Cash-strapped first-time buyer ‘sick of renting’ first home is a £37k BOAT

A PROJECT manger beat Britain’s soaring house prices by buying a boat instead.

George Martell, 30, purchased a place of his own for £37,000 last year without taking out a mortgage.

Doug Seeburg – The Sun

George Martell and his fiancé Lisa Threlfall with their dogs Frankie and Freddie[/caption]

With rents predicted to rocket by 15 per cent over the next five years and the average deposit for a first time buyer in London hitting £80,000, it’s a depressing forecast for tenants hoping to get their foot on the property ladder.

And only last week it was revealed that half of renters are relying on credit or borrowing money from friends and family for a tenancy deposit.

Sick of renting, George traded in his rented two bedroom house in Hertfordshire and moved into a canal boat with his fiancé, Lisa Threlfall, 26, and his two dogs.

This week in the My First Home series we caught up with George who explains how he was forced to look for alternative accommodation when his landlord decided to sell-up.

Here he shows us around his pad and tells us what he loves about living on the water.

When did you buy your boat and how much did you pay?

Up until October 2017, I had been renting a “two-up, two-down” in Apsley, Hertfordshire, with my fiancé, Lisa Threlfall, 26, a surveyor.

We had been paying “mates rates” of just £900 per month rent for it.

Doug Seeburg – The Sun

Up until October last year, they’d been renting a “two-up, two-down” in Apsley, Hertfordshire, for “mates rates” of £900 per month[/caption]

Doug Seeburg – The Sun

The couple needed to find a new place to live after their landlord told them they were selling up[/caption]

Doug Seeburg – The Sun

At the time they had one dog and they felt they needed a family home with a garden[/caption]

But when our landlord announced that he was selling up and moving overseas, we needed to find a new place to live.

We thought it would be easy to find another rental property and looked at lots in the Home Counties.

But as we have a dog, we realised that we’d need a family home with a garden – and this would mean monthly rent of around £1,300 plus bills for a two-bed house.

Are you a first-time buyer who want to share tips on how you did it? Email us at or call 0207 78 24516. Don’t forget to join the Sun Money’s first-time buyer Facebook group for the latest tips on buying your first home.

As this was pretty costly, we then gave some serious thought to alternative housing options.

We fell in love with a boat in October last year, and bought it for £37,000.

How did you find the boat?

We did most of our research online, on sites such as eBay and Gumtree, as well as specialist boat site, Apolloduck.

Doug Seeburg – The Sun

The couple found their boat on a specialist site called Apolloduck after searching eBay and Gumtree[/caption]

Doug Seeburg – The Sun

The living area doubles up as a bedroom with cupboards and under-bed storage[/caption]

Doug Seeburg – The Sun

The couple love the freedom that comes with living on a boat[/caption]

We went and saw a couple of boats, but decided they weren’t right because they were too old, too big, or because the interior needed too much work.

Then we went to see a young guy in Milton Keynes who was selling a boat we’d seen on Apolloduck, priced at £40,000.

We just knew it was the one for us and made an offer straight away.

We got on well with the seller, and while he didn’t accept our first offer, we settled on £37,000. We then moved in two weeks later.

George's tips on buying your own home

GEORGE may have decided to ditch the dream of buying a house and got a boat instead, but the principle of saving is still the same.

Here are his tip on how to get the funds together:

  • Save as hard as you can. Be willing to make cutbacks while you save.
  • Buy with someone else so you can save together and pool your funds.
  • Make a start at getting onto the property ladder as early as you can in life. Own something you can live in.
  • Be a bit whacky and creative about your living arrangements – don’t worry about what other people think.

How big is it?

Our boat is a 50ft “cruiser stern” with a deck area at the back where you can sit out.

Inside, our living area comprises a double bedroom with cupboards and under-bed storage, a bathroom with a sink, power shower and “cassette” toilet (which you take out and empty).

There is then a sitting room with a sofa bed, TV, radiators and a coal and log burner, and a kitchen with oak tops, old-style sink and fridge freezer.

Who do you live with?

I live with Lisa, and we now have two dogs – Frankie, a mongrel, and Freddie, a young Jack Russell.

But there’s also a great sense of community when you live on a boat.

Doug Seeburg – The Sun

The couple plan to live on the boat for around three to four years while save hard for a deposit for a house[/caption]

Doug Seeburg – The Sun

The bathroom has a sink, power shower and “cassette” toilet which needs to be taken out and emptied[/caption]

Within an hour of getting to our current location, another young couple had moored up beside us, and that night we were having drinks and a BBQ together.

It’s been like that wherever we go.

You become a lot closer the people around you when you live on the water.

How did you afford to buy the boat?

Lisa and I bought the boat with a combination of savings and a loan.

We saved money from our jobs, and by cutting back on things, such as takeaways, eating out and socialising.

We also moved to cheaper phone contacts and decided to go without Sky. It was definitely hard work.

We then took out a loan for the remaining amount with Zopa. This was a loan for £10,000 over four years.

Doug Seeburg – The Sun

Having a boat means that they can live on one salary and save around £2,500 per month towards a deposit[/caption]

Doug Seeburg – The Sun

They hadn’t spent a lot of time on boats before buying one[/caption]

Doug Seeburg – The Sun

They had to learn about the engine, the steering and how to work a lock[/caption]

This means repayments of just over £200 – though we try and pay off £500 a month, so we can clear the loan more quickly.

What are the ongoing costs?

Aside from our loan repayments of £500 a month – which is a lot cheaper than a mortgage would be – we pay £600 a year for out boating licence (which works out at £50 per month), and £38 per month for insurance.

We pay less than £50 per month for diesel, and in the winter, we pay around £10 per for a bag of coal or logs for the burner.

Overall, our outgoings are pretty low.

Why did you decide to buy a boat rather than a house?

We would love to buy a family home one day but right now it is unaffordable.

We need to save up a lot of money for a deposit, and wouldn’t be able to do that if we were paying a hefty chunk of our salaries in rent each month.

Doug Seeburg – The Sun

They have a “continuous cruising licence” which means they have to move every two weeks[/caption]

Doug Seeburg – The Sun

The toilet has to be manually emptied every day[/caption]

With the boat, we don’t have a mortgage – and didn’t have to pay stamp duty – plus our running costs are very manageable.

This means we can live on one salary and save around £2,500 per month towards a deposit.

How did it feel when you moved in?

On the first day, there was a real mixture of nerves and excitement.

We’d not spent a lot of time on boats, so there was a lot to learn in terms of the engine, the steering, how to work locks, and so on.

It was a steep learning curve and several months later, we are still learning new things.

But the previous owner was brilliant, and helped us move the boat a few miles to our first mooring.

He showed us how to steer it – and explained how everything worked.

After that, it was more or less a case of just “jumping in and seeing if you swim.”

Doug Seeburg – The Sun

They couple took out a £10,000 loan to make be able to afford the boat[/caption]

Doug Seeburg – The Sun

The loan repayments every month at £200 although they try and pay off £500[/caption]

What do you do for furniture?

Our biggest issue with moving from a house to a boat was the fact there isn’t a huge amount of storage, so we had to get rid of a lot of stuff so we could fit things in.

The main new items of furniture we bought were a double bed with a specialist “boating” mattress, and the sofa bed for the living room.

Are there any issues with the boat?

We have a “continuous cruising licence” which means we have to move every two weeks, but we love the fact we can move from place to place on the boat, exploring Hertfordshire by its waterways.

Doug Seeburg – The Sun

Lisa and George hope that one day they’ll be able to afford to buy a house[/caption]

Doug Seeburg – The Sun

The previous owner helped them move the boat a few miles to their first mooring and showed them how to steer it[/caption]

If we bought a house, we’d be tied to just one location. It’s great to have so much freedom.

How do you decide where to go next?

I need to know where I’m going, and once we’re coming to the end of a stint, I like to start plotting where we will go next (though in reality, we often end in places on a whim).

We’ve been from Milton Keynes to Rickmansworth to Berkhamsted. It’s all about exploring different areas and seeing what we find.

When do you think you’ll move again?

We plan to live on the boat for around three to four years while saving hard for a house deposit.

We then plan to use our savings – along with the proceeds from the sale of the boat – to buy a place of our own.

However, we are also getting married this year [in August], so that’s our main focus at the moment.

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Dad-of-two turned £10,000 into £100million business selling gold bars and coins

DAD-of-two Rob Halliday-Stein started a business selling gold bars after losing his mum 10 years ago.

The 41-year-old had been left some money after she passed away and used £10,000 to start Bullion by Post.

Rob Halliday-Stein, 41, started his business 10 years ago
SWNS:South West News Service

Last year, the business sold £100million worth of gold and after starting out on his own, he now employs more than 40 people.

He told The Sun: “It was September 2018, the height of the banking crisis. I was looking to buy gold and silver.

“I was down in London and I popped into a dealer and there were people queuing out the door.

“From then I was convinced there was a market out there.”

At the time there were no online services selling gold and traditional suppliers weren’t interested in selling to individuals.

Last year, he sold over £100million worth of gold
SWNS:South West News Service

He quickly set up a deal with a supplier and then launched the website in September 2009 with just 10 products.

His offices, based in Birmingham, don’t hold the gold or silver bars, instead he works with vaults to deliver the products directly to customers.

Gold has a reputation as a safe option for investors, especially in times of economic uncertainty.

Over the last five years its price has increased by 10 per cent with a one ounce gold bar, which costs £1,000 to buy now, going up £88 in value – far more generous that the paltry savings rates offered by banks.

Rob’s top tips for a successful business

ROB has shared his top tips with The Sun for starting a successful business.

  1. It’s going to be hard work. Be ready for that.
  2. Spot the opportunity – it’s all about the idea and gap in the market.
  3. Take something that is already done well and do it better
  4. Build a good relationship with your customer and suppliers. Get really strong passionate suppliers that want to do business with you. You want the very best.

He now plans to extend his business into buying and selling rare coins
SWNS:South West News Service

A gold sovereign coin £230-£240 the more you buy the more that comes down. A one ounce bar is just under £1,000.

And of course, Rob has his own collection of gold, mostly sovereigns and Britannias.

He says that most customers start with a small amount and keep building up their collection over time.

Rob added: “People just tend to buy more over time. The thing about gold is that it’s unusual that its wealth you can hold in your hand. It’s recognised all over the world.”

What’s next for the company? Rob hopes to develop his coin buying and selling business.

He said: “We’ve seen big demand for older rarer coins or people collecting designs of more modern coins.

“We’ve got the biggest selection of UK coins and we are very focused on expanding this and our jewelry side of the business.”

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Supermarkets use ‘fake farms’ on labels to lure customers into buying own-brand chicken

TOP supermarkets are using quaint fictional locations to lure customers into buying their own-brand chicken, The Sun on Sunday can reveal.

High-street favourites have been accused of using “fake farm names and pictures” so shoppers think the meat comes from small-scale producers.

Getty Images – Getty

High-street favourites were found to use ‘fake farm names and pictures’ so shoppers think the meat comes from small-scale producers[/caption]

But our probe has discovered many of the stores’ chickens have come from mega-farms.

Carina Millstone, of food campaign group Feedback, said: “Supermarkets are selling meat under fake farm names, encouraging consumers to believe it is sourced from small-scale producers.

“We need supermarkets to be honest and support small farms before it is too late.”

We visited Penrhos Farm, near Kington, Herefordshire, which sells birds to Cargill, one of two large suppliers previously used for Tesco’s Willow Farms brand.

Peter Powell Limited

WillowFarms’ logo has a plump bird in open space. In reality, Tesco has previously used large suppliers which buy from mega farms with tens of thousands of birds

Peter Powell Limited

Ashfield Farm is a label. Birds stocked by Aldi have previously come from Faccenda, which is supplied by places such as Cambria Farm, Somerset, where 100,000 birds are said to live[/caption]

Peter Powell Limited

None of M&S’s Oakham Chickens comes from anywhere called Oakham. One of its previous suppliers in Suffolk processes around 30,000 birds at a time[/caption]

Peter Powell Limited

Birchwood Farm is not a place. Lidl poultry has previously come from places like Stewkley Park Farm, near Wing, Bucks – a farm used by mega-supplier Faccenda.[/caption]

Peter Powell Limited

The Farm Stores brand stocked by Asda has a quaint picture of a small farm. But they have also previously taken chickens from Faccenda, which can process two million birds a week[/caption]

It has four sheds, each housing tens of thousands of chickens. A Tesco spokesman said: “The use of brand names is very prevalent across the big five.”

Lidl’s chicken is branded Birchwood Farm. In reality, up until April one of its sources was Stewkley Park Farm, Bucks.

Getty Images – Getty

More than a fifth of small British farms have been lost in the past ten years and around 95 per cent of poultry is now bred at so-called mega-farms[/caption]

It keeps huge sheds with rows of around 30,000 chickens inside and supplies poultry giant Faccenda, which then sells to Lidl.

A Lidl spokesperson said meat meets “stringent animal welfare and food hygiene standards”.

Some of Asda’s standard whole chickens have also been provided by Faccenda, a far cry from its rustic Farm Stores brand.

An Asda spokesman said: “Farm Stores is a name that our customers remember from our heritage and trust for great value and quality.”

Faccenda has also supplied Aldi in the past. A spokesman said it has not taken chickens from the firm since April.

But its “Ashfield Farm” does not exist.

The chickens may have previously come from places such as Cambria Farm, near Taunton, Somerset, which has 100,000 birds in giant sheds.

Until last year some of M&S’s Oakham Chicken birds came from 2 Sisters Food Group.

We visited one of its sites in Suffolk, where more than 30,000 birds are processed.

M&S did not comment.

More than a fifth of small British farms have been lost in the past ten years and around 95 per cent of poultry is now bred at so-called mega-farms.

Is House of Fraser closing, what’s the latest share price and is it going into administration?

THE fate of thousands of staff members hangs in the balance as House of Fraser is dealt a fresh blow.

Here’s the latest on store closures and whether the high street stalwart is going into administration.

Many House of Fraser stores could shut as it restructures under its new owners
Many House of Fraser stores could shut as it restructures under its new owners

Is House of Fraser closing?

House of Fraser confirmed in early August 2018 that 31 of its 59 stores would be closing in January 2019.

This would lead to 6,000 job losses — 2,000 House of Fraser staff and 4,000 across brands and concessions.

But now the jobs of all 17,500 staff members are at risk after plans to restructure the company failed.

The department store chain had proposed a so-called Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA), which a number of other British retailers have adopted in recent years.

The business will continue to trade while they seek to find a buyer.

Alex Williamson, chief executive of House of Fraser, said: “We are hopeful that the current negotiations will shortly be concluded.

“An acquisition of the 169-year-old retail business will see House of Fraser regain stability, certainty and financial strength.”

House of Fraser has denied reports it is about to collapse
House of Fraser has denied reports it is about to collapse
Getty Images – Getty

What’s the latest share price?

House of Fraser is no longer listed on the London Stock Exchange.

In May this year figures revealed the warehouse had lost £43.9m in 2017.

Is it going into administration?

House of Fraser called in administrators after last-ditch talks with investors and creditors failed.

Sky News reported on August 10 that administrators were being brought in after talks with three potential backers failed to find a solution.

In a statement to the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, where the company’s bonds are listed, HoF said it the administrator Ernst & Young would continue those talks and a sale of the retailer’s business and assets.

Who owns House of Fraser?

House of Fraser is currently 89 per cent owned by Chinese firm Nanjing Cenbest, part of the Sanpower conglomerate.

English billionaire Mike Ashley owns a minority stake in the chain.

Chinese company C.banner had agreed to buy a 51 per cent stake in a deal expected to be done by the end of June.

That rescue deal would have involved axing 31 of its 59 stores, with the loss of 6,000 workers.

But C.Banner was forced to abandon the plan after a slump in its share price, in a fresh setback for House of Fraser.

In a statement, the Chinese firm admitted their plan had “been rendered impracticable and inadvisable, and therefore no longer intend to proceed with the placing.”

Why is House of Fraser struggling?

The firm has taken similar measures to those of struggling firms New Look and Carpetright.

Department stores including Debenhams are suffering in the competition against online retailers.

The department store’s chairman, Frank Slevin, said there had been progress on a shake-up of the business but more needed to be done “to confront the seismic shifts in the retail industry”.

“House of Fraser’s future will depend on creating the right portfolio of stores that are the right size and in the right location.”

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You can now RESERVE a table McDonald’s – but only in this one location

McDONALD’S is trialling a new system where you can RESERVE a seat at the restaurant to guarantee yourself a chair.

In a move that seems to defeat the object of fast-food, customers will need to reserve a table at the burger chain branch if they want to eat there.

McDonald’s is running a two-day trial of the service at its High Street Kensington branch

McDonald’s call it a trial but it sounds a bit more like a gimmick to celebrate the national-role out of it’s posh Signature Burger range.

It’s only taking place in one of the 1,270 branches across the UK, and it’s the restaurant in swanky High Street Kensington, London.

Foodies will have to book a table online before they arrive and they’ll be welcomed by a string quartet before being escorted to their table.

The branch is being kitted out with rich velvet curtains, posh “burger art” to give it a luxurious feel, like the gourmet-style burgers.

Are the new McDonald's burgers any good?

WE give our verdict on The Signature Collection at McDonald's.

  • THE CLASSIC – 100% British and Irish Beef, Beechwood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, wholegrain mustard mayo, ketchup, Batavia lettuce and red onion all in a brioche bun. Price: £4.79 Calories: 698 kcal

Verdict: A good combination of texture and flavours. Biting in, the first thing you notice is the thicker beef pattie used across the collection – and it’s really tasty.
The distinctive wholegrain mustard is nicely offset by the sweetness of the ketchup making it an ideal snack for any meat lover.

  • THE BBQ – 100% British and Irish Beef, Smoky BBQ sauce, coleslaw, Batavia lettuce, Beechwood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese and red onion, all in a brioche bum. Price: £4.79 Calories: 782

What we thought: We particularly liked the smokey BBQ sauce, which was nicely complementing the beef pattie together with crunchy red onions . But it’s components – especially the coleslaw – do tend to slide in different directions making it very messy to eat, despite McDonald’s careful packaging.

  • THE SPICY – 100% British and Irish Beef, Jalapeño slices, Pepper Jack cheese, Batavia lettuce, spicy relish and mayo all in a brioche bun. Price: £4.79 Calories : 635

Verdict: This was a favourite by far primarly due to its core ingredients Jalapeño and spicy relish. The combination of beef and spices seemed quite innovative for McDonald’s and nothing like we tasted at the burger joint before. Juicy, spicy and fresh – the burger might just be one of the best value for money offer on the high street.

Diners won’t even need to eat with their fingers because they’ll even be given “diamond” encrusted cutlery to cut up their food, which will be served to them by white-gloved butlers.

It will only be running as a two-day event on August 15 and 16.

They claim that if it’s a success they will look at expanding the concept out for special calendar moments.

Nevertheless, if you want to get involved you can book online as of today and before August 15 – although if the Gregg’s Valentine’s Day meal was anything to go by then you’ll want to get in there quick.

The fast-food chain launched The Signature Collection premium burgers last year.

They come in three flavours – The Classic, The BBQ and The Spicy and all of them include fancy ingredients.

The burgers are much more Instagram-friendly than the floppy cheeseburger that you associate with the home of the golden arches.

McDonald’s has now rolled out it’s table service to 93 per cent of it’s restaurants, almost a year after it first launched.

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What’s the maximum temperature for offices and schools in the UK and can you leave if it’s too hot?

TOILING away in stifling hot offices can leave many wondering – how high does the temperature need to go before it becomes too hot to work?

But is it that simple? What are your rights when it comes to the maximum temperature in the workplace, and what should you do if you’re worried about your kids in the classroom? Here’s what you need to know…

workers lying in the heat
While there’s no legal maximum temperature, employers have a duty under health and safety law to monitor working conditions

Can you go home from work if your office is too hot?

The TUC wants to make it illegal to keep people at work indoors if the temperature is above 30C, and put protection in place for people working outside or driving for a living.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a legally defined maximum or minimum temperature for offices yet.

But your employer is responsible for “keeping the temperature at a comfortable level” and there are rules that could allow you to leave if the office is too hot.

The TUC says: “When the workplace gets too hot it is more than just an issue about comfort.

“If the temperature goes too high then it can become a health and safety issue. If people get too hot, they risk dizziness, fainting, or even heat cramps.

“In very hot conditions the body’s blood temperature rises. If the blood temperature rises above 39C, there is a risk of heat stroke or collapse. Delirium or confusion can occur above 41C.

“Blood temperatures at this level can prove fatal and even if a worker does recover, they may suffer irreparable organ damage.”


TO keep work cool, the TUC would like to see employers:

  • Allow staff to adopt less formal attire – with jackets off, and casual lightweight clothes.
  • Ensure that outdoor workers have sunscreen and water and are given advice on the need to protect themselves from the heat and sun.
  • Distribute fans to staff and provide portable air cooling cabinets.
  • Allow flexible working so that staff can have the option of coming in earlier and staying later to avoid the sweltering conditions of the rush hour commute.
  • Allow staff to take frequent breaks and provide a ready supply of cool drinks.

According to the HSE: “A meaningful maximum figure cannot be given due to the high temperatures found in, for example, glass works or foundries.”

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, which lays down particular requirements for most aspects of the working environment, states that: “During working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable.”

The HSE explains: “If a significant number of employees are complaining about thermal discomfort, your employer should carry out a risk assessment, and act on the results of that assessment.”

If you’re a vulnerable employee – for example if you’re pregnant or are undergoing the menopause, or if you need to wear protective equipment at work so can’t take off layers – that also has to be taken into account.

So the answer is simple – if you’re uncomfortable, tell your boss and if enough people complain then they have to act.

Can you go home in the hot weather if you work outside?

The health and safety temperature laws only apply to “indoor workplaces” – so what if you work outside, in the agricultural or construction industries?

Again, no maximum temperature has been set – but employers are legally obligated to conduct risk assessments on workplaces to ensure that temperatures are ‘reasonable’.

In 2013, Army reservists Lance Corporal Roberts, Lance Corporal Maher and Corporal Dunsby all died as a result of heat exhaustion after a training session in the Brecon Beacons.

The HSE launched an investigation of the Ministry of Defence, and found that there had been a failure to plan, assess and manage risks associated with climatic illness during the training.

Teachers called for a maximum classroom temperature of 30C in 2013, but the law did not change
Getty Images

The exercise should have been called off hours before when temperatures reached record highs, they said.

The HSE were unable to prosecute the MoD because it is a government body, but the case highlights the duty of care on the employer.

Employers should ensure their workers have access to water and monitor the health of their employees in hot conditions, according to HSE guidelines.

If you have concerns that it’s too hot to do physical labour outside, do raise these with your employer.


HIGH temperatures can affect the ability of pupils to concentrate and work effectively, but what are the rules? We explain:

According to the National Union of Teachers the rules are the same for employees and school children.

This means temperatures should be “reasonable”, although there is no maximum reasonable temperature.

Once temperatures reach 26C, precautions should be taken – such as curtailing heat-generated activies like using computers or bunsen burners, and making sure pupils have ready access to water in classrooms.


Can you keep your kids home from school if it is too hot?

During a heatwave in 2013, school teachers called for maximum legal temperatures to be set in classrooms over fears that it was too hot for the kids.

At the time, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union Chris Keates said heatwave temperatures make pupils lethargic, affect concentration and can lead to fainting.

The union called for a maximum classroom temperature of 30C – which would see kids sent home if thermometers rose above this level.

However, the law remained the same – and, as with term-time holidays, you could get into trouble for keeping your kids off school in the heatwave.

Parents should make sure their kids are well equipped in a heatwave, with a hat and sunscreen if they are likely to be playing outdoors.

Many schools relax uniform rules during the summer months.

What is the hottest temperature for an office, are there UK legal limits and what can you do to keep cool?

AS the UK endures another round of sweltering summer temperatures many people will be heading into work on sweaty trains and busses.

Office workers have some rights enshrined in law but the rules and regs might be different to what you imagined.

Hopefully office workers won’t need to resort to desperate measures to keep cool
Getty – Contributor

What is the maximum temperature to work in an office?

The short answer is… there isn’t one.

The regulations under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations Act 1992) say employers must maintain a reasonable temperature where you work but there is no maximum temperature.

There is a minimum temperature of 16C, which falls to 13C if your work involves “considerable physical activity”.

The Health and Safety Executive adds: “A meaningful maximum figure cannot be given due to the high temperatures found in, for example, glass works or foundries.”

Those who work in food cold stores or bakeries can expect extremes of temperature as part if the job.

But generally, employers have a duty to “keep the temperature at a comfortable level” and provide clean and fresh air.

The TUC has called for the introduction of an upper limit on workplace temperature so that employers would be forced to act when the temperature inside reaches 24°C.

The TUC has called for a maximum temperature to be introduced for office workers

What can you do if you are too hot?

The health and safety executive state if a “significant number” of employees are complaining about the heat, your employer should carry out a risk assessment and act on the results.

If you’re a vulnerable employee – for example pregnant or menopausal, or you need to wear protective equipment so can’t take off layers – that has to be taken into account.

If you have to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) for your job the HSE recommends several other aspects to be considered, including allowing work to take place at a slower rate, rotate staff more frequently and allow longer recovery times.

Bosses have to ensure workers have access to fresh drinking water.

Bosses are expected to maintain a ‘reasonable temperature’ in the workplace

When and where was the hottest day in the UK, 2018?

When did the Bank of England last raise interest rates and what is the current level?

THE Bank of England is set to raise the interest rate for the second time in a year – but when was the last time they did it?

Here we explain when it last happened, what an interest rate rise is, and what the current level is…

A rise would mean that the base rate would be set at the highest it’s been in a decade

When did the Bank of England last raise interest rates?

The Bank of England last raised interest rates in November 2017, hiking it from by 0.25 per cent.

It was the first interest rate increase since July 2007.

The announcement led to the pound dropping 1.5 per cent against the euro to 1.257.

It also fell by almost 1 per cent against the dollar.

What is the base rate?

SIMPLY put, it’s the country’s official borrowing rate, and is the rate the Bank of England lends to all the other banks in the UK

It is incredibly important as it a guide for lenders on what rates it can offer – and therefore impacts mortgage rates, credit cards, loans and savings.

It was stuck at record low levels for a decade because of the state of the economy after the financial crash in 2008.

It was raised back to 0.5 per cent last November, but after today’s decision by the Bank has seen markets pencilling in more than three hikes within three years., starting later in 2018

A 0.25 per cent hike in interest rates could see mortgage bills go up by £264 a year

What is the current level?

The current level is 0.5 per cent – but experts are expecting it to rise to 0.75 per cent.

This means that the 3.7million borrowers who are on variable and tracker mortgages could see their monthly bills go up as lenders look to pass on the costs.

In fact, mortgage-holders could see their bills go up by as much as £264 if the rate does rise.

A rise is good news for savers though who could see the amount of interest they earn on their cash go up – but only by a measly £25 on £10,000, if banks decide to pass them on.

We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at or call 0207 782 4368 . You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.

Dixons Carphone admits 10 million customers hit by data breach

TEN million customers have been affected by a data breach in 2017, Dixons Carphone has admitted.

The data breach first came to light in June when the retailer revealed there had been “an attempt to compromise” 5.9 million customers’ cards and 1.2 million personal records.

Getty Images – Getty

Dixons Carphone said that about 10 million records containing personal data of customers may have been accessed in 2017[/caption]

On Tuesday, the electronics retailers apologised to its customers as it admitted the huge date breach involved 10 million shoppers, much higher than its earlier estimates.

Dixons Carphone, which has become the victim of a major cyber attack for the second time in three years, said the investigation is nearly complete and there is now evidence that some of the data may have left its systems.

But it has assured customers that pin codes and card details that could be used to shop have not been accessed and there is no evidence any fraud has resulted from the incident.

The company said in a statement: “Our investigation, which is now nearing completion, has identified that approximately 10 million records containing personal data may have been accessed in 2017.

“While there is now evidence that some of this data may have left our systems, these records do not contain payment card or bank account details and there is no evidence that any fraud has resulted.

How to keep yourself safe from hackers and scammers

HERE's how to stay safe online

  1. Make a ‘strong’ password with 8 or more characters and a combination of upper case characters, numbers and symbols
  2. Don’t do online banking on public WiFi, unless absolutely necessary
  3. Don’t click on dodgy email links claiming to be from banks
  4. Use different passwords for different sites
  5. Never re-use your main email password
  6. Use anti-virus software
  7. Don’t accept Facebook friend requests or LinkedIn invitations from people you don’t know
  8. Think before you put personal info on social media
  9. Find My iPhone, Android Lost and BlackBerry Protect all allow you to remotely wipe a stolen phone. Set this feature up
  10. Only shop online on secure sites
  11. Don’t store your card details on websites
  12. Password protect your phone and other devices

“We are continuing to keep the relevant authorities updated.”

Dixons Carphone’s boss Alex Baldock said: “Since our data security review uncovered last year’s breach, we’ve been working around the clock to put it right.

“That’s included closing off the unauthorised access, adding new security measures and launching an immediate investigation, which has allowed us to build a fuller understanding of the incident that we’re updating on today.

“Again, we’re disappointed in having fallen short here, and very sorry for any distress we’ve caused our customers. I want to assure them that we remain fully committed to making their personal data safe with us.”

If you’re worried you’ve been a victim of fraud, the first thing you should do is to contact Action Fraud for help.

If debit or credit cards, online banking or cheques are involved and you’re worried, your first step should be to contact your bank or credit card company – and they will advise you on next steps.

The news comes after hackers targeted Ticketmaster in criminal bid to steal hundreds of thousands from customers.

Earlier this year, Facebook revealed that the details of 50 million users has been exposed.

In November 2016, Three Mobile was hacked by thieves who stole hundreds of handsets and put 9 million customers’ data at risk.

We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Money team? Email us at or call 0207 78 24516. Don’t forget to join the Sun Money’s Facebook group for the latest bargains and money-saving advice.

How to cut costs on maintaining your tan with our top tips — plus win a year’s food shop

HAS Love Island inspired you to get tanning?

Superdrug, which sponsors the show, saw sales of sun cream increase by 112 per cent compared to last year, and sales of fake bake products are up 26 per cent as we look to recreate the bronzed look safely.

You’ll be amazed just how much money you can save on tanning products
Getty – Contributor

But a self tan doesn’t come cheap. High-end brands such as Creme De La Mer can cost £80 for a 200ml bottle. Then there is the prep too.

Here Sun Savers shows you how to find tanning bargains.

  • Homemade body scrub. The night before tanning, whip together a DIY exfoliating scrub containing coconut oil, sugar, and ground coffee or vanilla extract. Then rub on the areas you’ll be applying the self-tan to. Beauty expert Joanne Dodds, from, warns: “This is the most imperative step to getting a flawless fake tan. If you don’t exfoliate properly you will be left with a very patchy, uneven tan.”

SAVE: £38 on a body scrub

  • Shop around for the best deals. Bondi Sands 1 Hour Express Self Tanning Foam is the best-selling fake tan in the world, but you don’t have to pay full-price for it. Boots currently has one third off, taking the price down from £18.99 to £12.66 (ends Tuesday). offers 15 per cent off your first order when you spend £15 on full-price products with code: 1ST15OFF, making it £16.15 (ends August 20).

SAVE: Up to £6.33

Save money on expensive prep exfoliators by making one with ingredients you probably already have at home
Getty – Contributor

SAVE: £5.50 buying gradual tan instead of self tan

  • Learn clever tanning hacks. Pop Vaseline on hairlines and eyebrows when fake tanning, and prevent fake tan rubbing off when you sweat by applying talc-free baby powder on skin to soak up the moisture. Made a fake tan faux pas? Fix any fake tan fails with baking soda. You can also try rubbing half a lemon on the problem area for a couple of minutes, before lightly buffing with a damp towel.

SAVE: £17.99 on self-tan eraser

ALL prices on this page are correct at time of going to press. Deals and offers subject to availability.

Cheap treat

TOAST this deal – William’s British Conserve jam was £2.80, now £2 at Sainsbury’s. Offer ends August 15.

Perfect for spreading on your toast in the mornings

SAVE: 80p

Shop & save

PET in need of a groom? All Furminator deshedding tools come with £10 off at Jollyes pet superstores. Offer available in-store only. Offer ends August 6.

Give your pet the pampering session they deserve with these great grooming tools

SAVE: £10

My Sun Savers fiver

SUSAN DONEGAN, from Worsley, Greater Manchester, says: “I’m saving my fivers to treat my grandchildren when we go on a break to Lincoln. The rest will be going on my car’s MOT.”

  • Send us your tips to Savers fiver stories and you’ll get 28 codes worth £5 if your tip is used. Please include your name and town.

Designer double

MAKE yourself over with the MUA Cosmic Vixen Eyeshadow Palette for £5, instead of the Urban Decay Born To Run Eyeshadow Palette, RRP £39.50.

Why spend a whopping £39.50 on this eyeshadow palette…
…when you can snap this on up for only £5

SAVE: £34.50

Reader’s saving tip

SHAUN BRYANT, from Minehead, Somerset, says: “Save flower seeds so you don’t have to buy new packets. It is easy to get the seeds out of sunflowers and sweet pea – just five pods can amount to one packet.”

  • Send your tips to and you’ll get 28 codes worth £5 if your tip is used. Please include your name and town.

Deal of the day

NAB up to 30 per cent off selected bikes at Halfords, including this Carrera Parva men’s hybrid bicycle, designed both for commuting in towns and hitting cycle trails on the weekend. Was £300, now £200.

You can’t go wrong with this bike at half price

SAVE: £100

Save a fiver

GET 20 per cent off all plants at Squires Garden Centres, including these David Austin English roses. Were £24.99, now £20. Offer ends today.

Head down to Squires Garden Centre to purchase your plants at 20% off

SAVE: £4.99

Win a year’s food shop
4 x £5,000 prizes

THE weekly food shop can soon add up if you have a hungry family to feed.

But don’t worry because, starting today, Sun ­Savers is giving you the chance to win one of four prizes of £5,000 to help pay for your groceries for a year – meaning you can throw in a few extra treats in the weekly shop too.

Starting today, Sun ­Savers is giving you the chance to win one of four prizes of £5,000 to help pay for your groceries for a year

To be in with a chance of winning, simply collect TEN Sun Savers codes from between today, Saturday, July 28, and Tuesday, August 14.

If you are not already a Sun Savers member, simply download the Sun Savers app or register at It only takes minutes to sign up.

Already a Sun Savers member? Don’t forget to update your app in the app store.

Then collect ten codes by scanning them via the app or entering them online at — before Tuesday, August 14.

Each code also counts towards the 28 you need to get your free Sun Savers fiver.

Once you have entered ten codes, click enter in “Win your Groceries” in the offers’ section.

The contest closes on Monday, August 27, after which our winners will be chosen at random. Good luck!

Terms and Conditions

Collect TEN Sun Savers codes from the 18 printed in The Sun between Saturday, July 28, and Tuesday, August 14, 2018.

The last chance to join in is Sunday, August 5.

Competition closes at 23:59pm on Monday, August 27.

Over 18, residents of the UK only. One entry per person. Winners will be selected at random from all valid entries.

There will be four winners of 1 x £5,000 cash. Allow seven days from entry closing for the draw to take place. Winners will then be notified within 14 days.

Please allow 28 days for receipt of prizes. Prize is non-transferable. Your information will only be used for the purposes of this competition.

Promoter is News Group Newspapers Ltd. Not open to staff of the Promoter and promotional partner or their families.

The winners will be asked to participate in reasonable publicity relating to this competition.

The Editor’s decision is final. For a list of winners, please send a stamped addressed envelope to News UK, Competitions Department, 1 London Bridge Street, London SE1 9GF, stating which competition you would like the winners’ details for.

Win a caravan worth over £45,000

THERE is still time to enjoy as many ­getaways as you want with this ­amazing Sun Savers competition.

One lucky reader will win a luxury two-bedroom caravan, as well as a year’s pitch fees, one year’s payment for water rates, two years’ electricity, gas and insurance and even a TV – worth more than £45,000 in total.

Here’s your chance to win a luxury two-bedroom caravan with Sun Savers

The winner will be able to choose the site for their fabulous caravan from 31 Haven Holidays parks across the UK.

Holiday home ownership with Haven offers you the choice of 31 distinctive holiday parks, along some of Britain’s most spectacular coastal spots.

Haven has plenty of exclusive ­owners-only facilities, plus parties and events throughout the season so as a winner you can also become part of a close-knit community and escape to your home away from home whenever you choose.

For a full list of parks and their great facilities, see sunoffers. If not already a Sun Savers member, download the Sun Savers app or see

Then collect TEN Sun Savers codes before Tuesday, August 7 by scanning them via the app or entering them online at

Once you have entered ten codes, you will be prompted to enter the ­competition which you must do by Monday, August 20.

Terms and Conditions

Collect TEN Sun Savers codes from the 18 printed in The Sun between Saturday, July 21, and Tuesday, August 7, 2018.

Last chance to join in is this Sunday, July 29. Competition closes at 23:59pm on Monday, August 20, 2018.

Over 18, residents of the UK only, excluding Northern Ireland. One entry per person. The winner will be selected at ­random from all valid entries. There will be ONE winner only.

Caravan site will be subject to pitch availability. Caravan will not be on site until after Sunday, March 31, 2019.

All other prizes included will not become valid or supplied until the ­caravan has been sited.

Allow 28 days from entry closing for the draw to take place. Winner will then be notified within seven days. No cash alternative to prize in whole or in part. Prize is non-transferable.

The Editor’s decision is final.

Play now to win £15,000 on the Sun Savers Raffle

IF you are not already part of our fantastic Sun Savers Raffle, don’t miss out as the paper you’re holding could be worth an incredible £15,000. Every Sun Savers code you enter will earn you a ticket for our fab £15,000 monthly Raffle.

But be quick because our next draw is at the end of July, so join in now.

Join thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle

Plus, for every ten tickets you collect in a calendar month, you will get a GOLDEN TICKET for your chance to win our huge £80,000 Raffle, which takes place every three months. The next £80k Raffle is drawn at the end of ­September.

To get involved, opt in to each month’s Raffle by clicking “Yes!” when prompted and start collecting the Sun Savers codes printed daily inside your favourite paper.

You can find today’s Sun Savers code on Page 16. With every Sun Savers code you enter into the Sun Savers app or website, you will automatically earn a ticket for that month’s £15,000 Raffle.

There is no limit to how many tickets you can collect per month, so make sure you enter as many Sun Savers codes as you can to give yourself the best chance of winning.

Not already a Sun Savers member? Just search “Sun Savers” in the app store and download the app or head to To get started, all you need to do is enter a few details.

Fancy a free fiver?

YOU can get FREE cash with super Sun Savers just for buying your favourite paper.

Our brilliant new rewards club will pay back our most loyal readers.

Just pick up the paper each day to collect your Sun Savers codes and we will GIVE YOU £5 when you have ­collected 28.

This isn’t a one-off and there is no limit to how much cash you can save.

For every 28 codes you enter, we will give you a fiver. So over the course of a year, that could add up to £65.

We are keeping it super-simple. You don’t have to enter codes from consecutive days, so don’t worry if you forget a day or two.

Download our easy Sun Savers app and quickly scan your code using your smartphone. Or go online and enter your code at

To get you on your way, join today and we will put a bonus £1 in your Sun Savers wallet tomorrow. And the good news doesn’t stop with free cash.

With Sun Savers, we give you the best hacks, deals and tips to save money every single day.

TO JOIN: Don’t worry, folks — joining takes just 30 seconds, in three steps.