CAROLINE MUNRO, conference manager for Inverness District Council's

Conference Bureau, has handled many different conferences in her six

years in the job. The conferences come in all shapes and sizes, and they

often make a small presentation to the staff as a token of their


None was more unusual however than the presentation made earlier this

year by the Canary Isles Dental Association.

They presented Caroline with a 10 ins high metal molar with the head

of Nessie engraved in it.

''It is certainly unusual,'' Caroline told me, ''with the roots of the

molar designed as the legs of Nessie.''

Some readers who set off to the Canary Isles in search of the sun

might wonder why they should leave their sunny climes for Scotland.

Simple, each year the Association has their conference in one of the

six islands which make up the Canary group, and then in the seventh year

go to a foreign destination. Some of their members had visited Scotland

on golfing holidays and were attracted by what was on offer.

Caroline enjoyed their toothy humour but conferences are a serious

business for Inverness, and next year looks set to break all records

with those already booked showing a 20% increase compared to the 25

conferences the Bureau organised this year .

It is estimated that in 1995 delegates attending conferences in the

Highland town will spend #2.3 million which is a healthy boost for local


Conferences booked include the Boys Brigade, Baptist Union and the

Inland Revenue Staff Federation. Caroline can only hope that the IRSF

don't present her with a tax bill.





Missive Impossible is how the staff at McClure Naismith Anderson &

Gardiner felt when they were faced with inspecting the missives of

several hundred flats throughout the West of Scotland in one operation.

McLures handled the purchase by SE Land & Estates of the flats, with

sitting tenants, from Ernst & Young who are acting as receivers of the

Scottish Heritable Trust.

Before the deal could be completed the missives of all the properties

had to be checked out.

Wilson Aitken, a partner in McLures described how ten boxes containing

the missives arrived by van.

''We had four weeks to do the job, which might sound like a long time

but there was a lot of small print involved. It was an unusual,lengthy

exercise -- but we made it.''

It was news

to Scot FM

THERE are some red faces at Independent Radio News following the news

release which they issued claiming that they had secured the exclusive

contract to supply news to Scot FM, the Edinburgh based adult rock

station which is set to deafen us in a fortnight's time.

In fact Reuters Radio, the media and information group's newly-formed

radio service, has won the contract to supply news to Scots FM in what

the trade journal Broadcast described as a ''coup''.

It appears that IRN, which supplies news to Radio Clyde, had jumped

the gun -- or was it to conclusions? Reuters will beef up its growing

Scottish presence by basing two correspondents in Scotland who will work

out of the Scot FM office near the new Scottish Office at Leith Docks.

Business Diary cannot throw any light on how IRN managed to ''break''

the wrong news as we were told that all those who could provide us with

answers were ''out of the country.''

Search for

Scots skiers

MIKE RYDER, the chief executive of Lambert Smith Hampton's Scottish

operation, is looking for competent skiers to join him for a few days on

the Italian Alps next January and take on the English.

Earlier this year in January Mike took part in the Lambert Smith

Hampton Ski Challenge, and discovered that although there were a few

Scottish property representatives in the thirty teams there was no

Scottish team taking part.

Mike now hopes that he can find half a dozen Scottish skiers who will

join him in the four-day trip to Courmayeur, 5,000 ft up the Alps

between January 18-22 so that they can compete as a team in the Giant

Slallom event.

''Its a lovely break, and is a good way of meeting other people

involved in the property industry. You pay your own expenses but you

don't have to take part in the ski-ing events. If you want you can just

enjoy the apres ski,'' Mike told Business Diary.

Like any good team manager who had failed to make a good signing, Mike

forgot to mention that he had already allowed colleague Jack Thoms who

ski-ed for Aberdeen University to be poached by the Lambert Smith

Hampton London office team.

If you are interested in taking on the Auld Enemy on the ski slopes

give Mike a ring on 041 332 1133.



VISITORS to the RSA in November will be forgiven if they think

Scotland's artists and craftsmen are besotted by our national drink as

they admire paintings, figures, and tapestries all of which have a

whisky theme.

It is not an indication that the 400 plus members of the Scottish

Artists and Artist Craftsmen Association are motivated by drink, but it

may be an indication of what the prospect of winning a #2,000 prize can

do to stimulate creative thinking.

The whisky theme is the result of the sponsorship by Whyte & Mackay of

the Association, and that to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Scotch

whisky the company has put up #2000 as a prize for the best work with a

whisky theme as well as a #1,000 prize for the best student work.

But I am told by Gordon Mitchell, President of the Association that we

should not expect to find paintings of figures with a bottle of whisky

grasped in their hand.

''Hopefully there will be a little more imagination applied, and the

whisky theme will be quite flexible,'' Gordon told me.

The competition will only be a part of the exhibition which will

include around 400 works chosen from more than 2,000 submitted by

Scottish artists and craftsmen.

At the same time as the Edinburgh exhibition the Scottish Artists and

Artist Craftsmen Association are also putting on a satellite show in

Aberdeen Art Galleries which will have the sea as its theme.

Despite the Craftsmen title Business Diary is told that not only is

the majority of the Association members women, but that the Association

originated from the Society of Scottish Women Artists.

Our ears it would appear are not yet attuned to Craftsperson, although

it sounds OK to me, but then I know nothing about art!



OUR drinking habits are causing the glass industry problems. The

British penchant for medium dry German wine, which invariably arrives in

a brown or green bottle, is giving the glass recycling industry a

headache of a different type.

There is an imbalance of glass colours, the DTI tells us, arising from

drink imports in green and brown bottles. We import 400,000 tonnes of

green glass into this country and for technical reasons green glass and

mixed glass cannot be used in furnaces making green glass containers,

nor can it be recycled into clear glass.

British Glass has been carrying out a three year research programme

funded by the DTI to find alternative uses for waste glass and have come

up with some alternatives such as garden furniture. Oops.

At the same time Sainsbury have been attempting to dissuade European

countries from sending us their wine in green bottles.

It all brings a new meaning to the children's song -- ''There was ten

green bottles standing on the wall.''

PS: The DTI's Environmental Technology Innovation Scheme are holding a

seminar for potential users and suppliers of the new applications on

September 27 in Wakefield.

Having a

plasma ball

MARGARET Finnie and her colleagues at the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce

have a pretty good record of sourcing material and products for members,

but they have asked Business Diary to help find three items which a

Chamber member would like to borrow for a week.

The difficult-to-find items are a solar panel, Vandegraph generator

and a plasma ball.

Margaret explained that a company within the Glasgow area are holding

an environmental week aimed at educating employees on global

environmental issues and would like to include the three items in the

week's programme which starts on Monday, September 12 .

Anyone who can help Margaret out should give her a call on




WHILE on the subject of sourcing, Business Diary has to report a

failure. Made in Scotland, the Beauly based marketing and promotion

organisation for the Scottish craft and gift industry, received a

request via the DTI from a Portuguese company who were looking for

someone who could supply ''inflatable dolls and erotic items''.

Kathleen Hardie, managing director of Made in Scotland had to

disappoint the Portuguese as none of the 500 odd members of her

organisation could supply the goods.

Priests join

the Circus

THERE has been speculation and comment in recent months in the

property sections of the media about the possibility of the Park Circus

area of Glasgow returning to residential use, as companies seek modern

custom-built office accomodation designed to cope with modern


Business Diary can report that the first sign of this happening has

occurred with the purchase of a property in Woodside Place by the Jesuit

order of the Roman Catholic church.

The property has been used by a firm of solicitors for the past 15

years but once the necessary renovation work is carried out, up to ten

members of the Jesuit order will move in. The priests at present live in

a tenement block in Garnethill near St. Aloysuis Church. Lynn Arnott of

Lambert Smith Hampton, who handled the sale, was of the opinion that we

are now likely to see a ''trickle back'' of residents into the area as

commercial firms move out.