The Mortgage Mole

Ray’s Haunt
The Building Societies Association attempted to scare Strategy’s hardened hacks and the industry’s bravest with a ghost walk in London last week to mark Halloween. Starting outside the Royal Exchange, the route took in dark alleys and deserted churchyards around the City and was led by ghost author and researcher Richard Jones, resplendent in Dickensian attire.

The tale was told of a ghost who haunts the Bank of England. Rumours the ghoul is related to mortgage guru Ray Boulger, senior technical manager of John Charcol, proved to be unfounded.

High Spirits
Once the tour was complete, the MS team were glad to retire to a cosy pub for mulled wine and mince pies. But their complacent smiles froze when it was revealed that the pub they were in was the most haunted in London. Williamson’s Tavern, in a small courtyard off Bow Lane, is said to be frequented by poltergeists. The paranormal pests are said to wreak havoc so often that several barmaids now refuse to work evenings and police sniffer dogs refuse to enter.

Even normally fearless reporter Natalie was too spooked to visit the toilet unaccompanied, though that was probably more to do with a fear of having nobody to gossip with than any concern over sinister goings-on.

Keith’s Credits
Mole uncovered the hidden talents of Keith Dearling this week. Apparently Dearling, founding partner at Advantage Home Loans, was busy making movies three years ago as a director of Evolution Films. Among many achievements, Dearling was executive producer of Mrs Caldicot’s Cabbage, starring Pauline Collins, aka Shirley Valentine.

Dearling maintains he’s an all-round business entrepreneur and has been involved in many a project over the years. But Mole suspects the glamourous galaxy of movie making was no match for the wonderful world of mortgages.

Dirty Young Man
Senior features writer Barney McCarthy is back in training after a two-week break in Italy. The GRIM Challenge – which entails a mere eight miles of running, wading and crawling through mud used to test Army vehicles in Aldershot – awaits McCarthy in just over a month.

Our man is braving the elements and the tough course to raise money for Little Hearts Matter, a charity that is the national voice for families in which single ventricle heart conditions have been diagnosed. Up to 600 children each year are found to have only half a functioning heart. Such children require an operation soon after birth and face complex surgery throughout early childhood. All donations from the industry will be greatly appreciated and will help raise awareness of the condition. Please email Barney on barney.mccarthy@centaur.co.uk to make a pledge, or call 020 7970 4850.