Swiss Anglian’s Financier’s Ball at the Hilton Astoria this week proved to be something of a knockout with a colour palette of girls in bodysuits designed to knock the pants off even the most stuffy forecasts of recent years.
With all those figures and finances, one would have been forgiven for thinking that anything more would be as necessary as scalding the lobster after it had been cooked, but Anglian obviously didn’t concur. For every presentation slide: personal loans, pension plans, credit card point schemes , unit trust savings plans and life assurance bolt-ons; each announcement had to be greeted with a twirl and a spin from one of the plethy of bodysuited ladies that brought rounds of applause from the normally suited and brief-cased audience.
When the last piece de resistance had been launched, a cover version of an old Abba song had Simon W. Cramer and Shian Mountjoy whistling along together in the corner on their dark-skinned leather chairs and Rose Cranningbrook humming away softly, still looking quite fabulous in her long emerald satin ballgown. Her team thronged around her showing support by joining in or clapping at various stages in their low necklines or bow-ties finery, although they failed miserably to focus all eyes towards them, which might have been at the back of some of their minds.
When the last course finally came, although we had been expecting a burst of white cloud with a small noise, the explosion frightened the wits out of us all, causing the bodysuit ladies to flay around their arms and legs in a rather unladylike manner. Fortunately, no-one punched in the eye but one of the models, I think it was Petra Maddieson, somehow ended up on the guest celebrity’s lap. Hamilton Baker, a usually quiet and introspective financial analyst who likes to play football for his local team, visiting here from his hometown in New Jersey, made his most appealing catch of the season. And at least, being almost run over by this bevy of thrashing limbs, managed to bring almost a smile onto Peter Brady’s normally humourless face. The exciting displays of the Hilton’s Ballroom were, however, mostly left untouched and still as exciting as ever.