Sunday, 29 May 2016

New Orleans Heat

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We went to a splendid night of Dixieland Jazz at St Bartholomew's Church in Keelby last Friday. The band were called New Orleans Heat, and they certainly had the place rocking. We especially liked the umbrella parade - when the band started that number some of the ladies in the church got out their specially decorated umbrellas and danced in the aisles!

Sunday, 22 May 2016

More Car Troubles!

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After 4 years' trouble-free motoring our 22 year old Nissan Micra needed lots of welding for its MOT. We were offered at 16 year old Fiat Seicento with wonderful bodywork and low mileage for a knock-down price instead. But a faulty Engine Control Unit meant the car stalled all the time when the engine was warm. So the Fiat went back for a refund, and we now have a 10 year old Suzuki Alto - a nice car, and, so far, no problems!

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Good times and bad times!

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Last weekend we slipped away to see a ballroom dancing show in Leeds - it way Jayne's birthday. The weather was marvellous, and we had a great time.

But there is no pleasure without pain. This week the new car has been stalling when then engine is warm - possibly a faulty ECU. On Friday the washing machine packed up halfway through a wash, and we have had to buy a new one. And our internet speed has come down to almost zero at Limber - we have done speed checks for our provider, and now they are sending an engineer to investigate our connection.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Blackthorn Winter

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An old farmer came into the Keelby shop the other day and told us about the "Blackthorn Winter."

He said the old stockmen would never turn their cows out to pasture until after the blackthorn had flowered in the hedge-rows. "There's always a couple of days of sleet and snow at that time - it's called the blackthorn winter." It was certainly true this year!

Sunday, 1 May 2016

What is a Mace shop?

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We've traded under the Mace symbol at Keelby since 2011. But what is Mace?
The Mace brand began in the early 1960s, and had many owners over the decades. The Mace name in England and Wales passed to the grocery wholesaler Palmer & Harvey when they acquired Booker Wholesale Foods in 1999. The Arberness group held the Mace name in Scotland until it was bought by Somerfields in 2004, and Somerfields sold the brand to Palmer and Harvey in 2005.

In 2014 the Costcutter group joined Palmer and Harvey, and took over the management of the Mace operation.

Mace shops like the one at Keelby are independently owned, but trade under the Mace symbol. In return for guaranteeing at least 75% of the shop's purchases will be made from Palmer & Harvey/Costcutter, the shop is allowed to buy at prices normally only available to large supermarket chains. The wholesaler provides advertising materials, too.

In Southern Ireland, the Mace name is owned by BWG Foods, and is completely independent from the Costcutter/Palmer and Harvey operation. A management buy-out from BWG Foods in 2003 put the Mace shops in Northern Ireland into independent hands, but this operation was bought by the Musgrave group in 2007. Mace in Northern Ireland is completely separate from Costcutter/Palmer & Harvey.

So there it is!