I think that’s the best Weekend Meet I’ve ever had in London. An extra special thanks to Gene who has taken location spotting to an an entirely new level. The amount of work put into preparing that Meet must have been phenomenal, and the level of detail used in locating the scenes absolutely amazing. In some cases, it was down to the colour of three bricks in a wall – three bricks in a wall of thousands of bricks, in a city with trillions of bricks in walls. Astounding. I really do doff my cap to Gene and say that technically that was the best and most informative Meet I’ve ever been on.
I had a really great weekend all round, making the most of my time in London. I met up with the Saturday Squad in The Warrington and enjoyed the little trip we had around the pubs in Hammersmith dodging the worst of the rain. A very nice curry, if slightly hot and spicy, was consumed along the way with the evening concluding very nicely in the The Swan.
Highlights of the Sunday Meet were gained from Gene’s extensive work with old maps to show us where many of the great film scenes were filmed. I particularly liked seeing the tower block from Steptoe & Son, and where 10 Rillington Place once was. What struck me was the sheer number and close proximity the locations were to each other. That area of London is a gold mine for locations.
Thankfully we were blessed with sunny weather on the Sunday as the squad were pedestrianised except when travelling to and from the locations zone. Being on foot allows the squad to intermingle freely, creating a good-humoured and genial ambience that lies at the heart of these Meets. Laughter that’s interlaced with non-stop chat and banter throughout the day, plus a relaxed walking pace between locations and a chance to rest the legs in a couple of pubs along the way is the 4:3 TV formula for a successful get together. All rounded off very nicely with a fabulous roast dinner in The Brook Green Hotel, and an after-dinner pint or two in The Queen’s Head. Perfect!
On Monday with a bit of free time in the morning I took the bus up to the Trafalgar Square / Strand area to do a bit of sightseeing before heading home, a bit tired and weary. Dare I say, looking forward to the next get together already….
I'm going to say this once, and once only Gene. Stay out of Camberwick Green!
Firstly, Michael Rodd and I were delighted to make a comeback at this Meet. And what a Meet it was.
Thanks to Gene it actually become an education in how to track down locations. The printed binder, courtesy of Steve Austin helped us all. But Gene effectively provided tutelage on researching historic film and tv.
Use of old maps, slightly less old maps, current maps, screenshots, aerial photos, many annotated with additional notes. Anecdotes, direct discussions with various actors and others gave an excellent insight. As others have already said, the main part of the Meet was on foot.
This enabled plenty of great discussions mainly, but not solely about the various locations.
This Meet gets our vote as the best Meet yet. Thanks to Sam, Del, Saint for support of this excellent forum and Meet Major thanks to Gene for meticulous preparation and sheer time and effort. Again. Nice one, Guv'.
This really was the best meet to date in my opinion, and there have been some damn good meets previously! The weekend kicked off on Friday evening when myself and Gene Hunt visited a couple of pubs for a few beers and then Gene and his wife kindly put me up for the night. Thanks very much to both of you for your hospitality.
On Saturday morning myself and Gene travelled by train down to London and made our way to The Warrington Hotel at Maida Vale where we met a few other squad members for a couple of pints before making our way to Hammersmith. A curry and a couple more beers made for a very pleasant Saturday evening with great banter and laughs a plenty!
On Sunday morning we met up with a few squad members for breakfast at Wetherspoons and then made our way to Colet Gardens aka the spiritual home of The Sweeney. A short tube ride later and we began the comprehensive list of film locations that Gene had compiled. I am amazed at the accuracy and level of detail that Gene puts into showing everyone these locations; it must be extremely time consuming Guv but the results make for a very enjoyable and informative day for all of the squad members. Thanks for all of your hard work. A couple of pubs made for a very pleasant lunch break and then we set off for some more great locations. I enjoyed all of the locations but the very best for me was finding out where Rillington Place used to be and seeing what the area looks like now.
After the short tube journey back to Hammersmith we had a very nice meal at The Brook Green Hotel followed by a few beers and some great chat at The Queen's Head.
On Monday morning myself and Gene travelled back up to the Midlands by train. Thanks Gene for being such excellent company on the journey back, the time flew by.
Thanks to Gene, Sam, Del and the Saint for all of your hard work. Thanks Steve Austin for printing our brilliant souvenir location guides and thanks to everyone who attended and collectively made it the outstanding weekend that it was. I am already looking forward to the next meet.
If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.
Once again another excellent meet seemed to take some time arriving but then felt to be over with in no time at all. As the other squad members have said this was a meet a bit different to the norm yet all the better for it. Once we'd left Latimer Road station it was all on foot , no waiting for squad members' cars to arrive and all ambling along together throughout the whole of the day - and what a great day it was!
Unlike those that were on the sherbet on Saturday, my weekend started on Sunday morning with the drive up to the smoke to join Gene and other squad members for a nice Traditional Breakfast from Wetherspoons that would set us up for the day. Fully sated we then returned to Colet Gardens to await the remainder of the squad before making our way back to Hammersmith to jump on the underworld railway and off to Latimer Road.
Much has already been documented about the locations so I won't go through them again but thanks to Gene's meticulous planning we were able to view an unprecedented 31 locations throughout the course of the day via a route that took us back to Latimer Road station. So many locations all on top of one another, some immediately recognisable, others gone with very little trace apart from Gene's old OS maps and his expertise at marrying the old with newer maps.
For me it was great to get back on to the meet after missing the last one and I'd like to thank so many of the squad members for such varied conversations that we had on the walkabout, we certainly couldn't have had such good one-to-one chinwags had we been motoring between locations.
To sum up; yet again we were treated to another brilliant day out with a whole series of excellent locations, good company, plenty of laughs, a few bevies, and a bloody good break from the norm.
My thanks go to various squad members for buying us drinks during the day, The Saint for the lunchtime chips (sorry, it was Holland Park so they were 'French fries'), Get Carter for the Blu-Ray copy of Robbery, all squad members for the camaraderie, and lastly but most importantly to Gene for his meticulous planning, the laughs, the drinks, and well, for being Gene!
I'm going to say this once and once only Gene: Stay out of Camberwick Green!
It's been a couple of years since the last London meet, so i was looking forward to heading back down to the smoke and meeting up with the 4:3tv squad.
I wasn't disappointed, it really was an enjoyable meet including a wide range of locations, some instantly recognizable and some that ceased to exist many years ago but with Gene's evidence were able to be pin-pointed precisely.
Yet again the weather was on our side, every meet i've attended has been dry, which made for a very pleasant day.
It was great to catch up with everyone and i thoroughly enjoyed the whole weekend.
Thanks Gene for the remarkable effort and organisation put into this meet, it's much appreciated.
Well, I've finally found a little time to post my thoughts on the Meet from last weekend.
Things all kicked off in style when John Steed travelled over to my gaff on Friday evening. We set off over to my local Railway Arms and sank a good few beers during the course of the evening, which set things up nicely for the weekend ahead.
Saturday morning and it was tipping down with rain as we headed off to the train station for the choo choo down to Euston. By the time we arrived in London it was still tipping down but undeterred, we made a dash for The Warrington Hotel (as seen in The Sweeney episode "Night Out") where we found we'd already been beaten there by Windy Miller. Before long we were joined by Dirty Epic, Del Boy, The Saint & Get Carter. Another round of drinks followed in this lovely boozer before we headed back to the tube and down to Hammersmith so myself and Steed could check into the hotel. 5 minutes later, we were back in King Street and straight over into the Salutation to meet back up with the lads. Many pints later and a curry too, it was time to call it a day.
Sunday morning was upon us in a blink and it was off to meet more of the lads over in the William Morris for a full English. It was then off to our initial meet up point in Colet Gardens where all but 2 of the remaining attendees met up - all in good time I must add despite being on the p*** most of the day before.
Then it was time to head back to the tube and on up to Latimer Road to meet the remaining members Stan & Michael Rodd who had parked nearby.
We set off on our tour for the day. 31 locations over the course of just over 3.5 miles. This was punctuated by a nice long lunch break in The Ladbroke Arms & The Castle.
Before we knew it the Meet was at an end as like Mr Benn, we found ourselves back where we started. Latimer Road this time though, not Festive Road.
At this point, we said farewell to Stan & Michael Rodd before heading back into Hammersmith for our evening meal in The Brook Green. From there we made the short walk over to our old haunt, The Queens Head where several more drinks were consumed. At this point I was extremely tired after what had been a long weekend but I still managed to hold out and stay the course before returning to the hotel around 11pm.
Monday morning and myself and John headed for a final breakfast in the William Morris before heading back to Euston and getting the train home.
As far as I'm concerned this was possibly the most enjoyable Meet weekend I have had with our members since I started back in 2006. The atmosphere between everyone is wonderfully warm and friendly and I think most of us spent a huge part of the day laughing with (and at) each other.
As many of you have mentioned in your write ups, I did indeed spend a massive amount of time putting this Meet together. Far more than any Meet I have organised in previous years. It was a risk for me to take in conducting a Meet where many of the locations we visited had changed beyond all recognition. Roads had gone completely in some places which is why I spent so much time with old mapping sources both online and in my collection at home so that I could pinpoint exact positions where the action took place. This was made all worthwhile when almost all of you took a very keen interest and asked me questions about how things had changed and when. The Final Robbery! locations being the perfect example of this were both roads and houses and any relevant identifiers nearby were gone without trace. Some of you were amazed when I had you standing on a small lawned area as I then explained that this was where the Police Jaguar rounded the corner of Silchester Terrace into Blechynden Street. It really was enjoyable to take the time to explain this stuff to those interested.
During the course of the day, a few of you kindly got me a drink and said thank you for all the work I'd put in. That was really appreciated and won't be forgotten. Thanks also to The Saint who got Sam & I a bowl of chips at lunch time.
Thanks also to Dirty Epic who turned up on Saturday in the Warrington and immediately presented me with a bottle of Chivas Regal. What a star! Cheers pal
Then, much to my delight, Steve Austin called me to one side and also presented me with a bottle of Chivas. Not only that but a huge thank you goes out to Steve for not only printing out the excellent booklets for the Meet, but also posting one to me since returning home after some bugger nicked mine! Thanks for doing these again Steve, they are a wonderful souvenir of the days we have at these Meets.
Finally, a big thanks to each and every one of you for turning up on time on Sunday and for really getting involved and interested in the things I was explaining to you throughout the day. I think it's safe to say - judging from your posts above that you did indeed find the whole day more interesting and fun than ever.
Rest assured, there is enough material for a return to the area sometime in future years, but for the next Meet, I already have a plan bubbling away in the background that I'm sure will entice even more members to join us
So .....another great meet....yet again !!!!!! it felt like we returned to our spiritual home ....hallow ground .......”Colet Gardens”......the lads were back!!! meeting up the Smoke for a proper look about!! i unfortunately couldn’t make Saturdays drinkey poos but I was up with the sparrows for Sunday ! A great feeling driving through Hammersmith.......knowing this is where it all began ......The Sweeney...and beyond!! A superb day with some incredible background work from the Guv.......I liked the time lapse maps on your phone .......brilliant! Robbery is a great film and was really the start on big and small screen of things to come ......I’d forgotten about the mini being dropped off from a lorry ......an idea nicked in reverse for the “Italian Job”! But it felt slightly bitter sweet to see just how much of Old London had been swept away due to apparent slum clearance..... which we know is total nonsense.......to be replaced with ....in the words of Del Trotter....”Lego sets built by the council”. I always love walkin past the Embassy Cafe and I think it will be nice at some point foe a few of us to meet up for a good old greasy spoon there while it’s still open !! So a superb day with superb organisation......thanks Guv and everyone involved. As I’ve said before ...it’s a group of proper mates now with a likeminded passion for great film and TV...... roll on the next one !!!!!!