Blog, Staple Stories

Keep the Customer Satisfied

Back in 1996 we were travelling in New Zealand and hired a car to tour around the islands for about a month. The car had a cassette player and we decide to find a record store in Auckland and treat ourselves to a tape.  On impulse we bought Cheryl Crow’s “If it Makes You Happy” but we knew we needed more than one song!

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Staple Stories

Stepping Stones

I was out walking with my wife in the Yorkshire Dales beside the Wharfe, along a stretch we’d walked many times, when I noticed a different option – some stepping stones.

We’d never been on the other side of the river, the sun was out but the river was pretty full. After my first two steps I realised that the stones were very slippery.  Do we go for it or go back the usual way?

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Another Fine Competition – Deputy District Judge Crime 2016 – Magistrates’ Court


*****UPDATE 22 August 2016*****

Congratulations to all who made it through the online scenario. Now you need to provide evidence of your competencies by noon on Monday 5 September:


I’m frequently asked how I work with candidates; I work based on the needs of each individual candidate:application forms and interviews.

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Silk 2020 – QC Competition

 ***** UPDATE  January 2020*****

“Many, many thanks, and more thanks for all the expert help and encouragement you gave, it was invaluable.”                    

Congratulations to all those appointed, the 2020 competition is expected to launch on 17 February with a deadline for applications at the end of March.

I understand that the 2020 competition will run in the same format as last year’s. Many candidates have already started and some have completed initial draft applications.

“Hi Tim. I’m pleased to tell you that your record of successfully getting people through continues. Many thanks for all your patience & it definitely made all the difference.” 

First and foremost, do read the QC Appointment 2019 Guidance. But I would also strongly recommend that you consider the 2019 competition report, as it will give you a real insight into who gets appointed and why.

It is a straight forward process, but the application form can initially appear daunting.  Always have a copy of the competency framework to hand and throughout the competition make this your plumb line.

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We Need to Have Some Words with HIM!

What Stories Will You Share?

A picture tells a 1’000 stories?

Building on from the success of his poem writing, my 15 year old son, Tadhg, is planning his next project –  a story telling evening. He hopes you will come along, share stories, poems or maybe tell a joke. It should be an enjoyable evening where we’ll share, learn, laugh and perhaps be moved.  He’s been a member of Ilkley Young Writers Group for a number of years and therefore seen and heard some wonderful, engaging and powerful performances. We hope a number of them will be joining us on Friday 11 March 2016 – hopefully a treat for all ages. A community event – where everyone is very welcome!

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Circuit Judge Competition 2019 – The Essentials

“I got it!!!”  – Circuit Judge


**** UPDATE 13 June 2019 ****

Number of vacancies has been reduced from 80 > 50 (maybe this happened at same time the Recorder numbers were reduced – collapse in criminal receipts?). In last year’s competition 200 applied > 132 were shortlisted >60 recommended.

***** UPDATE  23 January 2019*****

Launched today – deadline for applications is 13;00 on Wednesday 13 February 2019 – there are up to 80 vacancies with 29 for immediate appointment (which means in effect probably early 2020!)

The JAC have a number of other competitions at various stages so I know I have an extremely busy few months ahead . So apologies, in advance, for any delays in responding but I’ll acknowledge messages and revert as soon as I’m able.

“Your input has been invaluable” – Resident Judge Candidate

It looks very similar to the 2018 competition (with an additional request for a description of your sitting experience)) but in many ways, this is one of the most straight forward competitions that the JAC run. It has evolved over the years and now successful candidates know what they have to do: demonstrate their evidence of the competencies. You have two panels you need to convince – the short-listing panel and the selection day panel. There is some very helpful feedback, sound guidance and clear advice from the JAC on their website. There are expected to be 80 vacancies, but as with other competitions, the number may vary as the competition progresses. 

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Staple Stories

I’m Brian or Possibly Mike?

Nine-year-old me, and I’m going to see my dad at Richmond railway station where he worked.  Part of the draw was that he’d often buy me a coke and a packet of Smokey Bacon or Roast Chicken Smiths Crisps (#bestcrispsever!) His work colleagues were always really friendly and most were Irish like him, apart from the lovely English inspector called Frank.

And that was where the problem started: my dad’s name was Frank too. He was never known as Francis and that would have sounded so out of place in his work environment. Some of his colleagues were real characters and I knew all their names. I remember them lifting me up onto a big seat, so I could announce an approaching train – “Fast train for Clapham Junction and Waterloo only”! However, I preferred to announce the down line trains to places like Egham and Virginia Water – they sounded so much more intriguing.

Then, one day an incident happened and a number of my dad’s workmates called for “Mike!” – whoever that was?

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“I’m Always Open to Ideas”

Entering the third year of running my consultancy and seem to have even more to learn and do!
So, a good time to take stock, lift my head up and try and see where we’re heading. I must start by saying a big Wow Thank You to all my clients. I’ve worked with some great and seriously talented people, at times it has been challenging but also deeply rewarding to receive your positive feedback. THANK YOU.

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