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SUNDAY 19  MAY 2024

*

By STEVE MILL

This being the season of office parties reminds me of a time with Christmas approaching when I was required to enter the inner sanctum, otherwise known as the Editor's office late one afternoon. 


The Great Helmsman of the Daily Express at this time was Derek (Del Boy) Jameson. I rapidly realised that I had wandered into an impromptu drinks party. Street veterans will recall that drinks parties, planned or unplanned, were very much part of the seasonal landscape back then. 


Eagle-eyed as ever I noticed that a squad of ‘lovelies' had been bussed in to look after the...ahem ...male members of the gathering. Unfortunately Del was in a far from celebratory frame of mind. He may have been full of a spirit or two but the Christmas spirit was not one of them. He seemed far more preoccupied with what he saw was the deplorable state of the nation and hard as the lovely ladies tried to distract him he was not to be mollified. 


On and on he ranted, the name Churchill was mentioned, and sensing that my continued presence would not have a beneficial effect on proceedings I reversed out of the office thankful that I had not been singled out as a cause of the nation's demise.


Not quite the end of the story...


The next morning I arrived bright and breezy and was told that the cleaning ladies, (no shrinking violets they) had entered the Editor's office and swiftly performed an about-turn and left the office in high dudgeon. It seems that as part of the previous evening's celebrations there had been a certain amount of, (obviously) unplanned office redecoration and various parts of office decor had been relocated to floor level. This included pot plants, (when I say pot plants I mean the fine upstanding legal variety as opposed to the wacky baccy so popular with the younger generation) some of which had been disposed of using the conveniently located windows. Dear oh dear!


Glorious memories.


*Steve Mill was an editorial assistant