Pembroke: A risky move

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The Independent Online
Let us go back in time to the secondary banking collapse in the 1970s, which was partially sparked by the failure and subsequent rescue of Burmah Oil in 1974. Then, doom merchants at the company attributed Burmah's woes to the rash removal to another location, in 1972, of two statues of cynths - yes, you know, the mythical creatures that jump in seven directions and also appear on Burmah's logo. Such was the perceived power of the cynth statues, whose function was to welcome visitors to the building, that they were apparently blessed by Buddhist monks.

Fast forward to 1993 - and once again Burmah Castrol is considering moving the cynths, under a plan to redesign a covered walkway that makes a rather too effective wind tunnel for unwitting visitors. Burmah is well aware, however, of what happened last time. Watch this space.

The 1993 Budget Taxfax from Blick Rothenberg, the chartered accountants, comes with this helpful advice: 'The Taxfax is designed to fit the standard Filofax format, though it will also fit the wallet and most other human receptacles (including, if recipients have four or five other guides already, the common or garden wastepaper basket).'

Tony Greener, the new chairman and chief executive of Guinness, chose the Impact World Summit on Alcohol and Society for his first big conference address. He wound up his speech by reminding his audience of the importance of promoting the health and social benefits, as well as the possible misuse, of alcohol, urging delegates to understand the 'real positive values that alcohol brings to society'.

'We as an industry want to play an active role in moving this debate forward - we look for a similar positive commitment from you,' he observed.

Mine's a large one.

GMTV, the breakfast show notorious for its ill-fated F-factor, has already lost Fiona Armstrong, its high-profile presenter, and Lis Howell, its head of programmes. But in what may prove an even greater body-blow, it is now to lose its cosy gas fire, flickering beguilingly in the corner. Yesterday Greg Dyke, GMTV's chairman, described the fire as 'very unpleasant' and said it was being given the boot in a general overhaul of the whole sofa- centred set.

It can't have been an easy decision. The fire needed a specially built chimney and cost a cool pounds 15,000 to install.