Left-Right: brian parker, Mike Meara, Pat Meara, Uncle Johnny,Ian Maule, Graham Charnock, Roy Kettle OBE, Pat Charnock, jim Linwood, Claire Brialey (behind fan), Marion Linwood, Rob Jackson.



Interested parties convened at Richmond Station as scheduled, with even brian parker arriving almost at 12.00. Graham and Johnny signed a pact to be civil with each other which they largely managed to stick to.


We waited a reasonable length of time for Alan Dorey (two minutes) before Jim Linwood led us off in search of Richmond's tourist hotspots. First there was the site of the Railway Hotel where the old Crawdaddy club played host to the Rolling Stones in their infancy. Then there was the famous Orange Tree pub where Ian Maule proposed to Janice, and because she hadn't realized he had actually asked her to marry him, she agreed. Later she tried to wheedle out of the verbal contract but Ian managed to persuade her it really was worth the paper it wasn't written on.


Then Jim showed us the back door of the Railway Hotel, about which the less said the better. We passed a pub with a sign promising 'Free Beer! Topless Barstaff! And Misleading Advertising!' but weren't suckered in.




Thence across the green to the pub of Jim's choice, The White Swan. In a nice cool conservatory we sat ourselves down and eventually some greedy and selfish people at one end of the table ordered starters in Frank's memory without telling the rest of us, then insisted on eating them whilst suggesting what a good idea it was to split the bill equally all round. Eventually the iniquity of this dawned even on Roy who offered me an olive in an attempt of rapprochement.






I found myself sitting next to Uncle Johnny which made it rather difficult for me to fulfil my avowed commitment to ignore him, especially when the main courses arrived and he insisted on stealing my chips. Some of us ordered the Swan Club Sandwich under the impression it actually contained swan, and were not even offered a refund when we discovered this was a blatant fib and was merely named such after the pub. Although Pat Meara had to wait five minutes too long for her trout, so was offered it 'on the house', which meant that the rest of us at least didn't have to split it between the rest of us. After the main courses, Johnny decided he wanted a spotted dick, without even waiting for us to make the obvious innuendo, but since it wasn't on the menu settled for a sticky toffee pudding. There wasn't a big uptake on puddings although Ian and Pat Charnock shared several scoops of ice cream.

After we had split the £500 bill between all of us, with Johnny being sure to obtain a bill so he could write it off as expenses, we staggered off upriver, or it may have been downriver, to board a boat for a trip upriver or maybe downriver. An old lady proclaimed that it didn't have a toilet (ignoring the dustbin the management had thoughtfully provided) but declared with the wisdom of her age, that she didn't need to go because she couldn't anyway. I wish brian had applied such a sanguine philosophy but he complained during the entire trip about how he wanted a wee, even going so far as to suggest he might wee in my bottle of water.




We sailed past the houses and houseboats of the rich and famous and the Saudis, with Roy Kettle OBE leading us in massed waving at the peasants we saw in passing. The boat trip was nice but all too short, but by the time we got back the river had risen threatening to block us off from all points of civilization, especially the ones serving beer. We managed to find one, however, which was busy and noisy, but we forced ourselves to drink a round.




Worzel Linwood

Then off downriver or maybe upriver to the quieter pub where we had had our meal. Here we were actually able to hear ourselves and so managed to speak about fandom and science fiction, with Marion sharing memories of meetings at Ella Parker's flat where Ted Tubb insisted on regaling her with accounts of his efforts to impregnate his wife. Jim Linwood told of his early involvement with Mike Moorcock's band The Bellyflops. Eventually a fake Alan Dorey arrived, in the guise of Mark Plummer who grunted from time to time as his partner (I can't remember her name) spoke cogently about whither fandom and Where The Hell Do We Go From Here? Watch out for her. I predict she will make a name for herself in fandom one day.


The Fake Alan Dorey

To wrap up, a most pleasant day which even the hapless Linwood managed not to over-organize.

We came, we saw, we shambled