The Marchioness

It was 19th of August 1989. Saturday.

I was at home with my girlfriend, Sarah. And we fully intended to go to a party I’d been invited to.

A party on the river. 

But I was known for never going to restaurants or dinner parties because it was so confining. I liked bars – standing at the bar. Interacting. Never sitting down. 

My father had always said ‘Sit down and your dead.’ Not literally but socially. And I felt the same.

So, as the time to leave for the party ticked by, I delayed and delayed. If a restaurant table was confining what about being trapped on a boat. Once you’re on that’s it. I could even have used those words.

So we didn’t go. Just lay on the bed watching TV.

Next morning, Sunday, Sarah went to make some tea and I was In no hurry to get up. I just switched on the TV.

Then I saw it. The news flash.

Until that day in August 89 I was designing and publishing Annual Books for some of the Top Fashion Model Agencies in London – and so the World. I knew nothing about film.

My next book was to be for Jonathan Pang’s Agency. He had organised the party and was on the boat. He survived but his partner was drowned. Friends and acquaintances of mine were drowned.

I soon realised that I couldn’t just ignore ‘the elephant in the room’ and carry on as if nothing had happened. I couldn’t go to meetings with my clients. Everyone was affected. And so I thought through what I could do. Perhaps just for a year.

I’d heard of the film about 10 years previously and had a phone number. When I rang I was surprised to hear that a new company had taken over – and that they were clearing old reels from the store!

After waiting a nervous two days the phone rang with the news that they had found it. It had not been destroyed. We agreed that if I paid for all the work done, and for the nearly 20 years storage, then the film and its rights would be mine.

I now owned a film with David Bowie and Genesis on it – somewhere!

That’s all I knew.

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