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When Abba stayed in Bournemouth for an industry party

Out of nowhere, like a bolt from the sky, four of the music industry’s most renowned icons graced Bournemouth with their presence – Abba.

  The band flew in from Stockholm on a private jet to Hurn Airport, en route to a party at the end of CBS Records’ conference at the Carlton Hotel in 1981.  

On the following day, as they bid their farewell, the hotel manager was astounded by the generous tip left behind – a staggering £500, equivalent to approximately £2,000 in today’s currency.

Upon receiving advanced notice of their arrival, The Daily Echo eagerly awaited the band’s presence at the airport.

Bournemouth Echo: ABBA landing at Hurn Airport  12th Sept 1981.

Agnetha Faltskog said it was unlikely the group would tour Britain, but said: “I love your country.”

Band members Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad had divorced that year, two years after Faltskog and Bjorn Ulvaeus did the same.

Andersson told the Echo: “We find that we are working better together now that there is no pressure of marriage.”

Bournemouth Echo: ABBA landing at Hurn Airport  12th Sept 1981

Instead of performing at the Carlton, the group decided to attend a lively gathering alongside approximately 300 delegates. Among the attendees were also the Nolans, who added to the celebratory atmosphere.

The next day, as they departed, they left an incredibly generous tip to mark their departure.

The hotel’s executive director, John Furlong, said: “I have been in the hotel business for a long time, and I have never known anyone to be so generous as this. They can come back any time.”



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