Phil MeekinView Profile
Barry Hardup was sitting at his desk wondering how he was going to make ends meet. He owned and ran The Silver Slipper Retailing Co Ltd which sold ladies fashion footwear as well as ball gowns and fancy dress outfits.
There had been a downturn in sales. Locally people were feeling the pinch and when cash is tight shoppers cut back on non-essentials. The company had accumulated VAT arrears. And the phone kept ringing – unpaid suppliers, some quite threatening. He was also worrying about the bank; if the company could not pay its way, the bank may ask him to cough up under a personal guarantee he had signed. He might even lose his home and go bankrupt, he thought.
Barry turned to a pile of unopened post – unpaid bills and threats of court action, no doubt. While he was chewing over his finances – and perhaps helped by a couple of shots of whisky – he fell asleep. He had the strangest dream – a fairy godmother visited him and said, “Why are you worrying Barry? Speak to the experts at Wilson Field. They can help to formulate a strategy to help your business to survive. Initially it may involve protection from creditors, bailiffs or court action but they can often source finance or private investors. Check them out at www.wilsonfield.co.uk” He was about to ask her a question but she waved her wand and he woke up.
Barry contacted Wilson Field who suggested a few options but he decided that a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) would suit his situation. With the agreement of the company’s creditors he could continue trading. This was particularly good news as he had heard that following a recent visit to the area Prince Charming was organising a ball to which every woman in town was invited. This was great news – he had heard about the Prince’s balls before – they were always very grand affairs, which meant that all the ladies would need new outfits.
On top of the fact that Barry had financial problems, his domestic situation was far from ideal. He had remarried after his first wife died, and his second wife dumped him when she realised he wasn’t rich. Somehow he seemed to have “inherited” her sons – two great strapping Neanderthals who were into cross-dressing. Their appalling dress sense was not a good advertisement for his retail business and at every opportunity they made Cinderella’s life hell. Ah, Cinderella! The light of his life – his beautiful daughter – such a kind, hard-working girl who never complained despite their poverty.
The ugly brothers were keen to go to the Prince’s ball and equally determined to exclude Cinderella from attending. After destroying her ticket and in the knowledge that she had nothing to wear they set off. Cinderella was left behind weeping; her friend and confidante, Buttons, tried to comfort her.
Suddenly the fairy godmother appeared and waved her wand, “Oh for goodness sake Cinders, stop whingeing – you shall go to the ball!” Again she waved her wand. Poof! – in a flash a pink stretched limo appeared complete with handsome chauffeur, a well-stocked cocktail bar and laser lighting. Cinderella’s ragged dress was turned into a stunning ball gown. “Just one condition – “said the fairy godmother, “be back before midnight or the limo will be repossessed”
The next morning, Cinderella awoke with the mother of all hangovers. She couldn’t remember how she’d got home and had even lost one of her shoes. But she did recall meeting and dancing with the Prince. She was stunned when he rang her mobile and asked to meet her again.