It’s the subject du jour and will remain so well into next year. Well, Neville Maggs (KayJay’s, Gosport, Hampshire) for one, will not be spending any money on expensive cover-ups for his cigarette gantry. He is another who has been told by Imperial Tobacco that, because he is turning over less than £6K a week on tobacco, he will have to take responsibility for going dark.

He asked me if it would be all right to run up a set of curtains, costing almost nothing. I did tell him to consult his local trading standards office as some of them do put strange interpretations on central government edicts.

The TSO said curtains are fine.

I reckon he could get creative: does he know anyone who embroiders? The sign saying that cigs hide beneath could be quite fetching. It’s bringing out the interior decorator in me. Perhaps a competition is in order.

PS. In the last issue I brought more news of the Servertab overhead gantry from Italian company Expotutto. Because I couldn’t get through to the company in time for my deadline I relied on a third party for a ‘guesstimate’ price. And I was 200 quid short. The actual price, the charming Expotutto MD tells me, starts at £1,500 plus VAT. That’s fully installed.