John Gibson: Fortunes made from an orchid

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He’d take the orchid from the lapel of his jacket at the end of his auctioneering stint at the annual Orchid Ball in Edinburgh and ask “what am I bid for this?”

It would bring in up to £500 for charity. Thousands were raised for muscular dystrophy and, a regular top tabler at the Orchid Ball, I witnessed Alex Meddowes expertly relieve the guests of their money.

The ball has deflated for a few years before bouncing back last week at the Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor Hotel, renamed A Question of Support but still for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.

President Sue Barker couldn’t be there. Neither could Alex Meddowes. He’s on the way to complete recovery from his mishap in October.

Sprinting down the grassy slope from his office in Royal Terrace (he’s a professional fine art broker), he broke his leg at the hip landing on the pavement.

“I was hospitalised for two weeks and virtually immobilised for another four. I’d still be happy to be auctioneer for a deserving charity,’’ says Alex. He is at 07836 654395.

Among the supporters at the Grosvenor were football’s Jim Leishman, referee John Rowbotham and Jackie McNamara sen.

Afterwords . .

. . . Congrats, Harry! We always knew you’d come top of the class in your Apache copter course. Best co-pilot gunner “chosen because he showed an ability to handle commanding from the front”. Queenie must be proud of you. Bound to be the toast of the clubs and pubs around Kensington.

Harry can’t wait to get back to Afghanistan.

The Taliban are quaking in their sandals.