9th November 2007
Mr. Andrew Yates, Mr. Simon Haigh and Mr. Paul Rye
Quay Marinas Ltd
A & W Building
Faxed to: 01275 841189
Emailed to: Andrew Yates firstname.lastname@example.org, Emailed to: Simon Haigh email@example.com, Emailed to: Paul Rye firstname.lastname@example.org
Quay Marinas Limited - Penarth Marina 20th Anniversary Birthday Party
Penarth Marina Champagne Birthday Celebrations
With reference to the above, we understand that your organisation will be staging an event at the Penarth Yacht and Bowling Club on Saturday 10th November 2007.
We understand that this champagne, black tie celebration event is to mark the fact that in the summer of this year, Quay Marinas Limited, also celebrated the occasion that Penarth Marina is 20 years old. Congratulations on this milestone, 20th Anniversary 1987-2007.
Our Family believes that it is good to celebrate happy birthdays and happy anniversaries. This is all the more so, when one has so much to celebrate. Penarth Marina, in Cardiff Bay, Wales is a success in many aspects and we have watched it grow and mature to what it has become today. We wish you well in your celebrations.
Our Family accepts that in some form or another, you three gentlemen are former employees of Crest Nicholson Marinas Limited or Crest Nicholson plc and we are aware that Crest Nicholson plc was previously the ultimate holding company of Crest Nicholson Marinas Ltd. So, for the benefit of doubt, we accept that you all know each other; you are the same people involved.
We accept that collectively, you successfully formed a management buyout of the company towards the Spring of 2004, supported by Lloyds TSB Bank, a former major shareholder in the Crest Group plc. We acknowledge that from Crest Nicholson Marinas Limited a new entity has been created called Quay Marinas Limited. We accept that there is a clear corporate lineage between your goodselves, Crest Nicholson Marinas Limited, Crest Nicholson plc and Penarth Marina in Cardiff Bay.
Accordingly, you should recall, and your continuation records will show, that it was our sincere intention to be a part of that growing process at Penarth marina, to be a part of a real community, welcome in a place where we wanted to live.
Your records will show. Our first approach to settle, our Houseboat Home, ‘M V Picton’, at Penarth Marina was in 1989, just two years after Penarth Marina was created. The entire area around Penarth Marina was a building site.
In 1993 more formal requests were made for long term mooring and we were assured, in writing, that there was no problem berthing a houseboat at Penarth Marina. It was also brought to our attention that other houseboats already existed and other individuals were resident on various other vessels.
In the event, Crest Nicholson Marinas imposed preconditions for our home to be accepted into the marina. Prudence for the long term prevailed. Essential maritime works had to be completed and we agreed that until such time as those preconditions were met, it was best for our home to remain situated in Associated British Ports’ Barry Graving Docks. Despite various setbacks, including that of a more personal and sad nature, our Family, and our Home were expressly invited into Penarth Marina in January 1997. All conditions for our entry were met, including the marina’s acceptance of our submitted design plans for our Home. Although we were placed in the 2nd basin surrounded by a half completed marina-housing development, we were delighted to be in Penarth Marina.
We kindly refer you to former Crest Nicholson Marinas’ and present Quay Marinas’ public relations media, both having published, ‘stated aims’. “Our simple aim is to provide, 'Safe Havens, Friendly Service and Fine Facilities'. It was not for another three years, after we entered the Penarth Marina, that on April 2nd 2000 that Crest Nicholson Marinas were negligent, having caused a night time accident, and these simple aims were to be put to the test.
You will recall that without notice or warning the water levels in the Penarth Marina were reduced so low as to cause our houseboat home to become grounded on the marina floor, loose buoyancy and fall sideways. Fortunately, for everyone, it fell in the direction of the floating pontoons. It is a matter of record that our four children were asleep in bed at the time of this night time incident; such was the impact that one child was thrown clear of her bunk. Marie Louise Shalom was eight months pregnant.
How Crest Nicholson Marinas Limited responded to their act of negligence, and rose to champion their own ‘simple aims’, is a matter of history and is reported to our Family Campaign for Social Justice website at http://www.mvpicton.co.uk.
We kindly invite you to immediately visit this website but in the circumstances, where we believe our Family reputation and integrity is at stake, and our good name has been sullied in the community, we feel it is necessary to remind you of the following.
• Our mooring fees were always paid promptly and in full, for as long as the company would accept them.
• Our Houseboat was fully insured at the time of the Crest Nicholson caused grounding accident.
• We immediately advised our insurance consultant, namely, Bristol Channel Marine Insurance Consultants, for advice and assistance.
• Following advice received from our insurance consultant, we applied to Crest Nicholson for permission for us to be able to send down divers, quite naturally, for a cursory inspection of our home. Professional divers were ready for commission subject to marina permissions being granted. Permissions were denied.
• Upon subsequent discovery of a limited water ingress to our home we immediately commissioned a Yacht Brokers Designers and Marine Surveyors Association – (YBDSA) professional marine expert for survey.
• Following advice received from said professional marine expert, we applied to Crest Nicholson for permission for us to be able to commission a haul out of our home, so that suitable inspection and appropriate repairs could begin. Once again, professional crane operatives were ready for commission, subject to marina permissions being granted. Permissions were again denied.
• Being unable, (only by virtue of the above,) to make insurance-required inspection and repair of our Home, further insurance could not be secured for our home. Only under these circumstances was our Houseboat Home, ever uninsured at Penarth Marina in Cardiff Bay.
• Being unable, (only by virtue of the above,) to comply with marina ‘terms and conditions’, to have suitable insurance cover for craft on the marina premises, only then did we break the marina conditions of contract. This was against our will.
• Having apparently satisfied their legal requirements, (and only as a direct consequence of orchestrating the above,) Crest Nicholson Marinas refused to accept our mooring fees, forcing us against our will, to become trespassers in Law.
• Crest Nicholson Marinas Limited, created a wholly ‘catch 22’ situation for our Houseboat and our Family, by physically preventing us from pursuing what we accept were our moral and legal obligations - to be insured, and to pay mooring fees.
• We could not have the vessel towed anywhere else for repairs without insurance, both for the journey itself and slipping/repair yard requirements.
• Despite our repeated attempts to invite company directors and Crest plc Chief Executive Officer Mr. John Callcutt CBE, to alternative dispute resolution, (a practical, moral solution was always an option) it seems apparent that for corporate political expediency, the Crest Nicholson Group only wanted a full scale legal eviction.
• It is a matter on record that preceding the grounding accident, Crest Nicholson Marinas Limited were moving to reverse their previous acceptance of the final design plans of our Houseboat M V Picton. Crest Nicholson moved to a new view that our home was not beautiful enough for the Penarth Marina.
• Penarth Marina is in the foreground view of a redevelopment of the ‘Billy Banks’ of Penarth. To be known as ‘Penarth Heights’, this is in itself, a £100M residential development of the Crest Nicholson Group. It is being run in conjunction with the Vale of Glamorgan Council. The Vale of Glamorgan Council is also the Penarth Marina landlord.
Your records will show and we kindly reiterate. We did everything possible, right, and within our power, to mitigate the loss of the accident caused by Crest Nicholson Marinas Limited. We did everything possible to get insurance for our home. We did everything possible to pay our mooring fees. We did everything possible to enter into a proactive alternative dispute resolution, inviting directors on numerous occasions to talk common-sense with us, over a cup of tea and a biscuit. Unfortunately, Mr. John Callcutt CBE, former Chief Executive of the Crest Nicholson Group, who was solely responsible for enforcing health and safety at the marina had already stated his view that children “should not live on houseboats”. For the company, this was most convenient, after causing an accident to one!
It is some four years, since 28th October 2003, that our Family and our Houseboat Home of 14 years was evicted from Penarth Marina. Against a Court Order and threat of a term of imprisonment, we obeyed the Court and quite literally pulled our Home, with ropes, to a position outside of the Marina premises. Having entered upon the waters of Cardiff Bay we immediately deployed two emergency anchors for our Houseboat, which marina staff tried desperately to interfere with. It was traumatic.
The following day on October 29th we celebrated our eldest daughters’ birthday. Hannah Louise was 12 years old. That year we had no other option but to celebrate Hannah’s birthday, evicted, outside the gates of Penarth Marina. It was very, very sad.
You should also be aware that later that same evening, following a telephone call from the Penarth Marina Harbour Master’s Office, two South Wales Police officers contacted us. They tried repeatedly to persuade Mr. Shalom to enter into the Harbour Master’s Office at Penarth Marina, despite being informed by Mr. Shalom, that to do so, would put him in breach of the Court Order. Mr. Shalom had no intention of going to prison for contempt of Court. Mr. Shalom respectfully refused to break the Court Order. However, at a further private meeting insisted upon by Police in the back of a Police car, he was subsequently told, in no uncertain terms, that either he take his Family off the boat or Social Services would be informed and his children would be taken away from him.
Under these circumstances, our Family was willing to comply with South Wales Police requests to evacuate our home. Willingly we agreed to be ferried to a land position, courtesy of the Cardiff Harbour Authority’s Cardiff Bay patrol vessel. The South Wales Police agreed to arrange an evacuation. The whole Family stayed up very late that night. In the event, nobody showed. No Police. No Cardiff Harbour Authority evacuation. The Cardiff Bay Harbour Master’s log-reports indicate that an ‘Inspector of Police’ contacted Cardiff Bay Barrage Control that evening with a view to evacuate the Shalom Family. Remember, this was Hannah’s 12th birthday!
Naturally, this is just a glance of our Family ‘anniversary’ and ‘birthday celebrations’ at this time of year. Much more has come to pass. Not least of which is the fact that our beautiful Home lays destroyed, some of our personal possessions still remain unaccounted for by the High Court Sheriff .
We also wonder, why did Crest Nicholson Marinas staff feel it necessary to use its influence in order to steal our property, held in trust, with Mr. Gareth Wigmore & Mr. Michael Wright, the Penarth Marina, marine chandlers? All of what we ever owned in our own home also remains seized by virtue of the Court Order obtained by Crest Nicholson.
Despite Mr. Haigh’s earlier stated view that our home was a “caravan”, it was ours - outright, and our safe and satisfactory Family Home of 14 years.
In view of the above and your direct association, past and present in the handling of this matter, we again invite you to spare a thought for our Family. Being homeless and still without our Family’s possessions is not funny. We believe that your dishonorable conduct to date brings discredit to the maritime industry. Mr. Yates, you once said, “We would not have involved the children in all this!” Quite unbelievable. How could you not involve our children? You evicted them. This whole situation is distasteful and degrading.
We are left to wonder why and kindly invite you to consider. Is celebrating with Champagne really appropriate? Perhaps it is. However, we believe the only matter worth celebrating with champagne, (or a cup of tea would be just as pleasant), would be the day that you gentlemen arrange to meet your moral responsibility head-on and act with real compassion and humanity.
Accordingly, we kindly invite you to arrange to correct the injustice you have exacted to our Family, our Home and our Way of Life. We kindly urge you to immediately discuss this matter with Mr. David Shearer, Chairman of the Crest Nicholson Group, or Mr. Stephen Stone, the Chief Executive Officer.
In conclusion, it is hard for us to believe that any amount of fizzy wine will take away the bad taste and awful situation you have created for our Family. However, we kindly suggest that ‘fair and just’ compensation may be the correct and moral way forward.
Have a very happy birthday celebration, but please consider us and our invitation.
Marie Louise and Vince Shalom
With our daughters, Hannah, Naomi, Rachel Rebekah and Jessica.
Formerly of the Houseboat M V Picton Penarth Marina Cardiff Bay Wales.
Mr. David Shearer Chairman Crest Nicholson Group
Mr. Stephen Stone Chief Executive Crest Nicholson Group
Castle Bidco Limited - Bank of Scotland
Andy Hornby Chief Executive HBOS Bank Plc
Sir Tom Hunter, Jim McMahon, Paul Davidson West Coast Capital
UBS Warburg (Crest plc Original Corporate Financiers)
Legal and General (Crest plc Original Major Shareholders)
Lloyds TSB (Crest plc Original Major Shareholders and financial backers to Quay Marinas Limited)
HM The Queen
HRH Prince of Wales President of Business in the Community
HRH Princess Anne
The Prime Minister Mr. Gordon Brown
The Lord Lieutenant of Surrey Mrs. Sarah Goad
Sir Ian Blair QPM, MA, Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis London
Sir Michael Rake Chairman of Business in the Community
Sir Malcolm Rifkind Aberdeen Asset Management plc
Baroness Margaret Ford English Partnerships
The Prime Minister
The National Assembly for Wales
The Department for Constitutional Affairs
Her Majesty’s Courts Service
The Ministry of Justice
The High Court Sheriff
Williams and Prichard Cardiff - Solicitors for the High Court Sheriff
The Review Team - Callcutt Review of Housebuilding Delivery
John Callcutt CBE
Rob Quick Chief Constable Surrey Police
Barbara Wilding CBE, QPM, CCMI Chief Constable South Wales Police
The Most Reverend Peter Smith Archbishop of Cardiff
The Most Reverend Dr. Barry Morgan Archbishop of Wales
Br. John Paul, C.F.R. Franciscan Friars of the Renewal Canning Town London
Rev. Joseph Boardman St Joseph’s RC Church Penarth
Rt Hon Alun Michael MP
Lorraine Barrett AM
Marian Martin - Executive Editor BYM Marine & Maritime News / Publishing
IPC Country & Leisure Media Ltd / YBW.COM
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch of the Department for Transport
Judith Hackitt CBE, Chair of the UK Health and Safety Commission
The UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency
The Health and Safety Executive
The Association of Marina Industries USA
The Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents
The Royal National Lifeboat Institute
The Royal Yachting Association
The British Marine Federation
National Boat Shows Limited
Environment Agency Wales
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Cardiff County/City Council
The Cardiff Harbour Authority
Wigmore & Wright Penarth Marina Chandlers
The House Building Federation
The Royal Institute of Arts
Maurice Flynn Head Teacher St. Joseph’s RC Primary School Penarth
Mike Clinch Head Teacher St Richard Gwyn Roman Catholic High School Barry
Extra courtesy copy. Stuart Jones Marina Manager Penarth Quays Marina Cardiff Bay
(And anybody else in the meantime, who we feel would like to know exactly how we have been bullied, our dream Home destroyed, our possessions seized for over four years, and our beautiful and Family’s Way of life, totally disrespected).
Website Latest News http://www.mvpicton.co.uk/latest_news.htm