The latest gossip from around the industry

Hansom new 2008

Collector’s item

To the very well-attended summer drinks party for developer CO-RE at its City office last month and a chat with its executive chairman, David Ainsworth. A big music fan, perhaps his proudest moment was seeing the Sex Pistols at Reading University when he was a student there in the 1970s. “There were seven of us in the audience, and after the gig we all went to the bar with the band,” he marvelled. The best moment was yet to come. “Johnny Rotten gave me one of his safety pins. I still have it.”

In on the action

Laing O’Rourke’s head of corporate affairs Joel Morris is a (long-suffering) Everton supporter. Still, there are upsides to being a Toffees fan whose last major honour was the 1995 FA Cup. Like, I suppose, working for the firm building your club’s new ground. Makes keeping tabs on progress far more simple.

Hanging on in

Alinea’s staff bade farewell last week to their home of the past nine years, the seen-better-days 90 Cannon Street, moving into their new office on Monday at One New Change, the address of their new owner, T&T. Now called Turner & Townsend Alinea, the enlarged business has been working on the back-office stuff that goes with a tie-up like this, such as settling on the email domain name for its employees. For those worried the Alinea marque would be erased from IT history, think again: the new domain is ttalinea.

Andy Burnham enjoyed an unusually fawning reception in the press room after his speech. One work experience chap broke journalistic neutrality to let the mayor know: ‘My nan loves you’

A gran day out

My hack was up in Manchester covering the recent Chartered Institute of Housing’s annual conference. King of the North Andy Burnham made his usual appearance and enjoyed an unusually fawning reception in the press room after his speech. One work experience chap broke journalistic neutrality to let the mayor know: “My nan loves you.” Clearly flattered by the comment, Burnham took a moment, as he was answering questions, to call out to the young man as he left: “Send my love to your nan.” Another vote in the bag.

Shaggy dog story

Burnham was not the only famous face at the conference. Over at the Dulux stand, the paint company appeared to have brought out its, ahem, star paw-former, the Old English Sheepdog which has been its brand mascot since 1961. But don’t be fooled. Some investigative reporting by my scribe uncovered that the pup padding around its pavilion was simply an understudy, daughter to the real-deal dog.

A league of their own

For a man who has worked on so many football stadiums – the Emirates, the Tottenham stadium, the new Riverside stand at Fulham, to name a few – it seems fitting that architect Chris Lee’s eldest son is on the books at a football club. The teenager is a goalkeeper on the development squad at Premier League side Brentford, who themselves carried out a revamp of their ground just a few years ago. However, it wasn’t drawn up by Populous, the firm Lee is in charge of, making it that rare thing: a football stadium designed by Somebody Else.

It’s tough at the top

A posh breakfast in upmarket Mayfair. Guests since Mount Street restaurant opened last year have included actor Russell Crowe, Princess Beatrice, King Charles and, erm, Building magazine. My hack ordered the eggs benedict and it wasn’t quite what he expected. One egg was hard boiled while the muffins were so tough they needed a chainsaw to be cut into. Perhaps they do things differently in this part of London.

All our yesterdays

co-opCMYK copy

One of my team was at the topping-out of the Co-op Live Arena in Manchester last week and spotted this. I suspect this chap’s delivery days are over, mind. Nowadays it’s all ebikes and electric vans.

Send any juicy industry gossip to Mr Joseph Aloysius Hansom, who founded Building in 1843, at