While the industry’s old hands said adieu to Paul Morrell and discussed sustainable construction, the youngsters were engaged in a drunken debauch at the Marriott. Who said QSs don’t know how to party?
So farewell, then, Paul Morrell
To the top of the Gherkin where a splendid time was had by all at Paul Morrell’s retirement party. Sixty guests were there, including Stuart Lipton, Anne Minogue, Richard Rogers, Ken Shuttleworth and Benny Kelly. Morrell, who is renowned for his public speaking, lived up to the occasion with a witty and moving speech. Referring to his great pal Lipton he said that working with him was like life in California – you never knew whether you were going to get a hug or a drive-by shooting.
Severe penalties for waffling ...
James Naughtie, the BBC Radio 4 presenter, took a no-nonsense approach to his role as chair of the Building a Low Carbon World conference, organised by Adrian Wyatt, chief executive of Quintain. He announced at the outset: “This is not a waffle factory. It’s a waffle-free zone. I will cut people off from the knees to shut them up if I have to.”
... but none for showing off
Inspiring though he was, the opening address from US architect Bill McDonough left everyone feeling inadequate. After dropping in the fact that his house in Virginia was designed by Thomas Jefferson, the third US president and author of the Declaration of Independence, he mentioned that he had twice been invited to the White House to make a presentations to George Bush on the environment.
A change of venue
Rumours abound that Bovis Lend Lease is considering moving out of its headquarters in Harrow, Middlesex. It bought the building – which it had constructed itself – back in 1966 from a firm that had gone into administration. Now word reaches me that it is looking to relocate to Chiswick Park in west
London or Stockley Park by Heathrow, and to get subsidiary Crosby Homes to turn its old headquarters into houses.
Up past their bedtimes
Away from the watchful eyes of their directors, 550 youthful surveyors went wild at the RICS’ annual do for its young members at the Marriott hotel in Grosvenor Square. There was chanting, food throwing, dirty dancing and stripping, not to mention the man who had his head dunked in a plate of lemon mousse cakes.
When chairs began to be launched into the air the music was stopped and the attendees were given a severe telling off for their “disrespectful, unacceptable, childish and despicable” behaviour. They appeared to show some signs of remorse until the music came back on and the dance floor was again awash with half-naked under thirties in party hats – many enjoying passionate clinches. For those of you who share my horror at these going-on, completely uncensored pictures are available on our website ...
And speaking of Bovis, I hear Peter Millett, one of its project directors, is leaving to join Jason Millett, his brother and Bovis’ former chief executive, at developer Artisan. After months of headlines about Bovis’ problem contracts, I’m sure this will be a great relief.
Making a good impression
I hear that Baroness Ford, the chair of English Partnerships, shared a taxi home from the Building Awards two weeks ago with Sean Connery, Gordon Brown and Ronnie Corbett. A strange collection of fellow travellers? Not so. The Baroness was struggling to hail a cab, when Rory Bremner, the awards’ presenter, appeared. Discovering they lived near each other, the pair shared a taxi, in which Bremner could not help dazzling her with an array of impressions.
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