Abe looks on as the Savoy heads west
Tuesday 19 May 1998
The first problem was the chairs. No one at the Savoy really knew how many of the 2,200 shareholders were going to show so they decided to take away the chairs just in case. In the end, only a few hundred came and so the chairs were put back. Thank God because standing was not an option for many of those who arrived leaning heavily on their canes.
"Welcome to the 109th annual general meeting of the shareholders of this company," said the chairman, Sir Ewen Fergusson, slowly and patiently. One woman grunted. She had been a shareholder for 40 years and was not impressed. "I don't approve at all," she said of the sale.
She wasn't the only one. "My name is Eve as in Christmas Eve," shouted a man in the front row. "Horatio at the bridge was high hearted. He was protecting Rome from predators. There was no self-interest in it!" He then went on to compare the Wotner family and the D'Oyly Carte Trust to Horatio. But now, he said, it turns out they were open to a generous offer. "We small shareholders ... have been sold down the river!" A murmur rippled through the room. "Hear, hear" could faintly be heard.
Mr Eve then had a final burst of patriotism. "The Savoy has gone to foreigners. The RAC has gone to foreigners. Rolls-Royce has gone to foreigners. Is the Marylebone Cricket Club safe?"
- 1 Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L James's Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
- 5 Facebook rainbow profile pictures likely being tracked by social network
Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
Ex-Scientologist Carmen Llwyelyn blasts 'cult' and her treatment after divorce with Jason Lee
German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
Tunisia attack: 'Paralysed' police let gunman run amok for half an hour, says witness
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
Tunisia beach attack: How can British Muslims respond to the latest outrages?
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...
£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This extremely successful and well-established...
Competitive with monthly bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced FX...