BRISTOL VOICE FEATURES: WG never lost his Gloucestershire accent, he took 11 years to pass his medical exams and scored 1,098 runs for England in a career that popularised cricket

Local History WG Grace Pic Irish Times

WG never lost his Gloucestershire accent, he took 11 years to pass his medical exams and scored 1,098 runs for England in a career that popularised cricket

But WG Grace, was first and last a Gloucestershire man born in Downend in 1848 in a time when along with Mangotsfield the north Bristol suburbs were country villages quite separate from the city.

With his bushy beard, MCC cap and large 6ft 2in frame William Gilbert Grace (always known as WG) is perhaps the most instantly recognisable cricketer in the history of the game. Born into a cricketing and medical family WG was the eighth of nine children to Dr Henry and Martha Grace with his older brother EM Grace, Henry Grace and younger brother Fred Grace all fine cricketers.

Not known for his academic prowess at school he eventually was enrolled at Bristol Medical School although due to his cricketing career it took him 11 years to pass the final exams and could practice as a physician. WG punished opposing cricket teams with a career average over 30 runs an innings but when practising as a GP often failed to bill his poorest patients.

Dr WG Grace 1848 –1915 Pic Wikipedia

WG was no stranger to Gloucester Road and Nevil Road where he played for Gloucester County Cricket Club from 1870 to 1899, doubling up with caps for the Marylebone cricket Club (MCC) from 1869 and turning out for London County from 1900 to 1904 after moving to the Southeast. However, it was not until 1889 that the county ground at Nevil Road became the pitch of choice. Before that WG and Gloucestershire had played at several grounds including Durdham Down and before that he and his brothers had played for various teams including the county’s emergence from the West Gloucestershire club.

WG’s bowling, batting and fielding along with his dominating personality and natural charisma set him apart creating a cricketing celebrity. Whenever or wherever he played it was not unknown for the entrance ticket price to be doubled such was his pulling power. The stats said it all with 1,098 runs in 22 test matches along with 170 scored against Australia, ten wicket hauls in 66 first class matches and a top score of 344 in county games.

One aspect of WG’s career that has often been mulled over was his ability to earn cash from the sport in the era of Gentlemen (amateurs) and Players (professionals). WG was officially an amateur but amateurs could claim expenses for travel and accommodation from their clubs – something which WG did and was criticised for claiming excessive expenses which effectively meant he was paid. In his later career he was paid hundreds of pounds as the secretary and manager. Compared with the earnings of his fellow professionals it was a fortune although in today’s fully professional era perhaps not such riches.

WG Grace Pic Wisden

And that’s another point of interest. How would he have got on in today’s era. The Grace brothers and their cousins and father were all gifted cricketers which reminds modern players of the Broads, the Bairstow’s, the Butchers, the Compton’s and the Cowdrey’s to name but a few. Surely one of the Graces would have made it into the county side based on natural skill alone. Most analysts place WG in or around the top ten all time batsmen – achieved in part as he played as a teenager to 60 years of age. Fitness regimes were not as they are now and it’s well recorded, he enjoyed his food and wine – but that aside his hand-eye coordination would have ensured his inclusion in today’s England XI who have returned from defeated in recent test series against Australia and West Indies.

Harry Mottram

Harry Mottram writes features for the Voice publications in Bristol and Bath and is a freelance journalist. Visit http://www.harrymottram.co.uk/

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AGENDA NEWS: Banks warn of scam loans as victims are asked for an upfront payment to access a cost of living pay out but get nothing

Scam alert

Posted on  by Harry Mottram

Agenda West News

The cost of living crisis is driving people into debt and the scammers are preying on the public’s desperate need for cash to pay energy and food bills.

Lloyds Bank are one of a number of banks who have issued warnings to customers after scammers have posted adverts online from fictitious companies offering cheap loans.

Victims complete online forms or respond to a phone number to the scammer who allows them to borrow huge amounts of cash with just a small upfront fee to secure the money. The scammers contact them to say a further fee is required as the loan is larger than normal at which point the victim either pays up or begins to have doubts. When no money is released into their bank account they realise they’ve been conned with the average victim paying up £231 for nothing.

Checkaco issue this advice: stop and think – is this a legitimate company with an address and a land line number. Challenge the suspected scammer – if they get unprofessional, they are fraudsters. Contact Action Fraud and report them at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

Checkaco was created for consumers so that they can quickly access very detailed information about a company. Using our secure search, you can view any company anonymously in seconds
Full peace of mind for £6.50 per company checked when you buy three reports for £19.50.
Quickly view a company’s CCJ’s, legal ownership, credit history, credit score and more.
Or buy in bulk: 10 reports for £37.50 (£3.75 each); 25 reports for £88.75 (£3.55 each); or 100 reports for £335 (£3.35 each)
 
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Axbridge Chamber of Commerce News: Change of Date for the AGM

DATE OF AGM CHANGED: After nearly two years of not much happening the Chamber has things to decide – the Pageant, the Carnival and the Race Night to name but three. We are having our AGM at the Lamb Inn on Wednesday, 29th June, 2022, at 7.30pm – it has been moved back a week due to a class of meetings. If you wish to make a 10 minute show and tell talk about your business before the meetings start email Harry at harryfmottram@gmail.com and if you wish to place an item on the agenda or to stand for a post on the committee – there are vacancies – contact Harry. If you have not paid your £10 membership fee for 2021-2022 due on 1st July 2021 please pay by BACs – Lloyds Bank, Sort Coded 309184 Account No 01001255. Free drink and finger food for members on arrival.

AGENDA WEST NEWS: Suppliers apply for a compulsory liquidation order in court for troubled online fashion store that is teetering on the brink of collapse

Love Island link hasn’t worked

By Harry Mottram: Suppliers have turned up at the headquarters of online fashion company Missguided demanding to be paid but things look bleak for them as the company teeters on the brink of collapse.

Some will go bust if Missguided goes down which is on the cards as it struggles to pay debts built up in the last couple of years. On Tuesday they demanded payment using the age old technique of turning up in reception and refusing to leave until paid. Managers at Missguided called the police and sent the staff home early as the chaotic scene played out.

Their next move has been to apply for compulsory liquidation with a petition lodged against the firm in the high court in Manchester although the hearing may not happen for weeks. Sadly, it appears to be too late with some suppliers admitting they will themselves go to the wall if they are not paid immediately.  

If that wasn’t bad enough the company may well be trading while insolvent already and according to the i-newspaper the company is still taking orders and sending orders to suppliers.

The i said in a report online: “Supply chain disruption, overspending and inflation have combined to leave the company on the brink of collapse, with the boost in online sales during the pandemic failing to translate to profits because of rising costs.

“In December, the company made redundancies and tried to stay afloat by selling a 50 per cent share of the business to private equity firm Alteri, which focuses on underperforming businesses. Soon afterwards, clothing suppliers were told they would have to cut their prices by 30 per cent, even on orders they had already delivered, according to multiple sources.”

With a partnership with the TV reality shoe Love Island it was thought the company would be highly profitable but the rag trade is notoriously competitive with very slim margins. Ian Carrotte of ICSM said members of the credit intelligence group had sounded alarm bells weeks ago as rumours of non payment of invoices by Missguided began to circulate.

“I understand one supplier is owed two million pounds,” he said, “and I’ve heard of another selling personal jewellery so as to be able to pay staff. The moment a customer fails to pay on time then credit to them should stop. I know that is difficult with a large order so we always advise breaking orders into chunks so invoices are going out as a large amount of work is taking place. That way the whole order isn’t lost if the client goes into administration.”

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: 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.

Checkaco was created for consumers so that they can quickly access very detailed information about a company. Using our secure search, you can view any company anonymously in seconds
Full peace of mind for £6.50 per company checked when you buy three reports for £19.50.
Quickly view a company’s CCJ’s, legal ownership, credit history, credit score and more.
Or buy in bulk: 10 reports for £37.50 (£3.75 each); 25 reports for £88.75 (£3.55 each); or 100 reports for £335 (£3.35 each)
 
Get the low down on any firm at https://checkaco.com/



For details about Checkaco email info@checkaco.com or visit the website https://checkaco.com/ 

Checkaco, The Exchange, Express Park, Bristol Road, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 4RR UK

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

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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

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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