Grove House, Comart Group HQ Little Paxton 1984

Day in London negotiating the UEH option with Brammer and then back doing the same with David Barford over Grove House before returning to Comart to brief John Lamb accordingly as the NUR and TGWU step up support for the miners and June distracts me!

Up early and quickly to wash and eat a breakfast of cornflakes and fruit juice. Off by car to Stevenage and on by fast 125 train, first class, to London. By tube to Knightsbridge and a nice walk on a sunny but chilly morning to Clabon Mews in time for my 9.00am meeting with Mr Head of Brammer. A tough morning’s negotiation, taking an hour out for telephone calls to John, Derek, Kode, Barclays, Ashursts and the office before we finally agreed on a form of words and the price of £150,000 for the purchase of the UEH option to take 25% of The Byte Shop for £45,000 by December 31st 1984. By taxi back to Kings Cross station and, eating my sandwiches in the train, by car from Stevenage to St Neots to countersign the bank transfer authorisation to UEH. Then an hour’s negotiation with David Barford and Turret over Grove House where they are prepared to come down to £230K (less claimable tax allowances) for outright purchase or a lease of 21years with rent rising from £20K to £25K by stages each year. This is some progress and we will be close to doing a deal on Monday.

Back to the office for some hectic phone calls to the BMMG to review attendance for Tuesday’s AGM and dictate an updated agenda for other business issues. Time to clear my desk and return phone calls before settling down to a discussion with John Lamb at 5.00pm. I brief John on all of the recent events, we talk for two hours and take a drink at The White Horse together afterwards. He is surprised at the extent of my proposals and progress, but is not disappointed at not having been briefed earlier, realising that I could not discuss it until such a negotiation is complete. He also sees the synergy with Kode and is pleased to be getting the chance of proving himself as a Managing Director. Then home to an evening that remained of watching the TV news and a documentary on the growth and decline of the British Aircraft Industry. News today that the railwaymen are going to enforce an overtime ban from the end of May, that the TGWU are stepping up action to end the lorry drivers running of coal stocks to Ravenscraig, and of speeches by Arthur Scargill, Ian McGregor and Mrs Thatcher expecting a long battle. To bed with persisting thoughts of June’s revelation today that she has just bought a long slitted skirt for leisure wear with stockings and suspenders! What a time to distract me with such thoughts with Diana 7 ½ months pregnant!