Pembroke: Not averse to a new career

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The gritty world of plant and equipment is not exactly awash with Byronic images, but Colin Stone aims to change all that. The former managing director of Bristol- based Brandon Hire, who resigned yesterday, plans to spend his time writing poetry. He has always had a soft spot for a rhyming couplet and now plans to pen verse commercially.

According to Brandon chairman Brian Nathan, Mr Stone, who is 45, writes about his experiences. These include business and 'love things'. Mr Nathan said one poem reflected on the sadness of rising up the business ladder and leaving one's childhood friends behind. 'I think it was called View from the Ceiling,' he said.

The creative Mr Stone has also established a partnership with a songwriter and the pair have attracted some interest from publishers.

Abbreviation fever has hit Info World, the Reuters conference in Geneva where the media and real time information company has all its fancy gadgets on display. There is the DDE, (dynamic data exchange), the SQL (standard query language) and the API (appliance programme interfaces). 'It is all very simple,' comments one techno- buff. 'Whenever you don't understand something, you just stick in a TLA (three- letter acronymn).'

Lloyds Bank must have been very pleased with its sponsorship of the Bafta awards the other night. After luvvies from the world of theatre and cinema posed for the photographers, the Lloyds name was splashed across every newspaper in the land yesterday morning.

Not everything went according to plan, however. All was well until the Bond-like appearance of ex-007 Roger Moore with his son Christian. The paparazzi made an unseemly scramble in the actor's direction, trampling all over a Lloyds display board in the process. The display was later moved to a less prominent and safer position.

Knobs & Knockers, the household products company that once distinguished itself by going bust twice in little more than a year, has some good news. Now owned by a group of investors led by the Norwegian Jan-Henrik Dohlen, the rejuvenated group is set to return to Harrods in June.

Mr Dohlen says the Harrods concession will stock a more upmarket knob and knocker than other stores, with the emphasis on brass, iron and chrome fittings. Tuneful doorbells that play When the Saints Go Marching In are thought to be a non-starter.

There is trouble brewing in Yorkshire, where two of the organisations representing the wool trade are set square against each other.

Facing each other across the moors are the UK division of the International Wool Secretariat (Ilkley) and the Confederation of British Wool Textiles (Bradford). At issue is the announcement by the IWS that in future it will charge a flat fee of pounds 3,500 for use of its Woolmark symbol that denotes a garment made of 100 per cent pure wool.

The British textiles companies say small companies will not be able to afford the fee. 'We had a meeting on Friday and hope to have other discussions,' says the CBWT.

More from Yorkshire. It seems not all building society members are looking for the quick payout following Lloyds Bank's proposed takeover of Cheltenham and Gloucester. The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Keith Lowden, voiced his support for mutuality at the annual meeting of the Leeds & Holbeck Building Society.

The mayor, a partner in the local stockbroker Redmayne Bentley, said he hoped mutuality would not be 'sacrificed in the pursuit of short-termism'.

Other shareholders, who might not turn their noses up at a Lloyds-like windfall, did not look so sure.

(Photograph omitted)

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