Winterhalter GS515 dishwasher at Alton Castle residential centre

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New Winterhalter GS515 dishwasher at Alton Castle residential centre cleans up 45,000 meals per year.

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Winterhalter's GS515 in action at Alton Castle Residential centre

It is a fast, efficient machine that can handle up to 70 racks per hour

Alton Castle, Staffordshire, is a residential activity centre for children aged between 9 and 13 years of age. It is a grade II listed building designed and built by Pugin in the 1840s for the 16th Earl of Shrewsbury. His main residence was nearby Alton Towers, which is now the famous theme park.

Over 8,000 children visit the Castle each year and participate in a variety of activities such as mountain biking, trekking, archery and survival. These pursuits, designed to build up self-esteem, also encourage healthy appetites which in turn present the staff with their own challenge of keeping up with the catering demand.

There are around 84 residential retreats per school year, six meals per retreat, around 90 covers per meal, including teachers, the Castle’s volunteer team, plus the occasional visitor – that’s over 45,000 meals per year!

During a recent kitchen refurbishment Alton Castle has installed a Winterhalter GS515 to take care of all the dirty dishes. They wanted an energy efficient machine to keep running costs down, one that was easy to use and one that would provide many years of trouble-free service.

“As a charity we have to prioritise our spending carefully and the kitchen is obviously a key part of the set up,” explains Iain Gordon, centre manager. “Our old dishwasher was struggling to keep up with demand and was not cleaning to a consistently high enough standard.”

All meals are prepared and cooked on site and tend to be home-style food such as shepherd’s pie, pasta dishes, jacket potatoes and an occasional roast. Crockery from such a mixed menu requires a thorough cleaning programme to make sure stubborn dried-on food is properly washed off.

The GS515 is a multi-purpose washer that not only washes crockery but is designed to deal with utensils and pots and pans. It is a fast, efficient machine that can handle up to 70 racks per hour. Its two-stage filter system extends the washwater life, so it only needs replacing at the end of each washing session, reducing water consumption and cutting energy bills.

A one-touch, single button control pad makes operation simple while its clean down programme saves time and labour. The easy choice of different cleaning cycles on the GS515 has made life a lot easier at the Castle as now they can select exactly the degree of washing required.

“This means time is saved when washing lightly soiled items,” says Claire Sutcliffe, head chef and catering manager. “Plus the overall quality of the washing is much better.”

But it’s not just the in-house staff who use the GS515. Alton Castle also has visiting groups who take care of their own catering, using the kitchen facilities during their stay.

“For this reason the machine had to be easy to use,” says Iain Gordon. “We leave a clear set of instructions and the controls on the machine are so simple that we haven’t had any problems so far.”

Winterhalter also supply the washing chemicals, so the Castle can be sure of the best possible wash while ensuring the machine operates at maximum efficiency.
Winterhalter provides a total solution for warewashing, from pre-sales advice to after-sales service, training and maintenance. Alongside its market-leading dish and glasswashers, the company’s range includes utensil washers, advanced water treatment machines, cleaning chemicals and detergents. For further details, call Winterhalter on 01908 359000, see, or or email


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