I have a question. Volume 18 - Mark (RLBS)

******* Thread now closed, please see volume 19 ********


In this thread you may ask any question for which you need help, advice, suggestions or whatever.

It does not need to be motoring related. In fact, in this thread it should not be.

No politics
No Speeding, speed cameras, traffic calming
No arguments or slanging matches
Nothing which I think is not following the spirit of the thread.

Any of the above will be deleted. If the thread becomes difficult to maintain it will simply be removed.

However, as has been said a couple of times, there is a wealth of knowledge in here, much of which is not motoring related, but most of which is useful.

This is Volume 18. Previous Volumes will not be deleted.

What is wrong with my computer - alan kearn
continued conversation from vol.17

No i do not get anything, when i touch ARTICLES with my mouse curser it turns into the letter I shaped curser that you get when you are typing a document. It looks more and more like a flash problem to me. i think i will have another go at installing flash player (for the third time).

What is wrong with my computer - alan kearn
I a previous post you ask me to look for scripting and i said i could not find it well i have now, i must have been half asleep when i was looking for it .Under Sripting, active, paste, and java were all enable I am going to reinstall flash once more if it does not work then i will forget about it.If i do get it to work i will post to let all who have tried to help me know. Thanks for your help
What is wrong with my computer - smokie
Yep, Flash sounds like the culprit.

In Internet Explorer Tools Advanced Options there are some multimedia setting, one is about playing animations in web pages. I don't think this is about Flash, but you might try disabling/enabling it. I can't get the site to load at all at the moment...

Good luck.
What is wrong with my computer - smokie
btw when you relaod Flash (or change anything) it's always worth deleting Temporary Internet Files as depending on your settings the session may load the page (or parts of it - esp banners) from your cache instead of refreshing directly from the site. Or when you get to the site, press Ctrl & F5 to force a refresh. (The theory being that if the page/banner in your cache is bust, and it keeps grabbing that, then it'll never get right!)
What is wrong with my computer - alan kearn
Savings accounts for children - Rob the Bus {P}
As some here may know, I no longer live with my two daughters - we won't go into specifics here!

They are 6 and 3, and I'd like to start savings accounts for them both so that they have money when they are 18, 21 or whatever and want to go to university/buy a house/get married etc.

I have all the financial nouse and know-how of a slightly backward stoat, so my only thought so far is a building society account. I'd be putting £5 per week aside for each of them. Is there a better deal than a building society? I've heard of ISAs, but bearing in mind my financial prowess, know nothing about them.

As always, any ideas and suggestions would be very gratefully received. Of course it goes without saying that I would not dream of holding anybody here responsible for any advice that turns out to be less than sound!


Redundancy Legal Position - Dude - {P}
A close relative has recently been made redundant, and although the company redundancy terms are normally 1 week`s pay for every year employed, they (the company) has confirmed by E Mail that they will pay 1 month`s salary for every year employed.

Can they now be held legally liable to pay these more generous terms or not.??

Any help from the legal experts on the B.R. would be much appreciated.
Redundancy Legal Position - Hugo {P}
PU may be a better person to answer this but here is my view.

If the company has consulted with TUs or workplace representatives and this agreement has been reached or the company has stipulated they will pay this, then this agreement may be enforcable though an Industrial Tribunal, under the Wages act.

This basically stipulates that the employee will be paid whaterver is owed. The key here is persuading a Tribunal panel that the offer has been made and accepted.

When I was made redundant, I had 3 weeks for every year and was asked to sign a piece of paper accepting the terms. This was in effect a written undertaking by the employer.

In my case, if there was any issue here then I would have been able to take that paperwork to a Tribunal and no doubt convince them that I was owed that money. The company in responding would have had to satisfy the Tribunal that, either the money was not owed due to some technicality, or that they had paid what was owed.

In you friend's case a hard copy of that e mail should be kept, and signed if possible.

In my experience as a TU Convenor and as an active member of the TU in the community, it is never worth a company going back on its word, otherwise no one will trust them.

Savings accounts for children - frostbite

One of the best savings account rates at the moment is ING Direct @4.1%. It is online only AFAIK. Don't know if it would be suitable for your requirements but, as with all these products, would need watching for changes in rates.
Savings accounts for children - Pugugly {P}
Being of so tender years (unless of course they have been speculating on Barbie futures and have made a pot of money), they are non-taxpyers. Have a look at some of the Big Banks websites for special accounts for small persons. Sunday Times Webite has a Money section which usually runs a "Best..... " section. Pop into their site and do a site search. I can particularly recommend Smile.co.uk (Part of the Co-op) from personal experience. You can pay money in at any PO. Indeed you might consider buying prenmium bond which are safe and reliable and may scoop a small fortune, their win rate provides a competative interest rate. And you can check the numbers online.
Savings accounts for children - eMBe {P}
Rob the Bus:
Well done that man, for thinking so far ahead for your little girls.

>>so my only thought so far is a building society account. I'd be putting £5 per week aside for each of them. .>>
these and other savings accounts will pay you around 4% interest max. Which means
for £5 saved over 50 weeks = £250 total at end of year,
and so even if you put in £250 up front, the interest earned will be £ 1 (yes - one pound) !!

>>.. Is there a better deal than a building society? ..>>
I agree with pugugly - why not try Premium Bonds. They could win a million pounds, or one £50 in 10 years, or nothing at all, but the capital will be secure.
I've heard of ISAs, ... >>

Forget them. They are ideal for high rate tax payers, or for those who are likely to make more than £6000 per yeaar in Capital Gains. In general, for everyone else, the charges outweigh the tax saving.

Now if you really want some exciting potential wealth for your lasses, there is a unique low-cost way in to the stock market. It needs a minimum of £20 per month so you will qualify with your planned savings. Normally, it costs around £12 to £20 every time you buy shares. The system I am recommending charges you just £1.50 per month. There are no other hidden charges as far as I know. Go to your local Halifax B.S. and ask them for a sharebuilder handbook and to explain it to you. As a motoring enthusiast, I would personally buy shares in BP or Shell (they pay good diividend too) for the sharbuilder account. Because these are massive companies, even if all the HJ backroomers were each to buy £10,000 worth of shares tomorrow in these companies, it would make no difference to the quoted price. So no-one should fear that these shares will be afffected by their inclusion here.

Note that the more that you can afford to pay in than the £20 minimum, the more it makes your purchase cost-effective .

Savings accounts for children - eMBe {P}
>>and so even if you put in £250 up front, the interest earned will be £ 1 (yes - one pound) !! >>

should read

and so even if you put in £250 up front, the interest earned will be £ 10 (yes - ten pounds) !!
Savings accounts for children - Rob the Bus {P}
Hello eMBe

Many thanks for your helpful replies. Would it be ok with you if I asked te mods to pass on my email address to you, as I need all financial matters explaining to me slowly and carefully?


Savings accounts for children - Dwight Van Driver
...............but Rob from your other post elsewhere you will not be able to make deposits in the kids piggy bank because you will be either banged up or worse....

Savings accounts for children - Baskerville

Have you thought about starting pensions for them? I know it sounds daft at their age, but start now and not only will they have a secure future fifty years hence, but more career choices much earlier than that: they'll be better able to do what they want/take greater career risks without worrying too much about the financial consequences later when it really counts. Having looked into this recently the stakeholder pensions can be good value and the payments can be low (at their age why would you want them to be high?)

Savings accounts for children - HF
DVD - huh?

With all due respect I have no idea why Rob should be banged up!!

Thanks though for all responses, we really do want to do as much as we possibly can for his little girls.

I will leave R to do the rest, but any further help is really appreciated.

Thank you.

Savings accounts for children - DavidHM
WRT ISAs - the charges régime should not actually make any difference to whether or not an ISA is chosen. ISA charges are actually more tightly regulated than non-ISA funds and ISA cash savings accounts typically have none at all. However, the point is good that closely managed funds may take more in charges than they gain in growth, especially once tax is taken into account.

Of course, as eMBe has said, their age and their lack of other income means that taxation issues are more or less irrelevant. (I say more or less in case there are some unusual circumstances, but if we are talking about a few hundred a year there is no particular problem).

Given that these savings are presumably designed to mature in roughly fifteen years, it probably is worthwhile having an element of equities for the longer term and a little bit of risk. (Not, of course, that the risk will ever touch any other assets you might own).

Some banks and building societies actually have particularly child-friendly accounts, so these are worth looking into. Otherwise the best deal on pure cash is probably ING at the moment.
Savings accounts for children - eMBe {P}
DHM: >> ... Some banks and building societies actually have particularly child-friendly accounts, so these are worth looking into. Otherwise the best deal on pure cash is probably ING at the moment. .... >>
The best rate that I know which satisfies your first sentence above is the "Halifax Monthly Saver Young Saver's" account which currently pays 4.75% tax free - as long as you pay in at least £5 per month.

Re other points by others
1. Stakeholder plans: These are excellent for long term savings, except that they cannot be drawn from before the children reach the age of 50 years at the earliest. Rob wants to pay out at age 18.
2. ISAs: - note that these cannot be held by those under 18.
3. There are rules on children's vs parent's property/income etc. which is too complex to go in to here.

Rob & HF :
Yes, it is OK for the moderators to send me your e-mail address. (My e-mail account will only accept e-mails from the HJ officials, and will not accept yours until I input permission with your accout details.) I do not promise to reply promptly, though. And anything I tell you here or via e-mail is only advice to myself (i.e. what I personally would do, not what you should do).
In the meantime, have a look at
www.thechildrensmutual.co.uk/ (based in Tunbridge, Kent)
The first on the list, a pdf document, is a "must read", end to end.
Savings accounts for children - Phoenicks
1. Stakeholder plans can be quite good, but a long term view of their future earnings may mean that they cannot pay into it. Therefore it may be sat redundant for 20 years +....

2. ISA's. 16year olds can pay into a Cash ISA.

3.Regards income, anything whereby the parent pays into an account or gifts funds, and the income generated is over £100 will have the income treated as if it is the parents. This rule does not count if it is given by anyone other than the parent.
Savings accounts for children - Wilco {P}

You could try friendly societies - plenty of them about, maximum payment of £25 per month which can go into a tax exempt fund. Some of them have odd names but don't let that put you off.

Have a look at www.find.co.uk which has a section on them.
Savings accounts for children - Phoenicks
p.s Sorry should have expanded more.

With regards to you wanting to save for your children there are quite a few options.

Lowest risk is the normal bank account. Save, secure, not huge returns, but no charges and easy to administer. You can always save for a few years in this medium and then make a lump sum investment, so you can test all waters.

You do get specific child savings plans with friendly societies/mutuals and what you really want to look for here is the RIY figure - Reduction In Yield. This is one of the biggest indicators of growth v charges. if the growth is illustrated at 7% (for a tax free savings plan) and the RIY figure is 4.6% that would mean that there is an effective RIY of 2.4%. The lower this figure the better.RIY is the effect of the charges on the returns.

Regards shares they are good but as you can guess potentially very risky. Also if it loses say £200 once you've been going for 7 or 8 years thats equal to 40 weeks of savings gone - quite a painful thought!

If you invest in Unit Trusts or OEICS(under your name of course) most companies generally have the same charges (initial and AMC). Its really a question fo looking at good fund management (try Standard and Poors) and consistent performance. you will also find most will want at least £50 or £100 per month minimum savings amount. When you sell you may also have a potential CGT bill. Same for shares.

Regards Stakeholders, they are good, but eMBe is right. You cannot access them until age 50. As you can see there are issues if you want them to have the money at 18! Cash ISA's are good not just for tax but because they generally offer the better rates of interest but not available under 16.

Hope this helps, but if you have any other questions let me know.
Savings accounts for children - lezebre
With all due respect I have no idea why Rob should
be banged up!!

He's been virtually 'nicked', HF, for his avowed freestyle approach to motoring.
live 365 - THe Growler
I run live 365.com blues as my background music. How do I copy this to HD with a view to burning to CD?
live 365 - SpamCan61 {P}
try this:-

Flying oil burners? - frostbite
Is there such a thing as a diesel engined aircraft?
Flying oil burners? - wemyss
many of the Luftwaffe Junkers bombers were fitted with the Jumo diesel engine which attributed to the particular engine sound which could be recognised by Londoners as being German.
Since the war I have read of others using diesel for aircraft and recall Merceedes developing one some years ago.
Flying oil burners? - No Do$h
There's a four-seater light aircraft recently on the market that uses the diesel engine from the A Class Merc. Can't remember details but will post a link when I remember.
Flying oil burners? - Altea Ego
The particular sound of german bombers was caused by the fact the engines were not synchronised. This led to the "throbbing" sound the german bombers made. Germans never made good sounding aircraft. Nothing beats the sound of a RR merlin in full flight. (correction yes there is - the sound of FOUR merlins in full flight on a Lanc.)
Flying oil burners? - THe Growler
I just got to your post. As a small kid I lived in Gordon Ave, Stanmore where of course Fighter Command at Bentley Priory HQ was situated (still was till recently I believe). To this day I remember huddling under the stairs with my mother as those Hun bombers came over. The sounds of the the Junkers 88's and the Dorniers (Heinkel's? I forget now, a long time since I was in the Air Scouts.... were unmistakable. Once I couldn't sleep and I remember looking out of my bedroom window and the whole skyline was a blaze of fire.

I recall once going to Wealdstone and seeing the shattered houses and the wardens everywhere. I can never forget the stink of what I learnt later was corpses. Must've been about 4. We had to carry our gas masks in satchels.

For those who today from their pulpits of ignorance would preach false peace and appeasement, war is often necessary and honorable.
Flying oil burners? - Bromptonaut
Quite a lot on. Try www.pilotweb.co.uk and do a search on diesel. Many of these run on JetA which is not taxed unlike the petrol used by most light planes.
Flying oil burners? - frostbite
Thanks for all the info chaps. What prompted the thought was that several of the light aircraft that fly over my house on a daily basis sound distinctly horticultural.
Flying oil burners? - GJD
I'd be surprised if many of the spam cans buzzing your house were diesel engined frostbite. You're hearing noise from the prop as well as the engine, which probably gives the sound those characteristics.

live 365 - PhilW
Can you give the actual URL of that site (presume it is blues music?) - tried 365.com and just get a load of chinese(?) characters
Thanks (man)
live 365 - THe Growler
Oh boy, a real music afficionado. My pleasure to help.

www.live365.com then choose your poison. There is a wide choice of internet-based radio, all free.

I alternate between 1930's bottleneck guitar stuff: Robert Johnson Hellhound On My Trail, Tommy Johnson's Canned Heat, that kind of thing and if that doesn't give you goosebumps you're clinically dead, and...

Classic never see the like of again John Lee Hooker, Big Joe Turner (TV Mama, the one with the big wide screen....get more deliciously salacious lyrics, or how about Ike and Tina Turner's I Smell Trouble - aeons before the rubbish she sings now and that brittle cold as ice guitar work from Ike ...), and of course

Modern electric blues. Much as I revere the mighty Wilson Pickett, Buddy Guy's Mustang Sally is THE definitive version. And for up and coming youngsters (he's still only 45) how about George Thorogood. Or check out Blue By Nature, a new young band with a singer who sounds like Big Mama Thornton meets SRV (how many of you know she did Hound Dog before Elvis and Little Red Rooster before Howlin' Wolf and oh but decades before the Stones found it... and Stevie Ray and Albert Collins and Freddie King and all those who make Clapton and Knopfler look like choirboys from Surbiton...

Makes you realise what total untalented studio-induced electro-trash is being fed to youngsters nowadays.

I was privileged at school to have Paul Oliver as my art teacher and he introduced me to blues and jazz (incidentally the only thing of any lasting real worth I derived from a grammar school education apart from military training, how to dismantle a Bren gun in the dark and how to shoot a Lee Enfield 303 and hit a target). Paul Oliver is now acclaimed as the world's greatest living authority on the blues genre. He has written many books about it and is even regarded in the US as the greatest living chronicler of the subject and of course the immense and fascinating social history that goes with it.

He was my hero because when Elvis burst forth in '56 Paul was the only person I know who understood rock 'n roll was a logical development of the blues. Alas when Elvis left Sun in '56 that was the death of him and he never made a good record after that.

Now I am so far OT as ever. But log on to live365.com. Seriously good music you won't find on any of your local stations.

I shall be thrown of if I carry on. It's about that being old thing...

live 365 - PhilW
Thanks Growler, I have saved your (brilliant)reply so that I can follow your recommendations at my leisure. Glad to see you mention Buddy Guy (when my son went on holiday to the States recently I told him to go to Buddy Guy's Blues legends Club and, though not a Blues fan, he had a fantastic time and is a convert!)and Howlin' Wolf, and Albert Collins - some of my favourites.
Will also look for books by Paul Oliver - I like the story behind these guys.
By the way - does everyone take the **** about your love of the blues? All my friends and family do!! Thank god for headphones!!
live 365 - THe Growler
>>>>By the way - does everyone take the **** about your love of the blues? All my friends and family do!! Thank God for headphones!!

Not with me if they value their monthly allowance! Glad to say here in the Philippines, whose people are naturally artistically talented, we have several great blues bands which are in great demand at our biker events. One band is called OK Jones and has a 23 year old mestiza (that's mixed race or half-half as they say here) girl singer who is so damn good if you closed your eyes I swear you'd think it was Etta James up there.

Tell 'em they don't know zip, dig out anything by Stevie Ray Vaughan and turn up the volume.

www.bluesworld.com/PAULOLIVER.HTML will give you an idea of how much regard this Brit is held in by Americans. What you have is a whole country's social history depicted in a music genre. If your detractors can't work that out it's their loss.

Yup Buddy Guy live is something and Chicago is the home of the blues, but then so is Memphis, St Louis, New Orleans and even those effeminate Californians have a few halfway decent bands of their own as well. I don't know how Mr Guy bends those strings but he sure does it good and I am humbled to worship at his altar.
Savings accounts for children - No Do$h
Rob, I've sent an email to HF which may help.


ps. The No Dosh thing is an ironic reference to my line of work, nothing to do with my abilities in this field!
Savings accounts for children - HF
LOL thanks Lezebre, I think all has become clear now! Does this mean I can make a virtual prison and force him to do virtual tasks to earn his keep? ;)
Savings accounts for children - bax
I recommend that you log onto the motley fool, choose one of the many excellent discussion groups and ask the question of them.
Some of the contributors are Ifa's and other financial pro's and they really know what they're talking about.
That's not to say that any or all of the info you've already been given is duff.
Savings accounts for children - Stargazer {P}

I have also been looking into this for a number of reasons for our 3 year old....money from Grandparents, long term savings etc.

We wanted tax free if possible and not accessible until 18 or 21.
Our short term solution was to buy a childrens bonus bond from national savings and investments....in childs name and tax free so no liability for us parents. Not the best rates of interest but we can review it in 5 years time.

Childrens savings accounts can be tax free if in the childs name and registered as tax free but they can often access them from 7 years old...and if you keep it in your name then it cannot be tax free (easily). ISA is not available in childs name until 18 (or 16?) years old. If you do not have an ISA of your own you could start one up in your own name and put money away in this for your children....but you have to be careful and not spend the money yourself in the mean time.

Hope this helps

Savings accounts for children - Alyn Beattie

Go and see a good Independent Financial Adviser near to where you live. There is a lot of misinformation in the replies you have had. Do not go anywhere near a bank.

Alyn Beattie

I'm sane, it's the rest of the world that's mad.
Savings accounts for children - Wilco {P}

If you follow Alyn's suggestion, you can use www.unbiased.co.uk to help you in your search.

Make sure any adviser considers bank accounts, National Savings, Friendly Societies as well as ISA's, shares, life company products etc. A good adviser will spend time to make sure you get what you are looking for.

Nothing in life is free and if the solution is a product that pays little or no commission (like some of the above) then be prepared to pay a fee for the advice given. An IFA is a professional and will be totally upfront about fees, payment options and so on.
Savings accounts for children - Mark (RLBS)
I echo what Alyn has said.

This is not a subject where Backroom advice is sufficient. You really need a local expert face to face.
Savings accounts for children - eMBe {P}
Rob the Bus:
I echo what Alyn has said. >>

Whilst I agree with Mark & Alyn, do keep in mind that you are planning on saving £5 a week, and you do not need a hammer to crack a nut.
This is not a subject where Backroom advice is sufficient. You really need a local expert face to face. >>

Ditto the previous comment.
Rob did express an interest to take this discussion to e-mail, and has already been sent an e-mail by No-Dosh.

I only hope that the plethora of conflicting advice has not put Rob off his original idea.

Savings accounts for children - Phoenicks
Just to let you all know I'm an IFA.
New Question about fines - Rebecca {P}

Having just read that Royal Mail has been fined hundreds of thousands of pounds by the industry regulator, I wondered where will that money go?

And now I think about it, where does the income from court fines go?

New Question about fines - Hugo {P}
£7.5 Million apparently.

I would write to them to ask, only I'm not sure the letter will get there :)

I have a question. Volume 18 - CM
I was recently going through some boxes of junk and came across my old National Savings books. It seems that the last itme this was updated was January 1984 when I had £72.16

Can anyone tell me what this might be worth now (and it was in the Invesment Account which earned higher interest)?

National Savings Interest - Wilco {P}
As a very rough rule of thumb, you need growth (or interest) of about 7% to double your money in 10 years.

While you might have achieved that over the first 10 years, you won't have from the mid-Ninties onwards. NS aren't famous for paying the best interest rates. Check out their website for current and historic rates over the last year.

Get down your local PO and let us know!
I have a question. Volume 18 - Hugo {P}
I was recently going through some boxes of junk and came
across my old National Savings books. It seems that the last
itme this was updated was January 1984 when I had £72.16
Can anyone tell me what this might be worth now (and
it was in the Invesment Account which earned higher interest)?

You are supposed to send these off every year for an interest update.

However, I'm sure if you send it off, you would probably end up with a tidy sum


"Forever indebted to experience of others"
Hi fi amplifier question - Soupytwist
I would post this on a hi forum but I can't be bothered with going through registration and all that.

If I want to have one amplifier and use it to power pairs of speakers in seperate rooms I just get an amp that has two sets of speaker outputs, plenty of them about, no problem.

When I've connected up my speakers can I then have the music coming out of both pairs simultaneously so the person in the lounge hears the same as the person in the dining room ?

Looking at the Marantz PM7200 as this has received good reviews recently, tried emailing Marantz but their email address doesn't work.

Matthew Kelly
No, not that one.
Hi fi amplifier question - CMark {P}
Matt K., it depends on the amp (most amps offering two sets of speakers have what you want). Just check that the speaker control knob has a setting something like: OFF, A, B, A+B. Some only have OFF, A, A+B.
Hi fi amplifier question - No Do$h
When I've connected up my speakers can I then have the
music coming out of both pairs simultaneously so the person in
the lounge hears the same as the person in the dining
room ?

You can. The PM7200 allows for bi-wiring and so will send the same signal through both the A and B outputs if you switch to A/B. IIRC, the option is "A only" or "A & B". I don't believe there is a "B only" option. This is in common with most bi-wireable amps.

Looking around, it looks like you can get the PM7200 for about £250 if you shop around. Do try and give it a good try before you buy as what sounds good to one set of ears may not be to your liking. You may want to try the Arcam A65 and offerings from Rotel and NAD will be worth a listen.
Hi fi amplifier question - Soupytwist
From the pictures I've seen of the PM7200 each speaker set has its own push button switch so you push on both A & B switches and you'll get sound coming out of both.

I currently have a Rotel amp that I like, which I wouldn't be getting rid of if it had outputs for two sets of speakers so I'll give something from them a go as well.

Got to get a couple of pairs of speakers as well, do you know what Acoustic Energy Aegis Ones are like ?
Matthew Kelly
No, not that one.
Hi fi amplifier question - No Do$h
Got to get a couple of pairs of speakers as well,
do you know what Acoustic Energy Aegis Ones are like ?

Aegis Ones aren't a bad speaker, but like all bookshelf/standmounters, they need a good solid set of stands. Can't stress enough the importance of trying them with your own kit, preferably a set that have been run-in.

Have you considered adding a Rotel power amp to your current integrated amp? If you like the sound, you can keep running your existing setup, only switching on the power amp when you want to run room "b".

Of course, then you will start wondering about the possibility of bi-amping room "a" and you end up with the amount of kit I've got....

No Dosh. The bloke who bought Mordaunt Short 906 floorstanders, then moved to a cottage with small rooms and low ceilings. Suffice to say, a studio at the bottom of the garden is somewhere on the agenda (or a bigger cottage). Still, It's Bi-amped and has a dedicated power supply, so would sound great if only I could move the walls out a bit..... whimper.
Hi fi amplifier question - Soupytwist
No Dosh,

Thanks for the info so far, I must say that I wasn't aware of the possibility of putting a power amp with my existing integrated. I'll have a look at the Rotel website and see what's on offer. However I can't connect two pairs of speakers to my current integrated, but you're suggesting that won't be a problem.

At the moment I've got a pair of Technics speakers of dubious lineage, so I want two new sets. I know where I can get hold of the Aegis Ones for £75 a set so that would sort me out with two pairs of decent speakers without too much outlay. Then I can work around them for the other bits.

As for your house / speaker incompatability problem, a colleague at work did exactly the same a few months ago and ended up selling his floorstanders on Ebay to a truck driver who wanted them for the cabinets and not the drivers.

As I mentioned before we're moving house (hence the change) - the other house we considered had a spare room in the loft that just needed tidying up a bit and could then be used as a dedicated stereo room - bliss !
Matthew Kelly
No, not that one.
wheelchair batteries - billy25
hi all,
be glad if anyone could forward some info on this idea i've had.

an old chap down my local uses a powered wheelchair,on which the batteries are about kaput, ive priced them on the wheelchair sites, and because they are 2x12v wired in parallel/series? to give 24v and are of the gel type, they seem to be asking £3-500 per battery pack, which i know he can't afford. would it be possible for me to replace the original pack,with a 24v wagon battery that i gan get for about £80?
wheelchair batteries - Sooty Tailpipes
It would have to be a deep-cycle leisure type battery, not a starter battery. What about a small two stroke or a mower engine?
wheelchair batteries - Pugugly {P}
Friend of mine bought a second hand battery powered jeep for the son. Battries were knackered, makers wanted an arma nd a leg. He sourced replacements from a firm called Manchester Batteries or ManBat in Abergele in Wales. He had to work on them to fit the pack but saved himself about £200.00
wheelchair batteries - billy25
thanks both,
now that i know it's not a definite no-no to replace the original with a similar type of battery, i'll price up some deep-cycle ones, don't think petrol is a good idea , as he's a smoker and may just blow himself up checking fuel levels with his lighter!! :-)
wheelchair batteries - Rudolf
Have a trawl through Disabled Living Foundation.

wheelchair batteries - billy25
thanks rudolf,
will do. (getting tired of pushing him home):-)
wheelchair batteries - frostbite
2x12v SERIES connection =24v, to answer your earlier question.
wheelchair batteries - Marcos{P}
These batteries are probably exactly the same as the ones as fitted to the stairlifts we install. I don't deal in scooters but I would imagine they are the same.

Let us know the milliamp hour rating mAh rating as they normally cost about 20quid each.

The scooter business as well as the stairlift industry can be a real rip off.
wheelchair batteries - billy25
hi marcos,
i\'ve had a chance to examine the batteries, but there is no markings on them (i think the labels must have come off sometime)is there any other way i can find the info out?
I have a question. Volume 18 - THe Growler
More of "I have an answer" actually but I thought I'd share (as they say in AA Meetings, no not THAT AA, the other one)...


I've been using their Spyware Blaster freeware for a few weeks now and it's a little gem. Whereas Ad-Aware, Search & Destroy etc are OK, they only show you what has happened after the horse has left the barn. This one actually proofs your system against known spyware and has updates of new stuff a bit like the same thing you get with your anti-virus provider.

The only one it keeps letting through on my system is Red Sherrif, but they say they're on the case.
I have a question. Volume 18 - smokie
Looks handy Growler, I've downloaded both their products as I've just spent some considerable hours re-installing XP on a hardware upgrade and it would be nice to keep it free from the clutter that spyware can create.
I have a question. Volume 18 - frostbite
Also more in the 'I have an answer' spirit - there is a very novel and entertaining way to broaden your internet experience at www.stumbleupon.com

Read all about it there and download the tiny toolbar - it's good fun!
I have a question. Volume 18 - malteser
Yes frostbite - downloading that toolbar should give adaware/spybot search & destroy something to find in your system!
Why work when you can sleep?
Probate - malteser
I know we have one or two legal types here - How long, on average, does it take for an intestate estate to be admitted to probate
Assets £30K cash, house £75000, two daughters only to inherit. Cost??
Why work when you can sleep?
Probate - frostbite
Not a 'legal type' but, in my experience, around 2 months.
Probate - Cardew
Also not a legal type but, in my experience, much longer than that.

Even with a very simple estate with a uncomplicated and uncontested Will it took considerably longer than 2 months.
Probate - smokie
5 or 6 months recently to complete simple estate with will, two executors, and no property - just cash in various savings accounts. In fact 8 months later we are still in dispute over re-allocation of one of the accounts...
Probate - Godfrey H {P}
Four weeks from start to finish with valid will, property, and DIY application.
Garage door opener - Doc
Can anyone recommend a good company that could convert an old canopy-type garage door to electric opening?
I want to keep the existing door if possible.
I am looking in the SE London/Kent area.

Alternatively, a supplier of the equipment for self-fit.
Garage door opener - volvoman
Chmberlain do a rang of openers for grage doors and tese can be used wit a canopy type door via th simple addition of a canopy arm which 'takes account of the unique geometry of a canopy opening door'. I bought mine from Screwfix Direct who I've used frequently and have been exceptionally good. The model they sell (same as mine) is the Motorlift 500 @ £185 (which comes with 2 remote controls & a remote keypad for keyless entry if required), and the canopy arm is - £45 all with free delivery and a 5 year guarantee. I've always found Screwfix to be very reasonable but I know some large B&Q warehouses sell these too so it may be worth checking the websites for a comparison.

I haven't installed mine yet as I have a very unusual door wich I hve yet to replace but I'm told it's simple when you have a suitable door already in situ. I'll try to post the website address in a tick :-)
Garage door opener - volvoman
Sorry about the carp typing but Mrs V spilled a glass of rum and coke in the keyboard a few days ago and it's never been the same since!!

The websites are:


hope this works :-)
Garage door opener - Doc
Many thanks volv; I shall investigate these.
Garage door opener - Cardew
There was a thread on this:


I fitted one from Wickes

Garage door opener - smokie
A new keyboard needn't cost a lot more than a double rum & coke Volvoman...don't struggle with something that isn't working well
Television sound - BobbyG
I have a JVC 28 inch widescreen TV which is linked through my telewest digital cable box.

Most of the time the sound is great but occasionally it seems to get distorted and tinny sounding. This seems to be mostly when it is a reporter on a news program delivering a news report, but when it goes back to the studio the presenters voice is fine.

Am I going off my head? Has anyone else had distorted sound on TV? When I first got the TV and encountered it, the engineer said it was because I was using an analogue cable box, but its still the same on digital.

Anyone any ideas??
Television sound - Phil I
I get this problem with Sky News . No idea what the cause is but the cure for me is to hit the stereo/mono button.

Hth Phil I
Television sound - No Do$h
If the problem tends to be outside reports, the chances are that the station is using lower quality sound recording (8 bit as opposed to 16bit for example). There's little point in recording outside broadcasts with the highest quality sound due to the amount of interference and background noise.

I seem to remember reading something about compression causing a similar problem on outside broadcasts. I'm sure someone with a degree in soundology or similar will be along in a minute.
Chigley - HF
I have a question please.

I can remember very well that Lord Bellborough was generally the driver of the train ('Time flies by when I'm the driver of the train and I ride on the footplate there and back again.')

But, having argued endlessly tonight with my beloved one about this, I would be really grateful for clarification about the butler's name.

It's very important, and I do hope someone can help.

Thanks in advance. I will be mortified if no-one bothers.

Chigley - jeds
Chigley - HF
Many thanks Jeds, that's been bugging me all day.


Ask Honest John

Value my car