The property world and its satellites were en fête at the MIPIM exhibition last week, an event that began in extraordinary fashion for a party travelling to Cannes by train. It included City Corporation stalwarts, planner Peter Rees and deputy city surveyor Peter Bennett. As the train pulled into Lille to meet its connection, it became apparent that the departing train would not wait for the Brits, who were a few minutes late. Rees and Bennett spotted what was about to happen, which would have resulted in several hours' delay. They dashed across the platform, stuck feet in a door, which resulted in all the doors being reopened and a horde of grateful Brits getting aboard. Police with sub-machine guns arrested the intrepid two for their pains.
After an unpleasant interview, during which Rees managed to imply that he was a diplomatic representative of the City, and authorised by the City of London Police, the pair were let off with a minimal fine. They refused to leave the interview room until the police had guaranteed them first-class travel on the next train, since their tickets were not transferable.
Amazingly, the police obliged.