People and Business

YOUR STARTER for 10: Who inherited a family undertaking business in Manchester, now owns Land's End and John O'Groats, rescued the company that made Del Boy's Reliant Robin, and has just bought the Snowdon Mountain Railway?

Step forward Kevin Leech, a 55-year-old professional investor, who has just been approached by the National Trust to see how the two will get on as neighbours, now that the Trust is set to buy the peak of Snowdon.

When Mr Leech bought the railway three weeks ago, he had no idea that Richard Williams, whose family had farmed a third of Snowdon for 14 generations, wanted to sell a 4,000-acre area of the mountain, including the peak.

Then a week ago the National Trust announced it had agreed with the vendor's agents, Carter Jonas, to buy Snowdon for over pounds 3 million. The Trust was given 100 days to raise the money. The appeal got off to a roaring start when Sir Anthony Hopkins, the Welsh-born actor of "Hannibal Lector" fame, donated pounds 1m to the cause.

In a bizarre coincidence, the the managing director of the Snowdon Mountain Railway is also called Anthony Hopkins. Obviously it is a popular name in Wales. Perhaps that's why the railway man prefers to be addressed as "Tony" Hopkins.

Mr Leach's railway, the only rack-and-pinion railway in the UK, runs from Llanberis in north Wales, 343ft above sea level, to the summit station on Snowdon, 3,493ft above sea level, which is also the highest railway station in the UK.

In another coincidence, Mr Leach learnt mountaineering on Snowdon in his youth, and he became an instructor there at pounds 10 a week plus board. He definitely couldn't afford to use the railway then, he says.

Speaking after the railway deal was clinched, Mr Leach said: "Although it is too early to discuss details, I intend to upgrade the existing facilities, but anything I do will be in keeping with the beauty and drama of the site.

"I believe that what I have done at Land's End and my plans for John O'Groats will be a reassurance to anyone concerned about the railway - whatever their point of interest, either economic or environmental - that I shall be a sensitive caretaker of this national institution."

Now it seems that the Trust and the entrepreneur are warming to each other. Peter Broomhead, director of the National Trust in Wales, has been in touch with Mr Leach to talk about how they are going to get on as "new neighbours".

"MILLENIUM BUG to Fire Bug" is the catchy title of an upcoming one-day conference arranged by Post Magazine on the threat of arson posed by the 2000 bug.

The insurance weekly's conference on 12 October will discuss the fear that "many businesses will fail to tackle the millenium bug adequately and will see torching their business and submitting an insurance claim as a soft option."

It's not quite as far fetched as it sounds. According to the Arson Prevention Bureau, over 240 fires are started deliberately in the UK each day.

THE BAR COUNCIL is fed up with attacks on the profession, especially recent accusations that leading silks had over-claimed on Legal Aid. The Bar Council has responded by appointing Shandwick, the City public relations firm, to portray the bewigged ones in a more favourable light. If they can do that, then never will a professional fee be more deserved.

MISYS, which develops and sells computer systems, is a comparatively young company floated in 1987 and this year became the only IT stock to enter the FTSE. The company is now looking for its first-ever corporate spin doctor. The job will pay a cool pounds 100,000, so get your CV in now.

Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
peopleActor and comedian says 'there's no point doing it if you're not'
Arts and Entertainment
Sister Cristina Scuccia sings 'Like a Virgin' in Venice

Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice

Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say


Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style

Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior Pensions Administrator

£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Corporate Actions Administrator / Operations Administrator

£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: A Corporate Actions Administrator / Operations Admini...

Customer Service Executive / Inbound Customer Service Agent

£18 - 23k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Customer Service Executiv...

ASP.NET Web Developer / .NET Developer

£60 - 65k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a ASP.NET Web Developer / ....

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album