Joyce’s column: Love and champagne!


Well love was in the air on the recent annual cruise holiday enjoyed by the Black family from Sound Leisure, when Michael Black got engaged!  The cruise took in Rome and whilst in a romantic square in Rome, Michael got down on one knee and proposed to his then girlfriend Susie, this was even more romantic as the square he chose to do this in was one that both he and Susie loved.

Susie was somewhat surprised and both Alan Black and Chris Black were both bemused by the situation, as Michael appears to be the only male of the Black family with an understanding of the word romance.  Susie accepted and they plan to have an engagement for a few months and are planning to marry in the New Year.  Michael says he and Susie have been together for close on 5 years and that she is beautiful and great fun, and he reckons he’s a very, very lucky boy, he also thinks Susie must have the patience of a Saint to cope with him.  Whatever Michael, I would like to offer my congratulations to both you and Susie, and just one thing I am curious about the boat that you were cruising on wasn’t named the ‘Love Boat’ was it!!

Most of us who know Andrew Murden, are aware of his keenness on motor bikes and over the years he has participated in numerous events both for pleasure and for charity. He recently attended the Annual Festival of over 1000 bikes at Mallory Park in Kirby Mallory, Leicester which this year saw the total of bikes rise to over 1300 in all classes veteran, vintage and modern.

The first day is Members day and they take their own bikes round the full Mallory circuit as it was when Hailwood and Agostini were racing in the 1960’s. Andrew rode his 1975 John Player Norton which hadn’t been used since 1999 – this bike is one of only 200 made at the Norton factory to mark the era of when the John Player cigarette company were sponsors, and the bike is in the colour scheme of their No 10 brand of cigarette packets.

The bike created a lot of interest amongst fellow bike riders, and Andrew really enjoyed the day. Day 2 which is for race bikes only; had celebrity guest riders including former USA champion Kevin Schwantz together with the likes of Ago, Reed, Grant, Cooper and numerous others who battled round the track, many of them not much slower than they did in their heyday. This is the largest event of it’s kind and brings back memories, sights, sounds and smells of the golden years of motor bike racing. Well done Andrew, I must admit you do look good on your bike as the photo proves.

Best wishes to Kieran Martin of Markos Amusements of Limerick who celebrated a milestone birthday last month, I will not tell you his age but I will tell you that it was one that ended in ‘0’ and it’s up to you to guess what it is, another clue is that he was born in the early 1950’s so that should help you deduce his age.  Anyway Kieran hope you enjoyed your day you deserve it and remember age is just a number and looking at you I would take you to be much younger than your years, you are like a bottle of good red wine better for keeping.

I’ll bet the staff at the amusement arcade at Dawlish Warren Sands Holiday Camp in Devon got a surprise recently when they were called to one of their grab machines and found a 4 years old boy inside the machine amongst the cuddly toys. The little boy had tried with his 6 year old brother to win one of the cuddly toys and had achieved no success, so he decided he must take the bull by the horns so to speak to win one and he squeezed himself through the flap that opens outwards for the prize merchandise to come out of.

Mind you he must have had quite a tough job as the flap was only just wider than his shoulders, anyway the staff at the arcade got the key for the machine and lifted him out complete with toys for both him and his brother. This young man certainly has got the sheer determination spirit, but it could have ended up in tears had he got himself stuck in the flap of the machine, but then again I suppose boys will be boys!!

Nice to hear that one of our former industry colleagues Roger Melling, former Managing Editor of Casino World is keeping well these days, as he went through a long spell of illness. I am informed that he is enjoying downloading music onto his computer, and he is using the latest technical mini speaker to enable him to get more sound from the music as he sits and rocks away to the sounds of David Bowie and Pink Floyd plus many others, and he also has the odd glass of champagne whilst doing so!

Roger has always been a champagne man in more ways than one, and he was always very generous with the champagne too, in fact at times I think he gave more away then he actually drank himself, unlike me it would be the other way around!!  Mind you he still has his serious side to him and I must admit this his collection of books especially on the history of ancient civilisations is just phenomenal and would give any library a run for it’s money.  We all wish you well Roger and maybe one day we might even see you at some show or other, just remember friends are always welcome, and you were a friend to many of us.

On my recent visit to Innovative Technology they informed me that since Aidan Towey became a television star they have received quite a good response to their plight for staff and had started some new recruits.  They still need more staff as their new growth potential on the retail market has expanded rapidly and they have found themselves on a recruitment drive that would normally see them need the extra staff over 1 and a half years, but they have needed this in 6 months, not bad when everyone else is full of doom and gloom.

A lot of the positions available are specialist ones and can lead to fantastic opportunities including leading roles in management, research and development and high-end electronics engineers. Innovative Technology work closely with the local job centre and have received well in excess of over 1000 CV’s in 6 months, and if they think that the position the applicant has applied for is not suitable for them they don’t just dismiss it, they look further into their CV to see if they are qualified for any other positions.

They have held 2 open days at their factory and supplied interviewees with bacon butties, now that in itself is an enticer, but they have to be complete with HP sauce of course!!  They also have a designated careers page on the web and have attended graduate fairs at Leeds, Durham, Nottingham and Manchester Universities with the hopes of attracting the right calibre of person for the positions they are offering.

They are still very much on a recruitment drive and if you feel you or someone you know could have the qualities that Innovative Technology are looking for why don’t you/they contact Carole Harker on the following email or give her a call on 0161 626 9999, you never know this could be a life changing moment for you/they and one that you/they won’t regret, after all Innovative Technology must have something going for them as they have a stable workforce with over 90% retention of staff who have stayed with them for many years.

Gamblers at a roulette wheel in Las Vegas recently were astounded when the number 19 came up 7 times in a row. Now before you all dash out to a casino to see if it works for you, the odds of this happening are apparently 144 billion to one, so just save your money instead.  Mind you if you had have been at this casino in Las Vegas and had backed number 19, you could have ended up with a nice wad of cash. I know if I had been there and I had backed number 19 it would not have come up like this, as 19 is one of my numbers on the Irish Lottery and rarely gets drawn out, but then again that’s just my luck or lack of it!!

I was in the champagne region of Epernay, France recently and yes I did sample the champagne, in fact visited so many of the champagne houses, I can’t remember which I liked best, but I enjoyed the tasting anyway, and I also visited the vineyards of Gevrey-Chambertin, and a couple of things happened whilst I was in both of these regions. The first story is funny in one way but not in another.  Whilst in Epernay there was a marathon race taking place and this British guy decided that when he saw the runners coming along the road he would join in with them, this was all well and good, but he should have looked where he was going before setting off on the race.  Instead he just charged out over a roundabout to catch up with the runners and he didn’t see the vehicle that was so close to him, and unfortunately the vehicle couldn’t stop and it hit him, very sad, but luckily the vehicle was an ambulance so he was able to get attention but he wasn’t able to carry on with the race as he had a broken leg.

I suppose it could have been worse if he had run into the throng of the marathon runners and they had knocked him over, he might have ended up with more than a broken leg and nobody would have stopped to attend to him.

Whilst at  Gevrey-Chambertin it  was announced that an unknown business man who owns casinos in Macao had paid £8m for the 12th century Chateau de Gevrey-Chambertin with five acres of vineyards, and this figure is supposedly twice the locally estimated value for the sale.  This purchase only represents a fraction of the 1,000 acres of vines which are allowed to use the Gevrey-Chambertin title,and other local wine producers are stunned at the sale, as they are seldom sold to outsiders.  Quite a diversification from casinos to wine growing, but I suppose like all things money talks!!

Talking of my trips Peter Rubin of PR Publicity wonders if I am ever in my home town of Oldham or do I just call in my home to collect a change of clothes and a cup of coffee, such cheek, anyone would think I was always away in some country or other, mind you he could have a point!!


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