City Diary: The inflated cost of the the millennium party

A forward-thinking hotel in Country Durham is taking a punt on inflation rising steeply over the next few years. The Redworth Hotel and Country Club near Darlington has started selling "end of the millennium" party tickets for 31 December 1999.

The price: for two people for two nights and plenty of entertainment thrown in is, appropriately, pounds 999.99. The current price is pounds 600. Surely they are not banking on inflation rising at more than 50 per cent over the next three and a bit years?

"We've taken inflation into account but the price also includes lots of entertainment, a jazz band and a crystal gift to commemorate the event, which are not included in our usual price."

Argos may be storming ahead on the high street but it is still struggling to make its mark on the Internet. The catalogue retailer has sold just 35 items via the World Wide Web in 18 months of trying. At an average price tag of pounds 15, that means total cyber-sales of just pounds 500 against costs that must run into tens of thousands. Chief executive Mike Smith, who is never most the most garrulous of people, has yet to be convinced that the whole Internet-malarkey is all what it's cracked up to be. He describes progress as "slow".

Ever optimistic, the London Docklands Development Corporation is attempting to turn a barren stretch of land into a cultural centre. Trinity Buoy Wharf, currently home to a few sheds and a warehouse, is being "re-positioned" in property developer speak as a "cultural quarter".

The idea is to transform the wharf by attracting artists, crafts people and other trendies. A tricky assignment for the marketing men, this one. Though the buildings on site do include London's only lighthouse, other features listed include "toilet block" and "redundant boiler house". The Left Bank it is not.

Astrologically inclined investors who think Wall Street rises if Saturn is in its element may find support for their theories in a new book from former trader Henry Weingarten. Investing by the Stars: using Astrology in the Financial Markets may be a load of old cobblers to committed chartists but Weingarten is convinced it can work.

"Astrological techniques can help traders improve their performance by up to 5 per cent. If you can guarantee that, they eventually won't care how you achieve it." So there we are, on a full moon, sell ICI.

A man claimed for 17 appendix operations on his insurance while a woman claimed for the loss of an eye on five separate occasions. These are just some of the more ambitious bogus insurance claims filed by policyholders according to the Association of British Insurers.

The association claims that, following a crack-down, all sorts of dodgy claims have been unearthed. One woman claimed pounds 2,000 for treatment following a heart attack. However, she listed that her treatment had taken place in a village that no longer existed after it had been submerged following the building of a dam five years earlier.

As the name Thorn EMI is consigned to the dusty filing cabinet of corporate history following the de-merger, along comes a book to commemorate its 100 year past. From Making to Music: the History of Thorn EMI, will be published next week, penned by SA "Juggy" Pandit. "Juggy" (an abbreviation of his lengthy Indian name) worked for Thorn for 17 years and so knows his stuff. Thorn says the book is a no-holds-barred account, including more colourful moments such as the failed bid for BAe, the disastrous move into micro-chip manufacturing and the sale of EMI's film and cinema interests to Alan Bond in 1985. "It's not just a eulogy to the company or the chairman [Sir Colin Southgate, pictured]. It's a faithful account. It's for people who are interested in British industry and how they screwed it up."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Guru Careers: Management Accountant

£27 - 35k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Management Accountant is needed ...

Guru Careers: Project Manager / Business Analyst

£40-50k + Benefits.: Guru Careers: A Project Manager / Business Analyst is nee...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'