THE LEAVING GIG for Martin Veitch and myself was great fun with plenty of people turning up and Paul Hales, the master of ceremonies, only being 90 minutes late.
Some readers from the Kave tipped up, with Tigger taking the trouble to come all the way from Ultima Thule – that is to say Birmingham.
The Bulgarian correspondent of the INQ, Nick Farrell, showed up too, and here he is pictured (right) with the man who stole my Dr Spinola and Pete Sherriff names, and my bottle of Talisker from the Rogister, Andrew Thomas.
Debonair Martin “Veitchmeister” Veitch is pictured below in the centre, holding a pint of beer and relating the story of the Blaydon Races to a spellbound audience of spinners.
And here is a special celebration t-shirt given to Magee as part of a leaving present which included a hip flask engraved “Hack Extraordinaire”. I promptly gave away the t-shirt to Kave reader Uri Gagarin. I’ll be needing the hip flask, I expect.
A small hard core of hacks and spinners left when the bell tolled at the Blue Posts, and found themselves in one of the fabled “Smokeasies” of Old Soho. Smoking in pubs was banned last year but illegal dens have opened up where you can have a beer and if you’re a smoker, a fag. The beer is a little pricier than in the already expensive legal dens of Soho, but prices are negotiable.
The only places you are allowed to smoke inside legally in Blighty are in hotel rooms, the Palaces of Westminster, submarines and, er, Her Majesty’s prisons. Oh, and at home, although there’s a movement to ban that too.
Just like the fabled “Speakieses” of the US Prohibition days, there is a little hatch which opens when you tip up in case its the British thought police. Actually it was a geezer who stood at the top of the stairs and checked you out before you could proceed.