John Gibson: Phenomenal feat by the ‘old bags’

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Had the king of the curmudgeons Richard Wilson been there he’d have growled “I do not believe it!” The “Lunch With an Old Bag” affair at Prestonfield House a week ago today raised close on half a million for the Prince’s Trust.

Described by Annette Lamb, formerly publicist with Harvey Nics and the fund-raising committee last year, as “phenomenal”. Possibly the word is inadequate.

She adds: “It was a memorable day, easily exceeding our expectations, with Prestonfield the ideal venue, donated with all the trimmings by owner James Thomson. Around 450 people there, mostly women of course, started noon and wrapped up with ‘Fingers at Five,’ courtesy of the piano bar’s owner May Paton.”

Annette, pictured above, will be back at Prestonfield in November, again wearing her charity hat (she takes it off to golf at Archerfield, where she’s a member), this time for Barnardos and a production called Showtime.

A tailor’s tale

Suits you, sir! Peter Heggie hasn’t a clue how often he’s said so at Brooks Brothers, the smart tailor.

He’s been general manager there since it opened and its sixth anniversary falls late October.

“We’ve never lost sight of our history here,” says Mr Heggie. “The premises had been vacated a couple of years before we – we are American-owned – moved in.

“This was the original Edinburgh Bookshop. Thins, another established name in the Capital, ran it for a while. And Brodie’s had the coffee shop upstairs. There’s no doubt these premises have colourful stories to tell.”