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Yeoman service to the country

AS John Major's laudable drive towards properly earned honours continues, it's worth examining the new year OBE awarded to one Angela Yeoman for 'services to environmental protection'. She is chairman of the quarrying company Foster Yeoman, and not everyone believes that Foster Yeoman's two super- quarries, among the largest in Europe, have had a significantly healthy impact on the surrounding environment. The operation at Torr Works in Somerset has carved out, to some public outcry, a 500-acre hole in the Mendip Hills. When Foster Yeoman sought an extension to Torr Works in 1991, the Somerset Wildlife Trust pointed out that not only would yet more valuable farm and woodland be lost, but also that quarrying deep below the water table could well cause lasting damage to the county's hydrology. Somerset County Council approved the extension after some of the councillors and officers had been reassured by a 'study tour' of the company's granite quarry at Glensanda on Loch Linnhe, which they visited on Foster Yeoman's aircraft. Nigel Doar, campaigns co-ordinator at the Scottish Wildlife Trust, was surprised. He says of Glensanda: 'It's not only a horrendous visual intrusion, but it's producing large amounts of dust, which will settle. This will have a detrimental effect on wildlife in the loch.' Unfortunately, Angela Yeoman was unavailable yesterday to explain quite how she has served the environment. So we must assume the award is for the conservation work she oversees as vice-chair of Somerset Buildings Preservation Trust - the renovation of a 16th-century chapel in Frome, for example, and the restoration of Marston House, Foster Yeoman's listed head office. A spokesman refused to tell us yesterday whether the company contributes to Tory funds.

AN ERA has ended. Derek Hatton, the Merseyside Beau Brummell, appeared in court yesterday (with his 'personal tailor') to answer charges of conspiracy to defraud Liverpool City Council. And what was Degsy wearing? A single-breasted suit.

Distinctive Whos

THE 1993 edition of Who's Who is published tomorrow, featuring 1,000 new 'Whos' - from Anita Roddick to Joan Collins. As always, the notables' accounts of their pastimes provide mildly entertaining reading: the author Joanna Trollope likes to take 'very long baths', while Brian Hitchen, editor of the Daily Star, is 'thinking about writing the Great British Novel'. Lina Lalandi-Emery, director of the Bath Festival, has changed her hobbies from 'cats and cooking' to 'astrophysics and knitting'. Sir Anthony Gray, Keeper of the Records of the Duchy of Cornwall, has, at 75, taken up 'planchette and trampoline'. Rather more intriguing are the four QCs, Martin Kingston, Adrian Palmer, Jonathan Playford and John Powell; all have taken up sheep as their recreation.

NEWS that the blood transfusion service in the United States is offering donors free tickets to Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula did not impress the British service yesterday. 'Oh, they do that sort of thing over there. We don't' The service wishes to avoid any suggestion that blood donors can be paid; the Dracula method is, of course, not just unorthodox but also unhygienic.

Talking dirty

YOU HAVE to watch your language at GMR, the BBC radio station in Manchester. A theatre company invited to perform extracts of John Godber's award- winning play Shakers, set around a cocktail bar and currently showing at the Buxton Opera House, were surprised to find Eve Draper, the station's programme controller, attacking their scripts with a blue pencil. A girl's comment that wearing shirts without a bra 'makes my nipples sore' was changed to 'makes my boobs sore'. Elsewhere, 'silly cow' became 'silly girl' and 'dirty bitch', 'dirty devil'. Even Godber's trademark phrase 'chuffing hell' - a tactful substitute for a common but harsher piece of invective - was banned. The station yesterday said that the words were thought inappropriate for the time of the broadcast (mid-afternoon): Barry Nettleton, the administrator of Godber's theatre company, Hull Truck, told us: 'We've been performing Shakers for years without any adverse comment - I'm dumbfounded. They must have a problem.'

NOW that GMTV, the new breakfast station, has redesigned Fiona Armstrong, on the principle that beauty and good TV journalism should go hand in hand, it might be worth keeping a close eye on British journalists covering next week's US presidential inauguration. Especially since Clairol, the hair styling company, and Washington's Robin Weir Salon are jointly offering members of the media complementary beauty services and styling. We see Newsnight's Charles Wheeler in a blue rinse.

A DAY LIKE THIS

13 January 1903 Paul Leautaud writes in his journal: 'I've been thinking of it ever since Saturday: what I regret with Georgette's going is the true love, the first love of a woman. Till now no man but me has had a place in her heart. I was the first and I remained the only one. Oh, those days when I used to go and see her at the Orphelinat des Arts] She doted on me, and the other girls used to tease her. I've ruined my life by letting such happiness slip by me, by having spurned it so often. Then those days in the Rue de Savoie. What a fool I was, how ignorant and presumptuous. I made a point of being unemotional - and then wept when I was alone. But she - how tender she was] How she loved me] To the point of imitating my handwriting. There is no more certain sign of love than the adoption of a person's ways.'

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