BATH VOICE: WHAT’S ON IN JUNE

JUNE 2022

Sat 11 Jun. Burdalls Yard, Bath. BathTub Orchestra

Regular events
Tuesdays
Mayor’s Pulteney Estate Walks. The walks are free and take in Great Pulteney Street and Sydney Gardens. Meet at 11am. Runs from May to September. No booking is required. Allow 2 hours. Meet at the Pump Room in Bath.
Wednesdays
Widcombe Wayfarers Walks. Meet on the 2nd Wednesday of every month, starting at 10am at the west end of Widcombe Parade. Walks last between 1-2 hours and are medium paced. Come dressed for the weather, with suitable footwear and be prepared for a few climbs. Walks are limited to 20 people and registration is now compulsory. The walks are free but if you would like to make a small donation to this event you can do so when you register. See the Widcombe Association website for details.
Thursdays
Mayor’s Pulteney Estate Walks. The walks are free and take in Great Pulteney Street and Sydney Gardens. Meet at 11am. Runs from May to September. No booking is required. Allow 2 hours. Meet at the Pump Room in Bath.
Story Time at Bath Library. 12noon to 12.30pm. Let’s share stories and books at the library! Perfect for families with children aged 0-5. No booking required.
Saturdays
Bear Flat Community market and café. Third Saturday of every month, from 9:30am to 12:30 pm in the church hall on Bruton Avenue. To book a stall, email market@bearflat.org.uk

Theatre Picks
Thu 19 May- Sat 4 Jun. Bath Theatre Royal. The Dance of Death. As their 40th wedding anniversary approaches, Alice and Edgar are locked in a bitter struggle. They’ve driven away their children and their friends. Their relationship is sustained by taunts and recriminations. When a newcomer breaks into the midst of the fray, their insular lives threaten to spin out of control. Laced with biting humour, The Dance of Death is August Strindberg’s landmark drama about a marriage pushed to its limits.
Fri 3-Sun 5 Jun. Mission Theatre. High Hopes by Ethan Horwell and Sam Beagle. Part of Bath Fringe. High Hopes is an energetic, satirical musical comedy which examines the reality of creating a performance without a budget.
Wed 8-Thu 9 Jun. Mission Theatre. Macbeth: The Musical by Shona Rachel Waterhouse. Part of Bath Fringe Festival 2022
Wed 8 Jun. Rondo Theatre. Failure Studies. Precarious Theatre’s three hander set in a magazine office about failure.
Thu 9-Sat 11 Jun. Egg Theatre. Rats’ Tales. Rats’ Tales mixes traditional European fairy tales with some brand new stories written by ex Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy.
Thu 9-Sat 25 Jun. Theatre Royal Bath. Murder on the Orient Express. Agatha Christie’s whodunnit with Hercule Poirot.
Fri 10 Jun. Rondo Theatre. Your Dad’s Mum. 8pm. Join northern comic Pat Bashford and over-woke barmaid Cheri-Anne for an explosive, gag-packed sketch comedy game show.
Sat 11-Sun 12 Jun. Mission Theatre. Shuddersome: Tales of Poe by Lindsay Price, from Edgar Allan Poe. Presented by Bath University Student Theatre.
Sat 11-Mon 13 Jun. Mission Theatre. A Night to Remember by Holly Hinks. Presented by Bath University Student Theatre. Part of Bath Fringe Festival 2022. Sunday matinee. Monsieur Cain, a wealthy Victorian aristocrat, is known for his dinner parties. So, when eight of his acquaintances receive invitations to one such party, who are they to deny a pleasant evening full of food, drink and entertainment – the newest and most popular entertainment being the ritual of a séance.
Fri 1 Jul-Sat 6 Aug. Ustinov Studio. The Tempest. Deborah Warne directs Shakespeare’s drama set on an island inhabited by Prospero, his daughter and slave Caliban.
Sat 2 Jul. Rondo Theatre. Tosca. 7:30pm. By Giacomo Puccini. Bath Opera stages the tragic story of diva Tosca and her painter lover Cavaradossi under a cruel and despotic regime. In the title role is international soprano Ghiulnara Raileanu who is supported by leading members of Bath Opera with Robert Felstead as Cavaradossi and Niall Hoskin as the cruel Scarpia. Musical Director is Peter Blackwood, and Stage Director Jane Clark.
Sat 2-Sat 23 Jul. Theatre Royal Bath. Bugsy Malone. A Lyric Hammersmith Theatre production of Alan Parker’s prohibition era comedy musical drama
Wed 6 – Sat 9 Jul . Rondo Theatre. Macbeth. The Rondo Theatre Company stage Shakespeare’s tragedy of regicide in Scotland. All profits are in aid of Marie Curie.
Theatre Picks Outside Bath
Sat 4 Jun. Bristol Tobacco Factory. The Funny Life of James Campbell. A stand up comedy show for children age 6 and over without all the rude words. At 11:30am & 2:30pm.
Tue 14 Jun. Taunton. Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre. Great Expectations. Bristol Old Vic Theatre School go on the road with Charles Dickens’ coming of age story of Pip. Also at other venues throughout the region see https://www.oldvic.ac.uk/events-shows/great-expectations/
Thu 23 Jun-Sat 9 Jul. Stroud. Cotswold Playhouse. Vanity Fair. Bristol Old Vic Theatre School go on the road with William Makepeace Thackery’s story of on the make Becky Sharp who breaks all the rules in 19th century England. Also at other venues throughout the region see https://www.oldvic.ac.uk/events-shows/vanity-fair/

Diary Events
Fri 28 May-Sun 12 June. Bath Fringe Festival. It is a festival of all the arts, with few rules as to what should be in or out. Some are listed in Theatre and here as well but there are so many events see https://www.bathfringe.co.uk/ for full listings.
Wed 1-Wed 29 Jun. Mayor’s Summer Walks. Discover the worlds of people and places in the city. A variety of walks throughout the summer. Full details at www.bathguides.org.uk
Fri 3 Jun. Bath Racecourse. James in Concert. Plus a meeting of horse races. First race at 5.10pm.
Sat 4 Jun. Bath Fringe Free events. B&NES Council present a programme of local bands and musicians on the bandstand in the glorious Parade Gardens to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Music in Parade Gardens – 11am-5pm. Pop-up Performances – 1pm-4.30pm – Bath City Centre. Bristol-based 6-piece Jazz band plus swing dance duo. New Bond Street, 1pm-2.30pm; Kingsmead Square 3pm-4.30pm. Bath BID will be adding some craft activities for all the family on the Saturday.
Sun 5 Jun. Bath Fringe. Free event. Details to be confirmed. Calf2Cow are a young post-Bath-Spa outdoor theatre company are staging an hour-long outdoor theatre piece ‘The Wave’ (suitable for all ages) in central Bath.
Sun 5 Jun. Bath Picnic in the Lower Lawn, The Royal Crescent. 12 noon. To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Fun day with family events and entertainment.
Sun 5 Jun. Prior Park. Activities around the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. 10am to 5pm.
Mon 6 June. Lymore Gardens. Lymore Community Jubilee Celebration. 1pm. Picnic and much more.
Tue 7 Jun. Widcombe Social Club. Film Night: Quiz Show. Robert Redford’s thrilling drama about a rigged TV quiz show with Ralph Fiennes. 7pm.
Wed 8 Jun. Widcombe Wayfarers Walk. 10am. Details on the Widcombe Association’s website.
Wed 8 Jun. Alternative Fashion Show. Chapel Arts Centre. With catwalk fashions from Bath College students – some of the more expensive fashions that pass through Save the Children, some other daring designs, some just beautiful. Bath Aqua will again be represented. 8pm.
Thu 9 June. All Saints Centre, High Street, Bath. Platinum Jubilee party. Curo funded event. £2. Open to the over 60s. Music, food and drink.
Sat 11 Jun. Bath Racecourse. Ladies Day. Meeting of horse races and a chance to dress up and even enter a style competition. First race at 1.15pm.
Sat 11 Jun. Burdalls Yard, Bath. BathTub Orchestra. 7pm. Founded in October 2018, the BathTub Orchestra is a mixed ability community orchestra that plays all kinds of music from pop, jazz, blues, film soundtracks to classical favourites. Part of Bath Fringe. (Pictured above.)
Sun 12 Jun. Bloomfield Green. Summer fair: Gathering on the Green.1.30-5 pm. Games, music, prizes, refreshments, and good company. See page 1.
Tue 14 Jun. St Thomas a Becket Church. Poetry evening. Church Street, Widcombe.7.30pm.
Thu 16 Jun. Widcombe Wobblers Cycle Ride to Saltford. Ride to the Jolly Sailor public house – 12 miles. 6pm. Booking essential. Details on the Widcombe Association website.
Sat-Sun, 18-19 Jun. Widcombe Art Trail. From 10am – take a journey around the community visiting artists and their work. Venues include: Natural Theatre Company, Widcombe Baptist Church, 30 Alexandra Road, 1 Hatfield Buildings, 7 St Mark’s Road and 48 Tyning End. For more information https://widcombearttrail.com
Tue 21 Jun. Widcombe Social Club. Film Night: The Manchurian Candidate. The strange story of a soldier trying to discover the fate of his platoon in Korea based on Richard Condon’s novel. 7pm.
Wed 22 Jun. Bath Racecourse. Summer Social Race Night. Meeting of horse races and a chance to dress up and enjoy the evening. First race at 5pm.
Sat 25 Jun. Widcombe Wobblers Cycle Ride to Stoney Littleton. Ride to the Long Barrow for a picnic – 13 miles. 12noon. Booking essential. Details on the Widcombe Association website.
Sat 25 Jun. St Michael’s Without. Concert with Noctis Chamber Choir. Conducted by former director of the BBC Symphony Chorus, Stephen Jackson, the evening will feature settings of Shakespeare songs by Vaughan Williams and Mathias as well as Jackson’s own arrangements of La Mer, Shenandoah and The Rio Grande.7.30pm.

Diary Events outside of Bath
Fri 27 May- Sun 19 Jun. Salisbury International Arts Festival. Free outdoor events on Thu 2-Fri 3 Jun. Full details at https://www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk/whats-on/festival.
Sat 4 Jun. Radstock Jubilee festival. Part of Bath Fringe Festival. Free outdoor arts event with a family friendly atmosphere and taking place at St Nicholas Church Field. From 11am. Music, comedy, dance and workshops.
Sat-Sun 4-5 Jun. Bristol Avon Gorge cruise on The Matthew – the Tudor era sailing ship is back. Visit https://matthew.co.uk/book-tickets
Sun 19 Jun. Berkeley Castle. Father’s Day with farm animals. Cuddle a goat or say hello to a chicken. Info at https://www.berkeley-castle.com/
Mon 20 Jun. Summer Solstice. Avebury. Unlike Stonehenge Avebury’s stone circle has open access but should you go there at dawn today beware of the huge crowds problems in parking and the fact it might be cloudy.
Exhibition Picks
Sun 1 May – 3 July. American Museum, Bath. Dress to Redress. An exhibition of the work of contemporary Anishinabe artist Celeste Pedri-Spade that will focus on the role of strong women in community. Continues to 3 July.
Sat 14 May-Sun 17 July. Judo history: The Museum of East Asian Art is running an exhibition from 14 May to 17 July on the cultural history of judo.
Sat 14 May – Sat 2 Jul. Bath Society of Artists Annual Open Exhibition at Victoria Art Gallery. Visitors to the exhibition will also be able to place their votes for the Public Choice Prize, selecting their favourite artwork to win a prize of £600 for the artist. All of the artworks are for sale.
Do you have an event you would like to be included in July’s edition.
For commercial classes and regular sessions there is a small charge – email Erica at erica@bathvoice.co.uk or call her on 07402 441485.
Or for cultural events such as classical concerts, community events, comedy drama, talks, walks and exhibitions email harryfmottram@gmail.com

CHECKACO NEWS: Young fundraisers could lose all their cash as sustainable development charity Raleigh International goes bust

Posted on by Harry Mottram

Young fundraisers could lose all their cash as sustainable development charity Raleigh International goes bust

A charity launched by Prince Charles in 1978 has gone bust leaving up to 50 staff out of work and hundreds of young people in the lurch with their hard earned cash from fun raising lost.

Raleigh International is a so-called sustainable development charity linked the Royal Family and is seen by critics as the charity for the well-heeled who want to do their bit for the poor around the world. Both Prince William and Kate Middleton have taken part in the scheme in previous years.  Young people sign up and pledge to raised thousands of pounds to pay for their travel and accommodation in countries in Africa, Asia and South America where they will spend several weeks helping on projects to help struggling communities. Some 55,000 people have used the charity to help others around the globe with projects from building community buildings, digging wells and introducing innovative farming methods to remote villages.

Last week the charity suddenly announced they were ceased operations and entered Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation having appointed Carter Backer Winter as liquidators.

In a statement they said: “It is with enormous sadness that we report Raleigh International Trust will cease operating from Thursday 19 May 2022. Raleigh International Trust is inclusive of Raleigh Nepal and Raleigh Nicaragua. Raleigh Tanzania and Raleigh Costa Rica have independent status, and we are currently exploring the future viability of them operating without Raleigh International Trust.”

The charity blamed the effects of Covid cancelling a number of projects and trips and the reduction in overseas aid from Governments.

However, that is cold comfort for the hundreds of young people who have already raised tens of thousands of pounds ahead of their trips having sent their cash to the charity. All of that cash could now be lost.

The Times reported a typical case of a volunteer losing out. They quoted Rosie Giesler, 20, from Cambridge, who was due to fly to Costa Rica at the end of July for a ten-week sustainable development programme. She had raised £3,800 by the fundraising deadline on May 16, three days before the announcement. Another victim they reported on was Will Chubb who is only 17 and had raised £2,300 for the charity having also paid for vaccinations, flights and a visa for Nepal ahead of his now cancelled trip.

His mother was furious with the charity as they must have known things were about to collapse but still accepted cash from the volunteers. The Charity Commission said they were looking into the case and were in talks with the administrators.

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AGENDA WEST NEWS: Huge rise in insolvencies as firms struggle with debts and repaying Covid loans

By Harry Mottram: With furlough gone and covid loans overdue thousands of businesses are struggling to survive and hundreds collapsing every month. The effect on the economy cannot be underestimated as inflation edges towards double digits, interest rates rise and the continuing after effects of Brexit and Covid add to the woes.

The latest government figures show that in April 1,991 companies collapsed more than double the figures from 12 months ago and 39% up from 2019 for April of that year.

The Insolvency Service said: “In April 2022 there were 1,777 Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidations (CVLs), more than double the number in April 2021 and 74% higher than April 2019. Numbers for other types of company insolvencies, such as compulsory liquidations, remained lower than before the pandemic, although there were three times as many compulsory liquidations in April 2022 compared to April 2021, and the number of administrations was 51% higher than a year ago.”

Ian Carrotte of ICSM said the figures mirrored information from the credit intelligence group’s members as anecdotal stories emerge of late payment and firms entering administration such as the YM Group in Yorkshire.

About ICSM Credit

ICSM Credit has more than four decades of experience as a credit intelligence group whose members gain inside information about firms in trouble allowing them to avoid bad debts and rogue traders. To join costs less than a tank of fuel – while at the moment there’s a special free temporary membership offer during the Covid-19 crisis which gives access to free legal letters. ICSM also has an effective debt collecting service which has a global reach – ask for details from Paul.

For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website www.icsmcredit.com or email Ian at Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com on how to subscribe and to join the UK’s credit intelligence network to avoid bad debts and late payers. Follow ICSM Credit on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube and Ian Carrotte on LinkedIn.

To keep up to date subscribe to the FREE ICSM Credit Newsletter to hear all the latest insolvency news and to see who has gone out of business click on the orange panel on the top left of the home page of the website www.icsmcredit.com or send an email to Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com

For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk

AGENDA WEST NEWS: Reforming Insolvency Laws ‘can’t come soon enough’ as a court shuts down rogue Individual Voluntary Arrangement firm

By Harry Mottram: The customers of Vanguard Insolvency Practitioners (IVA) had no idea what they were being charged for as they commissioned the company to help them to negotiate their debts with creditors.

ICSM said the companies that used the IVA suffered a second piece of bad luck as not only were they in debt and struggling to survive but then were charged huge fees that had no details as to what they were for.

The Insolvency Service were tipped off that all was not right with the actions of the Vanguard Insolvency Practitioners and after investigations they took legal action against the firm eventually winding up the firm and its associates.

The Government’s Insolvency Service said in a statement: “The court heard that Vanguard was a ‘volume’ Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) provider that enabled people in debt to come to an arrangement with their creditors to pay all or part of their debts. Vanguard charged customers a fee for facilitating their arrangements, which were supervised by Vanguard’s licensed insolvency practitioner.”

The Insolvency Service said that Vanguard traded from 2016 and used third-party suppliers to help administer the IVAs and realise debtors’ assets. By April 2020 Vanguard had more than 14,000 IVA cases under its management. Investigators found that between August 2018 and June 2020, Vanguard made payments to various third-party suppliers totalling almost £9 million from their customers’ estates under the guise of expenses or disbursements.

They said: “Some of the third parties under a fee sharing arrangement would then make payments to MDN Consultancy and KIS Financial Consultancy, who were connected to Vanguard through close personal or family relationships. Further enquiries discovered that Vanguard’s licensed insolvency practitioner, responsible for overseeing the IVAs, did not properly explain to customers what their fees were being used for. Investigators concluded that Vanguard’s practices lacked transparency as did the activities of its licensed insolvency practitioner.”

Ian Carrotte said that reforms to the insolvency industry currently under review by the Government could not come soon enough as there were regular incidents of ‘sharp practice.’

Claire Entwistle, Assistant Director of Investigation and Enforcement Services for the Insolvency Service, said: “Following a complex and lengthy investigation, the court recognised the severity of Vanguard and the connected companies’ activities before closing them down for good. This sends a strong message to volume IVA providers that if they do not deal with their cases properly and there is evidence of abuse, we will take strong action to protect customers and stop them.

“The winding up petitions have not affected the position of any of the IVAs previously under Vanguard’s control. These were taken on by another provider some time ago and consumers should continue to make payments in accordance with the terms of their agreement. Any customers who are concerned should get in touch with their IVA provider in the usual way.”

About ICSM Credit

ICSM Credit has more than four decades of experience as a credit intelligence group whose members gain inside information about firms in trouble allowing them to avoid bad debts and rogue traders. To join costs less than a tank of fuel – while at the moment there’s a special free temporary membership offer during the Covid-19 crisis which gives access to free legal letters. ICSM also has an effective debt collecting service which has a global reach – ask for details from Paul.

For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website www.icsmcredit.com or email Ian at Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com on how to subscribe and to join the UK’s credit intelligence network to avoid bad debts and late payers. Follow ICSM Credit on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube and Ian Carrotte on LinkedIn.

To keep up to date subscribe to the FREE ICSM Credit Newsletter to hear all the latest insolvency news and to see who has gone out of business click on the orange panel on the top left of the home page of the website www.icsmcredit.com or send an email to Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com

For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk

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When Harry met Tiggi: the Draycott Diaries podcast on the Strawberry Line

Harry Mottram met Tiggi and was featured on the Draycott Diaries Podcast chatting about The Strawberry Line. Visit https://www.draycottdiaries.com/

Tiggi Trethowan and the Draycott Diaries

Tiggi had an exciting career in television and was living the dream until recently when her life changed. She was diagnosed with an incurable eye condition which will lead eventually to total blindness. Things had looked pretty bleak for Tiggi until Jackie her guide dog arrived in April 2018.

The Strawberry Line

The romance of an historic steam train, puffing along through the gorgeous Somerset countryside. Children waving as passengers disembark at Draycott Station. Watched from the windows of the Railway Inn opposite.  This was the Cheddar Valley Line, later re-named The Strawberry Line due to its delicious cargo of rich, red, ripe and juicy strawberries heading for the dainty plates of royalty and top restaurants. From late Victorian period to the early 60’s as transport needs were ever changing.

As Tiggi chats to local journalist and train enthusiast Harry Mottram, we learn about this iconic section of railway line, sadly stopped on its tracks in the mid 60’s, impacting on the local community.  Espionage or a need for modernity?  Only time will tell.

 Where the tracks once lay and with some tunnels still standing firm, the environment may yet re invent itself as a pathway for nature. Both Tiggi and Harry hope this is the case.

Railway workers of Cheddar

This article appeared in the Strawberry Line Times Magazine in 2013 following a meeting with Shirley Hudd of Cheddar who spoke about some family photographs back in the day. Harry Mottram reported at the time.

They are the faces that never fade. Those of the railwaymen who once peopled The Strawberry Line. Standing in their working clothes for the camera they reveal young men in the prime – now all dead – for these were the workers of the Edwardian railway. The images are from a collection of family photos owned by Shirley Hudd of Cheddar who approached the Strawberry Line Times after reading the first issue of the magazine.

With shunting pole in hand Bert is in front of steam engine 2302

In the first of the images we see her father Bert Adams and three of his work colleagues at the shunting yard at Cheddar Railway Station. With shunting pole in hand Bert is in front of steam engine 2302. He sits on his haunches sporting a Palermo hat, waistcoat and pocket watch on a chain. He looks in charge, at the height of youth – a man happy at work with his mates taken in the 1920s when the memories of the First War were still all around while the fears of another were yet to sink in.

Shirley said: “He used to earn about six shillings a week then. The trains would back up to the station to collect stone and rock from the Batscombe – and they’d tip the stones into a hopper. There was a square area there by Lower New Road where the lime was brought down from the kiln by steam lorry.”

Uncle Bert with another railway man in front of what Shirley believes were barrels containing blackberries – once harvested along the valley for jam makers and transported to the factories by rail

A second photo from the same inter-war years reveals Bert with some more colleagues. He has the uniform of a railway man complete with peak cap, buttoned collar and neat tie. Shirley said he worked for a time as a van boy as they were called – delivering parcels. His workmates wear the clothing of their tasks – with boots and heavy jackets – and note how their trousers are all short in length so they don’t trip over the hems while working. Perhaps you might be able to name the chaps standing in the light of a bright sunlight at Cheddar some time in the late 1920s or early 1930s.

Bert with some more colleagues in the 1930

A third photo in the collection shows Bert with another railway man in front of what Shirley believes were barrels containing blackberries – once harvested along the valley for jam makers and transported to the factories by rail. If the nation’s taste for blackberry jam had taken off – then rather than the Strawberry Line it could have become the Blackberry Line instead!

Uncle Bert at Cheddar Station

The fourth image is of Bert in his uniform standing on the platform in Cheddar with the station in the background with a neat white picket fence running along the side of the down side of the platform. He appears again in a more formal study – this time of a station staff in the village grouped on the platform near the Booking Office and Waiting Room. A poster concerning coal and Victory in the First World War help to date the image as does the prevalence of moustaches – clearly in fashion in era when all working men appeared to require a hat to complete their wardrobe. The lady in the photograph is thought to be an office worker – and she doesn’t feel at all coy about revealing her ankles in the shot – another sign of the times. One of the striking aspects is nobody appears to be over weight – there was rationing of some food in the 1914-18 war but life was generally more frugal in those days – plus of course everyone walked or cycled much more.

It interesting to see there’s sweet and chocolate vending machine on the wall behind the group – and in the foreground to the right a milk churn awaits the attention of the workers. We would like to hear from anyone who can shed further light on these images – perhaps they can give some names to the faces – or any more background to the photos from the time when steam trains still ran along the Strawberry Line. Contact harryfmottram@gmail.com

For more visit www.harrymottram.co.uk

Follow Harry on twitter as @harrythespiv also on FaceBook, LinkedIn, YouTube and on Instagram

AGENDA WEST BUSINESS NEWS: As economies dip heralding a bear market the cryptocurrency bubble bursts as values slide in virtual currencies

Pic: Deseret News

What has tipped cryptocurrencies into a dramatic drop in value is almost certainly a mixture of reasons as experts scratch their heads over the collapse.

The Ukraine war, rising inflation in the UK, an increase in interest rates, oil prices over $100 a barrel, fears of a recession in the USA, the British economy hitting the rocks in the final month of the last quarter and the Chinese economy stalling due to the Shanghai Covid shutdown are all possible factors.

The most well-known one is Bitcoin and that is down in value by more than 10% with Ethereum down 20%, Luna 90% and Coinbase possibly worthless. Meanwhile on traditional markets the FTSE 100 is down 2.5% today (Thursday 12 May) while every major market from Europe to the USA and India and Japan were down by around the same figure.

The jitters suggest global fears of an economic slump with the first casualties being the so-called alternative investment market in cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is the largest one with its value sliding from $25,400 to  $13,000, a drop of 45% so far this year.

Another factor behind the downward trends is a drop in household spending as inflation and rising oil and power prices begin to bite. Ebay, Amazon and Etsy are sharply down in value heralding fears of a return to the 1970s of stagflation: inflation, a cut in wages and an economic slump.

About ICSM Credit

ICSM Credit has more than four decades of experience as a credit intelligence group whose members gain inside information about firms in trouble allowing them to avoid bad debts and rogue traders. To join costs less than a tank of fuel – while at the moment there’s a special free temporary membership offer during the Covid-19 crisis which gives access to free legal letters. ICSM also has an effective debt collecting service which has a global reach – ask for details from Paul.

For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website www.icsmcredit.com or email Ian at Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com on how to subscribe and to join the UK’s credit intelligence network to avoid bad debts and late payers. Follow ICSM Credit on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube and Ian Carrotte on LinkedIn.

To keep up to date subscribe to the FREE ICSM Credit Newsletter to hear all the latest insolvency news and to see who has gone out of business click on the orange panel on the top left of the home page of the website www.icsmcredit.com or send an email to Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com

For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk

BATH VOICE HISTORY: when two armies met at Bath in a desperate struggle for supremacy in the English Civil War – and it ended as a ‘score draw’

Pic: the Sealed Knot in action recreating the battles of the Civil War

By Harry Mottram. If the Duke of Wellington described the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 as a ‘near run thing’ then Sir William Waller could certainly refer to the Battle of Lansdown in the same terms.
Historians are divided in announcing who won the battle in 1643 so perhaps it is best to describe it as a score draw.

Essentially the army of Lord Hopton who represented King Charles I for the crown held the ground at the end of the battle while the army of Parliament and Waller left the field to regroup in Bath when the guns fell silent.
However such were the losses inflicted on the Royalist forces that day that they effectively retreated to Devizes and Oxford to recover.

It was thus a rare non-victory victory for the forces of Parliament in the area as Bristol and much of the South West were in Royalist hands. It would be two years before Parliament’s armies eventually took control and finally defeated the cavalier armies. The background to the battle was the outbreak of hostilities between the King and Parliament. Charles I believed he was the ruler due to God’s Will known as the divine right. Previously the Kings and Queens of this country enjoyed this idea that they ruled with the backing of the Almighty – until of course they were overthrown by rival claimants who said they were the chosen ones.

However by the 17th century there was a growing middle class of merchants, doctors, lawyers and skilled workers. The country as a result began to break down into towns and cities who supported Parliament and demanded more democracy and religious freedom for the non-conformists, Puritans and Protestants.
While in the countryside where the landed gentry supported the King there was more support for the Crown. At the time the King was married to the Catholic Queen Henrietta Maria. Parliament’s supporters feared her influence would push England and Wales back to Catholicism and potentially foreign influence from Rome.

War broke out in 1642 after the King failed to arrest members of parliament leading to MPs taking control of London and the King leaving for Oxford to set up a rival capital.
A number of battles took place that year as the two sides tried to gain the upper hand resulting in Parliament holding most of the south and south east along with London and most larger cities and towns while the King held the north, Wales and the Southwest.

The Battle of Lansdown was the high watermark of the King’s attempt to win the war as after that his forces faced a losing war of attrition as parliament’s more well funded New Model Army gained the ascendency with victory two years later.
Sir William Waller held Bath for Parliament while all around the King’s forces were gaining ground in the west where they enjoyed stronger support.

Lord Hopton had his eyes on taking the city which then was far smaller than the one we see today and little larger than its medieval size with much of the buildings confined inside the city walls.

Waller took his forces out of the city and rebuffed the initial advances to the east while Hopton’s army were forced around to the north. To block their advance Waller dug in his army on Lansdown Hill above the city .

The Royalist army had around 6,500 troops including 2,000 cavalry and 16 cannons while Waller had fewer troops with 2,500 cavalry who proved valuable. There had been initial skirmishes to the east of the city as Hopton attempted to gain advantage with the hope of taking the city. The Royalist official commander was Prince Maurice who was in charge of the bulk of the cavalry but Hopton generally directed operations in the field. Despite taking Bradford on Avon Hopton was forced to fall back to Marshfield as the skirmishes continued.

Hopton’s troops attacked from the direction of Cold Ashton and in an action that continued from dawn to dusk his army drove back that of Parliament forcing them to take cover behind a wall. However much of the Royalist cavalry left the field of battle convinced they had lost during the push to Parliament’s lines.

Hopton’s Cornish pikemen proved decisive in forcing back the defending Parliament troops who had dug in on the hill while Waller used his fewer troops to good effect as the battle raged around nearby woods, lanes and hedges. It seemed that victory was close as the Royalists pushed up the hill but in the confusion the remains of their cavalry panicked and retreated with Hopton’s right hand man Sir Bevil Grenville slain.
Finally as night fell Waller’s troops fell back into Bath expecting an attack the following day. It was not to be as although Hopton’s forces secured Lansdown Hill they were in no fit state to assault Bath. There was then another blow to the Royalists when the bulk of their ammunition blew up – temporarily blinding Hopton, killing several soldiers and destroying most of their gun powder. At this point despite taking the field Hopton thought it best to retreat to Wiltshire to recover. Despite the small armies involved the numbers killed ran into several hundred with far more dying from wounds in the days to follow. Yes a close run thing for Bath but the city was held and Parliament eventually achieved victory.

For more on Bath visit http://www.harrymottram.co.uk/bath-voice/bath-news/

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More news of Bath’s chic community in Bath Voice magazine – now out – or read online at https://issuu.com/bathvoice

Bath Voice Theatre Reviews: after a two-year absence due to the Covid crisis the Theatre Royal audience goes crazy for the Bath Operatic and Dramatic Society’s latest production: Crazy For You

Bath Operatic and Dramatic Society performing Crazy For You. Photo credit: Ken Abbott

Crazy For You – Review

At last: chorus girls, cowboys, tap dancing and some big song and dance routines in a show to lift the spirits.  The Bath Operatic and Dramatic Society returned triumphantly to the Theatre Royal Bath after a two-year Covid related absence with George and Ira Gershwin’s big song and dance show Crazy for You.

Rosie May Cook as Polly Baker in Crazy For You

A near full house lapped up classic numbers like I Got Rhythm, K-ra-zy For You, Nice Work If You Can Get It and They Can’t Take That Away From Me, in a foot tapping finger clicking production based on a 1930s show put together in the early 1990s on Broadway. Directed by Steve Blackmore, choreographed by Annette Wilsher and music direction by Peter Blackwood this is a production that does justice to the smash hit musical revival. Crazy For You has an impressive set, superb lighting and sound plus authentic costumes including fabulous chorus girl outfits and enough feathers to clothe several birds of paradise and it’s a show that sends the audience home with a song in their heart. I can vouch for that as several people were humming I Got Rhythm as I crossed Saw Close after the show.

Bath Operatic and Dramatic Society performing Crazy For You. Photo credit: Ken Abbott

Arnie Richardson as protagonist Bobby Child, the banker who wants to be a stage star held the key role with aplomb, strong vocals, unbounded energy and a winning personality. He was ably supported by an exceptional Rosie May Cook as Polly Baker his love interest in Deadrock. She has the voice and personality required to knock ‘em dead – and a huge role to carry through the two-hour long show.

The story follows the fortunes of Bobby who is sent to foreclose on a theatre in the far west – only to see it as a chance to revive the establishment with a hit show. And the rest is as you might expect as the story is one of mistaken identities, unlikely romances and above all song and dance that whirls the narrative from a lively start to a rousing finale – all laced with knockabout humour.

Crazy For You – Rosie May Cook as Polly Baker and Arnie Richardson as Bobby Child – BODS at TRB – Credit Ken Abbott

Annabel Latham as Irene Roth was great value in her pursuit of wedding bells finally settling for Pip Knowles who enjoyed himself as Lank Hawkins and Grant McCotter as impresario Bela Zangler was also on top form. So many strong performances such as Jane Morgan as Tess, Chris Born and Julia Padfield as the travel writers checking out Deadrock’s attractions, and Huw Morgan as Everett Baker the town’s saloon keeper keen to take over the theatre for himself.

Crazy For You – Arnie Richardson as Bobby Child – BODS at TRB – Credit Ken Abbott

Eye catching Dave Key-Pugh’s hillbilly-esque Moose gave another big performance as did Lottie Child played by Barbara Ingeldew, with support from Finn Cunningham-Tickel as Mingo (and understudy for the lead) and Ashley Viner as Sam.

Crazy For You – Rosie May Cook as Polly Baker – BODS at TRB – Credit Ken Abbott

Crazy For You is essentially a revival of the spirit of those big Ziegfeld Follies productions of the 1920s and 1930s with their cast of chorus girls known as the Follies – and this production delivers those deftly choreographed sequences brilliantly using the wide stage to great effect. With several changes of costumes, great dancing and strong stage presence these big song and dance numbers make this show so memorable. The Follies are complemented by the Cowboys in Deadrock whose humour and languid body language is transformed at the mention of girls into over excited teenage boys desperate to touch a certain part of the female anatomy. An ensemble cast also included an eight strong Ensemble to complete the show and give Bath a much-needed shot of glamour, romance, comedy and showbiz. Yes, one to lift the spirits.

Harry Mottram

The show runs from 3-7 May, 2022

Tickets and info at https://www.theatreroyal.org.uk/event/crazy-for-you/

Harry Mottram is the news editor of Bath Voice monthly magazine covers news, views, reviews, previews and features as well as what’s on in Bath and events for residents in Bear Flat, Widcombe and Oldfield Park and the wider Bath area. Delivered door to door in south Bath and available in shops and supermarkets. See the Facebook site for details.

More news of Bath’s chic community in Bath Voice magazine – now out – or read online at https://issuu.com/bathvoice

For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk and follow him on all social media sites.

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Warnings were ignored by the Government over Covid bank loans as The Times reveals billions lost in fraud

While viable businesses were shut down by the Government’s extreme covid shut downs in 2020 and 2021 fraudsters were setting up shell companies to claim Covid cash writes Harry Mottram.

ICSM has repeatedly highlighted the injustices of how legitimate firms were forced to close as their markets were taken away by the Government’s Covid policies. Millions were spent on PPE for hospitals which turned out to be useless to firms that had no history of supplying medical protective clothing while traditional suppliers were ignored. But the scandal of the Government granting loans and grants to companies to get them through the Covid Crisis has cost the nation’s tax payers eye-watering amounts of cash – now revealed in full by The Times.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM said: “We have warned from the start that telling the banks they would not be liable if the loans were not repaid was a mistake. Anecdotally we have heard countless stories of companies being set up simply to claim the cash and then once the money is in their bank accounts they spend it on anything but maintaining their business. Cars, holidays, home improvements – we’ve heard it all. While long standing businesses have stuck to the rules and continued to battle through the lock downs crooks have been allowed to get away with day light robbery.”

George Greenwood and James Hurley of The Times have exposed some of the worst crimes committed by fraudsters who took advantage of the Government’s lax regulations. In an article published today by the newspaper the journalists wrote: “Border force officials have stopped people at airports across Britain ‘carrying large amounts of money suspected from coronavirus bounce-back loans’, a Home Office source said. Other recipients of financial support during the pandemic used the money to fund gambling sprees, home improvements, cars and watches, it has emerged.

“They are among dozens of company directors who have been disqualified after misusing the loans scheme that was set up to support businesses during the pandemic. In many cases the individuals took out the loans before immediately transferring the funds into personal bank accounts and spending the money on themselves instead of their companies.”

Ian Carrotte of ICSM – the group dedicated to exposing potential company insolvencies and late payers so their members can avoid bad businesses – said the newspaper estimated £17 billion of the Government’s £47 billion bounce back loans would never be repaid. “An eye-watering £4.7 billion was lost to fraud,” he said, “according to The Times. Clearly fraud is something that potentially happens with Government contracts – it’s a fact of life – but this is on an industrial scale. £4.7 billion would pay for four new state of the art hospitals – with plenty of cash left over to help fund Action Fraud.”

The Times reported:

  • A gambler used a £50,000 bounce-back loan to fund poker games after claiming his company turned over £200,000, even though he only had £2.72 in his account.
  • One businessman breached scheme rules by securing more than ten pandemic loans for companies in the same corporate group.
  • A sandwich shop owner received a £35,000 loan for his business before using it to fund the refurbishment of his garden, gambling losses and a new business that went bust within six months.
  • A pub landlord paid himself £30,000 after claiming one of the business loans in “consultancy fees”.
  • A soft drink company owner inflated his firm’s turnover by 100 times on his application to get a maximum £50,000 loan.
  • A restaurant owner was able to get a loan after having already been evicted from his premises for not paying rent.

For the full article visit https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/suitcases-of-covid-loan-cash-seized-at-uks-borders-wcnnjd7r8

About ICSM Credit

ICSM Credit has more than four decades of experience as a credit intelligence group whose members gain inside information about firms in trouble allowing them to avoid bad debts and rogue traders. To join costs less than a tank of fuel – while at the moment there’s a special free temporary membership offer during the Covid-19 crisis which gives access to free legal letters. ICSM also has an effective debt collecting service which has a global reach – ask for details from Paul.

For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website www.icsmcredit.com or email Ian at Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com on how to subscribe and to join the UK’s credit intelligence network to avoid bad debts and late payers. Follow ICSM Credit on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube and Ian Carrotte on LinkedIn.

To keep up to date subscribe to the FREE ICSM Credit Newsletter to hear all the latest insolvency news and to see who has gone out of business click on the orange panel on the top left of the home page of the website www.icsmcredit.com or send an email to Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com

For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk

AGENDA WEST: Beware of that invoice that arrives by email – it might be a scam

The bogus invoice

An email arrives on the family computer for a small amount of money from a DIY store requesting payment. Nothing unusual in that – in a busy life invoices come in for all manner of expenses and it’s always best to pay them promptly. Except this one, writes Harry Mottram.

The invoice in question is from Screwfix for £2.49. It looked genuine enough except I hadn’t ordered or bought anything from the firm nor had anyone else in my household. But I could so easily of paid it thinking I had a memory lapse or that it was such a small amount that it wouldn’t be a problem if a friend or relative had ordered whatever it was under my name and email.

But there was something odd about it so I checked with Screwfix and they said: “We are aware of a fraudulent email sent to both customers and non-customers stating it is an invoice from Screwfix.”

The fraudsters send out hundreds of thousands of emails in the hope that if only one or two percent of those that receive them pay up they will be quids in. But it is a fraud and totally illegal and once they have hooked a victim they will target them with more scams.

Action Fraud of the Police said: “Fake invoice scams happen when fraudsters send an invoice or bill to a company, requesting payment for goods or services. The invoice might say that the due date for the payment has passed, or threaten that non-payment will affect credit rating. In fact, the invoice is fake and is for goods and services that haven’t been ordered or received. If fraud has been committed, report it to Action Fraud.”

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