The h2g2 Real-time Summer Party 7 July, 2001

30 Conversations

Researchers Partying

As is traditional with h2g2 Summer Meet-ups, there was rain. Less than the torrential flooding of the previous year, but nonetheless, the day dawned murky and misty and remained that way. The damp masses congregated on the steps of All Souls, Langham Place forcing the local down-and-outs into retreat. Researchers had come from all over the globe to meet up with friends and to see if the Italics really did exist.

Abi and various volunteers made sure that everyone had a name badge so no one had to worry about remembering who was who. Instead, they could worry about the really important matters: 'Will I know anyone?'; 'Will anyone talk to me?' and 'How do you pronounce Shea the Sarcastic's name?'.

Meanwhile, Towelmaster's mind was on architectural crime and whether he could steal the columns supporting the portico of the church. Nice idea, but can you imagine trying to get through check-in at the airport the next day?

BBC Experience

The afternoon was spent indoctrinating Researchers into the ways of the BBC. For many, the highlights of the BBC Experience were the recording of our very own radio play and the interactive section. Tall Researchers could stick their heads into a dinosaur's mouth; short ones could get away with trying on the Tellytubbies' costumes. Bluebottle thrilled all by delivering a weather report solely devoted to the Isle of Wight with the help of his assistant, the lovely Peregrin.

Some Researchers found a terminal showing the wonders of BBC Online and the first thought was naturally 'I wonder if you can get h2g2 on this?'. Cries of horror from some sections of those squeezed round the screen greeted the sight of h2g2 displayed in Alabaster and therefore it was left on the Classic Goo Fan Club page.

World of Pub

After the BBC Experience everyone was in need of a drink. Abi, whose knowledge of Central London pubs extends to 'big and cheap', suggested the Lord Moon of the Mall on Whitehall. Moving 60-odd Researchers from Oxford Circus to Whitehall is no mean feat, but somehow she managed it. Fortunately, Uncle Heavy's shirt proved a point of reference for everyone. Even when surrounded by hundreds of Spanish exchange students, this sartorial garment shone through and enabled everyone to stay together.

As it happened, the pub was packed. There had been a Deaf Rights rally in Trafalgar Square and the attendees had retired to the exact same pub afterwards. The use of British Sign Language meant that though the pub was packed it was also eerily quiet. With nowhere to go, Mark suggested we hit the Ship & Shovell early. The only question was, would they let us in?

Ship & Shovell

The answer was yes. The regulars looked at bit perturbed at the massed ranks of Researchers outside but they soon realised that we were polite and quiet (at the start of the evening anyway). The beer flowed (although the pub ran out of Tanglefoot shortly after we arrived) and everyone eagerly awaited the arrival of the buffet. As it turned out they would have to wait some time, but in a corner of the pub dramatic happenings were afoot to distract the hungry ranks.

The representatives of the Campaign to Rename Thursday, 'Thing' decided to publicise their cause by kidnapping Mark Moxon. Mark readily agreed on the basis that they would have to give him the only spare seat in the pub. After listening to their manifesto, Mark started to demand food and drink at which point it was decided politic to release him for the princely sum of four Moxons - a token entitling the bearer to one free drink from the bar.

Mark and Chris, the newest italic, were the comperes for the pub quiz. While many questioned the logic of reading out the questions and having them on the answer sheet, this was later justified by the fact that more than one of the participants had, by this point, lost the ability to read. Despite trying to limit the number of team members to five, half the teams had more than the correct number of members. In the end the quiz was won by Team Thingite, which consisted of: Bob, Clive the Flying Ostrich, Lady Elly, Parrferris, Shea the Sarcastic and Uncle Heavy. Following the Thingite victory, there were ugly rumours of sabotaging fellow teams' quiz sheets by spilling pints of beer all over them. These were soon forgotten in the warm tide of Community spirit. Congratulations to them and to all who took part.

The other half of the pub seemed to be hosting a Village People tribute night, but unfortunately everyone had come as the cowboy and there wasn't a construction worker in sight. Still, that didn't stop one member of the Editorial Team pulling. In fact a certain member of the Editorial Team had quite a good night in all as he was at one point seen in hot pursuit of a couple of naval officers.

Goodnight Children Everywhere

All too quickly the night was over. Various Researchers were having trouble standing up and the conversations were quickly becoming surreal and beds were organised for those who had missed their last trains.

In order to leave an h2g2 meet-up, you must stand up and announce your intention to leave at least half an hour prior to needing to leave the pub. This is because the necessary hugging, promising to see each other on site and exchange of ICQ numbers will take at least that long to complete.

Thanks to everyone made the party such a success! We look forward to meeting you again.

The Attendees

Unfortunately, due to a prior engagement and having to give birth, Anna and Sam were unable to attend the meet up. We will leave you to work out who was doing what!

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