The John Candy memorial citation at this year’s CN sister publication Exhibition News Awards next month should go to Thorns’ Director of Exhibitions Adam Aston, who showed that true Bulldog-Blitz spirit in getting back to London from the Milan Salone Internazionale del Mobile by any means necessary.
Having gone through eight of the trade fair’s 26 massive halls in two days last week, the call came in from HQ to flee the exhibition asap, as Iceland’s volcano began to spew out dust and ash on a truly massive scale.
Having given up on easyJet and planes in general, Aston, his fellow Thorns director Joe Frazer and a Dutch hotel guest in tow, planned their escape to victory from temporary accommodation in the lakes region of NE Italy, as the 130,000 visitors to the Salone put extra pressure on Milan’s hotel room stock.
A high speed chase from the lakes to the train station in a Fiat Panda driven by a flying Dutchman (who claimed to be an ex-Le Mans driver) brought our intrepid trio to the end of a long ticket queue.
We all know Adam and friends can teach the Italian men a thing or two about chat-up lines, so they clearly had no problems requisitioning an Italian signora to organise some rail tickets to Zurich. A five-and-a-half hour trip through the Alps followed, then five hours waiting for an overnight sleeper connection to Utrecht, where Van der Fiat again got behind the wheel for a dash to the Hoek Van Holland.
Now it is Sunday morning and our Thorns Italian job is told to wait till Wednesday for a sailing to Harwich. Presumably the smell of old pizza and old clothes does the trick and, Hey Presto, again a queue is jumped (or is it a coach party going AWOL at the vital loading moment?) and our heroes are Blighty-bound.
Arrival in Harwich is followed by a drive to Luton to collect the car?and back in the office for Monday.
Events people, resilient or what? You know who to come to for your conference furniture if you want it shipped pronto, then 🙂