.

FCO TRavel Advice - know before you go

Contact Us

There are a variety of ways of getting in touch with us, please see below for details. Please remember if you do get stuck, you can always give us a call on 0191 499 8750!

Contact Details

  • Weekend Sales:
    0191 499 8750
  • Accessories Sales:
    0191 499 8760
  • Address & Registered Office:
    Last Night of Freedom
    Statex House
    Saltmeadows Road
    Gateshead
    NE8 3AH

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Staff

Boss Man Matt Mavir

Matt Mavir info

Head Honcho

@MattMavir

Hodge

Garry Hodgson info

Sales Team Manager

Paul Luke

Paul Luke info

Eastern Europe Location Manager

Champagne Stevie

Steve Telford info

UK Location Manager

Sean Palmer

Sean Palmer info

Tour Operations

Chezza

Cheryl Hooper info

Sales Executive

Adam Cutts

Adam Cutts info

Sales Executive

Manc Chris (City Fan)

Chris Rawlinson info

Sales Executive

Danny

Danny Brooks info

Sales Executive

Where did you learn those moves Mal? Hmmm.

Mal James info

Sales Executive

Alex Kay

Alex Kay info

Sales Executive

Lois Cooke

Lois Cooke info

Tour Operations

Tiger Woods

Andy Hindmarch info

Chief Geek

@AndyHindmarch

Chris Jerky

Chris Dean info

Geek Chic

Friday Night Johnson

Will Johnson info

Head of e-commerce

PR. Rah Rah Rah

Nina Sanderson info

PR Guru

Rachel Towers above the rest

Rachael Towers info

Pretty Pictures

Mine Sweeper Prater

Adam Prater info

Scribbler

Clarisa Sorge info

Project Member

Elvis O'Connor

Kevin O'Connor info

Head of Hair (& Accounts)

The Grave Digger

Major Green info

Warehouse

Photos

There is nothing to go in here.

Our Story

Well, it’s been one hell of a ride since 1999 and, if you’re interested, this is the story of Last Night of Freedom – the highs, the lows and the tangential off-shoots:

1999

Our Old Logo

Our Old Logo

Whilst still at Uni, Matt Mavir was experimenting with setting up a website. He decided to give the website a topic and for no particular reason picked stag nights. After a few weeks honing his (very basic) coding skills it occurred to him that if he actually found out about stag nights and wrote some decent advise about them that he might be able to convince people to advertise on his new website.

2000

LNOF Times and Star Article - Sept 2000

Our First Bit of Press

Fresh with a £300 investment (from his Dad – which he still hasn’t paid back) Matt toiled tirelessly for the next six months writing content, taking pictures, promoting the fledgling site, approaching advertisers and getting very, very little sleep.

And boy did the money pour in - £22.50 in the first 6 months! It became clear pretty quickly that this wasn’t going to get Matt on to the Sunday Times Rich List anytime soon.

Around about the same time the website received 3 e-mails in 24 hours from different people asking whether LNOF could arrange them a stag weekend – and boom there it was, staring Matt in the face. Take all the great advice he’d been writing and start selling stag weekends.

By The End of 2000

Press in 2000

2001

LNOF V2 Screenshot

LNOF V2 - Launched Feb 2000

2001 was Matt’s final year of Uni at Manchester – Last Night of Freedom operations were split between Manchester and a converted barn at Matt’s parents’ house in Cumbria.

Having seen the success of the stag weekends and now having our first female members of staff we added a range of hen weekends to our portfolio – and arranged 49 in the first year.

By The End of 2001

Press in 2001

Side Projects in 2001

2002

LNOF St Peter's Basin Offices

Our Old Offices in Newcastle (Jul 2002 - Jul 2005)

With things really starting to take off we decided to up sticks from the converted barn in Cumbria and move to our first proper office in Newcastle.

After seeing the success of our UK weekends we tentatively started adding a range of foreign destinations to our portfolio. We started off with Vilnius, with Matt going out there and instantly falling in love with the Baltics. This love affair would continue with the addition of cities in most of Eastern Europe over the next couple of years.

By The End of 2002

Press in 2002

Side Projects in 2002

2003

LNOF V3 Screen Shot

LNOF V3 - Launched May 2003

May 2003 saw the launch of the .com version of the website for the american market, which, as it turns out was totally non-existant. Believe it or not this was actually a pretty good looking website back in the day - complete with interactive roll-over map. We were very much "on trend"...before anyone even knew what the hell "on trend" meant.

By The End of 2003

Press in 2003

Side Projects in 2003

2004

LNOF's Table Football Table

The Old Table Football Table

2004 brought us three major changes:

Firstly we added the first four Spanish locations to our portfolio (Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga & Benalmadena) and arranged 80 in 2004. This was great news as it meant we could finally start offering some really good abroad hen options.

Secondly we bought a table-football table and promptly saw productivity drop to an all-time low…although, if Team GB had an olympic table football team we’d probably have made the cut.

We were so confident in our ability that we had an offer that if you came in to the offices and beat us you could have £50 off your weekend!

Finally, in September 2004 we launched LNOF V4, complete with new logo.

2004 also saw our first TV appearance. Matt appeared on the Channel 4 educational programme "Holiday Maker" as the resident expert helping Karl arrange a hen weekend. This is actually now part of the Leisure & Tourism GCSE syllabus.

By The End of 2004

Press in 2004

2005

LNOF's Rothbury Offices

Rothbury Offices (Jul 2005 - Jul 2007)

Perhaps all that messing around on the table football table in 2004 had an effect.

In Jan 2005 enquiries flooded in at an unprecedented level. Up until this point we had been running an index card based contact management system and the deluge of enquiries totally over-whelmed our systems. If you rang us in Jan 2005 and we told you that the system was “frozen” and that we’d need to take new details please forgive our lies. The truth was we were drowning under hundreds of hand-written index cards.

This prompted us to get really serious about the business for the first time which meant:
a) bringing in a computerised contact management system
b) employing some new staff – pronto!
and
c) getting rid of the table football table.

Armed with our new computer systems and staff we moved to Rothbury (of Raoul Moat and Cragside Crackers fame) in Northumberland.

By The End of 2005

Side Projects in 2005

2006

Matt and Suzanne get papped

O2 Arena Awards 2006

In 2006 the Stag & Hen Industry was just starting to consolidate - with some of the newer, more ambitious companies started in the early 2000's really asserting themselves over the mid-90's old guard.

This lead to us really ramping things up - we took an additional office within our new building and substantially increased the sales team. We also employed a junior web developer and some admin staff, and set about an eight month re-design of lastnightoffreedom.co.uk.

We also started promoting ourselves a bit more and actually got runners up spot for Entrepreneur of the Year at star-studded O2 Arena Awards - other winners including Alexander McQueen, Terry Gilliam, The Mighty Boosh and the League of Gentlemen. Guests also included Will Young, Claudia Schiffer, Rachel Stevens & The Sugar Babes.

By The End of 2006

2007

We moved to Morpeth in Northumberland

Morpeth Offices (Aug 2007 - Present)

In Jan 2007 we launched LNOF V5. This took us 8 months to design, develop and populate. But it was worth it, the new design helped pretty much double the amount of weekends we sold the previous year. We were flying!

The increase in business lead to a rapid expansion and in Aug 2007 we moved from our lovely little office in rural Rothbury to a much bigger office in Morpeth – which had the added advantage of being closer to Newcastle to help with recruitment.

In 2007 we also launched "Denzil" as our company figure-head.

We held an online competition where our customers could vote on our short-list of names. Denzil was added to the shortlist as we’d had an especially awkward client that week named Denzel (we got the spelling wrong). We were convinced that "Sven" would win but “Denzil” was the winner by a mile. We don’t really use him anymore since our new website design – but he is still on quite few pictures around the site and we’ll always keep him up in the office watching over us.

By The End of 2007

Press in 2007

2008

We appeared on BBC News

BBC Breakfast Appearance - June 2008

2008 was a vintage year for LNOF. We had a great team of sales guys (most of whom still work for LNOF) and the best website in the industry by a mile. Bookings increased on an already good 2007 to a record 2601 weekends and life was rosy.

We were making television appearances and had added a small range of accessories & novelties for our groups to purchase.

Unfortunately – it wasn’t to last – the pound was already suffering against the euro (with nearly £1 = €1) making it much less attractive for groups to travel abroad… but then the CREDIT CRUNCH HIT!

We had already made our money for 2008 so we hunkered down and braced ourselves for the oncoming storm. Thank God we didn’t know just how bad it was going to be!

By The End of 2008

Side Projects in 2008

2009

We sold our 10000th weekend

10,000th weekend sold celebrations

If every company has its hard-times then 2009 was it for us. The country was in a free-fall recession, our competition had upped their game and the £ was really struggling against the Euro - pretty much the perfect storm. The sale of our 10,000th booking passed with minimal & muted celebrations and we looked on helpless as bookings plummeted faster than Wile E Coyote.

A trip to The Foreign Office during a consultation on stag & hen parties at which other leading stag & hen figures were present confirmed that the whole industry was suffering. Although slightly reassuring this news came as no real comfort.

The economic fallout from 2009 lead to a lot of sleepless nights, crossing fingers and re-evaluating of our business strategy. For various reasons, we weren’t in a position to do much about the stag/hen weekends side of things until very recently.

We decided to focus on the novelties and accessories side of the business as well as pushing our recently formed web development department "e-volve" and quickly got involved in an ambitious joint-venture project by the name of "beelocal" – our most beautiful and epic failure to date.

By The End of 2009

Side Projects in 2009

2010

Our new warehouse - 2500 sqft

Our brand new 2,500 sq ft warehouse

By 2010 we had completely filled our office with stag & hen novelties and fulfilling orders and managing stock over 2 floors was becoming a real pain. In August we bit the bullet and moved into a 2,500 sq. ft warehouse. This allowed us to increase our levels of stock and established ourselves as one of the leading stag & hen novelties suppliers.

Although not back to 2008 levels, things had also improved on the weekends side of things. We decided to celebrate by taking everyone to Belfast for the staff Christmas Party.

2010 also brought a media storm to LNOF. Since we started our abroad weekends we've been very keen to push the more cultural elements of a location. In Krakow this involved offering an Aushwitz tour to those who felt compelled to visit. Without exception the tours were run in a respectful way and the only participants were those stags that had a cultural interest in visiting. The Times decided to run a hatchet job piece juxtaposing the terrible suffering of the camp with the easy steriotype of drunken louts in fancy dress. In spite of this piece of lazy journalism the story went viral and pretty soon the article had been syndicated across the world. We entirely stand by our reasons for offering this tour and continue to do so to this day.

On lighter note we also celebrated the World Cup with our tribute to England's epic Italia 90 anthum "World in Motion".

By The End of 2010

Side Projects in 2010

2011, 2012 & 2013 - To Follow - It takes some writing this you know.

Latest News
Behind the Scenes
Added: Fri, 18 Oct 2013 15:12:44

Here is an exclusive sneak-peek into what happens behind the scenes at LNOF… follow Matt and Will as they head down to a trade show to choose some new products for our online shop. This is truly riveting stuff.