Pembroke: A hairy tale of note

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The Independent Online
No one could accuse the Bishop of London of not doing his homework for his sermon at yesterday's tercentenary service for the Bank of England. He had clearly studied ancient Threadneedle Street documents and found time for a joke about the Bank's crackdown on moustaches in the mid-19th century.

The Bank didn't care for such facial growth, he noted, before reading out its warning: 'If this hint be not attended to, measures will be resorted to which may prove of a painful nature.'

Midland Bank is in for a rough ride if Ian Edwards has anything to do with it. Not content with setting up Griffin-check, a campaign for distressed customers of the listening bank this week, he is also writing a warts-and-all history of the company.

The book should prove uncomfortable reading for the Midland board. 'It describes Midland's history and the contrast between the bank's rhetoric and its treatment of customers,' Mr Edwards says.

A sense of deja vu at Premier Consolidated Oilfields, where veteran chairman Roland Shaw finally looks like retiring after 25 years. Or is he? The straight-talking American reluctantly stepped down as executive chairman two years ago. Then earlier this week he said he was retiring from the group altogether. But he will still drop by. 'Even though I have agreed to resign I will continue to do everything I can as a shareholder,' he says.

The 72-year-old Mr Shaw is still plotting his future. 'I've got plenty of ideas. I figure I might be able to run around for another 10 or 15 years.'

They seem to be struggling with the equal opportunities side of things down at the London Chamber of Commerce. Two years ago it appointed Jill Andrew to its board, the first female board member in its 110 years. Now Ms Andrew, a lawyer with Dibb Lupton Broomhead, has been re-elected but remains her gender's only representative. It seems being an equal opportunities specialist was not enough to attract more women to the boardroom table.

Boules will be flying in the City on Friday when the Hay's Galleria petanque challenge reaches its conclusion. City companies including Coutts and Ernst & Young have been playing during lunchtimes this week. The winner will get to try their skills in the game's homeland. Cafe Rouge, the brasserie chain, is offering pounds 300 towards a trip to France.

You have to admire their chutzpah. Councillors at Dublin Corporation are selling a public lavatory to finance new super-loos. The desirable convenience - full plumbing, ceramic finish - is located in the Ballsbridge area of the city. The sale could fetch a pretty penny. In the property boom, a nearby traffic island newspaper kiosk sold for pounds 132,000.