Pembroke: Pulling in the prizes

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NO ONE can accuse Jim Bloom of not living and breathing his business. Mr Bloom, who runs Cranswick, the Yorkshire livestock breeder and pig feed group, is a keen breeder of the animals at his farm.

But recently he has been doing so well at agricultural shows that he could scarcely fit another rosette on his jacket.

A fortnight ago he scooped some cattle prizes at a show in Warwickshire. Last week two of his British Limousin bulls walked off with the top prizes in the Yorkshire Show.

Prizes seem to be a feature of Mr Bloom's company. Earlier this year he awarded a free heap of pig feed to the customer who purchased the group's millionth tonne of the stuff.

CITROEN, the French car maker, will be devastated to learn that Tim Devlin, the Stockton South MP and recently resigned PPS, is not a fan. Visiting a social club in his constituency, Mr Devlin was asked if he would like to buy tickets for the club's raffle, first prize a Citroen 2CV.

The MP replied that he had no desire to win such a prize - 'Though perhaps I could use it to drive down to the garage to pick up my real car.'

SIR GRAHAM DAY, the bewhiskered former head of British Aerospace and Cadbury Schweppes, has joined the lawyers Ashurst Morris Crisp as a consultant.

Perhaps Sir Graham felt his CV needed a few extra lines. The document, which helpfully lists his children as Dr Deborah Day, Donna Costello and Capt Michael Day PPCLI (Canadian armed forces), was beginning to appear a bit meagre with just 10 non-executive directorships on it.

MUCH excitement at Railtrack. From today the track-owning bit of British Rail is open to offers for the following: one large London vault, looks like an underground church, bit damp as has been flooded with water for 150 years, would make nice wine bar-cum-restaurant.

Built under the tracks near Camden in north London by Robert Stephenson in 1839, the vaults once contained steam-powered winches which pulled trains up from Euston on a mile-long rope. But when a train was developed that could chug up the hill on its own (after just five years) the winches were flogged to a Russian coal mine.

The remains of the water was pumped from the vaults last week and Railtrack now hopes developers will buy the lease and give London a hip new underground leisure spot.

'We have had quite a lot of interest,' a spokesman says.

(Photograph omitted)