Pembroke: Motor dealer Cowie is back behind the wheel

Sir Tom Cowie, the larger-than-life motor dealer, has returned to the fray. Sir Tom, who retired from T Cowie in December after more than 40 years at the helm, has resurfaced as a non-executive director of European Motor Holdings, the car dealer run by Richard Palmer.

Sir Tom played down suggestions that his swift return implied that he had left T Cowie a little earlier than he might have liked. 'I'd rather not comment on the past,' he said. 'Let's just say I'm pleased to be joining a happy team.' Asked whether that meant T Cowie was not a happy team, he said: 'You can draw your own conclusions.'

He is looking forward to working with some old friends such as Roger Smith, non-executive director of European Motor Holdings. 'It's nice to know that someone still wants me,' he said.

The rough and tumble jollity of Sir John Harvey Jones even extends to the great man's answering machine. Callers to his office in Ross-on-Wye receive the following message. 'Here at Parallax Enterprises, the office of that media star Sir John Harvey Jones, we think we have the best job in the country. The fact that it mostly consists of saying no in various inventive and charming ways doesn't put us off one bit. Go on. Leave a message and brighten up our day.'

Sir John's staff have indeed been saying no rather a lot recently as the former ICI chairman has been feeling rather unwell. All last week's appointments were cancelled, including a speaking engagement in Dubai (Sir John Banham gamely stood in at short notice), and staff were not sure whether he would be recovered for a book-signing session in Birmingham last night.

Sir John, thought to be suffering from a stomach complaint, faces a bit of a test with an engagement tonight: having a curry. Sir John, who was born in India, is hosting a 25th anniversary meal at Shezan, a fine Indian restaurant in London's Knightsbridge.

Iunderstand refurbishment work at Savoy Taylors Guild, the upmarket outfitters in the Strand, has accidentally uncovered some pleasant surprises. Workers dismantling an unsightly shirt rack found some very attractive wood panelling lurking behind.

The panelling, which is due for a thorough polishing, is the second 'find' at the shop. A year ago decorators working outside the shop accidentally chipped some paint off the front to reveal some splendid brass carving. 'I think it must date from the war when the Ministry of Defence commandeered all metalwork for the war effort,' says Rowland Gee, managing director of Moss Bros, the company's parent. 'I suppose it must have been painted over to conceal it.'

Geoff Morrow, director of the much-hyped Flora Aerobathon, is going scatty trying to organise 4,000 aerobics instructors and 860,000 bottles of water for his big day. The event takes place next month and will see upwards of 100,000 lycra-clad fitness enthusiasts take part in the mother of all step classes for charity.

But the aerobathon is a mere sideshow for Morrow. A songwriter by trade, he wrote 'Can't smile without you' for Barry Manilow and (it gets worse) 'There's a whole lotta loving'.

While the aerobathon is taking up most of his time, he has written the songs for a new musical called San Francisco and has just returned from the US where, he tells me, he has been trying to persuade Tom Jones to play the lead. 'He is considering it but wants to change some of the songs to suit his style,' he says.

The battle in the credit card market has extended to a version of car wars.

In January, Bank of Scotland announced a new credit card package backed by a chance to win one of 24 Renault Lagunas, each worth more than pounds 12,000. Over in Singapore, Standard Chartered has gone one better.

The bank is giving every 1,000th customer of its new credit card a spanking new Volkswagen Golf. This is a better prize than it sounds. In Singapore, a tiny island, the car tax is exorbitant to discourage motorists. A VW Golf would be worth about pounds 40,000.

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
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
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
News
Robyn Lawley
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
people
News
people
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Arts and Entertainment
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
newsBloomsbury unveils new covers for JK Rowling's wizarding series
News
scienceScientists try to explain the moon's funny shape
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
As Loki in The Avengers (2012)
filmRead Tom Hiddleston's email to Joss Whedon on prospect of playing Loki
Voices
voices In defence of the charcoal-furred feline, by Felicity Morse
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

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
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star