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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 138

Date:- 07 February 2004

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The cast of Making Waves.  Photograph with thanks to the Royal Navy.
Above photograph with thanks to the Royal Navy

ON Friday 6 February we were invited to an advance screening of 'Making Waves', on board HMS Richmond. She is a state-of-the-art Navy warship and has a crew of over 100. The screening was held in her helicopter hanger, as she is the same type of vessel as the one in the series. Unlike the one in the series, the Richmond is on a tour of the UK promoting the Navy to the public. “The problem with the Navy today is that people do not know what we do and there is a lack of new recruits coming in to the service. The Navy is now actively trying to show what it does and our tour of the UK is just one way of showing the public what types of opportunities we offer. The other way of doing this is through dramas like this new series.” We were told by one of the ships crew. 

The series made by Carlton is the maritime equivalent to Soldier Soldier. It revolves around the lives of the men and women of fictional frigate called HMS Suffolk. The story portrays life onboard, from a crew’s perception. With dramatic and griping plotlines created by Ted Childs of Soldier Soldier, Kavanah QC, Inspector Morse and Peak Practice 'Making Waves' is a bit glossy with it’s portrayal of life on the high seas at times. This is due to its story line creating lot more visually exiting situations than what you would find on a normal ship. But this is only done in order to keeps audiences glued, as opposed to loosing audiences attention with the more mundane parts of day to day activities. Saying that though, from what we found out on a tour of the Richmond after the showing, many things that the program had in it were based on genuine tasks and events that the crews face. Making Waves with stars like Alex Ferns (formerly Trevor in Eastenders) as Commander Martin Brooke, Liverpudlian actor Lee Boardman (Coronation Street's Jez Quigley) and Joanna Page (blockbuster Love Actually's Judy) should create the interest the Navy is hoping for when aired latter this year on ITV. 

Above a few of the guests who were invited to the preview as well as winners of Buzz FM's competition and the ships crew.

HMS Richmond will be in Liverpool at the Canada Dock, Branch 3 over the weekend and they are inviting you to see it. The ship will be open to visitors on Sunday from 12:30 to 4:30pm. It is well worth a visit. We would like to thank all her crew for a very entertaining and highly informative evening. We wish you all the best and tranquil seas.


ACCORDING to research from Debt Free Direct, the independent company which provides free impartial and professional advice to people with debt problems, the 0.25% increase in the Bank of England base rate will see the number of people worried about their level of unsecured debt rise from 2.3 million people up to 6.46 million. The company believes that this, along with new legislation that means that from April this year the period of bankruptcy will be decreased from three years to one, will fuel a huge increase in the number of people declaring themselves bankrupt.

Personal bankruptcies are running at their highest level for 10 years, a direct consequence of rising interest rates and people borrowing too much. There were 9,094 individual insolvencies in England and Wales in the third quarter of 2003 - a hike of 16.9% on the same period a year ago. If interest rates continue to rise the corresponding figure for 2004 could be much higher.

Andrew Redmond, Chief Executive, Debt Free Direct said:- "This year looks bleak for those in debt and the increase in the Bank of England base rate will push more people into trouble. If the base rate reaches 4.5% or 5% later this year as some predict, someone with a £100,000 mortgage could be paying an extra £100 a month which would push more people into a financial black hole.

We expect to see a big increase in the number of bankruptcies being declared but we feel that many people who do this could find alternative and better ways of dealing with their debt problems and dramatically reduce the emotional turmoil they have to encounter. We offer our customers a number of solutions and in less than 5% of cases do we recommend bankruptcy."

Debt Free Direct has a commitment to providing free, independent advice to every over-indebted consumer who calls seeking help. The company has developed a sophisticated computer system to ensure that people receive the best advice possible for their debt problems. Other companies rely solely on their advisers to make recommendations which can increase the chances of human error and the wrong advice being given.

Following the right advice, monthly debt repayments can be reduced to an affordable level. For free advice, please call 08000 83 67 51. 

Debt Free Direct offers the following advice to people who are finding it difficult to make repayments on their debts:-

Don't ignore the problem. One of the biggest challenges is to face up to the problem and do something about it. 

Draw up a list of your debts and prioritise them. Top priority should be given to your mortgage or rent payments because otherwise you could face losing your home 

If you have a number of creditors and are finding it difficult to make your repayments, take professional advice from a debt advisory service like Debt Free Direct. They can help you find the best way to get your debt back under control. 

Are you missing out on any State benefits that you are entitled to? Well over £1billion worth of benefits goes unclaimed every year 

Look for ways to reduce your expenditure:- Could you cut back on eating out or shopping, for example? 
Think twice before taking on more debt, unless it's to pay off existing debt at a lower rate of interest. Ill advised borrowing can often makes the situation worse. Consolidation loans and debt management programmes are best for only a small proportion of people. Other solutions are available which may be more appropriate.

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Southport Reporter is a registered Trade Mark of Patrick Trollope.   Copyright © Patrick Trollope 2004.