On the 4th October 2002, along with colleagues from Dresdner Klienwort Wasserstein, I took part in a charity event in East London called the Voluthon, which uses volunteers from the business community to carry out tasks that require significant manpower.

Some groups were repainting community centres, or handing out energy efficient light bulbs to elderly people. We had the really tough task - cleaning and then packing away a marquee and a number of bouncy castles. As you will see, we carried out the assigment with the kind of thin-lipped determination and serious attitude that you would expect from such a group of highly trained professionals....

Everyone met up at 9am at the Community Links centre - an old town hall.

We were taken to the Excel exhibition centre, where everything was set up. After a short briefing, we set to work. We started with the marquees.

And now the castles. We had a good choice - and decided to go for the traditional style

Rigorous testing was required to ensure that everything was in working order

The cleaning went well - interrupted only when someone unplugged our blower.

The marquees were dry, so were folded up. The plastic that has been put down to protect the hall electrics was removed - this required several hundred yards of gaffer tape to be ripped off the floor. A few reluctant volunteers were found.

And now time to put the castles to bed.

The hall suddenly looked very empty

Post event ..um.. tactical debriefing session