Pembroke: Back to basic nostalgia

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The Independent Online
The Armathwaite Hall hotel beside Bassenthwaite Lake, Cumbria has thrown itself into the family values debate with admirable entrepreneurial gusto. It is offering topical 'back to basics' weekends which will highlight traditional old English values. Newspapers will be pressed, a strict dress code will apply at dinner and a list of the most polite local shops will be available. For pounds 155 per person for two nights, guests will receive old copies of Punch to read over afternoon tea, a car wash before departure and the quaint touch of hotel staff waving them goodbye when they drive off.

But the hotel is not accepting any old Mr and Mrs Smith nonsense and gentleman attempting to follow the bed-sharing example of Tory MP David Ashby will not be allowed rooms. How will they judge? The hotel is only accepting guests who can present a bona fide marriage certificate.

Lloyd's Bank is cursing its luck after a ram-raid at its Bristol warehouse saw thieves do a runner with most of its corporate merchandise. The warehouse stores the bank's corporate literature but also those little company freebies such as logo-emblazoned umbrellas and calculators.

But it seems the robbers took a particular fancy to the bank's corporate golf ball collection, hot-footing it with the entire 12,000 stock.

Lloyd's would not confirm that it is considering changing its slogan to 'Lloyd's, the bank with fewer balls than most.'

Accountants KPMG Peat Marwick were obviously kept in the dark about Jim Butler's plans when the practice's senior partner bowed out on New Year's Eve. 'He'll probably keep his head down for a little while before accepting any non-executive posts,' explained a KPMG minion at the time. 'That's the normal way.'

Perhaps no one had communicated this 'policy' to Mr Butler. The patient top man waited a full 13 days before accepting a job at Tomkins, Greg Hutchings' guns-to-Mothers Pride conglomerate. A fortnight is obviously a long time in accountancy.

The share register of Caverdale, the motor dealer, is a name droppers' paradise. Sir James Goldsmith is a shareholder and Damien Aspinall, son of casino owner John Aspinall, and James Packer, Kerry Packer's son, sit on the board. But Norwegian chairman Arild Nerdrum has mixed feelings over his company's re-classification in the FT share lists.

Caverdale found itself moved from the motors section to engineering vehicles which Mr Nerdrum did not think suitable at all. He was thinking of complaining but then had a change of heart. 'I noticed we were placed just above Daimler Benz in the list. I thought people might confuse our figures with theirs,' he chuckles. An understandable dream but unlikely to be realised, we feel. Daimler Benz lists a market capitalisation of pounds 15.2bn and a share price of pounds 327. Caverdale's respective figures are a more modest pounds 24m and 14p.

The security-conscious Heirard-Debreuil brothers who run Remy Cointreau are a rarity judging by a new survey by Control Risks. Marc and Francois Debreuil were late for company results meetings in London earlier this week because they were trying to find separate planes to fly on so they could avoid crashing together. One in four companies takes no security precautions at all and only 15 per cent gather intelligence on security in the country executives visit.

Top trouble spots for 1994 are Moscow and St Petersburg, where Control Risks says crime is rife. You have been warned.

(Photograph omitted)

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