Column Eight: Writing in the wall

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The Independent Online
THE DOOM-LADEN phrase Mae'ch cais yn fwy na'ch uchafswm dyddiol will soon be echoing in the valleys, I fear. For Barclays Bank is planning bilingual cash machines in Wales. From 20 April its 171 cash dispensers west of Offa's Dyke will issue instructions and acknowledgment slips in both English and Welsh. It is even hoping to persuade the stars of Pobol Y Cwm - Cardiff's answer to Eastenders - to launch the service.

That opening phrase? It may sound like the kind of message the Sons of Glendower daub on holiday cottages. It in fact means: 'Your request exceeds your daily limit.'

FISONS' sponsorship of its local football team, Ipswich Town, is safe for the moment, despite the fertiliser group being deep in, well, fertiliser. 'On reflection, we probably wouldn't have agreed to get into it if we were deciding now,' concedes Cedric Scroggs, Fisons' chairman. 'But since we signed up, they've gained promotion to the Premier League and are doing rather well.'

PS: Ipswich Town has been lauded for its solidity and defensive qualities - something Fisons would love to emulate.

YOU MAY recall Anne Clywd's fierce attack on Granada TV last week. The Labour frontbencher said Granada should be stripped of its franchise. Among others, Charles Allen, the chief executive, was accused of 'boardroom savagery' and 'broken promises' - charges since vigorously denied.

The attack took some time to find its target, it seems. Mr Allen, together with 100 Granada executives, was on a massive jolly (sorry, annual sales conference) in Cyprus.

NICE TO see that Edward Bloxham has had a safe landing into Cater Allen's insurance operations at Lloyd's. Mr Bloxham was the man who guided the RHM Outhwaite agency, when it was under heavy flak over pounds 200m of underwriting losses. At Outhwaite he was always described as the 'Baron' after he took up flying lessons. Or more fully, 'Baron Von Bloxhofen'.

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