NOISE OF KILLING

A wealthy aristocrat with links back to Sir Frances Drake faces a noise abatement order over the lucrative organised game bird and clay pigeon shoots he arranges on his 2,500-acre South Downs Hampshire estate.

At Portsmouth magistrates court the noise level created by the regular shoots of William Tyrwhitt-Drake was described by an acoustic expert, Peter Rogers, after 15 visits to the site while shoots were in progress as “substantial” and “intrusive” and at a level that would result in planning permission not being granted. The court case was brought by a millionaire neighbour, Dr Charles Gillies O’Bryan-Tear.

STAY IN A BIT OF HISTORY

Those who like to walk in the footsteps of the famous and infamous have been given a list of hotels in history by the Mail on Sunday.

These include the Hotel National in Moscow, where Lenin stayed in room 107 for the first meeting of the Soviet government after the 1918 Russian Revolution; the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin where the 1922 signing of the Constitution of Ireland took place in room 112; The Plaza Hotel, New York, where The Beatles stayed in Presidential Suites 1209-1216 in 1964 for their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show; The Watergate Hotel, Washington, where the theft of documents that brought down President Nixon was organised from room 214; Cliveden House in Buckinghamshire, now a hotel, where Secretary of State for War John Profumo met showgirl Christine Keeler, who was skinny-dipping in the pool in July 1961.

Meanwhile, in Birmingham, the West Midlands Police and ghost hunt event company Haunted House have been charged with being “distasteful and insensitive” after they promoted a charity Halloween ghost hunt event which included a chance for delegates to sleep in 12-foot square cells in the custody block where killer Fred West was once held. Since the outcry the reference to West has been removed from the event promotional material.

TOP UK ATTRACTIONS

The British Museum has retained its position as the most visited free UK attraction for the 10th consecutive year with 5,906,716 visitors in 2017, from figures published by VisitBritain. The Tate Modern was second in the free sector (5,656,004 visitors) followed by the National Gallery (5,229,192 visitors).

In fourth place was Brighton Pier with an estimated 4,684,000 visitors, the only free attraction in the top ten not in London, followed by the National History Museum (4,434,520), the Victoria and Albert Museum (3,789,748), the Science Museum (3,251, 634), Somerset House (3,223,250), Tate Britain (1,777,877) and the National Portrait Gallery (1,703,411). Continue reading

VENUE NEWS

o The owner of an historic wedding venue in Cheshire, Haslington Hall, near Crewe, has been jailed for 26 weeks for a £28,000 VAT fraud. An accomplice, Andrew Tomlinson received a community order of 100 hours of unpaid work.

Mohammed Isaq, who admitted trying to steal the VAT repayments is currently serving a 20-month prison sentence for flouting fire safety rules at the Grade 1 listed venue.

 

o Two new easyHotels have opened in Yorkshire offering budget accommodation in city centres, and brings the group’s total to 32 in UK and overseas.

One is on Lands Lane in Leeds, has 94 rooms and was originally the Scala Theatre. The other is on the High Street in Sheffield, has 131 rooms and was originally a Primark store.

 

o The Good Pub Guide has named the Old Joint Stock in Birmingham city centre its Town Pub of the Year for 2019.

The pub overlooks Birmingham Cathedral and offers, say the guide’s publishers, “lively atmosphere, flamboyant interior, all-day popular food and even its own theatre”.

(Note. All above from TheBusinessDesk.com)

SALVADOR

It is hard not to admire director Oliver Stone’s intense and thought-provoking Salvador (1986) – for many his best film – and the Oscar-nominated acting performance of James Woods playing real life photo-journalist Richard Boyle as a nervy, sleazy, cynic who goes back to Salvador to capture the pain and suffering of the civil war there, and make some money from the pictures, and comes out with his sweetheart, and his long-buried soul. Continue reading

Event Organisers Update September 2018 ISSUE 166

FAKE TRIPADVISOR REVIEWER JAILED The owner of an Italian marketing agency that wrote fake reviews for hotels and restaurants has been jailed for nine months …

VENUE “SHAMBLES” AT WREST PARK A Van Morrison concert at Wrest Park, Silsoe, Bedfordshire has been widely condemned as a “shambles” Reportedly fans …

GREED IN UNI SECTOR REDUCING NOW The management of Bath University, who employed the greedy Dame Glynis Breakwell as a £470,000 a year Vice-Chancellor …

VENUE NEWS
o The 19-storey Lume Hotel has opened on Manchester’s Oxford Road, offering 12 …
o A clay pigeon shooter has been found dead during a shoot at Clandon Park House …
o Furious objections have been lodged over plans to demolish the current 906 …

TOP TUCKER Notting Hill restaurant Core has won the Harden’s Top Gastronomic award for this year. Core is the first venture of chef Clare Smyth, who formerly ran …

FREE SPEAKER FINDING OFFER Speaker website IWantASpeaker.com is looking to give a free speaker finding service to a few organisers who use outside guest …

WEIMAR ART Art in Germany between the wars is the subject of a free, long-running exhibition, “Magic Realism” at the Tate Modern. This includes around 70 artworks …

BIG GIRLS DON’T CRY To the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue for the West End debut of the Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons tribute Big Girls Don’t Cry, touring …

LUCKY Right at the end of Lucky, Harry Dean Stanton’s last, and for many the best, film role just before he died the actor turns to camera and gives a cheeky grin …

FAKE TRIPADVISOR REVIEWER JAILED

The owner of an Italian marketing agency that wrote fake reviews for hotels and restaurants has been jailed for nine months and ordered to pay costs of more than £8,000.

The agency, PromoSalento, tried to submit more than 1,000 fake positive reviews, illegal in Italy before they were caught and the owner jailed in what is the first conviction of its kind, though hopefully with more to follow.

TripAdvisor has sadly not been transparent enough to release the names of the hotels and restaurants which were happy to pay to mislead their public, yet. According to website Fakespot, which aims to weed out bogus reviews, up to one third of TripAdvisor reviews are fake, a claim contested by TripAdvisor.

VENUE “SHAMBLES” AT WREST PARK

A Van Morrison concert at Wrest Park, Silsoe, Bedfordshire has been widely condemned as a “shambles” Reportedly fans who bought picnics had to eat them outside the gates after being prevented by security staff from taking them in (presumably to maximise catering profits), bars charging £6 for a can of beer and £30 for a bottle of wine ran dry anyway, there were one-hour queues for coffee and the 9,350 fans then had to queue for up to three hours to get out of the one exit.

The event was organised by GCE Live (Giles Cooper Entertainment) whose website states that the company “has been involved in some of the most memorable live experiences in the UK for almost three decades”.

GREED IN UNI SECTOR REDUCING NOW

The management of Bath University, who employed the greedy Dame Glynis Breakwell as a £470,000 a year Vice-Chancellor until she stood down last November have announced her replacement, at a lower salary of £266,000.

He is Professor Ian Wright, currently at Cambridge University and, unlike Breakwell, who also got a free house with household expenses paid and a free car, he is expected to provide his own accommodation and vehicle. It is also thought that, unlike Breakwell, he will not be able to sit on the University’s remuneration committee, which decides salaries and other benefits.

Other very well paid University Vice-Chancellors in 2015-2016 were Keith Burnett, Sheffield (£423,000), Bob Cryan, Huddersfield (£365,000), Louise Richardson, Oxford (£350,000), Paul O’Prey, Roehampton, (£342,000), Dominic Shellard, De Montford (£326,000), John Vinney, Bournemouth, (305,000), Anne Carlisle, Falmouth, (£298,000), and Joy Carter, Winchester, (£282,000), and these figures are likely to have increased since then.

VENUE NEWS

o The 19-storey Lume Hotel has opened on Manchester’s Oxford Road, offering 12 lower storeys (212 guest rooms) operated by Crowne Plaza Hotels and including a 120-seat restaurant, gym club lounge and seven meetings rooms for more than 200 delegates.

The upper 7 storeys, operated by Staybridge Suites, offer 116 studio and one-bedroom suites, as well as panoramic views over Manchester from the 18th floor terrace. (The Business Desk)

 

o A clay pigeon shooter has been found dead during a shoot at Clandon Park House, a Grade 1 listed National Trust property near Guildford, Surrey.

It is thought that he was cleaning his gun when it went off and shot him in the head.

Clandon Park House, a Palladian mansion, was gutted down to a shell in 2015 when a serious fire, thought to have been started in electrical circuitry in the basement, ripped through the building. Since then a salvage plan has been completed and there are now ambitious re-build plans in place.

 

o Furious objections have been lodged over plans to demolish the current 906 bedroom Holiday Inn London – Kensington Forum Hotel, part of Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) on Cromwell Road and replace it with a 50% bigger building comprising two towers and containing 749 bedrooms, 340 serviced apartments and 46 homes to buy or rent.

The current building, near Gloucester Road tube station is described as a “brutalist eyesore”, offers more than 20 meetings spaces and is said to be London’s fifth biggest hotel. A previous rejected plan by the owners, Queensgate Investment would have replaced the current hotel with a 2,000 room monster that would have been the biggest in the world. Since the Grenfell tragedy last year high rise buildings have been a particularly sensitive issue in Kensington borough