First of all, I'll make no apologies, this is going to be a long post. I have waited a long time to join you folks on the meet and it was very much worth the wait and so here is my report.
Since the meet was announced back in July, I have had a feeling of excitement and nervousness in equal measure. The excitement is obvious but nervous in the way a new member to a successful team would be - you don't want to be the one that comes in and changes the dynamic or feel of the group. I have waited as the months, weeks and days passed by until it was finally here.
So there I was, in Colet Gardens where the opening credits were filmed, brilliant! I was the second person to arrive. A gleaming M reg burgundy Jaguar sat there and I though this has to be someone for the meet. Indeed it was, I introduced myself to Villain and that was the start of a memorable day. Soon after there were more people and then it was off for some breakfast. After that and a quick wee before the meet proper started (is there anything more stomach churning than the smell of a boozers toilet first thing in the morning?) it was back to Latymers where I was introduced to my passengers for the day, Mickyosan and Peter Picard, thoroughly nice blokes who would help me through the morning traffic.
Shut It CD on, Sat Nav set and we were off to Kibber's House from Selected Target.
So this was my very first location, parking was good and so we descended outside #17 Stirling Road. The house has been painted white now but the door is the same, retaining the stained glass elements although the door is now dark blue in colour. No call girls taking there clothes off inside either Across the street was the tower block that was used to take the pictures of Kibber in the episode, the yard at the bottom of the block has changed slightly but is still recognisable. That seen it was off to Young Haskins House from Victims, avoiding the thugs in the crash helmets.
Painting your house white seems to be de rigueur in London and this one had the same treatment. The brick wall outside the house is slightly different too but retains the architectural features around the windows and door. The back has been extended but it is still possible to see the window where a young Haskins told his wife that their son wanted steak. No dolly in a pram here so on to Fay & Brenda's House from Abduction.
This house was already white and so looked the same as it did when originally filmed but one or two of the trees have gone from the front garden and the old wooden front fence has been replaced. It was still possible to look back to where Regan parked his green Capri and get the same viewing aspect though. The owner of this house came out while we were there and said he had no idea it was used in an episode of The Sweeney but he was a fan so didn't mind too much about having 30 or so folk on his doorstep. Not much he could do about it though as he didn't have a gun or a lit fag butt to scare us off. Next on the list was Carter's house from Abduction.
There was some debate about which house was actually his, number 5 or 6. In the end number 6 was declared the right one and so much picture taking ensued. This location has changed a bit as you can tell from the aforementioned confusion, mainly due to the growth of shrubs etc. The house itself looks the same although the door has changed. A neighbour enquired about our activities and again was unaware that an episode had been filmed there. What's wrong with estate agents, don't they know a USP when they see one!! Just around the corner was the location the park where Stan Proctor met Jack in Abduction.
So sat nav not required for this one and the most obvious thing about the location was the climbing frame had gone. Scaffolding probably used somewhere by someone having their house painted white. Anyway, much of the rest of the location remains largely unchanged although the park today is bigger and covers where the pond used to be but it is recognisable as that location. Sad to say that no girls in tennis gear either. So back into the cars and back to our base at Latymers for some refreshment.
This concluded the driving part and this was the bit I was most nervous of, not used to driving in London but I must say huge thanks to Mickyosan for his help in navigation although we never did get anywhere one minute quicker A nice pint and a portion of chips hit the spot and gave us an opportunity to talk to other squad members. I spoke to a few but I just cannot remember all of the names, the old bionic recall function just ain't what it used to be. Bronson had the best idea of writing them down, well done, I wish I had. Conversations continued as we made our way on foot to Holland Park as filmed in Sweeney!
What a fantastic day for a walk, the weather gods truly shone on the righteous as we made our way there. Again, this location remains largely the same, save for the railings around the flower beds and it was good to take in scenes from the films as well as the TV series. Pictures duly taken it was on to Harry Poole's house from The Placer.
This location was set in a mews and was very nice, a very sprauncy part of London indeed. Not much of this property was seen in the episode, we only saw his car parked outside but the street would appear to have some kind of preservation order on it as the windows all seemed to be period and so we can only assume that little has changed since the 70's. No yank job here so on to meet Kibber at Kensington Olympia from Selected Target.
This station has changed but not too much and so you can still visualise most of the action filmed here. The actual walkway over the track is split into two and so you cannot actually walk across the same bit without buying a ticket. In addition, waiting rooms now take up the space where Kibber's Zodiac was parked. The buildings in the background at the entrance to the station have changed but the flagpoles are still there. The day flying by now, one more location to take in; Johnny Lyon leave the Police Station in Queens Pawn.
This building is now a French School (no, not like the ones the Fladge gave) but I don't think it was ever a Police Station anyway. This one is more or less the same as it was when filmed. The Police sign and notice board outside are gone but the door, windows, gate and fence look the same which is how it should be One more treat in store en-route to the Queens Head for our nosebag and that was the tennis courts where Lukey Sparrow was ratted out in Messenger Of The Gods.
This location was literally across the road from the above location. The shelter where Lukey took refuge is gone and to the right of the courts where the fight took place is a kids play park and so no pictures could be taken unless you wanted to be hunted down and savaged by parents thinking you were taking naughty pics of little Johnny. A shame as I would like to have a picture of this location.
So that was that. All locations seen, snapped and discussed. This was definitely worth the wait. I love the then/now images and to see them for myself was just magic. A well thought out itinerary executed to perfection and now for some grub.
After our food a speech was given, thanking Gene, Sam, Del & The Saint for their efforts with getting the new site up and running and a round of applause duly followed. Well done to everyone involved. A great site for us retro nuts. An award to Windy Miller for his Top of The Pops threads of a Nolans single, something which I'm sure he held tightly all the way home, well done Windy, you'll treasure it I'm sure.
A quiz followed and our team (Team C) had the disadvantage of having me on their side but at least we didn't finish last; joint 3rd Not bad I thought. No prizes for guessing who won although I think they found it too easy and so decided to liven things up by playing russian roulette between their arse and their pants but I'm not sure there were any winners. I'm glad I don't do their laundry. Not so much Dirty Epic as dirty nappy!
So there you have it, a truly great day. The locations were well laid out (Putney was a bugger to get through though), the company excellent and the weather good too as reported already. If you haven't been on a meet yet then I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Thanks again to my oppo's Mickyosan & Peter Picard, great company. The guys who did the quiz (sorry I forgot your name but I can remember you're a Watford fan) and to everyone else who made me feel welcome, thank you. Finally, again a big thanks to Gene, Sam, Del for your help yesterday. See you again soon.
Just a quick one to say a massive thankyou to Gene for organising the first 4:3TV Meet, I'll do a proper post later when I've sorted my smudges out, but thanks guys for doing such a sterling job, it is much appreciated as I know that a lot more goes on behind the scenes than most of us will ever see. Also a big thanks to my two oppos Dirty 'back of the Jag' Epic and Windy 'up front with the driver' Miller for being such good company and excellent navigators throughout the morning, oh and ta very much for the chips in Latymers, they went down a treat
I had a fantastic run down to London, early morning nerves about the Jag's new cooling system soon evaporated and all was well and it was nice to meet and greet a new member in the shape of Steve Austin once I'd arrived at Colet - Dougy, thanks for your kind comments about the motor and has anyone ever told you that you bear a startling resemblance to train robber Bruce Reynolds...? . Before I dash off and have some breakfast I must apologise for not saying goodbye to everyone properly, I had to leave early but nipped back into Latymers for a quick Jimmy riddle before driving home, when I came back out the squad had vanished into thin air.... for a moment I wondered if you'd all stepped through a wormhole back to 1974 but no, you'd all gone off and made a start on the afternoon walkabout!
Post by Athene Noctua on Oct 12, 2015 15:44:26 GMT
Some great posts already here. The first squad meet was a great day. We had some fabulous 70's motors turn up, and we looked aces in convoy round west London!
I was in a vehicle with the Saint, a great wheels man and company. Although we run into gridlock on the first location, we soon caught up with the rest of the squad and traffic the rest of the day was thankfully not too bad.
It was interesting to see the house used in 'Abduction'; in the ep you don't get to see much more than the doorway but you get the sense that it is a substantial property, which it is, and a very plush little area.
The Haskins house certainly looked better (it couldn't have looked any worse!).
There were plenty of pit-stops, and the evening meal at Queens Arms was a nice chance to rest your feet and refuel. Another fiendish quiz from Mick made our brains ache!
A MASSIVE THANKYOU to all the 4:3 Guv'nors for much backstage work; it was very well organised and a relaxed friendly day, speaking to friends old and new!
Post by D.C. Burtonshaw on Oct 12, 2015 18:34:43 GMT
Can't better the posts that have already been made by members who attended the once again fabulous Sweeney meet yesterday but great to see old faces and welcome to Steve Austin. Must say thanks once again to the draughtsman Gene Hunt as well as all the wheelsmen, classic vehicle owners, Michael Rodd Quizmaster for the always fun quiz, and Stan for keeping scores, and the members that attended. Special thanks to Get Carter for his patience in being a wheelsman for the day - a thankless task in London traffic but we made it to all the locations. I for a change, was navigator when the Sat Nav gave any trouble, but just as busy as being a driver!
The locations are always interesting and there's that buzz about being in the same spot as where the series iconic filming took place! Rounded off with a decent meal at the Queen's bonce but good job I'd finished before the "musical" accompaniment as added to the quiz!!! Hope everybody had a safe journey home and enjoyed the day - here's to "more of 'em"!
Good to see Boyce's gorgeous Granada once again... when we were sat behind it in traffic the floor of the Jag was vibrating from the sheer force of the music coming out of the exhaust of the Grannie...!
When I arrived at Colet the light was just going...
brilliant day all round cheers for the transport in a very nice car del boy entertainment ,the looks on the faces of the unsuspecting public lol this time next year I'm going to be a millionaire to sticking an oar in hilarious Holland park a multi location minder the professionals and the sweeney brilliant I will add smudges later as my eyes are closing as I post