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It’s Curtains for Ayrshire; Coops; Cwmcerrig; A snip

Published: Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It’s Curtains for Ayrshire
There was an article in yesterday’s Independent about a factory in Newmilns, Ayrshire, which makes traditional textiles. Curtains from Morton, Young and Borland are being used in the HBO blockbuster serial “Boardwalk Empire” on Sky which is set in the Prohibition era. The designs help to create the authentic 1920’s aura. I watched an episode last night and couldn’t concentrate on the yarn because I was trying to study the curtains. You can read more at www.loudounvalley.co.uk 

At the weekend we went over to the Gower. This took me back a bit; I used to have a few farm clients on the Gower back in the early 80’s. It was only half a mile from Llanelli across the estuary but it was 25 miles by road so a visit would take most of the day. We went to visit a coop-run village shop in Llanmadoc which was featured recently on Welsh TV. This was a follow-up to a serial called “The Baker Boys” about the setting up of a bakery cooperative in the valleys. Welsh industrialist Robert Owen was featured although his business at New Lanark was not a cooperative. He was an enlightened employer who tried to look after his employees.

We also visited Cwmcerrig Farm shop in Cefneithen. This is a large shop and tearoom selling produce mainly from small suppliers in the area. Most of the staff looked alike. This was because they belong to the Family Watkins. We met the 82 year old patriarch in the café. He started the original farm and fruit and vegetable wholesale business. He took the long view when it came to staffing needs. He had 12 children, most of whom seem to work in the business.

A snip
The RAF has announced redundancies for trainee fighter pilots. It costs £4 million (£1 million a year for four years) to train each one. Helicopter pilots are a real bargain at £2 million each.

We’re all in this together (part 91)
Barclays Bank has announced £6.1 billion profit for the year, an increase of 32%. The average bonus in the investment arm is £236,000.

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