Pembroke: View from the South

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The Independent Online
THE NFC chairman, James Watson, will have won few friends in the North with his comments yesterday.

He was host at an Institute of Management lunch at the Savoy to bestow a Management Gold Medal on Sir Ron Dearing, the impish former Post Office chairman. But, before adorning Sir Ron with the gong, complete with turquoise ribbon, he gave a brief resume of the great man's career.

'He started at the Labour Exchange in Hull, which in those days was quite a long way from the corridors of power,' he said, adding: 'Actually, it still is.'

STILL at the Savoy. The lunch guests, who included Sir Colin Marshall, Sir Bob Reid and other assorted captains of industry, were rather surprised when, upon asking for post-prandial cigars, they were invited to pay for them.

Michael Kier, the well- groomed chairman of the insurance group C E Heath, gamely paid pounds 3.75 for his. But you could sympathise with Richard Zamboni, chairman of Avon Enterprise Fund, who took exception to the pounds 6 price tag attached to his somewhat larger smoke. He gave it back.

LATER this week the Savoy will be packed to bursting with tanned travel industry types for the annual Business Traveller Awards.

Last year the Princess of Wales handed out the prizes. Given recent publishing revelations, her presence this time would have been a real hoot. Sadly, she can't make it.

The princess was keen, I hear, but didn't want any publicity, so the organisers went for someone else. Buzz Aldrin, the astronaut who partnered Neil Armstrong on the historic moon mission, will be doing the gladhanding instead.

THE spirited, if unsuccessful, challenge of the consumers' champion Diana Scott for a seat on the board of Yorkshire Water last week has inspired similar aspirations across the Pennines. Albert Richardson, a former mayor of Preston and a manufacturer of braid, rope and twine, has launched a bid for a seat on the board of Lancashire Enterprises, a privatised economic development group.

Meanwhile, Mrs Scott has already started her campaign for election to the Yorkshire board next year. 'There were obviously a lot of institutions that abstained,' she says. 'I'm going to target them.'

A BIT late, but a nice idea. An entrepreneurial cartoonist (pen name: Nivek) has produced a range of T-shirts aimed at beleaguered Lloyd's members.

The garments show a drunken teddy bear slumped in a pool of tears under the heading: 'I'm a Lloyd's Name.' Given that the judgment in the Gooda Walker court case is expected today, a true salesman would set up a stall outside.

'I don't think he will,' says a spokeswoman. Customers must go to Sloane Street instead.

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