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News

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AXBRIDGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWS: a local Government officer at Sedgemoor District Council gives information to business people about coronavirus and what the Government and council are offering

Sedgemoor District Council’s economic development officer Vicky Banham has this information for members of the Chamber:

We have the following advice on where to find information about Coronavirus (COVID-19) that is relevant to businesses. As you will appreciate, this is a rapidly evolving situation. We anticipate that it will have a significant impact on our local economy and we will be working with partners to help where we can both during the crisis and towards recovery.

The business support page on the Sedgemoor District Council website is where we will aim to keep you updated so please do check it regularly: https://www.sedgemoor.gov.uk/article/1346/Business-Support

So far, the government has announced a number of measures to help support businesses in the District including:

·        An increase in the Business Rates retail discount to 100% for one year. This will include the leisure and hospitality sectors and planned rates discount for pubs will be increased to £5,000. Taken together with existing small business rate relief (which already provides full relief for businesses using a single property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less), this means around 45% of all properties in England will receive 100% business rates relief in 2020 to 2021

·        Businesses eligible for the newly expanded retail discount and/or the new pubs discount are being advised that they may need to apply to the Council to receive the discount. Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs should be directed to the Council via economic.development@sedgemoor.gov.uk

·        A grant scheme, that will be administered by the Council, to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) with up to £10,000 as a one off grant to meet ongoing business costs. Councils will have more news on how this will work shortly. Grants to some retail, hospitality and leisure businesses could be up to £25,000

·        Tailored opportunities to review and agree payment plans for tax liabilities for businesses and the self-employed. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, you should call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559

·        Legislation is being brought forward to allow small and medium enterprises / employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19 with two weeks Statutory Sick Pay per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19. The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible.

We do not know yet how all these measures will be implemented but we will share the details when we have them on the webpage above. We will be working with business organisations such as the Chambers of Commerce and the FSB as well as our Destination Management Organisation, Visit Somerset, to support local business at this time.

Helpful links

·    Government guidance for employers and businesses.

·    UK government response to coronavirus.

·    NHS advice on coronavirus (COVID-19).

·    Government support for businesses

·    Somerset.gov.uk

Vicky Banham

Economic Development Officer

Inward Investment & Growth

Sedgemoor District Council

Bridgwater House, King Square

Bridgwater TA6 3AR

DD: 01278 436495

M: 07500 028954

vicky.banham@sedgemoor.gov.uk

www.sedgemoor.gov.uk/business

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Almshouse Tea Shop is to offer takeaways and deliveries to the housebound

AXBRIDGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWS: The Almshouse Tea Shop in the town is to offer takeaway food and drink – plus a home delivery service for the vulnerable and house bound who are low on supplies due to the coronavirus crisis

One of the town’s most popular businesses has made an offer to vulnerable residents during the coronavirus crisis. The Almshouse Tea Shop on the Square has taken steps to remain in business during the emergency following the unhelpful advice from the Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ‘avoid pubs and restaurants.’ The advice has been criticised by the industry by publicans, cafe and restaurant owners as they either shut up shop or struggle with reduced trade.

The owner of the Almshouse Tea Shop Nicky Frewin said: “Our suppliers are still delivering to The Tea Shop so if anyone is running low on supplies please give us a call and we will try our best to help. We will continue to offer takeaway food and drinks as usual and if we are forced to close our doors, we will then look into offering a delivery service within the local area for anyone running low on any supplies that we are able to source.
Stay healthy, stay safe and see you soon x.”

For details visit
http://www.thealmshouseteashop.co.uk/ or call Nicky and The Almshouse Team on 01934 733720.

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Back in the day: A Guild banner in Preston to show how they they were used

AXBRIDGE SHOWCASE NEWS: Race Night is postponed until October 3rd

The highlight of the showcase year and vital fundraiser has become the latest victim of the coronavirus outbreak. Race Night was to be held in the Town Hall this Saturday, March 21, but organisers have moved to switch it to October 3rd, 2020. The evening features tables of participants enjoying a fish and chip supper, having a few drinks and placing bets of screened horse races. The programme, bar money and betting money raises cash for community projects. This year the 18th century Axbridge banners are the subject of the fundraising. The banners were created to highlight trade and worker guilds in the town – and are currently needing restoration which is very expensive as they are very fragile.

The standards or pennants to herald public demonstrations of the workers involved on special occasions – like trade union banners today. The photo gives an idea of how they were used – this is Preston back in the day where the trade guild progressed through the streets to demonstrate their importance to the community. More details at http://www.harrymottram.co.uk/

Details of the autumn date of the Race Night will be issued via the Axbridge Chamber of Commerce soon – but for now put October 3rd in your diary. More at
http://www.harrymottram.co.uk/axbridge-chamber-of-commerce/

Follow the Chamber of Twitter and Facebook

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AXBRIDGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWS: Green Mango Kitchen and the Almshouse Tea Shop collaborate to create a Vegan and Vegetarian evening

Axbridge’s Greenmango Tony is joining forces with The Award winning Almshouse Tearooms we for a Vegetarian and Vegan Dinner Night on Friday 20th March, 2020.

Introducing Tony from Green Mango Kitchen who is teaming up with The Almshouse Tea Shop for an ‘Almshouse by Candlelight` evening on Friday 20th March.
The evening is Vegetarian and Vegan themed and prices are £27.50 per person for 3 courses. Bring your own alcohol and we supply the glasses.
🍾🥂🍷 BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL 🍷🥂🍾
Just call Nicky on 01934 733720 to reserve your table.

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AXBRIDGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWS: idea floated on social media for street food for the Axbridge Pageant in August gets very warm welcome from residents – so it will be on the agenda of the next meeting – to see if we can make it happen

There’s been such a warm reaction to the idea of street food set up in a designated area for the Axbridge Pageant I will put it on the agenda of the next meeting of the Chamber of Commerce and we can see how we can make it happen. Anyone interested in such an event can email me at harryfmottram@gmail.com

Oak House Hotel and Restaurant

Next meeting for the Axbridge Chamber of Commerce

The next meeting of the Axbridge Chamber of Commerce is on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, at 7.30pm at the Oak House Hotel, Axbridge.

Address: The Square, Axbridge BS26 2AP. Phone: 01934 732444

For more details visit
https://www.theoakhousesomerset.com/

To join the Axbridge Chamber of Commerce email the chairman
Louise Cooling at info@ripleyantiques.co.uk or contact Ripley Antiques on Axbridge Square. New members welcome – it only costs £10 a year. If you are not a member but would like to come to the meeting as an observer contact the secretary Harry Mottram on email harryfmottram@gmail.com

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Axbridge Chamber of Commerce member Ian Carrotte

AXBRIDGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWS: Chamber member ICSM Credit’s video news on coronavirus and business, rogue traders, and how to send a legal letter for members of the credit intelligence group – plus much more of interest for businesses

In the latest ICSM Credit’s News Video there are instructions for members of the credit circle on how to send a FREE legal letter (and get paid quickly), plus the story of a rogue trader and Ian Carrotte on the coronavirus outbreak and its effect on business. Watch the video here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oEF0H_6g78&t=161s

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

Follow Harry on Twitter as @HarryTheSpiv, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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AXBRIDGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWS: idea for street food for the Axbridge Pageant in August to give local suppliers a chance to cater for the influx of visitors

This was an idea floated at a recent Chamber of Commerce networking meeting: with the pageant on August 29-31 this year perhaps there could be a food festival – maybe street food – set up in the town over the weekend giving visitors more places to eat – and a chance of local suppliers to sell their food and drink. If any group in the town would like to take the idea forward – perhaps sports and social or the farmers’ market or who ever – then contact me at the Chamber of Commerce – harryfmottram@gmail.com

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AXBRIDGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWS: member of the Chamber the Almshouse is having another vegetarian and vegan evening on Friday, March 20th with Green Mango Kitchen

Nicky Frewin of the Almshouse writes: Our next ‘Almshouse by Candlelight’ is set for Friday 20th March so join us for our Vegetarian & Vegan Evening with the very Talented Tony of Green Mango Kitchen…
Booking is essential so please call Nicky on 01934 733720 to reserve your table.

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

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Customers and suppliers left with nothing after Flybe goes into administration

ICSM Credit warning over coronavirus comes to pass immediately as Fybe is grounded

Yesterday ICSM Credit’s Ian Carrotte warned that firms would go to the wall over the coronavirus outbreak as the brakes are put on the global economy.

Last night Flybe went into administration after failing to secure its future with a Government deal to lower costs. There appears to be no chance of a Government rescue plan although the Government said would help the 2,000 plus workers who have lost their jobs to find new work. They believe other airlines may fill the gaps left by Flybe although several airports in the UK rely almost exclusively on Flybe’s trade suggesting more jobs will go.

Ian Carrotte said: “I’m afraid this is just the beginning with a knock on effect from people cancelling travel plans and altering their lifestyles to avoid the virus. My advice is as always to keep a tight grip on credit and not allow clients to pay later than your terms of business. My phone as been ringing constantly since the beginning of the year with members showing concerns over late payments from household names. Don’t forget members can use our free legal letters to chase up overdue invoices – they are very successful and often what keeps a businesses’ cash flow flowing.”

Other firms to go to the wall in the last few days include The Salutation hotel in Kent, Styles & Wood, Print Solutions, Taylor Bloxham, Callimedia, soak.com, Fly365, Beales and Axminster Carpets. Oldham Athletic FC and Brighthouse are on the Brink while Laura Ashley are also in trouble.

Ian Carrotte commented: “Sadly the situation for creditors of household names like Beales and Flybe have little protection and may lose money. No business is safe at the moment so it is vital for members to keep in touch with us. If you are a business and are not members then for less than a tank of diesel join us and protect your operation from bad debts.”

ICSM Credit

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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AXBRIDGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWS: ICSM Credit warning over cash flow problems for UK firms as coronavirus causes economic slowdown

It’s impossible to miss the coronavirus story with global blanket coverage in the media and Governments issuing ever more stringent action to combat the outbreak.

To many there is too much hysteria about the flu like disease but whatever you think it is having a severe effect on business. From schools closed in Italy and trade shows cancelled in Germany the disruption to industry is already being felt around the world. In the UK as the virus continues to spread it is causing panic in some quarters and imports from China to slow down.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said the sudden economic slowdown will have a knock-on effect within weeks. He said: “Unfortunately when business slows the fixed costs of wages, rents and utilities continue as before leading to cash flow difficulties. I cannot stress enough the need to be tight on credit control. As we’ve seen with Brexit some firms will give a sob story about why they cannot pay their suppliers’ invoices and blame it on the virus. In the coming months it is certain that the coronavirus effect will lead to problems and it could cause some businesses to fold.”

For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website www.icsmcredit.com or email Ian at Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com

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

Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Or email him at harryfmottram@gmail.com

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AXBRIDGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWS: Stables Business Park Member provides sponsorship for Worle Juniors Football Clubs

One of the Stable Business Park’s proudest activities is their on-going commitment to sponsoring the local Worle Juniors Football Club.
Tom Daley of the Stables Business Park said: “It gives Sally and I great joy to see the positive affects football has on the next generation of young people. To see the youngsters of Worle Juniors being nurtured and encouraged by a fantastic group of parents is uplifting as we believe investing in the next generation as it will bring strength to the community.”
Assistant Secretary of Worle Juniors Football Club Chris Donald said: “Worle Juniors FC is a grassroots junior football club and has been providing football for the Local community children since it was formed in 1972. It has had its ups and downs but remains in its permanent home ground of Queensway, Worle, Weston-Super-Mare, where there is a grass 11 v 11 Juniors size pitch, fixed goals, a home and away dugout and a small cafe which has recently as 2016/17 season has been upgraded so that on match days it is utilised as a way to help raise additional funds.” 


The Worle Juniors footballers in action

The Club is managed by a committee of six volunteer parents who operate in line with the Football Association guidelines on behalf of the parents and players. Featuring a number of squads for different age groups the club currently has two teams at Under 8’s who play 5 v 5 format of the game and train together once a week. There are also two teams at under 10’s who play the 7 v 7 format of the game and train together once a week, with a further two teams of under 11’s who play the 9 v 9 format of the game and train together once a week. The next two teams are the under 12’s who play the 9 v 9 format of the game and train together once a week. Moving up a year there are four teams at under 13’s who play the full 11 v 11 format of the game. Due to the numbers the teams train in pairs together once a week, and one under 16’s team who also play the 11 v 11 format of the game. 


The Worle Juniors  have a range of teams based on ages 8-16

Teams play in the local Somerset Junior Premier League for age groups under 8’s and under 10’s, the Woodspring league for age groups under 11’s to under 16’s with the under 13’s also compete in the Bristol Saturday Youth League and Avon Youth League divisions two and three. Worle’s under 16’s team have been coached and mentored by the same coach since they joined the club as under 8’s and the club say they are proud that players and coaches have maintained association with the club throughout their footballing journey all aided and abetted by the folk at the Stables Business Park.
Worle Juniors Football Club has more than 160 players managed by a team of 29 volunteer coaches and abide by the Football Association’s Respect Code of Conduct. Founded in 1972 the club play at Queen’s Way in Worle, North Somerset. For more details of the club email clubsecretarywjfc@gmail.com

For more about the business park near Axbridge visit
https://www.stablesbusinesspark.com/

Press coverage of the Worle Juniors  with Sally and Tom Dalley

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AXBRIDGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWS: Welcome to The Riverside Business Club

Business networking in Cheddar, Somerset

business networking

We have been established over 14 years and are one of the most successful business clubs in the South West.

We have based our format on the best ideas from a number of different breakfast clubs, but with a difference. Our relaxed atmosphere has attracted a wide range of business people who would never have previously considered joining a business club. There is no “hard sell” and there are no rules about being required to make referrals or bring in new members.

As a result our members now find themselves discussing business opportunities and links with other companies and individuals they have got to know and trust, both from Cheddar and surrounding towns and villages.

Our breakfast club meets fortnightly and our meetings start at 6.45am in the conservatory restaurant of the Riverside Inn, Cheddar.

business networking

We have a coffee and chat on arrival with breakfast starting at 7.15am. After breakfast, members have the chance to introduce themselves and can ask for a specific type of referral or explain a specific element of the work they undertake. A business card box circulates with members’ business cards.

There is then a short comfort break to recharge the coffee cups & arrange meetings before a final 10 minute presentation by a member on a specific area of their expertise.

Membership is open to local companies or individuals, one per category. We aim to provide an informal but effective structure that allows you to meet and discuss your business. Annual membership is £50 with breakfast costing £10 per meeting £1 of which goes to our adopted charity each year.

New members can come along as a guest for two meetings before deciding whether to join – just let us know when you’d like to come along. Visit
https://riversidebusinessclub.co.uk/

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Hundreds viewed the goods before the auction

AXBRIDGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEWS: success for the latest Ripley Antiques and Vintage auction held in the town hall as a rare ladies Cartier watch goes for £260 – and hundreds descend on the venue

Lego, Ladybird Books and lamps along with trunks, paintings and antique children’s toys were up for grabs at the latest Ripley Antiques and Vintage auction.

The Axbridge Chamber of Commerce chairman Louise Jane Cooling of the store on the Square in the town said the auction in the town hall on Sunday, February 23rd, had been highly successful.

She said: “We knew there was a buzz around the sale but I’m not sure any of us expected it to be quite as well attended! It was absolutely packed from 8.30am on Saturday until the end of the day on Sunday. We had nearly 40 new bidders register from far and wide, it was a great day despite technology letting us down!

“There were lots of bidding wars and a few surprises. A nice little sleeper found it’s level and was spotted by a few dealers. Hidden in a mixed Lot of odds with a guide price of £10-£20 saw a bidding war that took it up to £95 plus buyer’s premium. 

“A nice little Ladies Cartier watch fetched a fair price at £280 delighting its owner. One lucky and very excited buyer bagged a Vermiel ring with Lalique rose glass set in the centre for £60 plus buyer’s premium. An absolute bargain!

“And above all, Katie got her sewing machine, and she was overjoyed, which was lovely. Thank you everyone for your patience and friendliness. It was a great day. We’re already excited about the next one which will be in Wedmore on the 29th March.”

The hall was packed with a huge array of items, some costing pocket money and others running into hundreds of pounds. And it wasn’t just antiques and collectables but handy everyday items such as mountain bikes and prom gowns which were snapped up for a fraction of their original prices.

All details are on the website www.ripleyantiques.co.uk

The next meeting of the Axbridge Chamber of Commerce is on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, at 7.30pm at the Oak House Hotel, Axbridge.


To join the Axbridge Chamber of Commerce email the chairman
Louise Cooling at info@ripleyantiques.co.uk or contact Ripley Antiques on Axbridge Square. New members welcome. If you are not a member but would like to come to the meeting as an observer contact the secretary Harry Mottram on email harryfmottram@gmail.com

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Oak House Hotel and Restaurant

Next meeting for the Axbridge Chamber of Commerce

The next meeting of the Axbridge Chamber of Commerce is on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, at 7.30pm at the Oak House Hotel, Axbridge.

Address: The Square, Axbridge BS26 2AP. Phone: 01934 732444

The Oakhouse Hotel, situated in the market square of the historic Somerset Town of Axbridge.
With its original features, oak beams and snug fireplace the 17th century building creates a memorable setting for any family occasion & makes for an exceptional wedding venue.

The Almshouse Tea Shop offers a range of great quality teas and coffees together with a wide selection of tasty cakes, breakfasts, light lunches and

OPENING HOURS
Wednesday to Sunday: 10am – 4pm.
CLOSED MONDAYS & TUESDAYS

For more details visit
https://www.theoakhousesomerset.com/

To join the Axbridge Chamber of Commerce email the chairman
Louise Cooling at info@ripleyantiques.co.uk or contact Ripley Antiques on Axbridge Square. New members welcome. If you are not a member but would like to come to the meeting as an observer contact the secretary Harry Mottram on email harryfmottram@gmail.com

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Axbridge Chamber of Trade member Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit looks at the reasons behind the rise in business failures (and it’s not what you might think)

The final quarter of last year revealed administrations were up by 24% and creditors voluntary liquidations were the highest in a decade. Statistics released by the Government’s Insolvency Service also showed that last year there were 17,196 company insolvencies which is the highest since the tail-end of the Credit Crunch in 2009.

“I also feel some businesses are too slow to change in keeping up with trends”

Ian Carrotte of ICSM credit said this was in line with the credit intelligence group’s findings. He said: “Company Voluntary Liquidations now make up 70% of all company insolvencies with compulsory liquidations at 17%. We’ve noticed how insolvencies have risen sharply towards the end of 2019 and I keep on saying this isn’t a spike – it’s a trend.

“What the reasons are is harder to pinpoint. Brexit uncertainty is part of it while a general slow-down internationally hasn’t helped. There’s been the trade war between the USA and China and now the Corona virus is having an effect. But there’s a change in lifestyle. Retailers have been hit by online shopping as has the hospitality sector with home entertainment. That has a knock-on effect for construction and haulage. Business rates have been cited but I also feel some businesses are too slow to change in keeping up with trends.

“Then there are trends such as electric cars and bikes, ethical shopping and even the rise in popularity of vegan diets. If you don’t keep up with shifts in society and business you are likely to find your once solid customer base disappear.”

The latest casualties have been Axminster Carpets, Beales Department stores and Prime Seafoods who employ 70 workers.

The publication website Company Rescue reported: “Prime Seafoods last published accounts detailed up to the end of May 2018. They had a turnover of £28 million but  suffered with pre-tax losses of £236,000 after a trading shortfall of more than £317,000 the year before.”

However there was some good news as the American owned Forever 21 fashion store chain has been bought by Authentic Brands, Simon Property and Brookfield Property after it filed for bankruptcy last September. It has three stores in the UK. And speaking of retail French Connection says it is no longer looking for a buyer but is trying to turnaround the ailing chain store. Finally The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the amount of goods sold in January in Great Britain rose by 0.9%, after falls in the previous two months. 

Ian Carrotte commented: “It’s a small rise but after weeks of poor sales that could be a chink of light for business.”

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 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

Picture: Retail Gazette

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Axbridge Chamber of Commerce member’s range of talks that range from Captain Cook to climate change and from the mystery of time to the wonders of lavender

Carole and Barry Hamblin in their lavender field. Pic: Weston Mercury

DETAILS OF TALKS BY BARRY HAMBLIN

After 25 years flying in the RAF as a navigator I found myself running a training company for airline pilots for 25 years after doing a favour for a friend.

My wife has a lavender business (I am the tractor driver) and when she opened a shop which was too large for her sole use I closed my training company and took the spare half of the shop to indulge my passion for selling antiques. My wife and I give talks on the history of lavender, growing lavender and how it is used (see Lavender and Co) and this, together with being a trustee of our small but beautiful local museum and a love of antiques and history, has resulted in me giving number of talks on a variety of historical subjects.

The RAF trained me to instruct and I just love presenting the subjects I care so much about.

Time Gentlemen Please – The history of the measurement of time. 

Remember, Remember – The story of the gunpowder plot.

Dispelling the Myths of Climate Change – There is a great deal more to climate change than carbon dioxide.

In search of Terra Incognita – The life and voyages of Captain James Cook.

N.B.  I have found that this talk is a lot of information in one session and takes well over an hour.   I can do this as one talk but recommend that it is broken down into two talks:

From the Farm to the Fleet – How James Cook, the son of a farm labourer, became the most respected navigator and map maker in the Royal Navy in the 18th century.

In search of Terra Incognita – The three voyages of James Cook and how he mapped the unknown third of the world’s surface.

Lavender, the Forgotten Herb – The history of lavender in this country, how it is grown, the different varieties, its properties and uses. We make a number of lavender based products and we can bring examples which we can show you and which, if you wish, can be purchased after the talk.

In preparation: Bristol Airport: Past, Present and Future – I think the title says it all !

My fee is £50 per talk plus mileage (25p/mile) if outside Somerset.
Telephone: Landline 01934 733939, Baz mobile 07979 994126, Carole mobile 07818 665729.
Email: bazhamblin2@gmail.com and cphamblin@googlemail.com

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An engraving of a guild parading their banner like the ones in Axbridge

Axbridge Showcase presents: A Night at the Races (in the town hall so no need to bring binoculars or a tweed deer stalker hat)

The special fun packed evening takes place on Saturday, March 21st, at 7pm, in the town’s equivalent of Aintree – namely Axbridge Town Hall.

It’s a charity event to raise cash to restore the town’s historic trade banners dating back to the 17th century and earlier. The banners were paraded by trade guilds of the workers of the town to announce their role in the community as members of in one case those involved in fire. That’s not just those who put out fires but remember in the centuries before central heating there were open fires in every home – both up and downstairs – meaning fire was a danger but also a benefit.

The race night consists of a series of tables often run by one of the town’s groups such as the Chamber of Commerce or the Town Trust. Races take place on the screen with some rather saucy named horses on the card. You can place bets on the horses or with the Tote – usually run by Suman. For just £7.50 you get to take part and it includes a fabulous fish and chip supper c/o Tuckers of Cheddar (veggie and chicken options available) plus there is a pay bar.

The evening is a great way to meet and socialise in a party atmosphere with an equestrian twist. Tickets will go on sale from around March 1st at the Post Office and the Chemist.

The Showcase works closely with the Axbridge Chamber of Commerce who are supporting the event. The banners belong to the Town Trust who look after the historic Town Hall, the Square and other aspects of Axbridges living history.

This is a banner of a similar age and condition as the Axbridge ones – this is for crossbow makers in Flanders in the early 16th century

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Axbridge Chamber member Tom Dalley explains the benefit of not basing a company in Bridgwater (as it’s the traffic that’s the problem)

Work on Hinkley Point C continues apace despite the boom it has bought to trade in Somerset along with the increased traffic jams. Congestion is one of the reasons why many firms are looking to move away from Bridgwater to escape a level of traffic seen only in London and other major cities.

The reason are the hundreds of daily lorry movements in the town as construction continues on the nuclear power station on the coast a few miles away.

Ian Carrotte of Wembdon has seen a massive increase in traffic which is a hindrance to residents and businesses just trying to get around. “We get some Hinkley traffic taking a short cut through the village which is bad but the main problem is when there are road works on the A38 Bristol Road. Then there are long tailbacks and nothing moves.”

One of the problems is the town doesn’t have a bypass and despite calls for a link road to connect the Dumball roundabout on the M5 with the road out to Hinkley by locals but French company building the power station decided it wasn’t needed.

“it’s one of the reasons that many firms are looking to move out of the town,” said Tom Dalley of the Stables Business Park north of the town. “If there’s a hold up on the M5 (something that happens frequently) then all the roads around Bridgwater come to a standstill. All the firms on this estate say it’s the fact they are near Bristol, Weston-super-Mare and Bridgwater that they find attractive. Being on the A38 and close to the M5 means they can access the transport network without having to queue for hours to get through Bridgwater.”

Firms on the estate at Rooksbridge back up this up citing the closeness to the airport and trains at Worle are another factor.

Meanwhile in Bridgwater there seems little likelihood of the chaos ending soon on the £22bn project. Hinkley C has seen a catalogue of delays including concerns over the reactor itself which means a completion date is still at least three years away.

The Stables Business Park in Rooksbridge is just off the A38 near the M5. For details of vacancies and other news visit
https://www.stablesbusinesspark.com/

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Struck off debt collector rips off print company and pockets £700 as ‘dodgy firm’ outed by Axbridge Chamber of Commerce member ICSM Credit who warn: don’t pay a debt collector up front

A print firm based in Dartford has been stung by a dodgy debt collector to the tune of around £700. John Parsons of Footprint Litho was keen to chase down an unpaid debt of £1,700 when he was approached by phone by Rojen Debt Collecting Services of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The firm insisted on a rolling contract agreed by email to chase the owners of Footprint Litho’s client for an upfront fee of £300 and 18% of the recovered debt suggesting he would receive around £900. What John Parsons didn’t know was Rojen had no plans to pass on any cash from the debt as it was a con. They kept the money from his client and even insisted on him paying more money as “a release fee” which he paid but then heard nothing. When he contacted ICSM Credit for help he heard the unhappy news that Rojen were wound up by the Insolvency service on February 3 for telling lies.

John said he initially believed Rojen and expected to get some of his lost cash repaid minus their cut. The problem was he was being conned. He said: “I didn’t realise I was on a rolling contract as they didn’t say that on the phone they just asked for a one-off payment of £300. I paid it and didn’t hear anything about it for nine months.

“Then about three weeks ago I had a phone call from Rojen who said they’d managed to recoup £1,125 of the original £1,700 and they were still chasing the rest. They said if I paid the interest of the amount of 18% they would release the money.

“I said well if you pay me the money and send me an invoice I’ll pay that but Rojen said ‘it doesn’t work like that.’ I said OK so I paid the money which was £200 plus the VAT. Since then I’ve been chasing them for the money.”

When John Parsons finally got through to Rojen they claimed he would need to pay another contract fee of £370 as his firm was on stop with them.

According to an emailed rolling contract and invoice Rojen claimed John had agreed to their terms and conditions by replying by email. ICSM Credit’s debt collecting manager Paul Carrotte said: “In this case the rolling contract is unlikely to stack up in court. The percentage the firm are demanding plus all their fees are far too high and completely out of proportion to the amount they are charging. When you look at what the court said it was clearly a very dodgy company.”

In a statement from the court the Insolvency Service said: “The court wound-up the company on the ground that it traded with a lack of commercial probity because it made false and misleading statements to its clients, failed to account for monies collected on behalf of clients, charged fees to clients in circumstances where no such fees were due and charged excessive fees to clients. The court also accepted that the company, and the individuals in control of it, failed to cooperate fully with the investigation and failed to keep adequate accounting records.”

David Hope, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “Redwood Business Management operated in a cynical manner throughout its trading history. It charged clients substantial fees for services that were not required or not provided and at the same time, collected debts that it did not pay on to its clients. Thankfully, the court has now put a stop to the company’s activities, preventing further harm.”

The question is have the court put a stop to the company’s activities? Their website is still up and despite a promise made to Axbridge Chamber of Commerce member ICSM Credit to repay John Parsons his cash Rojen have so far not paid up. Ian Carrotte said firms like Rojen are like Lazarus. He said: “They go to sleep when things get hot and wake up and start all over again. It’s their standard mode of operation as it makes them money and they can’t break the habit.”

And making money was what Rojen (or rather Redwood Business Management Limited as that was the real name of the firm) was all about as one million pounds passed through their accounts in the space of a year according to the Insolvency Service. The Official Receiver has been appointed as liquidator. Whether John Parsons eventually gets his money back we shall wait and see.

For details about ICSM Credit’s debt collecting department call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website www.icsmcredit.com or email Paul at paul.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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Almshouse Tea Shop

Next meeting for the Axbridge Chamber of Commerce

The next meeting of the Axbridge Chamber of Commerce is on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, at 7.30pm at the Almshouse.
The Almshouse Tea Shop, The Square, Axbridge, Somerset, BS26, 2AR

The Almshouse Tea Shop offers a range of great quality teas and coffees together with a wide selection of tasty cakes, breakfasts, light lunches and cream teas to be enjoyed in our lovely 15th Century Almshouse.

OPENING HOURS
Wednesday to Sunday: 10am – 4pm.
CLOSED MONDAYS & TUESDAYS

For more details visit
http://www.thealmshouseteashop.co.uk/

Telephone: 01934 733720

To join the Axbridge Chamber of Commerce email the chairman
Louise Cooling at info@ripleyantiques.co.uk or contact Ripley Antiques on Axbridge Square. New members welcome. If you are not a member but would like to come to the meeting as an observer contact the secretary Harry Mottram on email harryfmottram@gmail.com

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Axbridge Chamber of Commerce’s Ripley Antiques and Vintage stages an auction in the Town Hall on Sunday, February 23rd (so dig out your valuables and take them along)

The auction takes place on Sunday, February 23, in Axbridge Town Hall. See the poster for details or visit
https://www.ripleyantiques.co.uk/blog/ for more details or call Lou on
01934 732641

Contact Ripley Antiques & Vintage

George House, The Square
Axbridge, Somerset
BS26 2AP 

Telephone: 01934 732641

Email: info@ripleyantiques.co.uk

Shop Opening Times

Mon: Closed
Tue & Wed : 10:00 -17.30
Thu, Fri, Sat: 10.00 – 18.00
Sun: 12.00 – 16.00

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AXBRIDGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Member News: The Lamb Inn is taking part in the Fantasy 6 Nations Competition. Win a bottle of wine and a meal for two

Calling all rugby boffins! We are running a 6 Nations competition! All you have to do is follow the link below to find our fantasy league! The winner of the league will take home a meal for two and a bottle of house wine! Pop in and let us know how you are getting on!

Join us in the league now no.3700 : Lamb Inn 6 Nations
Password : JZWUS
By clicking on the following link :
https://fantasy.sixnationsrugby.com/#/welcome/register?parrain=heirvgm&ligue=3700&mdp=JZWUS

For more about the Lamb Inn visit:
https://www.butcombe.com/pubs/the-lamb-hotel/

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AXBRIDGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Member News: Axbridge firm behind The Source Food and Drink Trade Show at Exeter’s Westpoint
Wednesday-Thursday, 5-6 February, 2020 (Free registration link here)

The South West’s biggest and best food, drink and hospitality show. With a huge spread of speciality produce, comparative tastings, innovative technology, inspirational experiences, networking opportunities and tasty food for thought it’s a compelling recipe for success – and a lot of fun. Details here:
https://thesourcetradeshow.co.uk/welcome/

Dedicated Newcomers section and Liquid drinks hub as well as exciting Demo Kitchen and prestigious Westcountry Tourism Conference provide bumper helpings of business benefits.  If you want to keep your offering fresh and profitable in an industry where tastes and trends swiftly pass their “best before” dates then this is one show you cannot afford to miss.

The firm behind the event is Hale Events based at
Premier House, Old Church Rd, Axbridge BS26 2BQ  
https://www.hale-events.com/

Check out the exhibitors:
https://thesourcetradeshow.co.uk/exhibitorlist/

Show news: https://thesourcetradeshow.co.uk/award-winning-news/Free visitor registration:

Free registration link for visitors: https://thesourcetradeshow.co.uk/visitor-registration/

Follow the show on Twitter at @SourceFoodDrink

Details at 01934 733433

Opening Hours: Wednesday 5 Feb – 10:00am – 6:00pm. Thursday 6 Feb – 10:00am – 5:00pm

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Sedgemoor Business Excellence Awards: 26TH MARCH 2020

How do I purchase tickets for the awards ceremony and how much do they cost?

Tickets will be available after the shortlisting has taken place. Watch this space for details of how to get tickets as well as our Twitter and Facebook pages for updates.

How can I sponsor an award and what will I get for being a sponsor?

Please visit our Sponsorship page for more information on the awards available for sponsorship. Sponsorship packages are £500 per award and for this price you receive:

  • 2x tickets to the evening including VIP drinks reception
  • Promotion on Social Media
  • Featured on the sponsors page of the website
  • Opportunity to present award you sponsor on the night
  • Mentioned in programme
  • Mentioned in introduction to the award you sponsor by host on the night

To become a sponsor please contact  – info@sedgemoorbusinessawards.org.uk or 01278 288004

When and where is the awards ceremony?

The awards ceremony will be held on Thursday 26th March 2020 at: The Canalside, Marsh Ln, Bridgwater TA6 6LQ  

If my business is shortlisted, when will we know if we have won an award?

Those shortlisted will be announced after the deadline for nominations on the Tuesday 12 February 2019. Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Thursday 21st March 2019.  

When is the deadline for entries?

The closing date for applications is around the middle of February 2020. Exact date TBC.

Can I enter my business into more than one award?

Yes, you are able to enter your business into more than one award, providing you are able to provide the judges with sufficient evidence of your success in the chosen area.

How do I apply and where do I send my application form?

You can apply online (Nominations open on the 13th September 2018) by completing the online application form, and pressing ‘Submit’. You will receive notification that your application form has been received. The closing date for entries is Tuesday 12 February 2019.    

Is my business eligible to enter?

To enter the awards, your business must be based in Sedgemoor and your registered office must be within the following postcodes; TA5, TA6, TA7, TA8 TA9, BS25, BS26, BS27 and BS28.

What does it cost to enter?

It’s completely free to enter the awards – so there’s no reason to hesitate – enter today for your chance to win!

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STABLES BUSINESS PARK NEWS: Mike House set for new challenge in 2020 as NFU Mutual man departs

Margaret Thatcher was prime minister and Yazz and the Plastic Population were top of the charts when Mike House joined NFU Mutual back in 1988.

After 32 years as an Agent for the company he’s retiring and moving on in 2020 to work with the NFU Poultry Group in the South West representing and protecting the interests of its sector members. However He won’t be far away as he’ll be working from home and from near Frome – and he’s already been working on the poultry sector alongside his work in NFU Mutual.

Mike initially worked from the Weston-super-Mare offices when he first joined but in 2007 with business increasing the NFU Mutual moved to the Forge on the Stables Business Park. Two years later the offices were too small so to accommodate them Tom Dalley of the park had The Granary especially prepared for Mike and company.

Brought up on a Somerset dairy farm, Mike has a BSC (Hons) degree in Agriculture and with his long experience has an inside knowledge of all aspects of insurance and specialises in farming and business protection. 

Mike said the main changes in his time with the NFU Mutual had been rationisation in the farming industry. In his role as an NFU Secretary he said: “The development of farm assurance has improved food hygiene giving it an edge over its competitors. There’s been changes in the way the farming industry is managed but Somerset is a grass growing county and so it will always feature livestock farming. The Levels in particular are ideal pasture for beef and dairy.”

Tom Dalley of the Stables Business Park said it was sad to see Mike depart but on behalf of everyone at the Rooksbridge site wished him well in the future.

To contact Mike House call his mobile on 07747 763023.

To contact NFU Mutual at Rooksbridge call 01934 806890 or visit https://www.nfumutual.co.uk/agent-offices/rooksbridge/?utm_source=gbl&utm_medium=organic

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STABLES BUSINESS PARK NEWS: ‘I didn’t want to be on an industrial trading estate’ – Becky Hill of Solutions 42

Training, performance improvement and strategic advice company Solutions 42 moved to the Stables Business Park in Rooksbridge six years ago.

“There were several reasons I chose The Stables Business Park,” said Becky Hill of the firm, “I was looking for a place that didn’t look like a bland set of offices.

“Secondly I really connected with the landlord Tom Dalley, and the fact that he emits quality in what he does and the environment he provides at the business park.

“The offices are nicely appointed with attractive gardens where people can have a break and sit out in the summer to have their lunch. The gardens are somewhere where people from different businesses can gather and even have a little bit of a community spirit. And Tom’s even had barbeques in the gardens.”

She said another factor was the short distance from the M5 and A38 as well as the airport and train stations.

“I can get up to Bristol in just over 30 minutes,” she said, “and the airport in 20 minutes – and yet we are in a rural setting and not an industrial trading estate.”

There is a short video on Becky Hill and the Stables Business Park at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XB4iqfzPMqQ&t=2s

The Stables Business Park at Rooksbridge

STRAWBERRY LINE TIMES – NEWS: Axbridge Chamber of Commerce welcomes its latest member with The Stables Business Park in Rooksbridge joining the town’s business organisation

The Stables Business Park lies off the A38 in Rooksbridge about two miles from the M5, 25 minutes from Bristol Airport and only minutes from railways stations at Highbridge and Worle.

Tenants are many and varied and are from all corners of the spectrum, we have a National Plant Franchise Company, NFU & NFU Mutual, Building Contractors, Surveyors, Air Control company,  Business Support Services and many others, up to a baker’s dozen in total. Up until a few years ago we also had a National Hunt and Flat racing yard as an integral part of the entire complex.

The complex is owned by business man Tom Dalley. Telephone: 07968 910 761. For details visit the website at www.stablesbusinesspark.com

Or email offices@stablesbusinesspark.com

To join the Axbridge Chamber of Commerce email the chairman
Louise Cooling at info@ripleyantiques.co.uk or contact Ripley Antiques on Axbridge Square.

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The church rooms in Axbridge (left) have been modernised and are available for hire

STRAWBERRY LINE TIMES – NEWS: Axbridge Chamber of Commerce welcomes its latest member with The Church Rooms in Axbridge joining the town’s business organisation

The Church Rooms have been fully refurbished with improved toilets and a modern kitchen. Owned by the PCC the rooms feature rented offices and a large room ideal for events and receptions.

The Church Rooms are opposite the church entrance, a few steps down from the top of the steps from The Square.  There is level access from the public highway to the Church Rooms but note that the ‘highway’ in this case is The Church Steps.

Charges start at £7 an hour for residents.

To hire the rooms or for more details contact Stephanie Gall
c/o The Church Office, Church Steps, Axbridge. BS26 2AP

Telephone: 01934 733118 or email axbridgechurchrooms@gmail.com

More details at
http://www.stjohnthebaptistaxbridge.org.uk/churchrooms.asp

To join the Axbridge Chamber of Commerce email the chairman
Louise Cooling at info@ripleyantiques.co.uk or contact Ripley Antiques on Axbridge Square.

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