My avatar shows Turnaround Betty's husband in his football thug days AKA (Del's) Nosher Powell. Actually he was with Betty in 1971 in On The Buses and was a fighting football supporter in The Sweeney in 1974 so he must of left Betty and got in with a bad crowd 😀
Well, It's been a week now since we all embarked on 43tv Meet 008. As others have said, I can't believe that a week has already gone by. The best part of that is that we are a week closer to 43tv Meet 009!
This Meet was for me the hardest one I have organised to date. As some of you are already aware, I spent a few days down in Borehamwood in August last year, compiling the Then & Now section photographs for On The Buses & Mutiny On The Buses. I also spent a couple of those days walking the route of the proposed Meet so I could get a feel of what was feasible for us as a group. I had a good idea of what we could achieve from this visit but recently, I also decided to organise a Saturday tour as well for those who make a weekend of it.
My weekend started when John Steed arrived at my gaff for an reasonably early 9am start. We hit the road and before we knew it we were pulling on to the Premier Inn South Mimms car park. Thirsty work this driving lark so off we set for the nearest watering hole. We were a little early so had to wait outside before the jobsworth staff would open up at bang on midday. Very soon we were joined by further members of the squad for a swift pint before heading back to the hotel to meet up with the remaining squad members who had made the trek to South Mimms for the Saturday tour.
Everyone was on time - for which I thank you all, so off we set for location 1 of the mystery tour, and where better than another pub to kick off! We managed to get around quite a few On The Buses locations and also a few Likely Lads film locations, ending the tour with a visit to the wonderful Edgwarebury Hotel. Thank you to The Saint for pre arranging this particular visit and ensuring that our group would be OK to have a wander around the premises to see where a multitude of shows was filmed.
All too soon the Saturday tour was drawing to a close, but not before I led the group on a short walk to a location that shocked and surprised everyone. Part of the surprise being that it was situated right behind the hotel we were staying in. It was from the scene where Olive is in the sidecar of Arthur's bike en route to Hospital and they take off on a hump backed bridge. A really difficult location to find in the first place and a rewarding experience for me to point out some of the proving points that give away the exact spot - necessary as it has changed so much in almost 50 years.
So with the Saturday tour over, it was time for us to head off for our evening meal and a few drinks. This was a very pleasant walk into Ridge where we dined before the short back to South Mimms for a few drinks. A very enjoyable gallon of Guinness and a fair few rum & coke's later, it was time for the 10 minute stagger back to the hotel. Enough though is never enough and as a few of us still had a thirst on, myself, Del, John Steed & Dirty Epic hit a bottle of Scotch that I'd brought with me from home. I think the evening finally drew to a close for the 4 of us around 1.30am.
Remarkably, we were all wide awake at 7am and eager to get on the road to Meet the rest of the squad in Borehamwood for a breakfast at 8am.
As soon as breakfast was demolished, we headed back to the Meeting point to meet the remaining members and get ready for the day ahead.
It was a beautiful crisp morning but quite chilly so it was something of a pain in the arse to be stood waiting for one member who failed to show without any warning at all. I can only apologise to all of you who made long journeys that Sunday morning only to have to wait in the bitter cold for someone who hasn't the decency to inform me they're not coming.
However, after waiting until the stated time, we hit the road on foot for the first part of the main event.
One after the other, the locations kept coming. Likely Lads, On The Buses, Love Thy Neighbour, Confessions, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet. So much has been filmed in the area it was a delight to walk around and point stuff out to all of you.
Before long, the walking section of the tour was over and we found ourselves back where we started on the car park so headed off in the cars for our lunch stop in South Mimms. Always a dangerous time when me & Sam get on the Malt but we had a schedule to keep to so after an hour or so lunch break, we walked outside the pub and immediately, I pointed out an On The Buses location that was right opposite the pub. It was amusing to see the surprise in some members faces as they had not only just spent an hour or so opposite this location, but also spent most of the previous night there too!
An even bigger surprise was just 60 seconds walk down the road when I pointed out the site of "Hadrian's Wall Cafe" from the Likely Lads film. I think most members said that they always assumed that this scene was filmed in the North.
Back to the cars, it was time to head out for the final leg of the tour. This saw us take in some great countryside locations. Again, as things have changed, trees have grown, hedges have grown, houses gone or replaced etc, it was my job to explain how and what has changed and again point out a few key markers that thankfully remain to help identify these locations.
Before we knew it, it was time to head back once again to out regular pub for an evening meal and drinks to round off the day.
It was over all too soon.
I read with interest some of the reports above that say that this Meet was probably the best one ever. I myself have been organising these events now for 13 years and we have never had a bad one. I agree though. Something about this Meet made it special. For me it was a mixture of elements. The members that attend really are a class act. There's never a crossed word between us. Everyone is welcoming to new members and it just makes for a great atmosphere throughout the weekend.
So I'll finish by thanking ALL of you for making these events the happy experiences they are now famed to be.
In no particular order, thanks to John Steed for being excellent company not only during the weekend, but on the long drive there and back. Thanks to The Saint for pre arranging our visit to The Edgwarebury on Saturday. I've been to this place with The Saint before and love it. Highly recommended. Also a massive thankyou to The Saint for not only driving myself, Sam & Del around all day on Saturday & Sunday, but also for doing so while feeling quite under the weather all weekend. I hope you are feeling better now pal
A huge thank you to Steve Austin for once again supplying everyone with the quality Meet booklets that he prints. They are so helpful on the day and also a great memento to look back though. Cheers mate Also Steve, special thanks for the belated Birthday present you handed me on Saturday in the shape of a bottle of Chivas Regal Extra. That was really appreciated mate I can tell you!
Thanks to those of you who were kind enough to say thanks to me by way of a pint over the course of the weekend - again, your appreciation is reciprocated.
I'd like to thank Stan who not only got me more than one drink, but also got my Sunday evening meal. I did remonstrate with you but you were having none of it so thank you sincerely mate.
Thanks Sam for that large malt we shared in the White Hart on Sunday. We said we would raise a glass to absent friends and so we did. Good 'ealth as ever pal
Thank you to Dirty Epic who also joined myself and John Steed on Monday morning for breakfast in Borehamwood. You're always great company mate and last weekend was no exception.
Special thanks to Del Boy who once again excelled himself in the entertainment department. We've enjoyed a few characters you've embraced over the years mate and I thought Cookie would take some beating but beat it you did. Your Cyril Blake was second to none. I don't think there was a dry eye in the group on Sunday afternoon when Sam "reluctantly" slung that bucket of cold water up your mush. Comedy gold pal and we all enjoyed it.
Big big thanks to those selfless members who offered to drive us around in their cars all afternoon. Without you're kindness in doing so these Meets would be severely impacted.
Finally, a huge thank you to each and every one of you for making the weekend the most memorable one yet. I once again apologise that you all had to wait for nothing on the car park in the bitter cold thanks to one discourteous member. The rules are clearly stated here 4:3tv Meet Rules so there is no excuse whatsoever.
I don't wish to end on a negative so I will say that it won't be long now before I start considering the options for 4:3tv Meet 009 in October. That'll give us all something to look forward to over the summer months.
Thanks to you all
Just before I go, here is forum member Stan waiting for Olive to come out of the shops....
This was one of the best locations meets yet, I know we say this every time, but the standard is always 10/10
Fortunately I live locally to the meet, so I joined the Saturday crew for some great locations, including The Auf Pet building site, a couple from The Likely Lads film - Bob & Thelma's house and the Extralite sales promotion. It was then off to The Manor at Elstree (formally The Edgwarebury Hotel) the site of numerous TV and film locations such as The Avengers, Randall & Hopkirk, The Professionals and School For Scoundrels.
Sunday arrived and following breakfast with some of the crew the meet commenced and we were joined by our very own Blakey!
Gene had once again done us proud with a variety of OTB locations, just to list a few – Turn Around Betty’s house, the Butler house, Olive driving the motorbike over the grass island, Olive getting stuck in the manhole and Arthur’s bus driving lessons! Also, a couple of Likely Lads locations, namely the library and building site, were also a great bonus!
It was good to meet the owners of the farm where Arthur crashed the bus, they lived there when the film was made and were happy to talk about the filming of OTB and also other TV programmes filmed there over the years.
It was great to catch up with the crew and the banter is always enjoyable, over the years we have become a group of good mates.
These meets always run like clockwork, which could lead one to believe that they are easy to put together – well this would be far from the truth. The reason they run so smoothly is down to the immense amount of work that Gene puts into them – months of work and planning to select the locations, their order in the itinerary, the route, timings, etc. Thanks again Gene, it certainly couldn’t have happened without you!
I post a few photos of the day to bring back some memories of another legendary 4:3tv meet.
What a fantastic weekend ..........the 2 dayers are superb as so much more chat and location spotting can be done 👍. Genuinely gutted when these are over all too quickly ......then it’s back to dealing with jo public ........same old same old 🙄🙄. Premier inn was a lot nicer on the inside than it looked on the outside .......so ideal for a snooze in between the two days . I like it that it has become a group that have got to know each other and everyone’s comfortable with our varied characters.....it works brilliantly.........and a constant air of light hearted mick taking works well. 👍. So as usual Gene had sorted fantastic locations and the walks are excellent......not only for a bit of keep fit but also gauging the filming and how it would have worked. Lovely bonus of Likely lads locations as the films were made through Elstree Studios ........seeing the ‘Thelma’ library that looks soon to be gone was great . Nice one Del Boy for Blakeying so well ........I’m still saying ‘ooohhh I hate you Butler’ !! And of course the Blakey shower was superb ........what locals must have thought eh 😂😂. So big thanks to Gene for an amazing weekend and to the main people that run this great site 👍. And thanks to everyone there .......we become better mates with every meet 👍👍