Moving Comart Group HQ into Grove House

Progressing Grove House move for the Comart Group Head office and hearing of Sales team disquiet under David Fear before we load up The Lady with provisions as Gulf Oil tanker attacks and US banking worries lead to stock exchange crashes in the UK and US

Up on time after a sound night’s sleep and down to breakfast with Daniel and Debbie. Debbie seemed better after her sickness yesterday with her catarrh clearing up reasonably. To the office and to see Leslie and review the plans for office furniture, power and telephone point locations and to put some priority into her efforts to try to get us into the new Grove House premises by 1st June. Then the morning’s mail and after to talk at some length to David Barford about the results of yesterday’s structural survey and the fact that we would need the brickwork repointing, certain gutters fitted, the car park gulleys provided and the roof timbers secured with wrought iron brackets. Also we would need a defects liability clause through next winter to cover any problems that are likely to arise. He seemed agreeable to these proposals and we arranged to meet later on. Then to call Richard James to review the results of yesterday’s legal meeting with Mr Randall, Senior Partner of Townsends and Chairman of Kode.

The meeting seemed to go reasonably well and they have agreed in principle to many of the points that we had prepared. I answered some verbal points raised and will be getting a copy of the draft contract in the post by the weekend. A factory tour and discussion with Derek Weatherby concerning the availability of finance for Grove House purchase and furnishings. Then, at 12.00am, the arrival of David Barford and Mr Priest of Turret and to agree the final terms for acquiring Grove House. We foresee the entire transaction being completed by the end of May and I plan to move myself, the Marketing Department and The Byte Shop Head Office into Grove House on the 1st June, using temporary telephone lines and new furniture delivered direct. I call by Peter King after lunch and warn him of these impending moves and council him with caution about the BOS computer systems he is advocating. Our use of wordstar is so engrained that a change of standard to different word processing system would come very hard indeed. An afternoon of paperwork, return calls and meetings with Derek Weatherby over his annual reviews and Stephen Day over the takeover progress. Things are going well but I talk to John Lamb this evening who fills me in on the discontent and resignations rife amongst a sales team demotivated by lack of leadership and influx of external management recruits. John Lamb and David Fear have dinner tonight to discuss David’s future and I go home early to help Diana load up the boat with provisions and clothes for the weekend. Out late in the dinghy after dark trying to find the younger and larger flock of ducks to no avail and I can only guess that they have followed a boat through the lock and will check tomorrow. News today of further oil tankers being attacked in the Gulf and this, plus American banking worries, led to a widespread collapse of the New York and London Stock Exchanges – the largest fall for 10 years. The pound sterling is also touching a new low of $1.3710. More details of the Lancashire pumping station explosion where latent methane gas must be the reason though not confirmed. More miners talks scheduled and agreement is reached between The National Union of Railwaymen and the British Rail Board on a new pay increase. Meanwhile the teachers lobby Parliament, and GLC leader Ken Livingstone lead a delegation to deliver a petition to The House of Commons.