Archives Month: February 2015

This was one of the catchphrases of stand-up musical hall comedian, Max Miller (1894 – 1963). Max was to stand-up comedy in the first half of the 20th. Century what Michael McIntyre is to the first half of the 21st. Century.

“The Cheeky Chappie” was loved by the nation for his saucy innuendos, but is often remembered for being the first comedian to be banned by the BBC for overstepping the mark.

For many years, when the docks area of Swansea was being re-developed, I would regularly need to visit the area in support of the many start-up businesses that required asset finance for their fixtures and fittings.

I was always intrigued by the Norwegian church which is sited at the water’s edge. This iconic Nordic building was originally in Newport Docks and used by Norwegian sailors bringing timber to South Wales for pit props for the coal mines. It was relocated to Swansea Docks in 1910.

I always meant to visit the church and learn about its history and why a Norwegian church should be built on that site. Unfortunately, appointments and pressure of work took priority and I only had time to admire from afar.

Now, with the benefit of Google and Wikipedia I am more informed sat behind my desk in Topsham. Maybe soon I will have a reason to visit.

Very recently Armada was approached by Peter and Victoria Buttle who run four children’s day nurseries in and around Cardiff. They sought Armada’s help to fund the fitting out of their new nursery – yes, you’ve guessed it, sited in the Norwegian Church in the old docks of Swansea.

“Now, there’s a funny thing.”

With the last quarter figures of 2014 showing that the UK has the fastest growing economy in the developed World, entrepreneurs have much to be chipper about.

Unemployment is down, inflation is down and interest rates continue to be at rock bottom and more importantly, at a consistent level. Thank you Mark Carney!

All the ducks are lined up to encourage business owners to make 2015 a year of sustained and controlled investment, whether that be in modernising their plant and up-grading their premises or whether it be growth and expansion.

From a recent fact-finding visit to London it is plain to see that there is no shortage of tourists, even in January. Restaurants and retail are expanding their number of outlets, particularly at the higher end. Even in the provinces one can see new investment steadily increasing.

What was striking in our capital was the degree of people in the service industries that have come to the UK to find work – polite, friendly, hardworking folk who, by their work ethic and by contributing to our tax revenues through PAYE are a massive pool of labour, which is a significant asset to the UK economic success.

Before Nigel Farage sends his cohorts to convert me, let me be plain – there should be no room in a successful country for scroungers and the work shy, but being a nation who welcomes those who want to work and assimilate with our culture speaks volumes about our nature and self-confidence.

After years of working hard to pull ourselves out of the recession and being tolerant and understanding of the social changes we have experienced we can afford to be magnanimous in acknowledging that Brits could not have pulled this off on our own.