Pembroke: Oarsman pays the price of fame

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Representing your country can be an expensive business, especially if you are a rower. John Cooney, a partner with the London accountants Martin Peters (no relation to the footballer), has been chosen to represent England in the lightweight eights in the Commonwealth Games in Canada.

But such is the parlous state of British rowing sponsorship that all he receives for the honour is a red-and-white shell suit and a blazer badge. He must also pay pounds 1,000 to represent his country. Mr Cooney, who shed a stone to make the weight for the class, is now busy tapping friends for cash.

Strange rumours were circulating the City yesterday that, on the most important day of the year for the water companies, the entire board of Southern Water had gone on holiday.

'That is simply not true,' said Southern. 'We have a rule that there must always be at least two directors available.'

They needn't have bothered. Southern is taking two weeks before it responds to yesterday's price rise limits.

It's tough work, but someone has to do it. Edinburgh ice cream manufacturer Josef Boni will spend most of tomorrow in a freezer making the mother of all sundaes. The scheme is part of ice cream week, where the military-sounding Ice Cream Alliance is trying to enter the Guinness Book of Records for the biggest sundae ever.

Five hundred flavours including Tiggers' Tail, an orange number with chocolate stripes, will be scooped into a pounds 700 glass dish for the record-breaking attempt at Edinburgh's Waverley shopping centre on Saturday. Bring your own spoon.

Gloom yesterday for the Coopers & Lybrand accountants who jointly own Jawaal, a rising star in the horse racing world. Though 2- 1 favourite for the Glorious Mile at Goodwood the gelding could only finish third.

Anyone who has queued for so long in a bank they feel they might as well live in one could grab their chance in Portsmouth. Black Horse Agencies is selling the Penny Bank House, a Grade II listed building converted into a two-bedroom, luxury town house complete with 23ft high vaulted ceiling. Asking price: pounds 195,000.

Michael Herbert, former chief executive of the Tussauds Group, has signed up with the Royal Armouries, the new arms museum that will open in Leeds in 1996.

The man who expanded Tussauds to include Warwick Castle and Chessington World of Adventures has varied interests - history and saving gorillas. 'I'm a trustee of the Diane Fossey gorilla fund,' he says proudly. 'There are only 650 mountain gorillas left so it is really quite worrying.'