Friday, 18 May 2012


Thursday the 3rd of May was an ordinary working day, not that any day where we work can often be described as 'ordinary'.
However, after work, and luckily we can finish at 16:00 and are only a few minutes walk from Stevenage Station, a certain group of gentlemen went off to London to see Manfred Mann's EarthBand at The Jazz Cafe in Camden.
This of course meant that the gig was preceded by a visit to a couple of our favourite London pubs and Camden Market.
How so much could happen in one short evening is anybody's guess!

Pat-a-cake pat-a-cake Manfred Mann

On Thursday the 3rd of May
as the hour was approaching four
Kevin, Chris, Grant & Pete
were heading for the door
from Stevenage to London
on the southbound train
the Fellowship were four once more
and on the move again

Taking a break from tradition
a London stroll was had
Kings Cross down to Euston
10 minutes can't be bad
in fact it was much quicker
than travelling by underground
and we arrived by the Cider Tap
and guess what Kevin found?

When you're in a cider pub
with ciders by the score
you don't expect to find a stout
and a damn fine one that's for sure!
But across the road the Euston Tap
was calling us by name
and to have missed the Black IPA
would have been such a shame!

Nicely fuelled by finest ales
it was time to take the bus
to Camden Town just down the road
and then the four of us
played pat-a-cake pat-a-cake bakers man
the girls joined in too
amid squeals and howls and giggling
we caused quite a to do!

In Camden above The Underworld
we found the' World's End' pub
and after another welcome pint
it was time to find some grub
on the way to the Chinese food stall
our Kevin bought a hat
a damn fine tile that made us smile
now what do you think of that!

We haggled for 'Bang bang' chicken
and other dishes too
and somehow wrangled a small discount
that's what you're meant to do
nicely replete and thirsty
we were on our way
to the prime objective of our trip
Manfred Mann's Earth-Band, Jazz Cafe

Support came from Tom Moriarty
a singer songwriter who was OK
when suddenly we all noticed
that Kevin had gone astray!
He'd just popped out for a coffee
to Costa across the road not very far
and while he was away a photographer
spilt Kevin's cider across the bar!

I met two blokes from Bristol
outside the Jazz Cafe
they were up for Manfred Mann's Earth-Band
and London for the day
and Peter got a phone call
we thought he'd not hear it in the bar
so we shouted and made rude comments
not knowing it was from HR!

Manfred Mann's Earth Band
were brilliant beyond any doubt
they played all the old favourite songs
which made us dance about
and when the gig was over
it was time to make our way
back down into the underground
at the end of a splendid day

The people on the tube train
from Camden to Kings Cross
didn't want to played pat-a-cake
oh well that was just their loss
but there was the gorgeous blonde lass
with the DM's with roses on
our Sally would have liked them
if she had come along

And then there was the train home
with huge hot pasties from Cornwall
which Kevin had run and purchased
with the kitty & spent it all
and the lads and the lasses
fresh from their office do
getting lessons in 'Old Geordie'
yes, they'd been drinking too!

This trip had been a good one
as Fellowship events tend to be
Manfred Mann, beer & food
Kevin, Chris, Pete and me
so here's until the next one
until we meet again
perhaps next time we'll get the crowd
doing pat-a-cake on the train!

Good grief, all in one evening, the other great thing is that this event triggered five additional humorous poems!
What on Earth will we get up to next? Well, all I can say is wait and see!
Until the next time, cool runnings one and all and stay safe.
Grant Meaby

Friday, 11 May 2012

The Fellowship of the Stick - Spring-fest Cancelled!

There we were, all looking forward to the Cambridge Rock Festival Spring Edition when up popped 'The Drought' yes of course, ever since the UK officially announced the drought it did nothing but rain, rain, rain and many outside events were cancelled due to water-logged pitches, sites and venues, so what to do?
Well, as most of us who were going had already booked the Friday and Monday off work in anticipation, we decided that the Friday should become. 'The Just Because We can' Fellowship London Pub Crawl, something we had talked about for months but had never got round to doing, and, on Saturday, good old Maurice McComb invited us to the Melbourn Rock Club in Cambridgeshire to see Four Wheel Drive, help him celebrate his 62nd birthday and to stay overnight despite the continuing rain!

So, we did it, we really did it!

“Just Because We Can” (We did!)

Cambridge Rock Festival Spring Edition cancelled
And the Fellowship was feeling some dejection
But all great adventures start within a pub
And the “Just Because We Can” was no exception

Chris and Grant started off the proceedings
Within the ‘Standard Bearer’
Soon to meet our Kevin at the station
But the Peter was somewhat rarer!

Next it was the ‘Sir John Benjamin’
Down at St. Pancras Station
Sitting outside in the rain
With a sense of anticipation
 Off to Euston to the ‘Euston Tap’
And then to the ‘Bree Louise’
Where they even had a farting stool
You don’t see many of these!
Then underground once more we went
On our way to Waterloo
To find further solace in the ‘Hole in The Wall’
For nowhere else would do!
Thenceforth beside Old Father Thames
For a cultural Southbank stroll
To get acquainted with fine works of art
And the ‘Founders Arms’ as well
 All the way to London Bridge
And the historic ‘Old Kings Head’
There was no room inside the inn
So we sat outside instead!
Back down beneath the earth again
We made our way to Camden Town
Just in time to catch a Chinese meal
Before everything closed down
Between Camden and Chalk Hill
We didn’t have to go that far
Before we found another splendid place
The ‘BELGO’ a new Belgium themed bar

With Trappist beers at silly percents
It’s was indeed the finest way
To round off what had surely been
A very, very special day
    So a happy but weary Fellowship three
Made our way back home to bed
And made our plans for Saturday
To Melbourn Rock Club we’d be led

And any residual ‘No festival blues’
Had been all but washed away
By Fellowship and fine beers
‘Just Because We Can’, we did today.

And then of course there was the Saturday!


Some said “It wasn’t possible”
Some said “It can’t be done”
But The Fellowship likes a challenge
‘Cos challenges can be fun

With Spring-Fest being cancelled
We could have stayed at home
But that’s not the Fellowship way
So we made a festival of our own
 Friday was the London trip
Just because we could
And Saturday, oh Saturday
That turned out rather good!

Good old Mo’ invited us
To the rock club in Melbourn
He said that we could stay all night
And not leave until the morn’
So I caught the train to Arlesey
Where Chris was standing by
And so off onward to Langford
Would we all stay warm & dry?

The rain had been relentless
And was worsening by the hour
This was a continual downpour
And not just some heavy shower

Kevin was there waiting for us
It was all somewhat surreal
For he’d only been home for half an hour
Up and back from Keele!

We packed the ‘Randy Lover’
And hitched up ‘Fender’s den’
The Fellowship three were once more
‘On the road again’

We arrived at the club in Melbourn
And parked up round the side
Established our ‘camp’ quite quickly
At least we didn’t have to hide!
Three great bands played that night
And it was Maurice’s birthday
But he didn’t want to celebrate
Until the crowds had gone away
Scar City’ got us rocking first
Then ‘Stoker’ tore the place apart
With the sweet young lesbian on guitar
Stealing everybody’s hearts!
Keith and Sally Newhouse
Had joined the happy throng
It was really great to see them
Did someone mention boots & thongs?
 We dined on the finest burgers
And drank copious amounts of ale
A sense of extreme wellbeing
And happiness did prevail

Four Wheel Drive headlined the show
Sally had told us they were great
She was so right they were damn good
And played until very late!
Kevin danced and danced
And so did Chris, what’s more
The Melbourn Rock Club witnessed
Kevin’s ‘dying fly’ upon the floor!

When the show was over
Maurice’s birthday drinks began
For those brave enough to linger on
62! All respect to Mo’ ‘The man’!
Much later at some ungodly hour
We retired to Fender’s Den
Listening to CD’s of the bands we’d seen
While the rain serenaded us again
After some but not much sleep
The CD machine decided to play
Four Wheel Drive were singing again
And a giggling fit was on its way!

You should never underestimate
The soothing power of rain
Drumming upon the roof of the caravan
We were soon off to sleep again

The morning arrived so quickly
As such morning’s often do
But we had the promise of the facilities
And a full English breakfast too!
And so it was, we did it
Like a Phoenix from the flames
The festival may have been cancelled
But The Fellowship had fun and games

A weekend full of camaraderie
Of music food and beer
Such Fellowship is beyond any price
And that’s why we hold it dear
 Did I just say hold it dear?
No, I didn’t mean “Hold it dear”
I meant, ‘hold it dear’ “Oh go on”,
“Pass the tallow” But remember
Strictly No Feltching.
Perhaps maybe, some more giggling!

And there you have it, or rather there we had it, the Cambridge Rock Festival Spring Edition may have been cancelled but we made the most of a very wet weekend and had an awful lot of fun!
So, until the next time, cool runnings one and all.