Pembroke: The great escape
Friday 25 June 1993
Yes, indeed, the President of the Board of Trade was today due in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, for the official opening of Paverprint's international headquarters.
Paverprint, as you will know, is the industry leader in imprinted coloured concrete paving - 'the new alternative to traditional tarmac, gravel and block paving'. It is, we are assured by the PR firm responsible, an 'exciting and relatively new industry'.
But Mr Heseltine is not yet out of the woods. The organisers hope to reschedule the event for September.
When Tom Bower's biography of Tiny Rowland, A Rebel Tycoon, was published earlier this month, writs were expected to fly. The tycoon emerged, one review observed, as 'tyrannical, a hypocrite, a fantasist, vain, obsessed, paranoid, and perhaps a little mad - though, to be fair, not all at the same time'. Of course, a 7,000-word autobiographical article written by Mr Rowland did appear in the Observer, which he still just about owned. Now that he's been shorn of the Observer, we hear that the resourceful Mr Rowland plans to write his own autobiography to put the record straight.
It's all very well being a flamboyant, French, polo- playing millionaire who hob-nobs with the likes of Kerry Packer and owns an oil company. But if you can't get into the offices of that oil company it's not so impressive. This is what happened to Hubert Parrodo, the magnate at the head of Kelt Energy.
He decided to fly in from France to visit his London office and set off at the crack of dawn. He arrived feeling virtuous, only to discover that the electronic locks had been changed. After two hours spent cooling his heels on the pavement, he was finally let in when a member of staff arrived. The worst thing, as he says, was that he'd been through exactly the same experience six months earlier.
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