Pembroke: Quick sail needed

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The Independent Online
Fresh back from Cowes Week, Anthony Browne has sailed into a new job as Price Waterhouse's head of corporate finance in Europe, replacing Howard Hyman, who has departed to Charterhouse Bank. But no sooner has he swapped his deck shoes for brogues than he is plotting his next trip - to cross the Atlantic at Christmas.

Mr Browne reckons he can make the crossing in two weeks, though cynics think him over- optimistic. But he might just confound them. First, he is cheating by starting his trip to the Caribbean from the Canary Islands, which cuts the journey to 2,800 miles. Second, he has a very fast boat - a Bowman 40. These cost pounds 190,000 new, which makes you wonder what they pay people at PW.

John Scott, who joined the stockbroker Albert E Sharp as a director of its Manchester office this week, might have to start practising his putting on the office carpet. Together with fellow director Clive Weston, Mr Scott left a rival north-west stockbroker, Wise Speke, in May and, as captain of the Manchester Stock Exchange golf club, decided to spend the intervening three months shaving strokes from his 20 handicap. But the plan backfired and it ballooned to 24. 'I need intensive coaching,' he mutters.

It may be a couple of months before the National Hunt racing season gets under way in earnest, but Geoff Lansbury, a director of the property group Wiggins, is limbering up early. On to my desk canters his new sponsorship document for his horse, Merry Master.

This is no ordinary nag. It was a 50-1 long-shot for the Grand National last year and is scheduled to run again in 1995, with Gee Armitage, the woman jockey, in the saddle. 'Most of its races are televised, so it's a good deal,' Mr Lansbury says.

Back from holiday in France and shaking off defeat in the battle for William Low, David Sainsbury re-entered the fray yesterday. He had to unveil a new sprinkler system in a rebuilt store in Chichester. The old one burnt down last Christmas, having relied on smoke detectors. Snipping the ribbon, Mr Sainsbury announced that from now on all Sainsbury stores would have sprinklers fitted. Just to be on the safe side, the new one has been built of brick. The old one had walls of plastic sheeting which burnt rather quickly.

Having trouble with your phone bill? Why not copy Mr Fairhead of Bridlington and write directly to BT's chief, Sir Iain Vallance. Mr Fairhead had a long-running dispute with BT over his phone bill, resulting in a threat to cut him off.

Tired of endless phone calls and letters, he wrote to the chairman and enclosed a bill for pounds 80 plus an extra pounds 15.80 for correspondence. Clearly in a charitable mood, Sir Iain wrote back, enclosing a cheque. 'It was a goodwill gesture,' BT says.