Motor in the cathedral at the car makers' rally

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The Independent Online
An invitation to celebrate with the motor industry on the occasion of its centenary. The festivities will kick off with a service at Coventry Cathedral on 17 January to commemorate 100 years of motor manufacturing This promises to be a moving experience.

"We hope to be graced by the attendance of a member of the Royal family,'' promises the Lord Mayor of Coventry. "Other invitations have gone out to ministers from motor manufacturing countries, city mayors and senior figures in the motor industry and motor sport.''

The highlight of the service will be an exhibition of vintage, veteran and new cars from the car manufacturing nations, tastefully displayed "in the dramatic setting of the Old Cathedral ruins''.

We will now sing hymn number 327. "Bring me my turbo-charge, four-wheel, off-the-road chariot of fire...''

The demographic time-bomb looks to have a shorter fuse than was thought. Research published today by Sanders & Sydney, the outplacement consultants, suggests that your career will be over bar the shouting at 42.

Only a small number of the employers interviewed in the survey said they actively employed older people. Indeed, half believed that anyone aged over 50 had a problem while a further quarter claimed (somewhat disturbingly), that "there was a difficulty at 40''. The age at which discrimination bites is 42, the survey claims.

"Ageism is perceived to be an ever-increasing threat to a normal working life-span,'' warns Frances Cook, S&S managing director, who blames increasingly young management. Certainly employers are becoming obsessive in their prejudice. More than half those questioned admitted to being extremely irritated by the absence of age on a CV.

On the subject of age the bloody battle for supremacy at the Institute of Public Relations has ended with a victory for the Young Turks. Simon Lewis, the 36-year-old, Oxford-educated head of corporate communications at National Westminster Bank has emerged victorious as the president-elect.

He will take the helm in 1997 after shadowing Rosemary Brook next year.

The vanquished Old Codgers were represented by the fiftysomethingish Peter Walker. But with many of the Institute's 5,000 members on the maturer side Mr Lewis will have his work cut out to create a one-nation state.

The new mouthpiece of the London Stock Exchange is Claire Mascall, who joins as head of corporate affairs next month. She replaces Kate Bowes on the LSE executive and takes over 26 staff. Experience is something she is not short of. She has worked in the steel, electricity, nuclear power, banking and construction industries, with companies such as British Steel and Barclays. She also handled the TSB float.

Good news for anxious users of the Sun Life desk diary. The entire print run of the 1996 edition, "which TNT managed to lose somewhere between the producers and ourselves'' has been discovered in a wood yard in North Yorkshire.

With the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh making peace with the Maoris in New Zealand - and the Prince of Wales in Israel for the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin - there were suggestions that Prince William might have to be plucked out of Eton to give the Gas Bill its Royal Assent. Any list of "ripe'' Bills must be signed by two Councillors of State (front-line Royals) in the monarch's absence and they were looking a bit thin on the ground this week. However, not one to tarry over gas deregulation, Princes Charles made all haste. Prince Edward, too, was pressed into service. "The Bill will be given the Great Seal by the Sealer today,'' intones the Lord Chancellor's Office.