Daniel and his sisters on his birthday

Long and tedious day away from home on Daniel’s birthday, driving in heavy traffic, arriving first in Twickenham to agree a special exhibition deal and then late for the BMMG AGM which proceeded all right in the end. On with colleagues to the DTI to secure support for our £250,000 LAN grant, subject to application, as passions aroused in the House at the prospect of the BBC accepting advertising

Awake at 6.00am and, after 15 minutes to wake up and drink a cup of tea, quickly up, washed and dressed and a slice of toast and apple juice. By 6.45am I had set off by car towards London, stopping on the way for petrol. More and more traffic as I went on, which was to be the basis for my day. Out for 12 hours, I spent more than 7 behind the wheel of my Jaguar. Eventually at 8.50am I arrived in Twickenham and met Mike Rusbridge, Managing Director of Cahners Exhibitions. We talked about the BMMG and our recently high publicity profile and plans to increase membership and finally agreed to negotiate terms for BMMG members to exhibit on a favourable basis. Off by car across London and, two hours late, to arrive at the Tower Hotel half an hour late for the BMMG AGM. A fuss over the existence of a quorum but, assuming some proxies, business proceeded after all. The council elected, secretariat and membership fees increased and a good discussion on policies and plans held. Afterwards, a brief lunch and agreement on a plan to hold the next BMMG meeting by arrangement with Systime in Leeds. After, by taxi with Nigel Smith, Dr Chris Shelton and Graham Clifton and on to the Dept Trade and Industry in Bressenden Place, Victoria.

A fair discussion en route over Martin Isherwood’s ‘expenses’ for BMMG publicity and also agreement on questioning them and installing a process of authorisation for the future. Then to prepare for our DTI meeting and sounding out of their willingness to support the LAN initiative to the tune of £250,000. A good meeting and encouraging response, but we now have to present a full proposal on the new forms by the 25th April. Home by tube, with Nigel, to Tower Hill and by car home. A full traffic jam on the A1 to complete a day of slow car progress and exhaust fumes. News tonight of the increase in TV licence fees, up £18 to £58/year; but an enquiry will follow to consider the introduction of advertising to BBC, which would be a disaster. Passions were stirred in the House and the Labour opposition spokesman, Gerald Kaufman, ruled out any introduction of advertising under a Labour government. The pound jumped more than 5 cents against the dollar, closing at $1.23 as there are nagging doubts about some sections of the US banking system. Daniel’s birthday today and he received over £76-worth of cash and vouchers as well as some rather last minute cards. He went to Cambridge with Diana and bought a personal stereo that he has wanted for some time.