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Michael Spiers

magazine 2020


AUTAVIA ISOGRAPH AUTAVIA ISOGRAPH The most innovative watchmaking technology The most innovative watchmaking technology a generation new adventurers. for a for generation of newofadventurers.


C

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How Walker skated to the top ·8·

Jacqueline Rabun: Georg Jensen · 72 ·

Kernow King interviewed · 16 ·

A toast to the generations · 78 ·

Shades of Vicenza · 22 ·

Fope’s 90 year heritage · 82 ·

They set sail to build a new world · 66 ·

The age of beauty · 88 ·

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T

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First watch, second man · 92 ·

Two Jacks wins · 123 ·

Watch Icons · 96 ·

Legal eagles · 128 ·

Supercars in Saltash · 110 ·

Rohrs and Rowe profile · 132 ·

Interview with Peter Trego · 116 ·

Contacts · 136 ·

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How Walker skated to the top Seventeen years on from becoming Truro shop manager James was appointed a director of Michael Spiers in 2019. By Lee Trewhela

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Michael Spiers director James Walker admitted to me as I sat with pen poised that he was very nervous about being interviewed as he didn’t think he had a story to tell. “But then my colleague Katie said ‘You’ve grown up with Michael Spiers, that is the story’ and I thought, yes maybe

car park during a long hot Cornish summer when his dad received a letter.

there is a story to tell,” said the 50-year-old, who lives in

Walker joked – and anyone who knows him will be aware

Falmouth with wife Lisa and daughters Scarlet, 13, and Tula,

of his cheeky sense of humour – that it was “sent from a

10.

government organisation to people who aren’t going to be

He’s the living embodiment of the success of the old YTS (Youth Training Scheme) and is that rare, probably unique, thing, a skateboarding youth worker who became a director of one of the country’s leading independent jewellery businesses. He may now be a walking font of knowledge when it comes to jewellery and leading watch brands such as Patek Phillipe and Rolex but once upon a time he would much rather do a 50:50 grind (yes, I know my skateboarding lingo too).

anything in life”. It was offering a YTS job opportunity in a jewellers in Truro. “My parents were thrilled about this as it was Michael Spiers and everyone knew Michael Spiers … apart from me. I had no interest in jewellery and had never even looked in a jeweller’s window.” His dad took James to Marks & Spencer and kitted him out in the perfect interview attire of a pair of Prince of Wales

The former student at Richard Lander School in Truro and the

check trousers, navy blue blazer with brass buttons, a striped

city’s sixth form centre was “loving life” as an 18-year- old

shirt and a paisley tie.

handing out leaflets for St Agnes Leisure Park in a St Ives

“It was lovely of him to do that but I looked like an 18-yearold boy in Captain Peacock fancy dress.” · 10


“I feel very lucky but at the same time I think I’ve worked really hard to get to where I am … but I feel totally okay saying I am lucky to work in a business like this with amazing teams across the company and to work alongside Adam, Keith and Michael who have a wealth of experience.”

Walker was interviewed by Stephen Spiers who sadly passed away in 2016. He gave him the job and he immediately discovered why Michael Spiers is famed as a great family business. He said: “A lot of people talk about Michael Spiers’ great ethos and I had a little glimpse of that in 1986. Everyone on the youth training scheme earned £27.50 a week and one of the first things Stephen did was to double my wages. “I met others on training days and no one else had that from their companies. That’s the kind of business it is and how they value people. At the time I probably didn’t realise it, but I do now.” Alongside being a YTS lad, James volunteered as a youth worker at Mount Hawke Youth Group and Perranporth Youth Club, leading on from him being one of the innovators behind Mount Hawke’s renowned skate park. “I was among the first group who discovered the vacant land, and Deanna Bullivant, who founded the Mount Hawke Youth Group, drove the project that created a world class skateboarding facility from scrub land. It was an exciting, empowering time and I can remember us sitting in Deanna’s small office sweating over the funding applications that would eventually make our dreams a reality. ”In his 20s James took a break as he always had a yearning to be a full-time youth worker, so he returned to the skate park in that role. “It was fulfilling and very hard work but it was important for me to do as if I hadn’t I would have always regretted it. But after four years I thought, I’ve done it now.” By pure chance James bumped into Stephen Spiers who asked if he’d be interested in returning to the business following the sad death of company founder Michael. He jumped at it. It’s thanks to colleagues that he became the manager of the Truro shop within just a few years.

“The search was on for a new manager. Quite touchingly a couple of members of the team, Ben and Dave, got in contact with the Managing Director and said ‘James is doing such a good job - he’s basically managing the shop, we’d support him as a manager’ and I ended up managing the shop. It was quite a speedy ascent.” Walker is forever grateful to Stephen for his success in the South West jewellery business. “Stephen was effectively my mentor and without his expertise and incredible knowledge of the industry, I would never ever have been able to achieve what I have. “I went in at 18 and learned so much from him and I’ll never forget what he taught me. He had an innate ability to understand retail at every level and he was amazing.” Walker added: “I learned very quickly due to having Stephen there – he was very willing to teach me and help me understand how everything worked. He took me under his wing and we always got on really well together which helped an awful lot. “He was a great man and someone who really shaped the business, not only the Truro store but the business as a whole.” Seventeen years on from becoming Truro shop manager Walker was appointed a director of Michael Spiers in January, 2019. “Becoming a director has been an incredible thing for me especially as I started as a YTS boy.” He joins Chairman Keith White, Managing Director Adam Spiers and fellow director Michael Cox in leading the business. “I feel very lucky but at the same time I think I’ve worked really hard to get to where I have … but I feel totally okay saying I am lucky to work in a business like this with amazing teams across the company and to work alongside Adam, Keith and Michael who have a wealth of experience.” · 11


Top table duo: James Walker with Managing Director Adam Spiers

Walker is excited about new plans for the future of the business. “You read a lot of negativity about the high street but our experience is really positive and can be seen in our £1 million investment in Truro where we’re expanding into the old Jaeger shop next door and creating prestigious new Patek Philippe, Rolex and Omega shopping experiences and a new designer jewellery area. “We’ve got lots of amazing plans across the company and a real sense of positivity about the future. “I’m very excited, especially about Truro as I think of Truro as my shop really and it’s a great way to honour Stephen’s memory and all the work he put in, which feels like it’s coming to fruition now.” Walker said the one thing that never changes at Michael Spiers is the relationship with its customers. “The core value of everything we do is to strive to offer exceptional service and that outstanding Michael Spiers experience for all of our customers. It’s the thing that separates us from your average business. Add what we offer in terms of jewellery and watches and it makes for a unique experience.”

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He added: “The thing about retail is it’s actually really easy once you’ve got a product that people want and you can sell it confidently and be sure what you’re offering is of a beautiful quality and something special. “Our customers aren’t customers in the traditional sense. They come in and say hello, have a chat and update us about what’s happening in their lives. They know us and our families and that is a really lovely thing.” Walker likes to repeat a phrase Chairman Keith White coined – “we’re in the business of happy occasions”. “That’s 100% right. We’re selling things that people buy for happy occasions – christenings, getting engaged, married, having a baby, all those really happy things. “I have customers to whom I’ve sold their engagement ring, wedding ring, eternity ring and now they bring their children in and it all starts again. Amazing!” “I’m not part of the Spiers family, in a sense of the blood line, but I AM a part of the Michael Spiers family. There will be many people across our four stores who say they are part of the family and that’s truly unique in business now.”


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Alright? Yeah you! The celebrated catchphrase by the South West’s leading comedian Kernow King is fitting because he’s more than alright just now By Lee Trewhela

laugher, KK said: “I never would have thought I’d be writing plays, but I really love writing in the Cornish dialect. It can be so true to life.” Ten years after creating KK as his fans know him, Edward Rowe is now a successful playwright, panto star and, thanks to one of the British films of 2019, an acting star of the future. Cornish boy Ed trained at RADA before returning home, making a series of hilarious YouTube videos and turning the popular Kernow King character into a stand-up star. Able to sell out the 1,000-plus Hall For Cornwall in Truro as well as shows as far away as London and Australia, Kernow King soon usurped the likes of Jethro as the most talked about Cornish comedian. However, he soon got itchy feet and his writing went in other directions.

Never has the accent been more true to life than in Cornish writer/ director Mark Jenkin’s Bait, which has taken the film world by storm. KK stars in Bait and is hypnotic as the fisherman who kicks against the gentrification of his Cornish village by second home owners and the like. With its experimental monochrome visuals and post-production dialogue, it ain’t Poldark. “The response to Bait has been amazing, really insane,” said KK. “It’s really weird to see my face on millions of tweets from people I don’t know. I’ve been wanting to scream ‘that’s me’. It’s amazing that so many people are enjoying it.

Speaking in a more refined Cornish accent than the exaggerated tones which have audiences crying with · 17


“You know a film’s a success when people come up and are quoting lines back at you.” He added: “The highlight was appearing in the 30th anniversary of Empire magazine with a five-star review. The Lion King was on the opposite page with just three stars. That’s unbelievable. “Then there was Mark Kermode’s review which has been incredible.” Writing in The Guardian, the leading film critic called Bait “one of the defining British films of the decade.” As a result of a “serious” film, which also happens to be “bloody funny” as KK puts it, he is now sharing an acting agent with Ricky Gervais, Olivia Colman and James Corden. Not bad for a boy from Roche. He’s had a few auditions for big shows but, so far, has been pipped to the post, getting down to the last two actors for a very big production indeed. It’s only a matter of time. Following the success of his play about the Cornish pioneer of steam travel, Trevithick, for the past few months KK has been touring Cornish schools. The play introduces young audiences to some of the greatest Cornish men and women from history – you’ll meet John Couch Adams who discovered the planet Neptune, Bobby Leach, the first man to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel, Rowena Cade, builder of The Minack, Emily Hobhouse who pioneered healthcare in Africa, and many more. “We’ve performed it in 90 schools so far and the kids love it. Some of the children are from pretty poor backgrounds so for many of them it’s their first taste of theatre. “They just sit there looking bored, thinking they’re going to have a workshop and before you know it we are bringing to life eight Cornwall characters and they’re having the best time.” KK has also been working on a comedy about legendary music venue the Cornwall Coliseum which was sadly bulldozed a few years ago. Throughout the 1980s and ’90s it played host to the greats of rock and pop – including Paul McCartney, Suede, Elton John, Page and Plant, The Smiths, The Clash, The Jam and many more. It’s a place KK grew up in as his dad Al’ was one of the venue’s doormen. · 18


The highlight was appearing in the 30th anniversary of Empire magazine with a five-star review. The Lion King was on the opposite page with just three stars. That’s unbelievable.

Cornwall-based performers Jenny Beare and Mary Woodvine, who also features in Bait. So what of Kernow King? Has he been consigned to the great comedy club in the sky? His play Coliseum, which recently had a scratch performance courtesy of Kneehigh Theatre on the very site of the former venue on Carlyon Bay beach, is based on Al’ and fellow doorman Trevor Mannell. The show incorporates some of the famous performances as sung by Al’ and Trevor as they look imposing on the door, including The Who, Ozzy Osbourne, Cliff Richard and Simple Minds. It’s very funny and surprisingly moving. Look out for future performances as the play takes shape. It wouldn’t be Christmas without Kernow King bringing some anarchic cheer to the West Country. KK has reunited with Simon Harvey and Richard Healey, the creative core of the last few Christmas shows at the Hall For Cornwall, which many believe re-invented the panto for a new age, winning awards and glowing reviews.

“I think I ran out of ideas,” admitted `KK. “But having said that, I’ve got half an idea, which is halfway between stand-up and theatre.” Showing that well-known streak of insecurity that so many comedians possess, KK added: “I love working in theatre and stand-up is not quite as much fun as you’re on your own. I still don’t like the feeling before going on – it’s not so much nerves as worrying whether you’re going to be rubbish or if the audience will hate you.” However, he soon relents and admits that his character is much-loved by fans not just in Cornwall but much further afield. That love is bound to grow following the success of Bait. Watch this space. To quote another Kernow King catchphrase: cheers ‘n gone.

The Christmas 2019 edition, A Cornish Carol, is a very Kernow take on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol with a mixture of music and drama, and promises to be “very funny” according to KK, who will star alongside well-known · 19


THE OFFSPRING COLLECTION BY J A C Q U E L I N E R A B U N

Designer Jacqueline Rabun’s striking use of organic shapes is a defining feature of her jewellery and her Offspring collection packs a strong emotional punch with its symbolic use of shapes that reflect our closest relationships.

G E O R G J E N S E N .C O M


Shades of

VICENZA the “city of Palladio” has been listed as a World Heritage Site.

Italy is colour. The land of Classical Rome and modern style has given the world names for countless hues thanks to the generosity of its earth. And perhaps nowhere embodies that wonderful rainbow more than the city of Vicenza.

In Classical Rome, the first emperor Augustus was said to have found Rome built of brick and left it made of marble. Palladio could be said to have first entered Vicenza as a humble stone cutter and left it a World Heritage Site.

So what better place to hold the Michael Spiers fashion shoot? Vicenza is also the home to the Italian jewellery house of Fope and this year the firm is celebrating its 90th anniversary. The Michael Spiers team wanted to join its Italian partners in the celebrations.

The master architect effectively created Vicenza in his own image, with succeeding architects working hard to fit into his style. Today, there are more than 20 buildings – from villas to palaces - in the city and the surrounding region attributed to Palladio. That Vicenza was awarded its World Heritage Site status was essentially a tribute to Palladio.

Nearly a quarter of Italy’s jewellery is created in Vicenza, and a walk through the colourful streets gives you an immediate clue as to why the city nourishes creativity. Vicenza bestrides the Bacchiglione river and is equidistant between Venice and Verona. Since 1994, · 22

In looking to use those colours in their native setting, the Michael Spiers photoshoot team was following in famous footsteps.


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Platinum baguette cut diamond eternity ring.

£3,250

Rolex Oyster Datejust 36 in steel and white gold, diamond bezel and white mother-of-pearl dial set with diamonds.

£15,200

18ct white gold brilliant cut diamond stud earrings.

£22,950

18ct white gold mandarin garnet ring with baguette cut diamond shoulders.

£6,750

Platinum emerald cut diamond three stone ring.

£75,000 18ct white gold sapphire ring with baguette cut diamond shoulders.

£18,950

18ct white gold baguette cut diamond line bracelet.

£39,950 · 27


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18ct white gold diamond Jazz necklace.

£5,745

18ct white gold diamond Jazz drop earrings.

£5,750

18ct white gold diamond Jazz dress ring. £5,500

Platinum baguette and princess cut diamond ring.

£3,950

Platinum emerald and diamond three stone ring.

£35,000

Rolex Day-Date 36 in yellow gold, fluted bezel and green ombré dial set with diamonds.

18ct white gold emerald and diamond line bracelet.

£26,600

£21,500 · 31


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Platinum brilliant cut diamond daisy cluster ring.

ÂŁ14,950

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18ct white gold brilliant cut diamond five stone drop earrings.

£8,950 18ct white gold aquamarine and diamond cluster ring.

£6,950

18ct white gold brilliant cut diamond collar.

£23,950

18ct white gold brilliant cut diamond line bracelet.

Rolex Oyster Datejust 31 in steel and yellow gold, diamond bezel and black mother-of-pearl dial set with diamonds.

£16,250

£29,500

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18ct white gold brilliant cut diamond hoop earrings.

£1,845

18ct white gold brilliant cut diamond disc pendant.

£6,995

Platinum brilliant cut diamond ring.

£1,945

Platinum diamond solitaire ring with diamond shoulders.

£27,000

Rolex Oyster Datejust 41 in steel and rose gold, fluted bezel and white mother-of-pearl dial set wth diamonds.

£13,750

18ct rose gold diamond scatter ring. £6,950

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18ct white gold diamond drop earrings.

£6,500

18ct white gold mandarin garnet and diamond three stone ring.

18ct white gold emerald and brilliant cut diamond circle pendant.

£3,750

£6,250

Platinum pear cut diamond ring.

£85,000

Tag Heuer Link ladies watch in steel with diamond bezel and mother-of-pearl dial.

18ct white gold brilliant cut diamond bangle.

£3,650

£3,050

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18ct white gold brilliant cut diamond loop drop earrings.

£2,750

18ct white gold brilliant cut diamond line necklace.

£24,950

Platinum baguette cut diamond eternity ring.

£10,500

Platinum brilliant cut diamond solitaire ring.

£39,950

Tudor Clair de Rose ladies watch in steel with diamond dial.

£2,000

18ct white gold ruby and diamond bracelet.

£19,950 · 46


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Mikimoto Pearl necklace with diamond buckle.

£9,000

Mikimoto Fortune Leaves earrings with White South Sea cultured pearls and diamonds, set in 18ct white gold.

£16,000

Mikimoto Fortune Leaves ring with White South Sea cultured pearl and diamonds, set in 18ct white gold.

£13,800

Patek Philippe Ladies TWENTY~4. Self winding mechanical movement, grey sunburst dial, with diamond bezel in steel. Reference 7300/1200A.

£19,970 Platinum brilliant cut diamond three stone ring.

£35,000

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18ct white gold brilliant cut diamond stud earrings.

£22,950

18ct white gold brilliant cut diamond pendant.

£13,450

Platinum brilliant cut diamond solitaire ring.

£15,950

Platinum tanzanite and diamond three stone ring.

£12,500

Platinum brilliant cut diamond seven stone eternity ring.

£3,995

Omega De Ville Trésor ladies watch in steel with diamond set bezel.

£4,000

18ct white gold princess and brilliant cut diamond bracelet.

£29,500 · 54


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Gucci GG Running studs with multicolour gemstones, 18ct yellow gold.

£1,350

Gucci G-Timeless strawberry print watch.

£710

Gucci GG Running necklace with multicolour gemstone chain and pendant, 18ct yellow gold.

£2,690

Gucci GG Running necklace with multicolour gemstones, 18ct yellow gold.

£1,350

Gucci GG Running ring with rounded studs, 18ct yellow gold.

£1,150

Gucci GG Running X ring with diamonds, 18ct white gold.

£2,200 Gucci GG Running bracelet with multicolour gemstones, 18ct yellow gold.

£1,260

Gucci GG Running X ring with diamonds, 18ct yellow gold.

£980 · 58


Gucci GG Running ring, 18ct yellow gold.

£1,080

Gucci GG Running bangle, 18ct yellow gold.

£3,110

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Georg Jensen sterling silver Offspring necklace.

£695

Georg Jensen sterling silver Offspring earrings.

£230

Georg Jensen sterling silver Savannah ring.

£175

Georg Jensen sterling silver Offspring bracelet.

£395 · 62


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fope.com


Mayflower II pictured is a replica of the 17th-century ship Mayflower, celebrated for transporting the Pilgrims to the New World.The replica was built in Brixham, Devon during 1955–1956, in a collaboration between Englishman Warwick Charlton and Plimoth Plantation, an American museum. The work drew upon reconstructed ship blueprints held by the American museum, along with hand construction by English shipbuilders using traditional methods. Mayflower II was sailed from Plymouth, Devon on April 20, 1957, recreating the original voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.

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They set sail to build a new world the Wampanoag native Americans who helped the Pilgrims get established in their early and desperately hard days in the New World.

The passenger manifest for this journey had Myles and Rose Standish, Thomas Tinker and William Brewster among the travellers. Their destination was a new world. In fact the purpose of the journey was nothing less than to build a new world. The passengers who set off from Plymouth were Puritan pilgrims escaping religious persecution and who took with them an astonishing work ethic, powerful enough for them to lay the foundations for what would become the greatest country of them all. Their ship was the Mayflower, their destination America, now known to all as the United States of… We often talk of 2020 vision, but the year 2020 will see the 400th anniversary of the realisation of one of history’s great visions – and it began with the sailing of the Mayflower from Plymouth, Devon to Plymouth, Massachusetts. Do not miss the party because what is planned will be talked about for the next 400 years. While the Mayflower 400 celebrations will culminate in Plymouth (Devon), the party will go on in communities across the United Kingdon, the United States and The Netherlands. In the UK, 11 locations associated with the Pilgrims will be hosting events. A ‘fourth nation’ is included –

An international partnership of 13 communities linked to the Pilgrims and led by the two Plymouths has been working since 2014 on the Mayflower 400 celebrations. The result will be a world-class series of events – artistic, cultural, sporting and civic – backed by multi-million pound investments. While the main thrust is in 2020, the whole programme will run for five years. More than 400 ‘moments’ will take place, ranging from international civic ceremonies to local community events. The Pilgrims would have approved for the theme of the celebrations were what drove them in the first place – individual liberty. The Pilgrims could never imagine how their legacy would be remembered and celebrated as they boarded the modest vessel The Mayflower in Plymouth on 16th September 1620 at the start of their epic voyage. But their story begins years before. In 1607, a group from Nottinghamshire tried to defy the Church of England and escape to Holland to live in religious freedom. They were captured and tried. The following year they successfully made it to Holland and the Dutch connection was established. However, while they were free in a religious sense, making a living was not easy. They began to consider a haven much further away.

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The few Pilgrims who survived laid the foundations for the United States and today some 30 million Americans can trace their ancestry to those early settlers.

Their home was Leiden, a free-thinking city with a tradition of giving shelter to refugees. But the liberal atmosphere caused consternation among the refugees who were concerned about the moral well-being of the younger members. It added urgency to their consideration of a longer-term home.

delays, the passage was at the height of the storm season. The voyage was miserable, with seasickness laying many low and one passenger washed overboard.

After many years, they sold their personal belongings in order to buy a ship called the Speedwell and on 20th August 1620 they set sail for England to meet the Mayflower. The two ships would then sail for the new world. Their rendezvous was Southampton, planned as their point of departure for the Atlantic crossing.

Large waves constantly battered the vessel. So powerful were the waves that a key structural support timber was fractured. The Pilgrims helped the ship’s carpenter fix the damage using a metal mechanical device called a jackscrew which they had loaded to help with the construction of settler homes in the New World.

They did not get far as the Speedwell began taking on water so they put into Dartmouth, Devon for repairs. Again, they set sail and were 300 miles clear of Land’s End when the Speedwell sprang new leaks. They turned back to Plymouth where the Speedwell was declared unfit to continue the journey.

Food ran short and one child died during the voyage. However, two wives on board were pregnant. Elizabeth Hopkins gave birth to a son they named Oceanus while at sea. Susanna White gave birth to a son Peregrine when the ship was anchored in Cape Cod harbour. He would be the first European child born in the New England area.

Some of the Pilgrims abandoned the journey altogether, while others from the Speedwell were crammed into the Mayflower. She finally departed Plymouth on 16th September 1620 with 102 passengers and up to 30 crew.

Due to bad weather they failed to make landfall at the Colony of Virginia where they had permission to land and arrived at what is today called Provincetown. They sailed on in search of fresh water and fertile land and eventually anchored in what they named Plymouth Bay, Massachusetts.

While the passengers slept in cabins or on the main deck, below were the stores they would need to gain a toe-hold in the New World. This included a few animals like pigs and poultry. Two passengers even took their pet dogs – well, they were British. The ship itself was about 100 feet in length, square-rigged with high castle-like structures fore and aft that protected the main deck from the elements. However, these made the ship extremely difficult to sail against the wind and so the westward journey was twice as long as the eastward voyage. The captain was Christopher Jones. The crossing took 66 incident-filled days. Because of the

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The first winter was spent on board The Mayflower but contagious disease caused many deaths. The passengers finally disembarked on March 21st 1621. Captain Jones had originally planned to sail for England as soon as the Pilgrims were settled ashore but had to wait until April to enable his surviving crew members to recover. Two acts by the Pilgrims would have an immeasurable influence on the development of the future United States. The first was the Mayflower Compact, signed on board the ship, which was the first agreement for self-government to be created and enforced in America. The second would come the following year. The cruel New England winter claimed many lives among the Pilgrims and Mayflower crew and by spring just under half the number of those who had set out from England had survived. The


United States and today some 30 million Americans can trace their ancestry to those early settlers.

Pilgrims formed an alliance with the native Americans of the Wampanoag community who taught them how to hunt and grow food. At the end of the following summer, the Plymouth colonists celebrated their first successful harvest with a three-day festival of Thanksgiving, the annual holiday Americans celebrate today. The settlers shared that first Thanksgiving feast with members of the Wampanoag community. The feast included venison, ham, lobsters, clams and berries. However, there is no reference to the mighty turkey, the bird native to the Americas and which today is the centrepiece of every Thanksgiving feast.

Eventually, The Mayflower was broken up and its timbers used in the construction of a barn in England. The last surviving member of the Pilgrims – Mary Allerton – died in 1699. She would not have known it, but she like the others who had gone before her were heading for immortality. Neither would she or they have imagined how the development of the United States would exceed their wildest dreams. And she would have been pretty astonished at the scale of the celebrations planned to mark the 400th anniversary of that extraordinary voyage.

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PIROUETTE ‌a pirouette requires a strong core alignment and perfect balance. Our designers were inspired to create this collection of platinum diamond engagement rings to echo the beauty, strength and elegance of this famous ballet movement.

michaelspiers.co.uk


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Jacqueline Rabun:

Georg Jensen Offspring

With a history that spans more than 100 years, the Georg Jensen brand represents quality craftsmanship and timeless aesthetic design, producing lifestyle products ranging from hollowware to watches, jewellery and home products. The philosophy of Georg Jensen himself was to create democratic designs possessing both functionality and beauty. That was in 1904 when he started the Copenhagen company which still bears his name. That same philosophy is shared in 2019 by renowned American jewellery designer Jacqueline Rabun, who has partnered with Georg Jensen for a number of collections, including Mercy and Offspring.

From her base in London, Rabun told the Michael Spiers Magazine: “My collaboration with Georg Jensen is based on a mutual love of organic sculptural forms.” The ethos of silversmith Jensen to create innovative designs a century ago that were both beautiful and functional is still at the core of the brand. Georg Jensen grew up close to forest and lakes just north of Copenhagen. Nature was his core source of inspiration. Symbols of the natural world weave a common thread throughout his designs: fruits, blossoms, leaves and organic shapes. He rejected the popular taste of the time for romantic and historicist ornamentation and ostentation, instead embracing the avant-garde Art Nouveau style with its simple organic forms and craft-based approach to production.

He was instrumental in defining the character of the 20th century Scandinavian Design by drawing on Danish traditions and infusing them with a progressive design rationale. His other artistic skills combined with his continuous ability to identify and support design talent was the foundation upon which he founded Georg Jensen in Copenhagen in 1904. That design ethos and support of talent continues today with the company’s pairing with Rabun. The designer has collaborated with Georg Jensen for 18 years. Her organic, poetic and evocative designs have established her as one of the most exciting contemporary jewellery designers in the 21st century. Expanding the range of the popular Offspring collection, new enticing designs have been added to this poetic range of modern jewellery this year.

When Jensen died in 1935 his business was acknowledged as one of the most important silver workshops in the world. · 73


“When I am designing a collection, it is important for me to honour the heritage of the brand whilst presenting a modern point of view that illustrates my design language and philosophy.”

Why did you feel that London needed to be your base? “A beautiful love story brought me to London in 1990 whilst I was developing my design language. The collection joins together oval egg-inspired shapes to symbolise the unbreakable bonds between parent and child, family members, life partners or friends.

“I set up my studio here with the intention of staying for a few years. London embraced my creativity and I have now lived here for more than 30 years.”

There is an emotional aspect to your work. How does this come into play?

Architecture and art play an important role in your designs. How do the two combine and where do you get your inspiration?

“My work is deeply connected to the human experience and the emotional journey of relationships, not only with others but also with ourself.” Do you have a person in mind when you are creating pieces? “I imagine a person who is evolved and compassionate, someone who is strong and self-assured.” You have had a long working relationship with Georg Jensen. How does the collaboration work? “When I am designing a collection, it is important for me to honour the heritage of the brand whilst presenting a modern point of view that illustrates my design language and philosophy.” · 74

“I discovered a world of jewellery informed by architecture when I was living in Los Angeles. I fell in love with the beauty and emotion of jewellery presented as works of fine art.” What have been the proudest moments of your career? “I am proud and grateful for so many moments during my career, designing the ‘100’ collection in celebration of Georg Jensen’s centenary in 2004, which was exhibited at the National Gallery of Denmark, was a great honour.”


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A toast to the generations

of genius

It’s a true West Country success story – a fifth generation family potato farm which has evolved into the region’s first plough to bottle distillery.

the dream of expanding their potato farm, which has been in the family since their great-great-grandfather Stafford (hence the gin’s name) bought it in 1904. It’s been a slow and steady build but Colwith Farm Distillery, at Lanlivery near Fowey, is finally seeing its labours bearing fruit. In summer 2019 alone the Dustow family won three top awards, proving that diversification was the key. Their Aval Dor Vodka was named as one of the ‘best on the planet’ at the Oscars of the spirits industry, The San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2019, scooping silver. Colwith Farm also won Best Family Business and its Stafford’s Dry Gin and the Aval Dor were awarded gold in the recent Taste of the West Awards - the largest independent regional food group in the UK. The distillery is the brainchild of Steve Dustow, who first had

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He said: “We definitely aren’t one of those who are known for turning out an average product in a fancy bottle, catering for the masses. “We want to be known for turning amazing Cornish produce into amazing spirits which everyone in Cornwall can be proud of.” So how did a farming family get the idea of becoming purveyors of quality booze? Dustow explained: “We have 40 acres of potatoes. A friend of mine said in jest ’you could make vodka from the potatoes’. I didn’t think much about it at first, but it started


Creating the distillery has been a steep learning curve for Dustow, who knew Colwill Farm’s Achilles heel was that its drinks were being made out of county.

gnawing away at me.” In 2010 Dustow started looking into buying a distillery as the popularity of craft spirits started to increase, but at £300,000 it was well out of the farm’s price range. However, in 2014 two things happened which have changed his life and the farm’s fortunes. Dustow discovered an expert company, run by a doctor in biochemistry at Cambridge University, which allowed him to distil a perfect potato vodka (although outside Cornwall at that stage) and he then got in contact with a Polish company which makes state-of-the-art equipment at a fraction of the price of what he’d seen previously. Dustow added: “It took a bit longer than anticipated – eight years, in fact – but we got a grant to do the project from the Cornwall Development Company South Eastern Local Action Group, which is all about farm diversification and job creation, and that really helped.” The ‘plough to bottle’ experience is a first in Cornwall, but Dustow still wasn’t sure how good his vodka was until he visited a well known restaurant. “I was definitely not a vodka connoisseur, so I visited drinks expert Damon Little at Nathan Outlaw’s. He grilled me and I thought, that’s it, I’m out of the game. But he said it was some of the best vodka he’d ever tasted.”

However, with the new kit which “revolutionises craft distillery”, Dustow’s dream of having a completely Cornwall-based spirits company has come true. It also means that its production of 10,000 bottles a year will gradually increase to 100,000. Visitors to the plant in the beautiful countryside near Fowey can now get a fascinating lesson in spirit making from Dustow as well as enjoying a few sips and samples along the way, ending with cocktails in the bar and that chance to make your own gin. Getting a perfect tasting vodka so that you get totally clear 96% alcohol during the process is not easy, but Colwith Farm has perfected the method. Also, most new gin makers buy in industrially made alcohol and then add flavours with the help of ‘botanical’ ingredients like juniper to give their product a USP. Dustow believes in going the whole hog himself. Having made his own clear potato derived alcohol, he then dilutes the product by using spring water from the farm. The result is the difference between a smooth, creamy alcohol and the industrial strength version that takes your breath away. They even grow many of the botanicals for the gin on the farm.

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“Diversification ensures Colwith Farm and the family business survives for the next generation”

and sell more but it’s wholly about making the best product we possibly can. More isn’t necessarily better.” It’s all about the family for Dustow, too. You can currently get the Colwith Farm range at higher end restaurants such as Fifteen, tourist outlets like the Eden Project and St Michael’s Mount and wholesale at a number of venues through St Austell Brewery.

“Diversification ensures Colwith Farm and the family business survives for the next generation,” he said. “Categorically, I’ve done this for my kids.

However, Dustow now hopes that with the distillation being performed in Cornwall, more local pubs and restaurants will start stocking Aval Dor (it’s Cornish for potato), Stafford’s and Fowey River Gin.

“We are not trying to build a huge business so we can sell it and sail into the sunset. It’s wholly about longevity and the family. The motivation is that my kids and my brother’s kids can take on the business.”

They also work with other companies and individuals on special projects – look out for a rum made for Inkie’s Smokehouse, a blueberry vodka made with a North Cornwall farm and something unique with Duchy of Cornwall Nursery.

So if you want to learn about the “heads, hearts and tails” of Cornish booze, while savouring the very best in home grown vodka and gin, you are advised to visit Colwith Farm Distillery – it could become the Cornish attraction of choice for discerning adults.

He added: “We are unrivalled in terms of producing a quality product in this region. We could make it cheaper · 80


ENDLESS LOVE Celebrate your endless love with our beautiful bridal and eternity ring collection.

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Fope’s

90 year heritage charts the future The Fope range of jewellery is an international success story and one of the leading brands in the Michael Spiers stores. 2019 saw the Italian master jeweller celebrating its 90th anniversary. To mark the occasion, Fope chief executive Diego Nardin gave an exclusive interview to the Michael Spiers Magazine. He talks of the company’s rich heritage, the need for constant innovation and to the future.

The city of Vicenza in northern Italy is renowned for many things including the rich colours of its buildings and for being the home of the jewellery masters Fope. That variety of colours seems rather appropriate in the year that the company celebrated its 90th anniversary. Nobody seems quite sure what the symbolic colour of a 90th anniversary is - some say purple and others red, while many say just choose your own. In Vicenza, Fope has many to choose from. On its anniversary, the firm can say with justification that it is enjoying the many colours of success. And behind that success lies a culture of restless innovation which in the anniversary year is more evident than ever. Ninety, a time to put your feet up and reflect on past achievements? Not on the watch of Fope chief executive Diego Nardin. “Being aware of the importance of such an achievement (the anniversary), we felt like taking a step back and revisiting the values that have always inspired us,” he said. “Fope built its history and success on a few key pillars, in particular, our heritage and the sense of belonging to a territory so rich in culture.” · 82

That exercise resulted in a major rebranding project for the firm which was implemented throughout 2019. “The most significant changes include the new logo, a new colour palette, a new lexicon for our storytelling and of course a wide range of communication tools. From company literature to displays, from digital channels to adverts: everything has changed,” said Nardin.


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It was back in 1929 that Umberto Cazzola, first of a family dynasty of jewellers, opened his goldsmith’s workshop in Vicenza which has remained the firm’s base ever since. Nine decades is a long time in business, but is there still a connection between the company of then and today’s international business? “An entrepreneur has to continually make choices in order to maintain success and growth,” said Nardin. “The most forward-looking choices will allow a company to adjust to different contexts and to the market challenges, but at the same time they have to save the peculiarities and values that in every era define the company’s success. This is the main theme that always inspired the Cazzola family and the generations that came after.” Fope’s history contains many landmarks, from the move to a state of the art factory featuring innovative technologies in the 1950s to the launch of the Novecento chain mesh in the 1980s. But the biggest breakthrough for the firm had to wait until the new millennium. “In 2007 the launch of the first Flex’it range represented the ultimate milestone for our company,” said Nardin. “We thus introduced a brand new way of wearing gold jewellery. The resulting bracelets and rings represent a ground-breaking idea of contemporary luxury. Fope jewellery promotes a signature style which goes beyond trends. It’s made to be worn every day!” · 84


“Fope jewellery promotes a signature style which goes beyond trends. It’s made to be worn every day!”

Fope shows no signs of slowing up in its ability to innovate, but does it become more challenging for a company with a 90-year heritage? “In our company, innovation means culture and technique and that means training our people to have a different approach towards their jobs: to think forward, to constantly seek incentives and discussions with the outside world, so that they can “produce” innovation. “Our history has taught us this important concept. Innovation has always been part of our DNA.” Recent years has seen the firm visibly accelerating in its business development. They included the opening of its flagship store in Venice overlooking the iconic San Marco square. A store in London will open soon. In 2016 Fope signalled its renewed ambition when it secured a listing on the Italian Stock Exchange.

the company’s ambitious goals as an international luxury brand. But did the move signal a fundamental shift away from how it has done business in the past? “This is an example of the innovative approach, in this case being successfully applied to company governance and finances,” said Nardin. “Fope launched a stock exchange listing to implement a clearly visible strategy in the markets and to spread a strong message of transparency. All the expectations of the project have been fulfilled; the first appreciations came directly from our jewellery retailers.” He added that the listing has led to a major cultural change within the company. “The culture of a stock exchange listing makes the company move in a brand new context, as it has to respect the rules dictated by the financial markets and to give attention to the new shareholders,” he said. “The perception that the project is about Fope facing new challenges for the future has permeated every levels of the company and everyone feels involved.

At the time, Nardin called the move an “important step” towards the company’s growth and the starting point for · 85


In the spirit of continual innovation, Fope launched a new range of products - Eka Anniversario - to mark its 90th anniversary. What might customers expect next?

“The way of thinking has changed, now everyone is driven by future challenges.” In the spirit of continual innovation, Fope launched a new range of products - Eka Anniversario - to mark its 90th anniversary. What might customers expect next? “Our jewellery collections’ product team never stops,” he said. “The new 2020 collections are already finished and we will announce some interesting news, but everything is top secret!” The anniversary saw Fope in excellent shape, said Nardin, and work is already underway to ensure it arrives at its centenary in similarly robust health. An important area for Fope are strategies to engage more closely with its customers world-wide. “I think the market areas where we are present today will still give us great satisfaction in terms of solidity and brand awareness,” he said. “We are currently working on some · 86

projects that will take us closer to our customers’ world. Furthermore, we are investing to have a stronger and more organic presence in the world of social media.” Fope is quintessentially a Vicenza company and, of course, Italian. Nardin said that the company’s success can in a large part be attributed to that sense of being rooted firmly in the city and the wider culture of the land. “We are world ambassadors of Italian products, but we reinterpret this value in a broader sense than only the design one,” he said. “We offer an Italian lifestyle philosophy and so we talk about culture, history and territory. “Fope was established in Vicenza, a town with beautiful architecture and a remarkable goldsmithing tradition; our HQ and factory have always been based here. The art of the city influences all our creations.” Colour, too. Whether it be the colour of the buildings or the colour of success.


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The age of beauty issues are ‘frown lines’, the changing shape of the face during aging and ‘body shaping’, particularly in the tummy area. Young people rarely think about middle age or getting old, and if they do they think only that it is all a long way off. What is interesting is that these stages of human life are actually getting further away, as we all live longer. Yes, 50 is the new 40, and so on. The West Country has many old cottages with front door lintels you must duck beneath because people are taller these days. But just as previous generations were shorter, so were they shorter-lived. Not now, and that is having a profound impact on such issues as well-being, healthcare and generally feeling good about yourself, according to Anne-Marie Davies, aesthetic advisor with two leading West Country clinics. “People are living longer and ‘middle age’ is now far later than it was in the past so that age group is out and about enjoying life more than previous generations, and they want to feel good about themselves,” she said. “They want to improve their confidence without taking the drastic measure of surgery. They choose instead lots of smaller tweaks to maintain a fresh look.

Said Davies: “Typically for our younger clients - we only treat over 21’s - keeping their skin looking fabulous and healthy is very popular; for our mid range age group (35-55) slowing down the ageing process with collagen boosting treatments such as injectables and radio-frequency treatments and for our more mature clients, again collagen-boosting treatments are so popular, particularly post-menopause, when lower oestrogen levels play a big part in skin laxity.” What was once the province of Hollywood stars and the very rich is now available to all, said Davies. “Non surgical treatments have grown enormously following the trend in the US. People want to look the best they can but don’t all want to go through surgery or the down time that comes with that, and many don’t want anyone to know they have anything done. “The appeal is very wide, including people from all walks of life. There are also more men having treatments such as Botox simply to maintain a fresher appearance.” Some 20 percent of clients in the West Country clinics are men. The percentage of men in large cities is higher.

“Many clients say they would just like a fresher version of themselves.”

Feeling good about yourself offers big wins in terms of the psychological benefits to the client, said Davies.

To meet that demand, the Sandon Clinic was opened in Plymouth 12 years ago and was followed by the Exeter Ten Years Younger clinic four years ago. From the outset, the auguries were good. The Plymouth clinic originally started from a single room in a beauty salon but after only a year it moved to its present delightful location at The Millfields.

“Confidence has a huge part to play in what we do. Many of our clients state that they want treatments to boost their confidence levels and help them regain a more positive outlook on life. Often a death, divorce, or bad experience to a client means that they need a boost to their confidence.”

The team is led by Dr Melissa Fitzgerald who divides her time between the two West Country clinics and one of Britain’s top clinics in Harley Street.

Before any treatments happen, an extensive consultation is carried out with the client to establish their precise needs and whether the clinic can deliver them. And it is not a sales pitch, to the point where the clinic will turn away potential clients if they are not suitable.

The non-surgical treatments offered by the clinics are there to enhance a client’s looks whether that be noses, cheeks, chins and lips or whether it is a weight management issue. Typical · 88


“Confidence has a huge part to play in what we do. Many of our clients state that they want treatments to boost their confidence levels and help them regain a more positive outlook on life.”

“We will discuss with clients options for achieving what they are looking for,” said Davies. “And we will be very honest if what they want won’t meet their expectations. We give clients as much advice and time as they need to make an informed choice. Some clinics use high pressure sales tactics. We do not.”

medical professionals can identify quickly,” said Davies. “We can spot potential adverse reactions and recognise certain issues and then use clinical judgement on whether to treat.

She added: “We have had clients ask for something that simply would not do what they think. These clients can be disappointed when we say ‘no’ but mostly thank us afterwards. Honesty is always the best policy.”

Like the wider world of medical science, the non surgical treatments sphere moves on apace and Davies said that the West Country clinics will study them closely but through a medical based perspective.

Because the staff are medically trained, they will discuss wider issues of well being, from the importance of exercise to maintaining a good diet. The issue of medically trained staff in such clinics has a wider importance for Davies and her team - what they regard as poor regulation in an industry still rapidly growing.

“Things move fast in this industry but that does not mean we should rush into things before we have seen proof that they work and are safe.”

“Part of the problem is non medical people doing these treatments but they have no clue what to do if something goes wrong,” said Davies.

“Clients are becoming more aware of the need their research before undergoing treatments; to make sure their practitioner is medically qualified and experienced; that they listen to you fully and offer realistic advice to meet expectations. There are risk factors with any aesthetic treatment and having someone who can deal with an emergency situation should it ever arise, should be a must.”

Among measures that she would like the regulators to enforce is that people offering injectable treatments are medical professionals only and injectable or high strength skin products such as peels are not sold on the internet for people to do themselves at home. There are serious medical issues at stake. “Medical conditions or medication that could affect results or are incompatible with certain treatments are areas that

“Medical professionals have a different mindset. Monetary gain is not the priority.”

Medical professionalism is the foundation of the business, she said.

Appointments can be arranged at either our Plymouth or Exeter clinics: Gordon Court, The Millfields, Plymouth, Devon PL1 3JB. Tel: 01752 222107 2nd Floor, 6 Southernhay West, Exeter, Devon EX1 1JG. Tel: 01392 690188 www.sandoncourtclinic.co.uk

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I C O N S

First watch, second man – history To boldly go where no timepiece has gone before

¡ 92


Making history had taken the three men a long way from home.

All watches keep time, but few make history. This is the story of one that did. On July 20th, 1969, Neil Armstrong achieved immortality when he became the first human to walk on the Moon. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” he declared… as he spoke from where the Lunar Module Eagle had landed on the Sea of Tranquillity. He was later joined on the Moon’s surface by fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin. High above them, the third member of the team Michael Collins piloted the Command Module Columbia. Making history had taken the three men a long way from home. But there was something else making history on this legendary mission, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Strapped to Aldrin’s wrist was an Omega Speedmaster wristwatch, the first timepiece on the moon. An act of heroic whimsy? Not a bit of it. Just as the trio of astronauts had undergone years of relentness training to prepare them for the Apollo 11 moon landing mission, the ‘Speedy’ had been tested to near-destruction to ensure it was the right watch for this most special of times. Speedy – after 1969 known also as the Moonwatch - had flown on earlier Apollo missions as well as the earlier Gemini space flights and had more than earned its place on the Moon’s surface. But why was it carried by the second man on the Moon and not Armstrong? That interesting fact is itself a tribute to the reliability of the Speedmaster. Armstrong, commander of the mission, decided to leave his Speedmaster in the lunar lander as a back-up to the malfunctioning on-board electronic timer. The Apollo project was one of the greatest adventures in human history. It was in the spirit of the hardy men and women who sailed on the Mayflower (see separate article) to lay the foundations for what would become the United States. They sailed to a new world. Apollo took men to another world. The whole turbulent decade of the 1960’s was like a backdrop to the Gemini and later Apollo space missions building towards the goal of putting a man on the Moon. The inspirational American President John F. Kennedy had said in 1962: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are

hard.” And it was. Despite the measured tones of Armstrong who reported to Mission Control “Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed,” back on earth it was anything but tranquil. Capsule Communicator Charlie Duke, who would later become the tenth man to walk on the Moon and who has appeared at Omega anniversary events, spoke for all in the Houston team. “Roger, Tranquillity. We copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again,” he said. The 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing was marked by celebrations across America and in many other parts of the world. Omega joined with surviving astronauts from the Apollo programme to mark the occasion in several locations. Of the three-man crew of Apollo 11, Aldrin and Collins are still alive, but Armstrong, who manually piloted the Eagle Lunar Module to the surface of the Moon, died in 2012 aged 82. As any Michael Spiers customer knows, choosing a highprecision watch is about aesthetic appeal, reliability and accuracy. But imagine you are NASA looking for a watch that can survive the rigours of outer space. Where do you begin? There is a lovely urban myth that in the early 1960s, a team from NASA went to a watch store in downtown Houston and discreetly bought up a selection of timepieces for testing. It’s a nice story but one that NASA has wearily dismissed many times: the world’s leading engineering and technology organisation does not work like that, then or now. The real story is in some ways more interesting. NASA invited ten watch makers to submit timepieces that would be subjected to testing “torture” to see if they could meet its demanding specifications. Only four firms responded, an example for marketing geeks everywhere on how to miss an historic opportunity. But the real · 93


NEW WORLDS: NEW WORDS The moon has always played a part in our language, from ‘the cow jumped over the moon’ (nursery rhyme) to ‘once in a blue moon’ (rarely) to ‘over the moon’ (ecstatic). But the Apollo missions spawned a whole new catalogue of words and sayings. A few examples: • Houston, we have a problem – originally an understatement covering a serious issue, now used mostly humourously. • Moon shot – Awesome; fantastic; almost impossible to achieve. • Lift-off – the launch of a project or initiative. • Space cadet – Originally a trainee astronaut, the term has evolved to mean a person behaving strangely or who appears to be out of touch with reality. • Moonwalk – Originally a stroll on the moon, it was later reinterpreted by Michael Jackson as a unique style of dance.

cautionary tale for marketers can be found in the company that did not read the watch specifications demanded by NASA. It submitted a pocket watch rather than a wrist watch as specified by the spacefaring organisation. The firm was eliminated before testing began.

personal. Gene Cernan was on the Moon closing the Apollo 17 mission when he saw the Earth far away in space and felt like the “most solitary human being alive.” He glanced at his watch and it made him imagine what was happening at home.

Omega’s Speedmaster and watches from two other firms were then subjected to perhaps the most demanding tests ever applied to a watch. The barrage of testing covered impact, vibration, heat and many other critical stresses likely to be experienced in outer space. The astronaut community – mostly former United States Air Force pilots known for favouring mechanical robustness and reliability over technological innovation – would have the last say of which watch was chosen.

The magic of the Apollo programme lingers still and the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing saw a range of events around the world. Highlights of the landing were projected onto the Washington Monument while other American cities staged events, as did Madrid and Paris where a Speedmaster from the Apollo 17 mission was displayed.

In the event, the competition was decided by the first procedure – a ‘thermal vacuum test.’ In this, the watches were subjected to a pendulum swing at high and low temperatures in a vacuum. One of the watches stopped altogether while the other’s hands were deformed by the heat. Speedy by name became Speedy by nature: it won hands down. The first official space mission for the watch was in 1965, although a Speedmaster was known to have flown on a Mercury mission in 1962. There followed space walks with astronauts wearing the watch. Anyone wondering how important Speedy was in the history of the Apollo programme might consider this. ‘Houston, we have a problem,’ were the dramatic words from Apollo 13 which began a life and death drama as the three astronauts on board aborted a planned Moon landing and instead fought to bring the crippled craft back to earth. With the craft running on almost no power, watches were used to time controlled burns and other procedures during the perilous flight. For other astronauts, the Speedmaster’s importance was · 94

In Australia, Omega marked the occasion with a gala dinner at Fox Studios, Sydney. Charles Duke talked about his experience of walking on the Moon. Astronaut legend Buzz Aldrin himself attended a special ‘cocktails in space’ event at Omega House in Rio de Janeiro. Omega has also created a limited edtion of 6,969 Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th anniversary watches with a host of features EARTHRISE Earthrise changed the way we see. The Apollo programme had a profound effect on people even before the actual landing on the Moon. It changed the way we see the Earth. In 1968, Apollo 8 took a photograph of the Earth while orbiting the moon. The stunning image Earthrise showed our beautiful blue planet in a profoundly new way. It changed the perceptions of everybody. From then on we lived in one world.


paying tribute to the mission. The watch has a 42mm case and polished 18ct Moonshine™ gold bezel with polished black ceramic bezel ring. The dial pays tribute to the Apollo 11 mission with a unique 11 o’clock hour marker and laser engraved image of Buzz Aldrin climbing down onto the lunar surface. Another limited edition watch to mark the occasion is a Speedmaster in Moonshine gold, with just 1,014 pieces available. It commemorates the presentation of the original gold Speedmasters to astronauts at a gala dinner in Houston in 1969. Speedy attained legendary status as the first watch on the moon and the subsequent fate of Buzz Aldrin’s timepiece only added to the myth. Nobody knows what became of it. Under NASA protocols, items like the watches are sent to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington. Aldrin shipped the watch – reference number ST105.012 - but it got lost in transit. Somewhere out there… ‘LOST PROPERTY’ It’s a good job there were no ‘do not litter’ signs on the Moon because astronauts from six missions left rather a lot. The rationale was that the more equipment they left behind, the more moon rock they could carry home. A gold olive branch – Apollo11 Golf balls, hit by astronaut Alan Shepard - Apollo 14 Three lunar buggies – Apollo 15, 16 & 17 Astronaut Charlie Duke left a photograph of his family – Apollo 16

But where next for Speedy which remains the official timer for NASA? The sky and far beyond would appear to be the limit with proposals to return to the Moon in the 2020s and a possible mission to Mars a decade later in the planning stages. Aldrin commented on the anniversary: “America put the big question to rest: We got there first. We landed on the Moon with 250 million Americans watching our backs. That mission belongs to all of them, and to future generations of Americans who dream to reach the Moon once more…” In recent years there has been renewed interest in space travel which has seen Omega working more closely than ever with NASA. Aldrin himself is involved and the legend is said to be part of the design process of a ‘Mars watch’ which speculation has suggested would be an evolution of Speedmaster. The possibility of a new Moon landing is closer (in miles and time) with some predictions saying it could be as early as 2024. If and when they do so, “the Speedmaster will certainly be a part of the mission kit,” said Omega. “It is, after all, the original ‘Moonwatch.’” · 95


Patek Philippe World Time Reference 7130G, ladies World Time. 36mm white gold case with diamond set bezel. Grey-blue dial, hand guilloched, gold applied hour markers. Peacock blue alligator strap with diamond set buckle.

£40,540 ¡ 96


Thierry Stern president of Patek Philippe. ¡ 97


Rolex Day-Date 40 18ct yellow gold. White dial with yellow gold Roman numeral hour markers. President bracelet. Self-winding mechanical movement.

ÂŁ26,750

¡ 98


Martin Scorsese is a towering figure in cinema. A director, producer and screenwriter with a career spanning 50 years and as many films, many of which are considered some of the greatest ever made.

¡ 99


Tag Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 Automatic chronograph, 39mm, blue dial with red detailing, fine-brushed and polished steel case and leather sports strap.

ÂŁ4,795

¡ 100


Nicknamed “The King of Cool”, Steve McQueen is an icon of the silver screen. At the height of the counter culture of the 1960’s, McQueen’s antihero persona helped make him a top box-office draw. By the 1970’s McQueen had become the highest paid movie star in the world. McQueen was an avid motorsports enthusiast, performing many of his own stunts and considered becoming a professional racing car driver.

· 101


Lady Gaga is a singer, songwriter and actress. One of the most successful recording artists of all time, selling over 27 million albums worldwide, awarded a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and known for her philanthropy and social activism. ¡ 102


Tudor Black Bay 41 Steel case with yellow gold bezel. Black dial. Self-winding mechanical movement. Steel and yellow gold bracelet. Waterproof to 150m.

ÂŁ3,110

¡ 103


Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 Blue dial with black subdials, red seconds hand and silver hour markers. Steel case and bidirectional bezel with aviation slide rule. Black crocodile strap.

£6,460 ¡ 104


Kelly Slater is a professional surfer, author, actor and environmental activist. Widely regarded as the greatest professional surfer of all time, American born Slater has won the World Surfing Championships an unprecedented 11 times. ¡ 105


Gucci Grip Skateboard inspired, genderless, 38mm yellow gold PVD case with interlocking G’s. Swiss quartz movement. Hour, minute and date windows.

£1,400

· 106


Florence Welch is an English singer, songwriter and producer best known for being the vocalist and songwriter for her band Florence And The Machine. Grammy nominated and winner of Ivor Novello and Brit awards, her music has topped the UK charts and America’s Billboard Hot 100. ¡ 107


Supercars in Saltash The Porsche legend was born in Germany in 1931, creating a style that has never gone out of fashion. From the original Porsche 356, through the iconic Porsche 911 to the Boxster and now the all-electric Taycan, it’s more than a motoring brand - it’s the driving ambition of men and women world-wide. In the West Country, Porsche Heaven is found at Saltash.

“I looked around and could not find the car I dreamed of, so I decided to build it myself” - Ferry Porsche

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Just the other side of the Tamar Bridge from Plymouth you find Williams Crawford - and a treasure house for any motoring enthusiast. The firm bears a worthy slogan - passion for Porsche - and take a look inside and you will see why. Everywhere you look you will find a Porsche, whether a classic model or a new supercar, plus a collection of other exotic motors. At any one time you might find up to 100 Porsches at the facility. Adrian Crawford described his business thus: “We help people with Porsche. It’s that simple! “We deal with 70 years of Porsche, from any era with whatever issue. From the earliest 356 through to the most recent models our aim is simple; be honest and look after people.” Williams Crawford buys, sells, repairs, services and restores Porsches. It also offers a brokerage service and will carry out bespoke work on anything Porsche. “Today is a good example of our business,” said Crawford. “We have very new Porsches and probably something representing every model series going all the way back to an early 356 Speedster which is receiving a brake upgrade.” The Porsche love affair is also a family affair. Crawford refers to his staff of 20 as family and he more than anybody knows that the family ethos extends across the world of Porsche owners. Which brings us to the origins of the story and a young Crawford’s “Porsche moment.” · 111


“It’s the Williams part of the name that changed it all; Richard Williams ran a garage locally and looked after all my Porsche maintenance needs for 20 years or so. We shared the same values -to be honest and be known for excellence. Plus we both love Porsche. “I was a lad in short pants, about 13 years old,” he said. “I recall a friend of my father arriving at his garage with a mid-green 911 Turbo and to me, it was like a spaceship had landed! It is a memory I never forget. “Had Williams Crawford been about when I was a boy, I would definitely have been there every week, peering through the window and dreaming about what might be……. “As soon as I got a licence, I knew it was a Porsche I wanted.” In the early 90’s he started his own business and tried dealing with Porsche, but recession and high insurance costs meant the timing was wrong. Undaunted, five years later he tried again. “I started making a name for myself with beautiful air-cooled 911s, selling them nationally over the internet. It proved to be very successful, but I wasn't looking to run a big business.” What changed? · 112

“Richard and I thought it might be exciting to join up and offer a wider range of services. It transformed the business. Little did we anticipate it would become the size it is now.” The firm’s customers come from all over the world. “We have cars and clients throughout the UK and Europe, the Far East, Middle East and the USA.” Crawford said that the successful expansion was down to intelligent team-building. “We were lucky to have a more experienced person join us. Anthony Ainslie is very well known and highly respected within the business. The key is that he shares the enthusiasm and the same principles as we do. Since joining us, the business has moved further forwards and frankly, it’s running better with him at the helm than with just Richard and I.” The passion is as great as ever, he added. “Sometimes we


“

I recall a friend of my father arriving at his garage with a mid-green 911 Turbo and to me, it was like a spaceship had landed! It is a memory I never forget.

¡ 113


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It’s not a job, it’s a passion… for Porsche. “There is nothing better than meeting others who share the same passion as us. Our job is to remove their problems, reduce their anxieties and help them enjoy their cars. have to pinch ourselves when we see just what goes on here. Apart from the Porsche, we had a genuine AC Cobra in the workshop for pre-track maintenance along with an ancient Fiat 500 and a mid-engined Renault 5 Turbo 2. Classic Mercedes Benz, Jaguars, Aston Martin…...the cars are the stars. Look at the stock we have; 911 from the 1960’s to nearly new, Cayenne, Macan, Panamera, Boxster and Cayman and 356 from the 1950’s. We have them all.” Crawford said he continues to live the dream long after that first Porsche moment. “Yes, it is a dream. We handle the sale or brokerage of superb cars, mostly Porsche and we look after prized possessions. We actively enjoy motoring adventures; motorsport, track days, rallies and events, driving tours and European road trips and enjoy sharing this motoring fun with our clients.

It’s not a job, it’s a Passion…..for Porsche. “We’re happy to show people around our premises. If clients of Michael Spiers are curious, just call or pop in…….it’s our pleasure.” Williams Crawford Porsche 911 Forge Lane, Moorlands Trading Estate, Saltash, PL12 6LX. Tel: 01752 840307 info@williamscrawford.co.uk www.williamscrawford.co.uk

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The ‘Peter principle’: how to come second

gracefully “I’m no longer going to be a Somerset player, but I will always be a Somerset fan. I’ve got so many wonderful memories. The positive memories that we’ve all shared together will stay with me forever.”

They did it again. Somerset County Cricket Club managed to become runners-up in the County Championship in 2019, continuing an unbroken record of never having won the title in 128 years. Add that to five other occasions since the turn of the millennium when the club has come second and you seem to be wallowing in the negative. But listen to Somerset stalwart Peter Trego, who is leaving the club after 14 consecutive seasons, and you begin to see a very different picture. He was there to see the agony of the showdown last game (drawn) of the season against Essex who went on to take the title after play was constantly affected by rain. “Our first innings score had put us into a good position, but there is nothing you can do about the weather,” he told Michael Spiers Magazine. “But be assured, we will always pick ourselves up no matter the outcome.” How disappointing is to repeatedly come second? “It does seem disappointing when you first look at it,” he said. “At the time you feel devastated. The guys may feel a bit down when they are holding their runners-up medals and watching the title winners celebrating, but then you have to look at things differently.”

· 116


· 117


For below the title holders and the runners-up are 16 other top-flight cricket teams (across the two divisions). “There are loads of great players in those other teams. When you think about what it must be like to come 18th, suddenly coming second does not seem bad at all,” said Trego. “Somerset’s time will come.” The wisdom of the West Country from a man regarded as one of the club’s great characters. Trego, aged 38, is leaving Somerset, but the good news for cricket fans everywhere is that he has no intention of leaving the game. Word is out that he is open to offers and reckons he has at least another couple of seasons in him. “I still plan to continue,” said the hugely-influential bighitting all-rounder. “Somerset decided that I was no longer part of their future plans which was sad to hear, but hopefully there is a team out there that will look at my track record and find a place for me. “I am as fit as I ever was and I still have a driving ambition to succeed. I didn’t put in all this hard work over the years to retire at 38.” Trego grew up as a cricketer within the Somerset academy programme before making his senior debut in 2000. After spells with Kent and Middlesex he returned to Somerset in 2006. · 118

His maiden first-class century was 140 against West Indies ‘A’ in 2002. He scored three Championship centuries for Somerset in 2006 including 135 against Derbyshire. His best first-class bowling performance was 6–59 for Middlesex against Nottinghamshire in 2005. He is the leading runscorer in Hong Kong Sixes cricket (184 runs). He also has the record for the highest individual score in Hong Kong Sixes (65). As Trego likes to say every player walks into a game and leaves it afterwards with “a numerical” the playing statistics that define their performance. His own “numericals” are impressive. He scored 3,273 T20 runs and has a first class average of 33.31 as well as taking 383 wickets. He was born and raised in Weston-super-Mare and was a cricket enthusiast by his early teens. He also collected a strong sense of West Country compassion in his early days. He remains a familiar face in the town, even to those less fortunate than anyone reading this magazine. A couple of years ago, a polar vortex – nicknamed The Beast from the East - spiralled in from the Arctic and brought with it unprecedentedly cold weather to Britain. Trego decided to do something to help homeless people in the town weather the storm. He and a friend loaded up a car with hot drinks and food


“I’m proud to be from Weston-super-Mare where people like to help each other, where they like to be kind to their neighbours and that kind of thing.

Trego shares. Somerset batsman James Hildreth was just one such overlooked player, he cited. and toured the town bringing some relief to those literally out in the cold “I do a fair few charity dinners but that time I wanted to do something directly to help those people on the street,” he said. “It seemed the right thing to do. “I’m proud to be from Weston-super-Mare where people like to help each other, where they like to be kind to their neighbours and that kind of thing. “When I was growing up I was always around people who treated others respectfully.” Back in his early days, Trego, aged 15, made his Somerset 2nd XI debut against Derby and was handed his pay of £80. “I had never had so much money,” he said. “I felt like a millionaire. It dawned on me then that there was a career to be had there.” He made the most of it and played for England Under 19s. To this day he is regarded as one of the finest cricketers of his generation never to get the call-up by the England Test side. He is philosophical about it but admits to being “mystified.”

“It comes down to every player on any field in the country having their numerical and you cannot argue with the numbers,” he said. “And yet you see it again and again, the best players according to the statistics, are routinely overlooked. It is pretty obvious that often the best players are not picked and it makes no sense. It just mystifies me.” Trego is wary of talking about his own cricketing heroes but cites former team-mates at Somerset as those he admires. They include Mark Lathwell (“we both had a love for darts’) and Graham Rose (“he was a great inspiration to me.”) He said that while he is sad to be leaving Somerset, he is looking forward to new challenges. “I’m no longer going to be a Somerset player, but I will always be a Somerset fan. I’ve got so many wonderful memories. The positive memories that we’ve all shared together will stay with me forever.” Assuming he finds a berth with a new club how would he feel if he were to return to Taunton to play against Somerset? “I think that would be just surreal.”

There is a line of thought that says talented players within “smaller” clubs like Somerset are routinely overlooked in favour of players from the bigger outfits and it is a view that · 119


A

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We ’re a l s o e x p e r t s i n c u s t o m installations, smart home set ups and in-house design consultation and, put s i m p l y, w e ’re a l w ay s o n a m i s s i o n t o m a ke s u re y o u r e q u i p m e n t l o o k s a n d s o u n d s i t s a b s o l u t e b e s t i n yo u r h o m e . We f e e l just as much pride in stepping back and a d m i r i n g a n i n s t a l l w h e n i t ’s c o m p l e t e a s y o u d o w h e n y o u s e e / h e a r i t f o r t h e ve r y first time. We ’v e b u i l t a t e a m t h a t ’s j u s t a s passionate about bringing the latest and g re a t e s t t e c h n o l o g y t o C o r n w a l l a s w e a re . I n s t o re y o u c a n e x p e c t a w e l c o m i n g s m i l e , i n - d e p t h p ro d u c t k n o w l e d g e , a geeky chat and a cup of Cornish coffee! We ’re h e re t o h e l p a s l i t t l e o r a s m u c h a s yo u l i ke . Ye s , w e ’ve c a re f u l l y c r a f t e d a p ro d u c t r a n g e f ro m s o m e o f t h e b e s t b r a n d s i n t h e w o r l d b u t , a t S e n s o S y s t e m s , yo u ’ l l g e t s o m u c h m o r e t h a n j u s t p ro d u c t . W h e n y o u b u y f ro m u s , w e b r i n g yo u i n t o t h e S e n s o f a m i l y, c o n t i n u a l l y i m p ro v i n g and suppor ting your HiFi needs with e x p e r t i s e , t i m e a n d e f f o r t . We c a re - a n d t h a t ’s w h a t s e t s u s a p a r t . S e e yo u s o o n ,

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TWO JACKS WINS!

The West Country has always been the ace visitor destination in the United Kingdom. Its association with kings and queens is well-documented. But what of the humble jack? Well, two West Country Jacks – one Nowell and one Leach – are re-working the role in their respective sports – rugby and cricket. In the process, they are helping to put the region on the national sporting map, with their appearances for England and with their respective clubs – Exeter Chiefs and Somerset County Cricket Club. There was a time when a visit to the West Country was for number of reasons, though sport was not one of them. Not any more. · 123


potentially devastating blow for a man who just bursts with pride when it comes to playing for his country.

Jack Nowell: a winning streak in a blue hat Everyone knows that they make West Country trawlerman tough…their sons too, and they don’t come much tougher than Exeter Chiefs and England wing Jack Nowell. Nowell has been a fixture in the astonishing rise of the Chiefs since they arrived in the top flight of English rugby in 2010. The club that was given no chance of staying in the Premiership, went on to win the title. He was just 20 when he had the “surreal” experience of being picked to play for England. Few players get to claim a hat-trick of tries in a Rugby World Cup but Nowell achieved it against Uruguay in the 2015 showcase. But the toughness of the Newlyn boy, where his father Michael is a trawlerman, has been tested at a deeper level. Despite his impact on the game at both club and national level, Nowell has lost a huge amount of game time due to injury. First, he sustained an injury in the season’s finale against Saracens. Then, on the eve of the World Cup in Japan he was forced to undergo an appendix operation, a · 124

Nowell is on record as saying how lucky he feels every time he gets to play for his country and that he never takes it for granted. But such is the esteem in which England coach Eddie Jones holds Nowell that despite these setbacks, the Newlyn boy was included in the squad for the showcase in Japan, along with Chiefs team-mates Henry Slade and Luke Cowan-Dickie. “I am just doing everything I can to get myself fit as soon as possible,” said Nowell before leaving for Japan. Coach Jones fondly calls Nowell his ‘street fighter’, an acknowledgement of his ferocious combative qualities. But while Nowell can mix it with the best, perhaps a more interesting feature of his game is his flexibility. You normally see him on the wing (defending fleetingly!) but he can also play at full back or outside centre. During the last Six Nations tournament, he even played a cameo in the scrum while one player was off the field.


Like many in the West Country, Nowell holds the view that this part of the world tends to be neglected when it comes to sporting talent and yet it is bursting with quality sportsmen and women. He feels he was lucky to be spotted by the big teams and had always imagined that his rugby would be played in Cornwall.

Club and country have made the most of that versatility but the most interesting role may be yet to come. Coach Jones has hinted that he might play Nowell as openside flanker, an out-of-the box thinking ploy to take the game into new realms. Nowell graduated from the Cornish Pirates juniors before his move to Exeter Chiefs and the Premiership. Regarded as one of the outstanding successes of the Chiefs Academy system, his professional debut was in 2012 and he was immediately among the laurels, taking the LV Breakthrough Player Award for 2012/13. The following year, Nowell was one of five fellow Chiefs players to help England Under-20s lift the Junior World Championship in France. Nowell rapidly established himself in the Chiefs squad and played a vital role in their Premiership final appearances, including the historic first ever win for the team in 2017. Likewise for England, where he has become a regular in the Six Nations and the World Cup. From club and country, Nowell was included in the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand where he helped the Lions secure an historic draw. Like many in the West Country, Nowell holds the view that this part of the world tends to be neglected when it comes to sporting talent and yet it is bursting with quality sportsmen and women. He feels he was lucky to be spotted by the big teams and had always imagined that his rugby would be played in Cornwall. Exeter Chiefs and England have profited from the fact that the man who plays out of his skin, plays out of The Duchy. Nowell is a player well-grounded, as the saying goes, and is not afraid to admit that his team-mates love to tease him over his hobby – building countless structures out of Lego bricks. For Nowell, it’s a great way to relax and though his fellow Chiefs players laughed at him initially, rumour has it that one or two have followed suit. His roots remain in Newlyn and the beautiful port might be due a popular name change like that bestowed on Padstow where superstar fish chef Rick Stein has his base and a fleet of restaurants and related businesses. For a long time now, it has been known as ‘PadStein.’ In honour of a great West Country sporting hero, might Newlyn in future become Nowellyn? · 125


for Dorset in 2010, bowling his side to victory in the final against Lincolnshire, taking 6-21 in their second innings.

Jack Leach – A winning spectacle on any cricket pitch He’s a bowler who is becoming rather well-known as an England batsman. But as well as exciting cricket fans everywhere, he has attracted a wider fan-base and become something of a cult hero… for his spectacles! Throughout any game, Somerset’s Leach can be seen removing his spec’s, polishing them and replacing them before bowling again or resuming his batting stance at the crease. To all the world he looks like a computer nerd. But do not be fooled either by his demeanour or by his apparently regulation slow left arm spin balls. Leach sticks to his task as surely as his name suggests, just as a ball from him on a wearing wicket sticks to the surface before spitting off it and troubling the best batsmen in the world. Born and raised in Taunton, Leach had a spell parking trolleys at a local supermarket – but his sights were set on greater things. After graduating from the Somerset County Cricket Club academy, he played Minor Counties cricket · 126

With a degree in sports coaching, Leach made his Somerset debut in 2012 in a two-day match against tourists South Africa and taking the prize wicket of Hashim Amla. With competition for first team places fierce, Leach did not play a great deal that season but still ended ninth in the national first-class averages. Leach began his international career in 2018 playing for England Lions against West Indies A and achieved match figures of 8-110, beating the previous best figures by an England Lions spinner (Graeme Swann’s 8-156). That same year he was called up for England’s test party for the New Zealand tour, making his debut in the second game in Christchurch. And there began his strange love affair with the bat. In odd circumstances he actually opened England’s innings as nightwatchman. A year later in a one-off test against Ireland, he again came in as nightwatchman and this time scored 92 runs and earning himself the man of the match award. Prior to that he had also played a part, this time with his


To all the world he looks like a computer nerd. But do not be fooled either by his demeanour or by his apparently regulation slow left arm spin balls. Leach sticks to his task as surely as his name suggests, just as a ball from him on a wearing wicket sticks to the surface before spitting off it and troubling the best batsmen in the world.

again showed how handy he is with the bat. The thriller was won by England by a single wicket with Ben Stokes hitting a sensational 135 not out. Who was at the other end to see England to victory – that man Leach.

bowling, in England’s three-nil whitewash of Sri Lanka and in their own backyard. In the 2019 season, Leach’s England credentials received a big boost when he was picked for the second Ashes Test against Australia at Lord’s. As is his style, he approached the ultimate England callup without any sign of nerves. In his own words: he had nothing to lose and everything to gain. The Australians paid Leach a serious compliment when they specially brought in a UAE spin bowler similar to the Somerset man in style to help them train. The drawn match saw Leach take 1-19 in the first innings and 3-37 in the second.

He scored just one run but shared a partnership of 76 with Stokes. Though Stokes could not bear to watch when Leach was on strike, the Somerset man remained imperturbable. Before facing an over, he removed his helmet, wiped those, by now famous, spectacles, and then went to work, bravely facing ferocious fast bowling of around 90 mph. His spectacles became such a talking point that Test match sponsors Specsavers offered him free glasses for life. Leach shrugs off the cult-hero idea with the quip that his fame is probably because he looks like “a village cricketer in these glasses.” Some village cricketer.

It was in the third Test at Headingley that Leach once · 127


Left to right: Matthew Becker, Elizabeth Seal, Anthony Dyke, Lucy Atwill & Annemarie Richardson.

legal eagles

swoop on the future and branches in several West Country towns - is a business powered by progressive thinking, both in the way it handles clients and internally. A West Country legal practice, with its roots more than 200 years in the past, is breaking new ground in building the future. Curtis Whiteford Crocker (CWC) has topped ten years which saw a merger and several acquisitions with significant changes in its seven- strong partnership line-up. Five of the team are now women, following the appointment of two females who trained at the practice. It is an appropriate move as 2019 was the centenary of British legal reforms that enabled women to train as solicitors and barristers for the first time. Today, more women than men qualify each year as legal professionals, although the highest echelons of the profession remain in the hands of men. You do not get to enter your third century as a legal practice by living in the past and CWC - with headquarters in Plymouth ¡ 128

Its core business remains rooted in family legal affairs and in commercial work. As a traditional family business, it recognizes the importance of other family concerns in the West Country and wider economy. Lucy Atwill, senior partner at CWC, cites a raft of local and national businesses - from Dyson and Specsavers to St Austell Brewery and Michael Spiers - as outstanding examples of the fact that nearly nine out of ten private companies in Britain are family-owned. CWC has carved a major business out of advising on the statutory, strategic and financial aspects of running a family business.


“We always have at least one partner in the office,” said Atwill. “But modern technology allows us to work from home or remotely and still deliver the service that clients expect.”

“We always have at least one partner in the office,” said Atwill. “But modern technology allows us to work from home or remotely and still deliver the service that clients expect.” “Succession planning alone is a hugely important area,” she said. “All too often, people running their own business simply do not have the time to consider all important aspects of the future.” Consulting a solicitor early could save a lot of headaches further down the line. “Too often, people only come to us when there is a problem,” she said. “Far better to consult us early and then we are able to anticipate issues that may arise further down the line and avoid problems later.” Many of the issues addressed by CWC today would have been familiar to the founders of the business in the late 18th century. “There would have been lots of work on wills and land would have been a major issue,” she said. “Boundary disputes and that sort of thing.” But just as laws change over time, so the over-arching legal framework of the land has evolved dramatically, and CWC has positioned itself to ensure that it is able to meet the challenges. “The complexity of law today means that increasingly solicitors need to specialize in different areas,” she said. “At one time, solicitors tended to do a bit of everything, but that is becoming more and more difficult.” In that spirit, a master of the complexity of agricultural law is joining the team of CWC specialists. Within the practice too, forward thinking and flexibility are the watchwords. With a majority of women as partners and given their additional responsibilities with children, CWC has a flexible working policy that enables staff to adjust their working hours to suit domestic needs.

That does not just apply to female staff. One of the former male partners semi retired but continues to work for the firm as a consultant. Whatever technology does, the core of the business remains a passion for the law, said Atwill. “It’s a vocation: you give yourself completely to it.” That commitment translates into a meticulous approach when dealing with clients. In one probate (proving of a will) case, a bin bag full of tattered share certificates was discovered. “To be honest, it looked like old, out of date rubbish and it would have been very tempting to ignore,” she said. “But we always try to be thorough and so we got in the experts to examine the documents.” Just as well. They turned out to be worth more than half a million pounds. Through the merger and acquisitions, CWC has grown from 18 staff to 50 in ten years. Where next? “We have no immediate plans to expand, but we will always look at new opportunities,” she said. “After each of the takeovers, we all said: never again. But we will always look at new areas of the region or new specialist areas of the business. “Never say never.” Curtis Whiteford Crocker Solicitors 87-89 Mutley Plain, Plymouth, PL4 6JJ. Tel: 01752 204444 www.cwcsolicitors.co.uk

· 129


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HOT PROPERTY DUO: MATTHEW ROWE (LEFT) AND MARTYN ROHRS · 132


&

Rohrs

Rowe

The real (estate) thing! Simply the best - again Matthew Rowe and Martyn Rohrs created the top-flight property agents, Rohrs & Rowe which has enjoyed an impressive first few years in business. The partners were in jolly mood during the interview as they had just learned they had been voted Best Estate Agents in Cornwall for a second time by the highly prestigious International Property Awards!

Rohrs explained: “This award is very important to us as it is a national marketing award that is based on the judgment of some of the industry’s most respected people and secondly on feedback on our service from the clients we have acted for - you couldn’t hope to get a higher accolade than that! Our first award was very special as we won it within a year of opening but this year’s is special in a different way, it is further confirmation that our business model really works and that our personal service is amongst the best in the market”. The launch of the firm was based on a conviction by both men - each with many years’ experience working for major estate agents - that the premium property sector was being serviced by some very outdated marketing techniques and styles. Said Rowe: “The estate agency industry in general has been changing incredibly rapidly in recent years and property owners therefore have a much wider choice of estate agents than they did a few years ago. We felt there was an opportunity for us to offer a combination of our vast

industry experience along with the most up to the minute, eye-catching and technologically-advanced marketing as well as our obsessive attention to detail. We knew that most of the ‘online’ companies are only able to offer a basic listing and literally no other marketing or face-to-face service. The traditional high street agents were mostly only offering a shop window and a local newspaper advert in addition to this and so we could see there was room for a completely fresh approach.” Rohrs & Rowe see themselves as much a marketing agency as an estate agency and their huge range of varied marketing activities and techniques backs this up. Rohrs said: “we feel that a modern premium agency should not only provide its clients with high levels of service and advice but it should also offer marketing techniques that are well above that of the rest of the market too.” Their aim is to ensure that their clients will find their properties gracing the pages of numerous glossy local, regional and national magazines. In the South West some 750,000 potential readers of upmarket magazines ensure

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For the discerning client, it all comes back to good

old fashioned personal service. While the marketing is

incredibly important, nothing is more fundamental than exceptional customer service and attention to detail, which is something that we pride ourselves on.

huge exposure to their clients properties. They also have exclusive agreements with magazines that target AB1 post codes and businesses in the Bristol, Bath and Clifton areas of Somerset as well as another that covers Cheltenham and the Cotswolds. “Gone are the days of a few pages in the local weekly newspapers and a listing on one or two websites being enough,” said Rowe. They also utilise much of what the internet has to offer, All Rohrs & Rowe properties benefit from a full social media campaign on launch, plus activity on Google. Not only did they want to create a visually stylish brand that depicts their clients properties in their best possible light but a social media savvy one. “It’s a reflection of the times we live in. People expect more,” said Rowe. But it’s not all about technology and style, said Rohrs. “For the discerning client, it all comes back to good old-fashioned personal service. While the marketing is · 134

incredibly important, nothing is more fundamental than exceptional customer service and attention to detail, which is something that we pride ourselves on. Our clients always deal with one of us, from start to finish.” Their efforts are clearly working as data from a leading industry analyst shows. “So far in 2019, our sales ratio for all properties above £750,000 has been double that of any of our countywide competitors,” said Rowe. “To put that into context, for every 10 houses our competitors have had for sale on the open market this year, on average, they have sold just over two of them. In comparison, we have sold more than five! During 2018 and up to September 2019, no company covering the whole of Cornwall has sold more one million pound plus properties than Rohrs & Rowe.” He added: “Our belief is, yes, they’re buying a house but really we’re also selling Cornwall, and the lifestyle on offer.”


Cornwall, bringing up the kids, and they wanted a much friendlier place than London after moving from Norway.

So who are the customers buying their clients properties? “I would say in the majority of cases the money is coming from out of the county,” said Rohrs. “They might be renting or have a second home here already and have experienced Cornwall, but they’re mostly selling in an affluent area of the country. “We sell a lot of second homes and holiday homes but last year and in 2019, we have also sold an awful lot of main homes to people. We have a lot of expats moving back, wanting to buy property here. A lot of people have highpaying careers, who are originally from Cornwall, and want to come back home later in life. “With improved communications now and three flights coming into Cornwall, it’s really not anywhere near as remote as it used to be.” He added: “We dealt with someone the other day from Norway and he’s working in London and his wife is living in

“Flights up to Heathrow on a Sunday morning or Tuesday night, it’s no different than being an hour-and-a-half away on the train. It’s like living in Bath or somewhere like that.” Brexit is playing a positive part too. “Because of the drop in the pound we’re definitely seeing more international buyers who are looking at the possibilities Cornwall offers. It’s vastly cheaper to buy something now than it was before the country voted for Brexit,” said Rohrs. What does the future hold for the company? Said Rowe: “We’ve got big ambitions for it. We have been expanding the team. We are immensely proud of what we’ve achieved so far and that we continue to be recognised as The Best Estate Agents in Cornwall. Our ambition for the future is simply to continue trying to be better than everyone else!” Rohrs and Rowe Beacon Place, Station Approach, Victoria, PL26 8LG. Tel: 01872 306360 Info@RohrsAndRowe.co.uk www.rohrsandrowe.co.uk

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Michael Spiers Magazine 2020  

A luxury lifestyle magazine published in association with Michael Spiers Jewellers with 4 shops situated in Plymouth, Exeter, Truro, and Tau...

Michael Spiers Magazine 2020  

A luxury lifestyle magazine published in association with Michael Spiers Jewellers with 4 shops situated in Plymouth, Exeter, Truro, and Tau...

Profile for chefmedia