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« Campaigns update | Main | Decision time »

Thanks for the memory

I am staying - for one night only - at the Royal Bath Hotel in Bournemouth. The hotel has good memories for Forest because in 2006, at the Conservative party conference, it was the scene of our biggest event to date. We called it 'Politics & Prohibition' and we hired a local events company to dress the De Vere ballroom in the style of a Chicago speakeasy. 

We also hired - from London - the Boisdale Blue Rhythm Band, plus a troop of amateur thespians whose job was to "raid" the premises in the guise of the police, "arrest" one of our speakers (Boisdale MD Ranald Macdonald, above) on a charge of inciting people to enjoy themselves, and then finish by singing the Monty Python song "Always Look On The Bright Side of Life".

The size of the ballroom was a little daunting, but we gave it our best shot. We were joined by a small team of publicists and for two days we enticed delegates with flyers, postcards, and the offer of free champagne and "politically incorrect canapes".

Come the hour we crossed our fingers - and, lo and behold, despite intense competition from 20 or so events elsewhere, some 400 people turned up. In fact, so many people tried to get in that hotel staff eventually had to turn people away on the grounds of health and safety!

Ranald, as you can see, got himself arrested, and occasionally, when I wake up in the dead of night, I can still hear the sound of 300+ voices bellowing out those famous lyrics. 

Our finest hour? No, but it was great fun.

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