In its time it has seen off the Inland Revenue, but even the mighty Vestey family has not been able to escape the ravages of recession. The going must be tough indeed when Lord Sam Vestey, head of the family's meat, shipping and insurance business, has to give up his helicopter and settle for some lesser mode of transport. "Spam", who likes to boast that he is the only butcher in the House of Lords, will henceforth be commuting from his magnificent 4,500 acre Stowell park estate in Gloucestershire to Vestey's City offices by more pedestrian means. He is of course responding to the draconian regime of his 30-year-old cousin, Tim Vestey. An old Etonian and cavalry man, the new chief executive has had to indulge in a most un Vestey-like experience; he is currently negotiating with the banks to re-schedule some £420 million of debt held by Vestey's troubled Union International subsidiary.