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Report on 2016 TEA Spring Reunion
London, 18 March 2016

It was great to see Dave Marshall again looking fitter than ever after some fairly drastic surgery, which he showed us.

Clive Mann was there, in fine fettle as usual, and looking very spruce.

Brian Van Arkadie was in great form having walked half way across London, a feat he repeated after the reunion when he walked to Paddington.

Dave Smith was in terrific form, fresh from the depths of Ecuador.

I was there too trying to hear what was going on. No one was interested in seeing the massive scar I have from a burst appendix operation in Kampala back in 66.

The acoustics would normally have been good - the ceilings are incredibly high (it was once a bank) - but for the fact that a small army of young ladies were having some sort of banquet on an upper level. The noise (etc ) was distracting, like having a drinks party in a parrot house.

I had a look into The Black Friar on my way to The Knights Templar. It is terrific inside but Dave is right, the outside area is on the pavement right next to a very busy road.

I mentioned El Vino's, formerly a journalists's pub, as a possible venue for the TEA UK Summer Reunion, at which greater numbers are expected but it went down like a lead balloon.

After considerable discussion, including mention of the Fort St George in Cambridge and riverside watering holes in London, I think we agreed on The George Inn in Southwark, near Brough Market, "an authentic 17th-century coaching inn and pub with oak beams and large courtyard seating area", address: The George Inn Yard, 77 Borough High St, Southwark, London SE1 1NH.

I have seen claims that pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales began their pilgrimage from The George. Shakespeare is performed in the courtyard from time to time.

There was some debate about whether we would sit inside or outside and I think we settled on playing it by ear.

The date cannot be finalised until Niall returns from L'Espagne profonde at the end of May. (He has no workable computer down there).