DIARY: Old boilers and Abba break the Solus Club 'men only' regulation

What happens to men behind closed doors without women around? They

turn into cross-dressing lookalikes, that's what.

It was just another day at the office for Solus Club members shrouded in

the usual secrecy at this year's AGM. Until, that is, the club

president, David Kershaw, departed from the floor and - under the thin

guise of a tribute to the Club's outgoing treasurer, Peter Hyde - the

first chords of a dubious musical extravaganza, Fiddler On The Hoof,

rained down on the unsuspecting audience.

Eyebrows shot up as four Abba lookalikes materialised. A red-wigged Mike

Moran of Toyota, doubtless warming up for his role as the vice-president

next year, took to the stage alongside the buxom blonde from the 70s

supergroup in the unlikely shape of Gordon Rankin from Barclays

International Banking. But although fetching in their white boiler

suits, wigs and feather boas, no amount of fruit stuffed down their

front could emulate the real McCoy.

The two songbirds were flanked by a short-wigged Kershaw and Burkitt

DDB's chairman, Hugh Burkitt, nattily attired in a fetching disposable

boiler suit. The normally sartorially elegant bunch had purchased their

white 70s look at the local builder's merchant. Nice.

Bjorn Again's ugly sisters took to the stage to wail through classics

such as "Money, money, money ... it's a Hyde-style world", and tickling

the ivories was John Billet, with Graham Lancaster entertaining the

crowd with a spirited version of Oliver's Got to Pick a Pocket or


Proceedings finally concluded with "Who wants to be a millionaire? Hyde

does." Tsk - old men behaving badly. Don't they ever grow up?


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