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1984-5: The Only Way Is S6


There was a time, in the mid-1980s, when visitors to Supplies Office Machinery thought they had walked into a Model Agency. HMSO's own George Clooney ― Norman Reeves ― had moved on when these pictures, supplied by Philip Nash, were taken, but his legacy is apparent.
The photos were taken at evening and lunchtime festive functions in 1984 and 1985. Main setting is the Savoy Greek Restaurant in Norwich's Prince of Wales Road. Philip was only 19 at the time, and was obviously trying to impress his EO, Gill Gent, with his savoir faire. Otherwise why would he try furtively scratching the back of her neck in one picture, and burning her nose with a candle in another? She smiled through it all, of course, thinking that it couldn't get worse. It could. And it did.

Philip continued the rounds of the party ― via his old friend Mark Ganderton ― helping Louise Chapman put linen (don't ask) on JT Gardiner's head ― then hokey cokey with Eileen Johnson and Barry Finch, of Grundig. He wasn't there to help Madeleine Baldwin spoon-feed Bob Adams (also Grundig) thus earning another 5% discount on the Standing Arrangement. Frank Payne (seen restraining a drunk who insisted on singing) worked them hard in those days. What were Peter Gauchy and Gill Gent laughing at? Was he pulling that old 'waiting for a Dictaphone' line?

Lots of other famous names ― who can you spot? No prizes for getting ARH During: lucky Albert won a day's labour from Gandy in the raffle. Funny thing, he hasn't been seen since . . .

(Photos from Philip Nash)

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