BIRD'S EYE VIEW BY THE HAWK
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• It was an emotional NFC conference in Blackpool last week, with chairman Sir Peter Thompson looking almost tearful on several occasions.
However, the NFC boss was once again on top form, despite his weepy goodbye to the conference faithful.
He opened by referring to himself and the NFC board as the Abu Dhabi Glee Club. And then went on to promise it would never appear in public again. What was the NFC board up to on Saturday night?
Sir Peter then went on to condemn the legal jargon found in all the NFC conference documents: "If anybody understands 30% of the gobbledygook that we send out, they have my admiration," he said.
Then he got on to the subject of American Depository Receipts: "I thought they were a Spanish medical treatment."
However, it was not Sir Peter who had the last laugh, but a tanker worker who replied to complaints that several NFC reports were being sent to the same address. "There were so many NFC documents posted to me, my cat couldn't get in through his cat flap," he complained.
Sir Peter replied: "Bigger cat flaps will be part of our next strategy." • The names of a number of top transport firms featured in the list of MPs' interests, published recently by the House of Commons.
Conservative MP Sir Geoffrey Finsberg is listed as a director of GUS Group, while fellow Tory John Biffen is a non-executive director at J Bibby and Sons. Sir Barney Hayhoe, Conservative MP for Brentwood and Isleworth, is a consultant for the Channel Tunnel Group, while Roger King is a non-executive director of two National Express companies as well as an adviser to the Retread Manufacturers Association.
Sir Neil MacFarlane, Conservative MP for Sutton and Cheam, lists RMC Group and Hanson Trust among his interests, while North Tayside Conservative Bill Walker is a director at Stagecoach International Services and United Transport Malawi. Tories predominate on the list of members' interests. However, no fewer than 26 Labour MPs are sponsored by the TGWU, including Neil Kinnock.
• Travellers in York have been confounded by British Rail's latest advertising campaign, which apparently offers a 400km/h plus (257mph) service to London. The 'Go faster stripes' billboard poster promises a 48-minute journey time between York and London. Meanwhile, the same advert has appeared in Swindon. apparently offering a new, slower service on the London to Swindon run. BR blames the mix-up on its advertising agency. "We do run a fast service between London and York," says a spokesman, "but not that fast." ACROSS
1 Avoids the articulated lorries (6)
3 See 8 Down 5 See 15 Down 10 Said something of the wheel structure (5) 11 Always handy for freshening up in the gents (5) 12 Swedish firm with good safety record in cars and HGVs (5) 13 Applies this as 9 happens (5) 14 Fentores on the coastal run in Blackpool and Brighton (5) 18 Plnres to watch for possible approach of trains (9) 19 Lorry firm producing LB111 tractors or 112 tractor-cab model (6)
20 C,erman-type motor horn
1 Tees off along the motorway (6) 2 Type of road for reentering the motorway from the services (4)
3 Changes from white to red on some place-names as you leave Yorkshire for Lancashire (4) 4 Institution necessitating much hiring of buses and coaches (6) 5 Not on manual gears (9)
6 Number on a Ford Transit or some of 19 Across range (3,6)
7 Handbrake, for example, or manoeuvre into position (5) 8 & 3 Most prestigious of cars to lease (5,6) 9 Acknowledges the red light (5) 13 Their vans and lorries are among the first with the early morning deliveries (6) 15 & 5 Across: When all is said and done, send for these trucks (6,9) 16 Major hypermarket firm with fleet throughout the country (4) 1 7 Supermarket distribution ordering system (4)