August 1983

Closely managing Comart Group affairs, preparing the ground for a meeting with Thatcher and cruising to Cambridge on a hot and sticky month for a fine visit and then back down the Cam to Upware as the film of the Hiroshima bomb aftermath is released,  Beirut erupts, there are Texas Typhoons, Bizarre French lorry attacks on pubs, looting and arson in Sri Lanka and film legend David Niven dies in Switzerland. There is political murder and riots in the Philippines but we are comfortable and safe on our boat in the Fens, as the month ends

A hot and sticky month of weather; combining close management of Comart Group affairs and setting the groundwork for closer government discussions whilst working on and enjoying my boat, ‘The Lady’ with my son Daniel and family. The ducks are also a feature as the older ones lay regularly and the younger ones grow to maturity and would hopefully do the same. In respect of the Group, I installed Peter King as the new supremo of the Byte Shop chain and added him to the boards of all of its subsidiary company shops; giving him a fairly free reign to tighten up their administration, review their manning and facilities and tackle the main and varied management and personnel issues arising from our takeover and their former history as a failing organisation and subsequent bankruptcy.  I was working with Geoff Lynch to help install similarly disciplines and expand his facilities and staff to address his growth and opportunities at Xitan. I had become aware that I was not therefore spending enough time on the ‘home farm’ of Comart Computers and so the month saw me in many meetings with senior executives helping to formulate plans and strategies to deal with their growth problems. Overall, we had seen good progress on turnover and profitability during a month where seasonally it was expected to be quiet with losses. With regard to industry leadership, the BMMG was getting stronger and stronger in terms of its membership and influence as government was becoming more interested in the microcomputer industry doing well to overcome what was quite a serious recession outside our gates. The civil servants were on our side, we had met IT Minister Kenneth Baker and now plans were afoot to see the Prime Minister herself in the hope of influencing policies that were not just failing to encourage us, but also were also acting against our success. My views were being commonly being reported in the computer and national press with certain of my full length articles and interviews being covered in full.