Column Eight: A night to remember the days

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The Independent Online
Phooey to the recession. While many folk are signing on, Michael Ashcroft hired Spencer House, Jacob Rothschild's palatial home, for a sumptuous dinner party the other evening. The theme was 'Those were the Days.' Entertainment included a magic show but no mention of anyone decorous bursting out of a cake. Among the guests were friends and former colleagues from the enigmatic ADT chief's past.

The point of the Gatsby-style partying is not explained except by the commendably cautious spokeswoman. 'It was a private dinner. It is not something Michael wishes to comment on.'

David James, the company doctor at Davies & Newman Holdings, which owns the struggling airline Dan-Air, has found a new dropping zone in a disaster area. He is seeking to become a member of the ruling council of the troubled Lloyd's insurance market in the forthcoming elections.

David Rowland, the putative next chairman of Lloyd's and the nominated successor of outgoing chairman David Coleridge, is also running for the council, along with nine other of his peers, for four available places. Wouldn't it be a pity if he didn't get elected?

From the first issue of Insolvency Bulletin: How to spot an imminent Serious Fraud Office raid. Among the warning signs are: 'The company has just been given a clean bill of health by the Investment Management Regulatory Organisation; the company has just had its Department of Trade and Industry licence renewed; the company has just received an order for 'steel tubes' from Iraq.'

We learn that Kevin Maxwell has shaved off his juvenile beard. Presumably it did not pass the 'Pandora test' of Mrs Maxwell, which he said would have to happen in order to ensure its existence. Or perhaps it was because Maxwell pensioners continued to recognise him anyway while he had it.

The human conveyor belt system of fast food distribution at McDonald's restaurants was reinforced yesterday by the group's brass, including the UK president Paul Preston.

This was to mark the foundation of the group in 1955, and customers might have been surprised at the slowness of the service as executives struggled to appear dignified in the full McDonald's galley kit while serving up something nourishing in a bun.