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Archive for: January 2010

Breaking News: Fire at Worle Supermarket

A fire has broken out at Lidl in Worle opposite the Summer House in Weston super Mare this morning. Fire fighters are fighting what is believed to be a serious fire at the supermarket which is currently having an extension built, it is not known if the fire is related to the building work.

Summer Lane and New Bristol Road are closed, with the residents of Thorne Close having been evacuated to Sainsburys until the fire is under control. No trains are stopping at Worle Station and motorists are advised to seek alternative routes into Weston.

UPDATE: The fire which has consumed most of the supermarket leaving the building in imminent danger of collapse has meant that fire crews have been unable to get inside to fully extinguish the blaze, gas bottle heating which has been used recently to temporarily heat the store is believed to have added to the ferocity of the fire and has caused several explosions which caused the police and fire brigade to evacuate local residents. 15 fire engines from all across North Somerset have been called in as more than 60 firefighters are on the scene.

The resulting road closures which include Summer Lane, New Bristol Road, and part of Worle High Street has caused traffic chaos on roads leading in and out of the town with cars queued all the way back to Morrison’s along the dual-carriageway.

Published first on the Weston Echo, more news as it happens…

Every snow cloud has a silver lining

Oh dear! January and February can be hard enough on business without a massive fall of snow. They say every cloud has a silver lining and I am trying to find it for you!

It is a ‘good deal time’ and you can get some serious bargains, so increase your margins by negotiating the best rates for your stock – special offers everywhere.

Events diary from North Somerset web page – a monthly account of all events in the county, free – you just have to ask. It is the networking season. Early mornings, lunchtime, evenings – go and visit them all and join the best for your business. Call us on 01934 418118 for location and timetable.

And finally

Make a resolution. We do them at home, do one at work. Give yourself a new year challenge, but make sure it is achievable – KISS – “keep it simple, stupid”!

Terry Gilbert is Business Support Manager for the North Somerset Enterprise Agency as well as being the director for the Weston Town Centre Partnership and Chair for Weston 200 and Weston Arts Social Enterprise.

More snow on the way

Hard Frost 300x157 More snow on the wayAccording to the latest weather reports, Weston could be in line for a further flurry of snow this weekend. With tempertures dropping as low as -8C at night, the snow which is still covering most of our minor access roads and has turned them into ice rinks looks set to last for a while longer.

The Weston Echo is launching a plea to all able bodied residents to stop moaning that no-one has cleared the roads and do what they do in every other snowbound country in the world: Pick up a shovel and start digging the snow off your section of pavement outside your house, and if applicable the road too.

If you live near someone who might struggle to get outside in this weather, go and check they are all right and help them clear their path and pavement and do what ever you can to help those who can’t help themselves.

I can guarantee you that almost all of the accidents on our roads in the past few days have been caused by idiots! The simple fact is no-one really knows how to drive in the snow, yet we carry on as though its not even there. Our advice to motorists is to keep your speeds down, there is no rush; Don’t drive in too low a gear, more power will be transferred to the wheels causing them to slip; Do not use your brakes when travelling above 5mph, I can’t stress this one enough. If you need to slow down on snow-packed roads, change down through the gears using your clutch to control your speed, when the car is almost at a stop gently apply the brake and the car will come to a gentle stop.

Use common sense and you can stay safe. Keep watching the Weston Echo for more information on the weather.

Happy New Year from Terry Gilbert

I wish you all a happy and, more important as there is a direct link, prosperous and healthy new year. There has been a nice steady recovery of the FT index, a strange indicator of market confidence. We are also witnessing a steady increase in property value, which is also very positive.

We need to explore Martin Lewis’s money saving webpages – there is something there for everyone and, if you can afford a holiday, I would start with Martin’s advice.

Sorry to repeat myself, but we need to plan our new year with an eye on marketing and more networking – do nothing and that is exactly what you will get!!

And finally:

Let’s all do something for charity – don’t throw your Christmas cards away, drop them into the North Somerset Enterprise Agency offices on Oldmixon Crescent and we will organise recycling for the Last Resort Dog Rescue, amongst others.

Terry Gilbert is Business Support Manager for the North Somerset Enterprise Agency as well as being the director for the Weston Town Centre Partnership and Chair for Weston 200 and Weston Arts Social Enterprise.

I think you’re amazing. . .

Well you are. It’s true. There, I’ve said it. Unfortunately, there is always a business, charity or service down the road which is even more amazing than you; who has something even more amazing to offer. Sadly, it’s no longer just enough for people to believe that your product does what it says on the label. They want to believe in you and what you do. And they’ll go elsewhere if they don’t.

Hurts doesn’t it?

That’s why, what you say in your advertising – and how you say it – is vital; it can make or break your business. Poorly chosen words (Copy) do not sell. Excellent Copy on the other hand means more customers, more sales, more business, and more money. will take what you want to say, and say it better; leaving that business down the road standing (evil laugh). Want to double your sales for example? Then a fantastically worded & expertly crafted Sales Letter will suck in money like a Dyson.

After all . . .

  • It’s okay to have a great website – but is every word working its socks off?
  • It’s okay to have an incredible Product or Service – but do you have the words to sell it?
  • It’s okay to have an email campaign – but how do you get people to open it? How do you avoid the SPAM Filters?
  • It’s okay to have top Google Rankings, AdWords and SEO – but what will make people click through to your site?

None of these, makes people want (or think they need) your product. Only persuasive, powerful words that make an impact with your customers will do it.

Put simply, good advertising sells. Fact.

So, for a fresh, original approach, concise, commanding Copy that will give your business the edge.

Just go to or email

Oli Johnson is an Advertising Copywriter and Creative Director of He’s passionate about working with businesses to ensure they’re making the very most of their products and services, through the words they use across all their communications. He also likes Cherry Bakewells.

Dangerous conditions as snow turns to ice

06012010075 300x225 Dangerous conditions as snow turns to iceThe snow which left more than 40% of the nations workforce stranded at home, has caused travel misery for countless others is causing more problems in the form of black ice, in un-gritted areas the snow has been compacted and smoothed by cars and pedestrians and another freezing night has turned many roads into an ice rink.

The local council has kept most of the major routes clear which has meant that buses have resumed main road only services on most routes, however all of the large housing areas such as St. Georges, North Worle, Bournville, Oldmixon and the Coronation have been left without bus services due to the slippery conditions.

Despite the doom and gloom that faces commuters, with local schools and colleges still closed, children and teenagers (and their parents!) continue to enjoy the wintery weather.

The current weather forecast shows no more snow due until possibly the weekend, although tempartures will stay low meaning the snow and ice could be with us for a longer than expected. Keep watching the Weston Echo for more information on the coming weather.

Heavy snowfall causes chaos

06012010075 300x225 Heavy snowfall causes chaosHeavy snowfall overnight has brought over 5 inches covering Weston-super-Mare and the surrounding region. Most of the major routes into Weston have become blocked by careless drivers shunting into each other, whilst others have been unable to climb the approaches to various bridges around town.

The Hildesheim bridge was blocked by a jacknifed lorry, Bristol Road leading from the motorway to Sainsbury’s was also partially blocked by a lorry that became stuck after losing traction on the hill over the bridge, cars that diverted through St. Georges found that the level crossing over the railway was shut due to the risk of cars getting stuck on the crossing.

The advice to motorists and pedestrians alike is not to venture out if you don’t have to, and if you do have to drive, keep your speed down and use the engine to slow the car by changing down gears, brakes will not work in the snow!

The sad fact is our country is not prepared for snow, partially because we don’t normally get much, but mostly because drivers just don’t know how to drive safely in adverse weather, so stay safe and enjoy it while it lasts!

Please visit the North Somerset council website for more information on local school and college closures:

Business success in 2010 will be all about value

Creating value for businesses is far more than merely offering discounts and products at a cheaper price. Although this can work, one of the areas where many businesses fail, is not extending that value to the customers, or to their wider business model and strategy. This value does not need necessarily to be driven by cost – it’s driven by innovation and giving people what they want; it’s about being different – providing the best services (services that are indeed offered by X number of competitors) – enough to stand out. Creating value comes down to thinking what your customers will benefit from – and giving it to them. The ultimate question businesses need to be asking is: ‘Is my product really solving a problem?’ and ‘How does it solve it in a clear, unique way?’

Getting this right, means you will be able to have a hold over your competitors.

Oli Johnson is an Advertising Copywriter and Creative Director of He’s passionate about working with businesses to ensure they’re making the very most of their products and services, through the words they use across all their communications. He also likes Cherry Bakewells.