Pembroke: Heard it through the network

IT WAS Judgement Day at the Treasury yesterday where around a third of the department's mandarins received the order of the boot. But for the downsized Sir Humphreys there remained one cruel irony, courtesy of the department's trusty computer system. It was this, you may recall, that was responsible for the leak of the redundancy programme when one hapless civil servant pressed the wrong button and sent a confidential memo to all and sundry.

The whizzy computer is also used to advertise new jobs. But when gloomy mandarins switched on their terminals yesterday, the screens flashed up just one vacancy: for a clerk in the redundancy department.

CAN it be true that Jeremy Heywood, the axeman of the Treasury who has been responsible for the department's big shake-up, has taken to furtive movements to avoid being cornered in the loos? Treasury wags are saying that the youthful Mr Heywood now enters the department's Parliament Street offices via the Cabinet War Rooms.

YOU'D think this kind of thing would upset an actuary's sense of order, but I hear the studious number-crunchers down at Bacon & Woodrow are having trouble telling the time.

The firm, which likes to recruit graduates with double first Oxbridge maths degrees, occupies St Olaf's, a Grade One-listed building by London Bridge. A fine example of art deco architecture, it was renovated in 1989 after the Fine Art Commission went through the place insisting that all the chrome fixtures and fittings, from the light switches to the taps in the washrooms, must be exact replicas of the originals.

But the commission's zeal went a little too far. It insisted that the art deco clocks, mounted prominantly on the walls, keep their original mechanisms. The result is that none of them work properly and all tell different times. All very confusing, even for a bunch of mathematical boffins.

Richard Hyman, the cheerful chap who runs the retail consultancy Verdict Research, was on top form the other evening for his firm's 10th anniversary party. But although there were champagne and balloons aplenty, the poor man only received two cards, one from a client, the other from his mum.

ALAN Smith, the former B&Q chief executive, is on the move already. It was only two weeks ago that Mr Smith was moved sideways after the miraculous return of Jim Hodkinson, the man with the Alan Sugar beard who built up B&Q in the 1980s. Only in July Mr Hodkinson left Kingfisher for a career in America.

On Monday Mr Smith pops up at Eurotunnel, where he has been seconded to manage its retail services, including shops at the terminals, catering and billboard advertising. Quite whether he will return to Kingfisher when the project is completed is unclear.

BRITISH Telecom is causing much merriment in Barnsley with its new telephone directory covering the area. The directory refers to Hoyland, a small village in the heart of South Yorkshire's mining country, as Holyland.

BT is rather sheepish about its error. 'We knew the village was special, but not that special,' it said.

Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Morrissey pictured in 2013
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
Field of broken dreams: Andy Bell visits Passchendaele
news5 News's Andy Bell visited the killing fields of the Great War, and his ancestor - known only from his compelling war diary - came to life
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

1st Line Support Technician / Application Support

£20000 - £24000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider of web based m...

Team Secretary - (Client Development/Sales Team) - Wimbledon

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Secretary (Sales Team Support) - Mat...

Accountant / Assistant Management Accountant

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an Assistant Management Ac...

Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In my grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel