Sorry to those who made the journey to the Coach & Horses last Thursday, as you say it was packed – and there was the weakest link of not having contact details for anyone else who might have been coming along. I did manage to get a table, albeit small, to the left of the bar by just after 7pm, and duly brandished the November edition of BT, but eye contact with anyone else – story of my life – just wasn’t happening to be honest. That’s blind date for you I guess. And as Nigel was the only other person who had confirmed attendance – appreciating we don’t ask for that such is the nature of what we all have in common – I contacted him and we met in a quieter pub at Victoria.
A bit like organising the Xmas night out, it’s a thankless job and guaranteed to go wrong + make you unpopular all round. Only difference with this is at least you don’t get out of pocket too!
Going back to the first one, which Mark & Felicity from BT attended, they booked a table at the nearby May Fair (Hotel) bar, it was similarly packed & noisy, and only Nigel and me made it in the end – others got stuck in meetings or traffic jams.
So we moved to a more informal venue of the nearby C&H, and to be fair the one in August worked really well, with 7 of us including Tom. But Mayfair during the holiday season is obviously quieter in the evening, and last week was the other extreme. Again my sincere apologies, nothing worse than making a journey to find it doesn’t happen, I’ve done it many times and know how it feels.
Not sure how we move forward – yeah BT could well organise something at an aviation themed venue, but what if come the day only 2 of us can make it and there are hire costs + possibly catering etc wasted? Tom already has his editor’s lunches and these are obviously more formal so we wanted to keep the posters’ gatherings less so, recognising the nature of our diaries.
A compromise future venue could be The Green Man pub in Bedfont, 10 minutes walk from Hatton Cross / Jurys Inn LHR and a short cab / bus ride from Feltham station. At the approach to 27L – if easterly operations with 09R for take off then even better, nothing if 27L is for take off though. There is also the LHR Thistle Hotel especially if 27R is in use for take off, not much of a hotel but enough of us could haggle them to open the terrace beside the restaurant for some heavy V1 action – great memories of Concorde evening to JFK rotating just there. Green Man has a heated beer garden, I’d have been there all this week no matter how cold for that Siberian easterly wind and heavy rotations and undercarriage retractions what seems like only feet above you! – the closest UK experience to SXM… Beer is ok too…