Thanks, but no thanks – why throw good money after bad?

Some companies are cheeky, but a mailshot from my endowment policy provider really takes the biscuit!

This is the company that now “manages” a policy that will probably fall short by about one third in the final payout it once promised. Sold to me in the 1980s, this endowment should have paid off half of my original domestic mortgage, and even promised an extra return thanks to the large terminal bonus that would be paid. But my annual statements in recent years have seen no terminal bonuses awarded. Instead, I have had warning letters telling me that this particular savings plan will come up short.

Now, the tinkers have sent me an invitation to get involved in another savings scheme, this time for 10 years. I don’t think so.


A rare treat for London visitors

This September, visitors to central London are in for a rare sight – the view of London from the top of the BT Tower.

The tower, originally known as the Post Office Tower, has been a 177 metre high landmark above London since 1964. Unusually, it’s not a pure office tower, but is clad at higher levels in all sorts of technical equipment to help beam stuff across the ether. And thanks to a scheme called Open House, which annually gives us access to some of the capital’s usually private buildings, the tower will be accessible once more on 18 and 19 September.

Originally, the tower had a revolving restaurant and public viewing gallery at high level, and I vaguely remember visiting it as a young boy. But following an IRA bomb attack in 1971, the public access was curtailed; the tower does, or at least did, carry important telecoms traffic.

Plan ahead, if you want to take a trip up the tower – and see what other front doors you might be able to poke your nose behind – at the Open House website.