Five Years Ago
A row broke out between the organisers of Quaffers, the annual banquet held for top city bankers, and S&B Functions, the company division that catered for this occasion. Among the complaints raised by those attending were the extra-high prices charged, long delays in getting served, meagre portions and lack of seconds. City caterers Stuffit & Binge responded by pointing out that the event was held against a background of worldwide recession, not of their making, besides which it was essential to charge as they did in order to maintain the Rolls Royce service for which they were known on a global basis. It was normal and necessary in catering for providers to serve themselves first and see to their own needs ahead of the rest in order to be properly fortified and fuelled up for the task ahead. Finally, the airing of such complaints in public could only lead to companies such as theirs leaving the capital in their droves and losing London its place at the top-table of world-class catering.
Ten Years Ago
The curtain came down on another production by Ham Players that will stay long in the memory. James Joyce's 'Ulysses', adapted for the stage by veteran producer Phyllis Pardew, was performed without break in a seven-hour marathon repeated over six successive evenings. Once again the female lead was played by Beryl Streep, who gave her all to the famous monologue of Molly Bloom. Coaching in the Irish accent was given by Wardrobe Mistress Edna 'Hoots' McNab, ably assisted on this occasion by Megan Davies from Props. Trevor Poggle provided the rain.
Eighty Years Ago
Partington Towers, ancestral home since medieval times of the ffayne-Partington family, was burnt to the ground in a blaze that lit up the night sky and was seen from eight counties. The fire, believed to have been caused by an electrical fault, began in the East Wing. This housed the laboratories used by scientific researcher Claude ffayne-Partington to develop a new range of flavoured cigarettes for the children's market. The conflagration was witnessed by all the residents of nearby Partington Polloy, some of whom came to work the stirrup-pumps and fire-buckets and others to take in the smoke.