Regulars will recall me writing about the Reg Ward Memorial Event remembering-the-force-of-nature-that-was-reg-ward.html and, in the interests of me remaining connected to my Docklands roots (btw I don't think any of us will ever achieve "closure" on Reg) but also as a resource to students of urban regeneration out there, I thought it was important to report on the follow-up. Much of the inception of regeneration thought can be traced back to London Docklands (in a wholly tasteless analogy I always say it could be compared to the way that all foot and mouth disease was traced back to the same farm) and anyone studying our field would be as well to have access to the correct sources (and know which old gimmers were responsible).
The other day a few of the Docklands Lags (DLs) congregated in the Yi Ban (a rather wonderful Chinese restaurant overlooking the Royal Albert Dock) to have a sort of post mortem on the event and to pick over the entrails. We noted sadly that the vista of the Royals was much as we had left it when the LDDC was wound up but, on the memorial evening itself, we were all agreed that it had been a great event. The great Stuart Innes (our very own "Brown Owl") has put together a page about the event on the LDDC History website. There are video clips of the various speeches and a host of pictures of various reprobates. One of the speeches was made by Richard Desmond (who Reg had given his big break to in the mid-eighties) and there was much muttering about this by the purists, both on the night and subsequently. But it has to be said that Mr Desmond made a charming speech on the occasion. And one thing (of many) that you could say about Reg, was that he knew it took all sorts.....
I see Richard Desmond is in the news again. One of the Docklands Lags sent me an e-mail entitled 'Our Friend Richard' with a link to a spoof news page called 'Newsthump'. The story is headlined 'Richard Desmond launches lottery to raise funds for Richard Desmond' and runs 'It is hoped that a new lottery that has been set up by Richard Desmond to raise money for Richard Desmond will provide Richard Desmond with enormous amounts of cash, Richard Desmond has revealed. The health lottery, which will disguise itself as a charitable venture in order to extract money from idiots, will be drawn on Saturday evenings on ITV and Channel 5. 'This will be a unique opportunity for people to give me lots of money, insisted Mr Desmond. The launch of the game is being backed by a £20m publicity campaign and Health Lottery chief executive Martin Hall said the game would benefit everyone in Great Britain who is called Richard Desmond and owns the Daily Express.'
Probably not very fair, but made me smile anyway. Stuart Innes' s LDDC website has an LDDC People Page. It is a sort of Facebook for Docklands Lags (DLs) and is such a splendid resource that I am thinking of nicking the idea, lock, stock and barrel for UKR. You got to know who to blame.