- Honiton, GB
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I am an independent PR professional and have been engaged in running my own PR business for the last 10 years, writing for small and medium sized enterprises mainly located inmore...I am an independent PR professional and have been engaged in running my own PR business for the last 10 years, writing for small and medium sized enterprises mainly located in the South West of England.
I have accumulated strong commercial experience working for a group of clients that include, or have included, artists and art galleries, manufacturers of electronic tracking systems, event organisers, publishers, accountants, satellite broadband system developers, educational tourist attractions and more.
Literate, with good English language skills, I have an excellent knowledge of grammar, spelling and punctuation and am accustomed to working to deadlines.
Area Covered: All UK.
Work Experience Summary: Recent articles/press releases I have written are shown below.
English portraiture in the frame
The 17th century is often called the century of Baroque, a period during which European artists stopped imitating classical antiquity • particularly classical sculpture, the only statuary known to the Renaissance - a period varying with the country concerned but generally considered to be sometime between 1600 and 1750.
Baroque, the first international art movement, emerged in Rome around 1600 as a reaction to the intricate and formulaic style which dominated the Late Renaissance, and played a central part in the crusading work of the Catholic Counter-Reformation. Strongly supported by the Catholic Church as a return to tradition and spirituality, Baroque used elaborate effects to appeal directly to the emotions. In some of its most characteristic works painting, sculpture, decoration and architecture were designed to create a single, dramatic effect. Many masterpieces of the Baroque emerged in churches and palaces in Rome, but the style soon spread throughout Europe, changing in character as it did so. Faced with the threat of Protestantism, the Roman Catholic Church spent lavishly on religious art to revive the faith of their congregations. Rich churches, abbeys and bishops commissioned leading artists and, in mid 17th century Europe, it became an established principle that every artist must go to Rome. Many artists trained in Italy, and were influenced by Michelangelo, Raphael and the whole history of Italian art.
Baroque artists were often attached to the courts of kings and princes and their painting was expressive, flamboyant, luxury loving and ostentatious, the dynamism of Baroque art in direct contrast with the essentially static art of the Renaissance.
Sir Godfrey Kneller, a leading portrait painter in England, served all the rulers from Charles II to George I while also portraying Louis XIV and Peter the Great. Kneller trained in Amsterdam, probably under Ferdinand Bol, and then in Rome. He established himself as a baroque classicist portrait painter to court society, successfully competing with and then succeeding Sir Peter Lely. Kneller’s series of ladies’ portraits, the so-called Hampton Beauties’, was a response to Lely’s Windsor Beauties’. Kneller’s other series include 48 portraits of members of the Kit-Cat Club, an 18th century club in London with strong political and literary associations, that met at the Trumpet Tavern and Fountain Tavern in London. Kneller’s portraits form the most complete membership list available, a list that included William Congreve, John Vanbrugh, Jonathan Swift, the Dukes of Marlborough, Grafton, Devonshire, Charles Seymour, the Earl of Burlington, and Sir Robert Walpole. The Kit-Cat series, now hung in the National Portrait Gallery, spanned a 20 year period, set a lasting and much imitated format of a small half-length portrait with a plain background. The toasts of the Kit-Kat Club were famous at the time, and drunk to the honour of a lady to whom the Club wished to do particular honour.
Sir Peter Lely has generally been thought of as an English born painter, but he was in fact Dutch and did not leave Holland until he was twenty three. In England Lely worked for Van Dyck and painted numerous portraits of the great ladies and gentlemen at the court of the pleasure loving Charles II. Lely’s portraits were intended to please their subjects and the painting of James Compton, 3rd Earl of Northampton, painted by a member of Lely’s circle, is typical of the style.
£3.8 million project secures Geevor jobs
A £3.8 million Heritage Lottery Fund and Objective One project opens in summer 2008 that will transform Cornwall’s leading mining heritage site, secure local jobs and bring thousands of extra visitors to the far west of Cornwall. Geevor Tin Mine’s “Hard Rock” Museum • the UK’s first and finest hard rock mining museum and seventeen newly conserved buildings will open to visitors.
Bill Lakin, Chair of Trustees of Pendeen Community Heritage, the charity that manages Geevor for Cornwall County Council, said “Geevor is the biggest and the best mining history site in the country and all the team here, led by Jo Warburton, the Curator, are working very hard to make sure that it has one of the top museums in the UK at its heart”.
The newly converted 420m’² (4520ft’²) Museum describes the story of mining in Cornwall and the history of Geevor Tin Mine, using dramatic modern display techniques showcasing important collections of Bronze Age Cornish mining artifacts, archive photographs of Geevor and a stunning display of Geevor’s mineral collection.
“We hope to have an extended underground tour for visitors” Bill Lakin continued. “We know that going underground into Wheal Mexico is one of the highlights of a day out at Geevor and we want to show people more. We have been raising funds for the “Wheal Mexico Project” through an appeal to members of Pendeen Community Heritage across the world: the appeal has been successful but is still open. On the staff at Geevor are a number of former miners and they are using their skills to open up more of the mine and make it accessible to visitors”.
“Extending access underground at Wheal Mexico is exciting” says mining engineer Mike Simpson, Geevor’s manager. “We are not completely sure about the extent of the mine workings so there is an element of discovery in the project. We have to excavate and remove a lot of loose material and then see what’s behind it. And it’s really good to see the skills of the miners being used again”.
“It is expected that the new developments will increase visitor numbers to 50,000 p.a. by September 2008 and 65,000 p.a. by 2010” said Bill Lakin. “Outputs calculated on Objective 1 formulas show 48 jobs created directly and indirectly locally, with £1.6m pa additional gross sales within the local (Penwith) economy”.
Onus on employers to spot fake ID
Employers must make sure that they do not employ illegal immigrants but may find it difficult to do so warns Stuart McKellar, a Director of the Honiton office of nationwide people management specialists HR Advantage.
It has recently been revealed that senior officials at the Department for Work and Pensions decided it would be too complicated to ask Job Centre staff to check applicants’ immigration status before issuing National Insurance numbers. Immigrants need only produce documents that establish their identity and show that they are in employment for a NI number to be issued. It has also become apparent that even when officials suspect identity documents have been forged, they still issue the immigrant with a NI number. Since May 2004 the onus has been on employers to run the checks that establish a job applicant’s status, regardless of their nationality.
“Employers that can demonstrate that they followed detailed Home Office guidance in verifying the status of employers will not be prosecuted if they are found to be unknowingly employing an illegal immigrant whilst employers who deliberately employ illegal workers do face prosecution” explains Stuart. “It can be difficult and time consuming to establish that the paperwork presented by a job applicant is genuine. Employers are supposed to check a job applicant’s entitlement to work in the UK by asking for a visa, passport or letter from the Home Office but may be deceived by fake documents”.
“I believe it’s absolutely vital” concluded Stuart “that employers carefully check the status of new and existing employees, whether they be vegetable pickers or IT professionals, first to ensure that they do not employ illegal immigrants and secondly, that they establish detailed records for each employee showing the steps that were taken in the verification of their status”.
Confusion reigns in tracking system mix up
Motor insurance research centre Thatcham, responding to criticism of its Category 5 security device category by police and the insurance industry, has announced a further security device category - Category 6 - which will offer motorists an alternative choice of tracking systems. The reaction of the telematics service provision industry to the announcement was one of increasing confusion. Before the revelation of Category 6, the industry was still waiting to have the endorsement of the police and insurance industry on the Category 5 specifications.
When Thatcham Category 5 was launched last September it was intended to be the new UK criterion for stolen vehicle tracking and recovery systems. Thatcham 5 claimed to be the first true standard to which all systems and companies supplying such systems are accredited. It was the first Thatcham category to cover tracking and recovery as well as evaluate the full "system" including monitoring and was meant to be a revolutionary category making it much harder for thieves to steal and conceal stolen goods.
Through a series of complex criteria including such requirements as remote immobilisation systems as well as tracking systems, environmental and durability standards and a much higher standard than current tracking systems in respect of record retention and incident traceability, Thatcham 5 exposed its Achilles heel.
It specified that tracking devices must be wired into the vehicle.
However, wiring systems on modern, high value luxury and sports cars have evolved. Optical wiring is now used, a much more secure system where mobile phones and tracking systems can only be connected in very few locations. If such items are wired anywhere other than the location specified by the car manufacturer the diagnostic systems of the car are interrupted. However, it’s quite obvious that tracking devices need to be wired in different places. If, as the manufacturers want, they were all in the same location, it would become easy for thieves to find and disable them.
While at the moment only high value luxury cars have this wiring system, it won't be long before all cars have it.
Thus the insurers are confused because on one hand Thatcham says that tracking devices must comply with their criteria, whilst on the other hand, the car manufacturers say that those same criteria cause problems with diagnostics and invalidate the warranty.
The new Category 6 is thought to be for owners of mid to lower value cars who are keen to protect their vehicles with an accredited tracking device. Andrew Miller, director of research, who heads up Thatcham’s security team said: “Over the last ten years, Thatcham, funded by British insurers, has been relentless in combating vehicle related theft, and as a result we have seen dramatic reductions in car crime. This addition of a new security category confirms our intention to increase pressure on criminals and to continue this downward trend.”
Whether Category 6 will also require that tracking devices are wired into the vehicle remains to be seen.
The consultation on the new category will begin in August, with a draft of the criteria available early in the New Year, and the first systems receiving Category 6 accreditation will be on the market in the spring. Meanwhile, the telematics service provision industry is concerned whether the insurance world, as a whole, will accept and endorse one standard, and is anxious that criteria without longevity, or the full backing of the insurance world, may become meaningless. It must be asked if introducing new standards complicates the issue, confuses the industry and increases costs.
In the background of this confusion is an effective, proven track and trace device, the size of a pack of cards, that can be hidden anywhere in a car, truck, trailer, caravan or boat. mtrack is a self contained, wire-free device that is battery powered, with a lifetime of up to 4 years. mtrack uses a combination of GSM positioning and an RF beacon to create a very effective method of tracking stolen goods. The monitoring station is able to see which cell tower the mtrack is reporting to as a circle on a map and this creates a starting point for the search to begin. A finder team then systematically searches the cell area using an RF detector to home in on the mtrack to less than 1 meter. The major advantage of these technologies over GPS is that they work indoors as well as outdoors. This is essential for stolen goods as they are almost always hidden out of sight in containers, garages or warehouses.
Whilst mtrack cannot immobilise a stolen vehicle it will track the vehicle so that it can be recovered, is hard for thieves to find, works indoors and outdoors, does not require a power source and is Thatcham Q rated.
On the 18th May, a large plant company had a 1.5 ton mini digger stolen. The theft was reported to the monitoring station and the mtrack was put into alarm. Once in alarm a recovery team was dispatched to the area. It only took the recovery team 20 minutes to locate the mini digger which was concealed in a quarry. Alongside the digger was another, without an mtrack, that had been stolen 6 months before. 40 minutes after the recovery team had located the missing diggers and only 1 hour after the mtrack came into alarm, the police had attended site and the plant company had both diggers back in their possession.
On the 8th June two cash machines with mtracks were stolen. The first came into alarm at 4.30am near Banbury, the second at 5.10am near Winchester. The monitoring station tracked both ATMs until they came to rest at the same location in Liverpool. A finder team was dispatched and after just 2 hours both ATMs had been located in a back garden. The police attended the site and confirmed that the address was that of a known armed robber, although he was not at the location. After just 3 hours the police had taken the ATMs into their custody and they were removed from the thief’s garden.
The fact that mtrack is wire-free is its major strength. While working indoors as well as outdoors is an essential feature for stolen goods recovery, it would be of little use if the product was easy for thieves to find and disable. Because mtrack is wire-free it is much harder for thieves to locate and disable than wired in products, therefore the device remains in the asset, functioning without the thief’s knowledge. Yet it is this major product benefit that is stopping it from becoming Thatcham Category 5 approved. There is no point in having security devices installed if they are easy to find and disable.
PR Consultant, creative writer,