Pembroke: Recession at an end

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The Independent Online
THE RECESSION Cafe, in the trendy London borough of Islington, has changed its name. The cafe was launched last year with the depressing moniker and the cheerful slogan: 'We intend to be here for a very long time.'

But the owners did not count on Norman Lamont, Black Wednesday and the prospect of Michael Portillo charging granny for medicines.

'The name was very much tongue in cheek,' the restaurant's manager, Ken Amis, says. 'But as the recession wore on the joke started to wear thin.'

The establishment, which could hardly have been a reassuring sight for anyone visiting an exibition at Islington's Business Design Centre, has now been given the rather mid-1980s name 'Footsie's Bar and Diner'. But watch out for the market correction.

THE BRITISH scaffolding drought, which has been a side-effect of the IRA's bombing campaign, has created a new class of criminal. The National Association of Scaffolding Contractors has put out an alert to keep an eye open for scaffolding thieves.

It has even started a 'Crimestoppers' initiative so that people will watch for half-inched boards and hot fittings. So if someone in your pub offers you cheap scaffolding, you know where to go.

IF NATIONAL & Provincial Building Society had gone out looking for the ideal recipient of its first anti- fraud photocard, it could not have found a more appropriate one than Terry Relf.

For Detective Relf, to give him his correct title, is a member of Thames Valley Police's fraud squad.

Though our man at the sharp end is alive to the dangers that insecure credit cards cause to the fabric of society, it is not N&P's security measures that first attracted him to to the society. 'I'm a keen balloonist,' Detective Relf reveals. 'I rather liked the balloon motif.'

EXPECT fireworks at tomorrow's annual meeting of BNB Resources, the recruitment consultancy that used to own the public relations group Charles Barker. David Norman, BNB's chairman, is to be asked why, when the group's profits tumbled 73 per cent to pounds 712,000, his salary soared from pounds 307,000 to pounds 393,000.

BNB's annual report says the remuneration committee reviewed the chairman's salary because he had not had a pay rise since 1987. Perhaps Mr Norman should talk to his colleagues more often. One of the services BNB offers to key executives is remuneration advice.

MAMMON has not served Yorkshire-Tyne Tees Television so well recently - it lost pounds 11m worth of advertising through a strategic hiatus in airtime sales - so the company is turning to God.

Peter Moth, director of public affairs and a minister at the United Reformed Church, is to be made director of programmes at Tyne Tees Television in Newcastle. This is a singularly apt appointment. Tyne Tees was responsible for bringing Sir Harry Secombe to our screens every Sunday with Highway.

Alas, Highway is currently facing its own hiatus, with the ITV network in the process of deciding whether to recommission the show. Mr Moth says he has faith in a favourable outcome.

ONE IS not accustomed to buying by mail order but cannot resist the attractions of the Betterware catalogue, whose value is shown on the cover at pounds 1.50.

Of course, one does not pay the thirty shillings as the Betterware agent is kind enough to allow potential purchasers to borrow it as long as it is returned later. Alas, exclusivity is not all it's cracked up to be, as Betterware never charges for its catalogues despite the cover price. Indeed, each one is used an average of five times.

NEWS for anyone worried about the fate of John Major's newsagents, Doug and Eileen Belcher, whose business failed despite the profits from our Prime Minister's order of a Daily Telegraph and five Sunday papers. Apparently the Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association has stepped in to stop the Belchers' house being repossessed by Barclays Bank. It's enough to make a grey man cry.