Back in July '99 h2g2 was still in it's infancy. Barely two months old in fact. There was no Editor to speak of back then, Jim Lynn managed the task. But even he knew that it wouldn't be
long before he would need to pass that position onto another's shoulders.
There had only just been appointed a Community Type Creature in the shape of Yoz, one of tdvs' coders. But there were Forums and there was a community, albeit a lot smaller than it is now. And in those Forums Ginger spoke. And Ginger said
'Let there be Rounders!'
And there was. And it was Good.
It was very good in fact. And, to tell the truth it was
Doug Dastardly who first mentioned
the idea in a forum, but it was Ginger who first mentioned it to him on the telephone. Eleven Researchers and a Yoz turned up for that first event, meeting in a really nice pub a brief walk from Clapham Common for a pre-game drink. And that was probably one of the strangest things I've ever had to do.
Ginger and Doug knew each other anyway, soon afterwards they got engaged, and, of course, me and the 'missus' knew each other as well. But that was it as far as I can
remember. You see, the thing about forums, is that you don't get to see what the other person looks like. But things turned out more than fine.
Myself and the missus arrived at the pub a good ten minutes before it opened, so were keenly sitting outside on the patio, gasping for alcohol-based refreshment, when a tall chap and a young lass bearing rounders bases and poles, and a bat slung over one shoulder arrived about five minutes later.
And there we were. From then on it was easy for almost everyone else turning up to identify our little gaggle (Except for Jim the Wonder Llama who walked straight passed us the first time! To be fair, I think he was still half asleep). Dancing Tree, Peta (just a researcher back then), Jan^,
Dr.Prunesquallor and Ant joined us all at the pub and we headed off to Clapham Common, via a shop for munchies.
The Day was indeed a glorious one. The sun streamed down upon us and all but Ginger and Doug, who brought sun cream... and Dr.P
who nicked Gingers... got sunburnt.
We were joined on the Common by Merkin and Yoz who, arriving separately from each other, were able to spot a group of Field Researchers a mile off, literally. Rounders wasn't a difficult game. I even managed to hit the ball a couple of times. But it was a fun game. Everyone enjoyed it, without exception. I think
that the only thing that would have made the day better for all, would have been if I had shut up occasionally! I have been known to talk a lot once I get going... but it did break the ice, and got people talking, when they could get a word in edgeways.
After the game it was back to the shade of a pub for a well earned beverage. By this time we were all acting like old friends, chatting away and playing 'Tease the tdv staff'. But we didn't tease him that much, as he is a really nice chap and answered all our questions about h2g2 and tdv in general. For weeks afterwards the forums were filled with us chatting about the day and making those that
were unable to come along really jealous. It was great. Then the photographs went up and a collective 'Oh, My, God!!' was heard throughout the realm. But it was fun.
Then there was a great Upheaval at the Guide Towers. Jim Lynn called forth for an Editor and Mark Moxon came unto us. And Moxon looked at the Guide and saw that it was Good. Then he thought;
'Hang on, it could be Better!'
And so, through his wisdom, Moxon reached forth and plucked Peta from her imprisonment at a medical college and said unto her
'Peta, I have plucked thee here to be a Community Editor. For the Guide needeth thee! And I neededeth thee! And Yoz hath swanned off to America to be Happy!'
And Peta replied:
And so the Editorial Team was born unto the Guide. And then Moxon and Peta saw the submissions queue, and they saw that it was Bad. So Moxon and Peta saved another soul from the boredom of a normal job, and rescued Anna from the evil clutches of a Country Type Magazine, where she would have spent her days editing
articles on dog breeding and napkin folding. And so the Editorial Team became three.
And Jim Lynn looked down upon them and saw that it was good. Now it was about this time that Peta and I spoke of a Christmas get-together. And Peta liked the idea. But Peta was busy with
Work, two things I don't know, so she spoke unto me and said:
'Pastey, you organise it and stop bugging me!!'
And so it came to pass.
But, seeing as Christmas tends to be in the middle of winter over here in the UK, rounders was not an option, so another pastime had to be found. A page was set up asking for ideas, and once again the forums came alive with the buzz of meeting up. In the end it was decided that we should have a go at Ten Pin Bowling, mostly because there's usually bars in bowling alleys.
So the date was set and people made plans. Unfortunately for myself, I was relying on Anglia Railways to get me there, and they aren't the cheapest or most reliable of rail companies in
the UK, so I ended up arriving an hour later than planned, and most people were already there. But once more, identifying each other wasn't too hard. A few furtive looks, a few bizarre questions and the group had started to gather. Bowling was a little more expensive than
rounders, but it wasn't compulsory and indeed not everyone played. I think also that if we had have known exactly how good Mark Moxon and Towel Master were at the game, none of us would have bothered playing against them! But we did play them, and it was great fun.
More people turned up this time, after all the community had grown somewhat. Mark, Peta and Anna came along to represent tdv, Shazz and Towel Master showed up in T-shirts emblazoned with their h2g2 nick names,
Psyduck, Bluebottle, Evil Giraffe, Zedley,
Peregrin, Beeline and [email protected]@se all came along as well
as Jan^, Ant and my own dual personality with the 'missus' making it two events in a row.
After the bowling came the hike to the pub, via a rather rude elevator door and a brief detour to allow us all to see the entrance lobby of the Towers themselves. But onward into the pub, and appearances by Ormondroyd, Lochangel and Fate Amenable to Change (with her bemused friend) ensured that fun was indeed had.
Then the photos went up and more fun was had!
Then it came to pass that the fledgling Guide grew. And in growing the Editorial Team grew. They have been joined by Ashley and Sam and
Abi (Lochangel). And so the three
became six. And the Editorial Team looked upon the Guide and saw that it was Good. And the Editorial Team spoke, and they said
'Let us go from this place and let us have a party!'
And so it comes to pass that the Guide is 1 year old on April 28th, and to celebrate this feat, there's going to be another get-together, another game of rounders and another trip to the pub!
So pop over to this page and find out the details!