It is with great pride that I report the glorious deeds of my colleagues on the hallowed turf that is Highbury, home of FA Cup winners Arsenal. A rag-bag team that arrived at the ground with mere hopes of avoiding humiliation in the "Willmott Dixon–Harry Redknapp Five-a-side Football Tournament for Men's Cancer Awareness" turned into the dark horses of the competition. Arriving for the regional final with only five players and no proper kit lulled the opposition sides into a false sense of security. When they saw two of the five taking off their glasses before stumbling onto the pitch they could barely stop themselves from chuckling – one of the opponents described the team as "looking like Jossy's Giants". The players soon knocked the smiles of those faces, thanks to solid defending as well as sharp shooting from striker Tom Broughton (he collected a stunning five-goal haul against bitter rivals Contract Journal). The team continued to defy expectations by seeing off Willmott Dixon Housing Eastern 3–1 in the semi-finals. Unfortunately fatigue set in for our heroes in the final, losing out to the Notting Hill Housing Trust. But fear not, both regional finalists will go on to play in the national final of the contest, to be held in Pride Park, Derby, next month. Avoid the touts and buy in advance.
Early morning sizzle
Developer Roger Madelin stole the show at last week's urban regeneration conference hosted by QS Gardiner & Theobald at The Royal Aeronautical Society in Mayfair. The Argent chief executive lifted mid-morning nodding heads by informing attendees that as a young boy he visited the RAS for a lecture on spitfires, which was "a damn sight more interesting than what I'm about to talk to you about". He continued his regeneration revelations by extolling the virtues of London's Shepherd's Market, off Berkeley Square, as a splendid breakfast location where he had just had beans and toast because "Gardiner & Theobald have given us bugger all for breakfast here".
It's Grimsby up North
The same conference gave the Americans a chance to give the north of England a bit of a kicking. Rebutting claims by CABE that urban regeneration is becoming increasingly "London-centric", director of US company Cherokee International Services Tom Nash announced that the brownfield remediation specialists are considering working on a project in Grimsby. But will the yanks really be lured up North? According to Nash, his US colleagues "think that the name of the place sums it up".
Speak no evil, hear no evil
Word reaches me of an embarrassing incident involving the wonders of telecommunication technology. The head honchos in the Leeds office of a major industry firm were sitting around discussing their colleagues in the Bristol office. The essence of their conversation was to question the efficacy of the south-western office and its imminent future. But they'd forgotten that their conference-call facility was active, and a voice suddenly emerged from the corner of the room: "Hello? This is the Bristol office …"