Column Eight: Writ for a late knight

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Sir Edward du Cann, Tory grandee and former chairman of Lonrho, is sadly still having trouble with creditors.

The current issue of The Lawyer magazine reports that Stratstone, the upmarket car dealer, is suing the old boy for allegedly failing to cough up pounds 21,800. This represents the value of a Land-Rover Stratstone claims he refused to take delivery of, having ordered it.

By our reckoning, this brings the total of writs issued against Sir Edward since 1980 for late payment of bills to at least eight.

Richard Astor, the youthful lawyer who is legal adviser to the group of furious underwriting members who forced an extraordinary meeting at Lloyd's yesterday - found himself on the wrong side of the door when the confrontation began.

Since he did not have a pass Lloyd's would not admit him. Mr Astor is not an underwriting member so Claud Gurney, the leader of the group mounting the campaign to force Lloyd's into action, had to cope as best he could in the underwriting room against the Lloyd's mandarins.

Mr Astor decamped to the Inns of Court, where he could be found giving his views to the broadcasting media.

Charles Cavenagh, head of institutional fund management at Kleinwort Benson Investment Management, is happy to see the back of a massive glass etching of Mercury adorning the company's lobby. It reminded Mr Cavenagh too much of his previous employer, Mercury Asset Management, and so it has been dispatched to Banque Kleinwort Benson in Geneva.

Do we detect signs of panic among the purveyors of cars to what used to be called yuppies?

This weekend, just as the 'K' registration makes its debut, a south London Peugeot Talbot dealer, Lionheart Motor Company of Clapham, is inviting customers to a car-theft prevention weekend.

Besides free window etching and car alarms and on-the-spot advice from representatives of the local constabulary, motorists may buy a pounds 25 lockable security bolt designed to protect spare wheels stored on the underside of Peugeots. Which seems a little steep for what is nothing but a bolt put through the floor of the boot and secured by a small padlock. But at any other time, confirmed Jonathan Hill, Lionheart sales manager, it costs a mighty pounds 99.

Maybe the answer is to buy something a little less conspicuous than the shiny objects of envy sold by Lionheart.