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Banbury Women in Business Conference and Awards

The organizers of last year’s successful Banbury Women in Business Conference have announced the date for an even bigger event this year as 9 November 2011.

Following the success of last years Banbury Women in Business Conference, The sponsors, Spratt Endicott, Nat West Bank, The Banbury and District Chamber of Commerce and Think Big Training, are putting plans together for this year’s event with a big name guest speaker to be announced soon.

This year’s conference will include Business Awards and is being held at The Mill Arts Centre in Banbury.

Application for the Awards is now open, please visit www.banburywomeninbusiness.co.uk for details.

The five categories are:

Banbury Women in Business Environmental Sustainability Award
Banbury Women in Business New Business Award ( for businesses up to 3 years old)
Banbury Women in Business Established Business Award (for businesses established for more than 3 years)
Most Inspirational Woman employed within a business
Most Inspirational Woman Business owner.

So you want to put yourself forward, or have met an inspirational Woman In Business that you want to nominate, the organizers would love to hear from you.

The last date for entering is the 30 September and the winners will be announced at the Banbury Women in Business Conference on the 9 November 2011. 

Further information can be obtained from Jayne Lees on 01295 204151 or by email from This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

'Bike down' function released as free upgrade


vincentA new function on a pioneering, Thatcham approved tracking device could help bikers involved in an accident receive a much quicker response. The bike down functionality –has been introduced by Bike Trac this month as a free upgrade – will send out an alert when the bikes goes through an angle of 70 degrees or more from vertical when the ignition is switched on.

The alert can be configured by the biker to be sent by text or email to a chosen contact who will receive details including the address of the location that the bike is in, a latitude and longitude reference and a link to Google maps. If necessary, all of the information can be passed direct to the emergency services to accelerate the response time.

For riders, who are planning to drop their bikes frequently, possibly in off road riding and competition, the device can be easily switched off and then turned on again when the bikes are in storage for theft alerts to the owner’s mobile phone.

The discreet on-board motion detection unit is suitable for all types of bikes – on road and off-road and monitors any unusual movements. The clever accessory can detect whether your bike is moving and alerts the rider within a couple of minutes by text or email. Several stolen bikes, particularly in the London area, have already been located with the help of Bike Trac.

The recently released free upgrades also include a battery indicator that alerts the rider if the battery life falls beneath a set threshold, enabling them to save money on replacing a dead battery.

Bike Trac Marketing Manager Neil Kuiper says “We believe that the two new upgrades are useful bits of kit for most riders in the UK and they increase the superb value that a Bike Trac unit can deliver. You can’t really put a price on peace of mind for yourself and friends and family, but Bike Trac offers exactly that as well as much more fun stuff too like route trackers and an opportunity to share your biking routes online.”

The Bike Trac product, available in selected UK motorcycle dealerships now, costs £299 plus a small monthly subscription. The Bike Trac device is registered to the user and not the machine, so can be transferred from bike to bike. For further information or to locate your nearest stockist, please visit www.biketrac.co.uk

Marmalade vodka!


The deliciously distinctive Marmalade Vodka from Chase Distillery in Hertfordshire is a worthy winner of a gold medal at the San Francisco Spirits Awards, and is all set to become a summer sensation here at home in Britain, lubricating the hottest events of the “season”.

Last year William Chase’s potato vodka – made from home-grown ingredients and distilled on his family farm – beat out 115 competitors to claim the title of “World’s Best Vodka” in San Francisco. This achievement was followed up this year with a gleaming gold medal for Chase’s unique Marmalade Vodka, which competed against more than a thousand brands of flavoured vodka from dozens of countries.

What makes Chase’s Marmalade Vodka extra-special is its unique flavour, acquired from marinating fine English marmalade preserve with Chase potato vodka and infusing it with fresh orange peel in a bespoke Alembic copper pot still.

 “Flavoured vodka is hot right around the world at present, but I believe it is our pure potato spirit at the base, and the precise fruit infusion, that makes our unique Marmalade Vodka stand out from the crowd,” said Mr Chase.

“It began as a bit of a quirky experiment with a limited edition, but proved such a hit that we have now decided to make it a permanent part of our portfolio,” he said.

Chase Marmalade Vodka is crystal clear, with a slight golden hue, exuding a zesty orange aroma. The rich, bitter-sweet flavour is ideal for cocktails, or extremely refreshing sipped neat over ice.

It’s already being enjoyed by connoisseurs of fine spirits around the world since it became available at World Duty Free outlets, and has had several promising pre-view outings at special events at home in England, including the opening of the new London Bistro du Vin.

Chase Marmalade Vodka is going high society at the Henley Regatta in July, when William Chase will be hosting a pop-up bar at the half-way line.

It certainly seems that anybody who is anybody will be mixing with Marmalade Vodka this summer.

Cuillen Beast - top Scottish ale


CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, has today announced that the Isle of Skye brewery's (of Uig, Isle of Skye) Cuillin Beast has been crowned 'a Champion Beer of Scotland' for 2011 at the Scottish Real Ale Festival, Adam House, Chambers Street, Edinburgh. The Festival runs from today until Saturday (June 18th).

Cuillin Beast, a 7% ABV strong old ale, is described in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide as a ‘winter warmer; sweet and fruity, and much more drinkable than the strength would suggest. Plenty of caramel throughout with a variety of fruit on the nose.’

Runner up in this year's competition was the Cairngorm brewery’s (of Aviemore, Highlands) Black Gold, while third place went to the Houston brewery's (of Houston, Renfrewshire) Peter’s Well

Judging the final entrants this year were a panel of CAMRA members, brewers, publicans and beer writers. Judges noted the difficulty in choosing between the sheer quality of all the entrants on show this year.

An elated Angus MacRuary, Managing Director of Isle of Skye Brewing Company, on hearing the results, said:

‘We’re absolutely knocked-out.  As one of the earlier new Scottish Brewers, we’ve come close to winning on a number of occasions and couldn’t be more delighted to win this year’ 

Mr MacRuary went on to credit the Head Brewer, Pam MacRuary, and the rest of the team for all their hard work.

The competition was held at the Scottish Real Ale Festival, Adam House, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, which is open from today until Saturday June 18th and features beers from 38 Scottish brewers. Today’s champion, Cuillin Beast, is part of the range of around 150 excellent beers available at this year’s festival.

For more information on the Scottish Real Ale Festival, please visit 

Mallory Court 'Ten out of Ten'


Following the successful launch of ‘ten out of ten’, an exceptional industry led training programme designed to inspire young people and create leaders in hospitality, Mallory Court Hotel in Leamington Spa welcomed all hopeful ‘ten out of ten’ applicants to the hotel to run the gauntlet of interviews.

Mallory Court, alongside nine other prestigious hotels in the UK including Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck and Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons, are hoping to find the future stars of the hospitality industry.

The scheme attracted in excess of 80 applications, scrupulously short listed to the most promising 35 individuals who were all invited to attend a full recruitment day at the luxury Warwickshire Hotel on Friday 10th June.

The day involved applicants taking part in group activities and a networking lunch, observed by industry heavyweights such as Andrew Stembridge, Managing Director at Chewton Glen, who was named Hotelier of the Year 2010/11.  Applicants were then invited to final individual interviews to discuss their skills and knowledge of the industry. The ‘ten out of ten’ panel is to decide on the top ten fortunate people to be offered the opportunity of a lifetime within the industry.

The successful applicants will be rewarded with two and a half years of the best instruction imaginable, working across all sectors of the industry in ten of the best hotels in the country. The training programme will give the lucky few the chance to work alongside Michelin star chefs such as Simon Haigh at Mallory Court plus some of the best hoteliers in the business.  

Mark Chambers, Managing Director of Eden Hotel Collection to which Mallory Court belongs, commented,

‘Mallory Court is excited to be part of ten out of ten and extremely proud to have hosted it. This event was the culmination of two years of hard work, resulting in the best young hopefuls in the industry being singled out and recognised for their extraordinary potential. We set out to find future stars of the industry and hopefully we have done just that’.

Oxford writer 'Keeping Mum' for Alzheimer's UK


marianne_tablot_-_pressUniversity of Oxford philosopher and writer, Marianne Talbot, is donating a percentage of her profits from her highly acclaimed book, Keeping Mum, to Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity. Published last month (April) and featured in the Daily Mail, the book tells Marianne’s deeply moving story of caring for her mother who died with Alzheimer’s two years ago. 

Fifty-five year old Marianne, who lives in Oxford, talked about the book and explained her motivation for supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK:

“I’ve written Keeping Mum for anyone who has anything to do with Alzheimer’s disease or any other form of dementia. By reading it they will know they are not alone. Everyone who buys the book will also help raise desperately needed money for dementia research as five percent of my profits will go to the experts, Alzheimer’s Research UK. 

“When my mum Lesley was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s I looked after her in my own home for five years. Keeping Mum is a chronicle of the fears and frustrations, the love and laughter and the tears and trauma we went through. It also describes the agony of my eventual decision to put her into a care home. 

“Watching mum deteriorate was one of the saddest things I have ever done. So much more needs to be learnt about this cruel disease and this can only be achieved through research.” 

Miranda Mays, Community Fundraising Manager for Alzheimer’s Research UK, added:

“We wish Marianne continued success with Keeping Mum. It is a heart-warming and frank account of caring for someone with dementia with plenty of practical advice too. We greatly appreciate her support and every £20 raised will pay for another vital hour of pioneering research, bringing us closer to finding ways to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure dementia. 

“Over 6,000 people in Oxfordshire are living with dementia today but funding for research lags far behind other serious diseases. We rely entirely on our wonderful supporters like Marianne to fund our world-class dementia research.”  

Keeping Mum: Caring For Someone With Dementiais published by Hay House and costs £8.99. More information is available at www.keepingmum.org.uk

James Hunt's Hesketh for sale at Silverstone


huntcarwebThe Formula One car that took legendary driver James Hunt to his first Grand Prix race victory is to be sold at Silverstone Auctions’ 23 July event, during the Silverstone Classic weekend.

Giving both James Hunt and Hesketh Racing their first Grand Prix win at the 1975 Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort, and the only race victory for Hesketh, chassis 308/2 is the most famous and prolifically raced Hesketh car. With 23 Grand Prix starts, 17 of which were driven by James Hunt, 308/2 is the last privately entered car to win a Grand Prix without commercial sponsorship. The white car with red and blue stripes and famous Hesketh Racing teddy bear logo remained in team principal Lord Hesketh’s private ownership until


Hesketh Racing, founded in 1972, originally competed with little success with Hunt in Formula Three until Lord Hesketh announced that, as the costs were nearly the same, they ‘might as well lose in Formula One as Three’. Entering Formula One in 1973 with a March 731 chassis, team engineer and designer Harvey Postlethwaite joined and built the first Hesketh car which debuted in 1974. Based at Hesketh’s private Towcester estate near to Silverstone, Hunt and the Hesketh team famously arrived at races in luxury cars and helicopters with Champagne on hand, while Hunt’s flamboyant personal life only added to the intrigue and public support for the ‘people’s’ F1 team.

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