On 10th February 1981, I attended an unforgettable gala night at the Albert Hall, along with the leading lights of the Grand Prix World (when motorsport was in its heyday) held by the flamboyant owner of Essex Petroleum, David Thieme, along with the Lotus designer, Colin Chapman. It began with the sight of his helicopter on the roof of the race team bus outside. Once inside, the most magical sight. Bearing in mind the colours of Essex Petroleum were blue. Red, white/silver, there were huge oil drums placed around the boxes area - filled with red, white and blue carnations; lights in the ceilings silver, all the tables laid impeccably with more flowers, brochures, and menus from Le Moulin de Mougins as prepared by Roger Vergé. The food was spectacular and I'll never know how it's possible to cook for hundreds of guests from your kitchens! There was much entertainment, appearances by their top Grand Prix drivers - and topped by a brilliant performance by Ray Charles.