11 Down (and still going strong) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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11 Down (and still going strong)

Birthday Bash

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The blog will have been going for 11 years on 28th January and to celebrate we will be having our usual Birthday Bash, at the same venue as last year.  Come along and join us at The Bridge House, 13 Westbourne Terrace Road, London, W2 6NG on the 25th January – any time between 12 noon and 7.00 pm.

All are welcome (that means you!).  The pub enables you to enjoy a host of real ales, and has an excellent food menu.  Birthday cake and other goodies will be available!  Click on either of the pictures for further details of the venue.


Only ten minutes walk from Paddington Station

It is all very accessible, in case anyone has special needs.

Once again name tags will be available.  Although tags will be available at the venue, along with a selection of marker pens, if you would like your own pre-printed tag please leave a comment which includes the details you would like it to contain [the tags are approximately the same size as a credit card].

54 comments on “11 Down (and still going strong)

  1. Gah! A day after I’d booked for Scotland on that exact day.

    Wish I could be there, and have a great time everyone.

    1. That’s a shame. Remember for next time – it’s always the last Saturday of January

  2. Too far to come from East Yorkshire, unfortunately. Besides, it’s my birthday. Hope that you have a good birthday bash. Keep up the good work!

  3. I’ll be there – God willing! Neither the France Show nor the Boat Show are running any more so the BDBB could be the biggest event in London.

  4. Keep having birthdays! One of these years, I’d love to make the 8-hour flight to join y’all. Have fun!

  5. As always it is my birthday weekend too. For some obscure reason, my wife would rather we attend a concert in Birmingham and stay over at a hotel than travel down to London to go to a pub. Women can be funny creatures.

    Have a wonderful time everyone. I do so hope to come one year to put faces to names ( my iPad tried to put faeces to names. Luckily I spotted the typo before hitting enter).

  6. Having missed the 10th Birthday Bash through bad planning, I will try to attend this one and hopefully catch up with some old friends (that’s friends of old – not aged ones :cool: )

  7. Sorry I can’t make the BD Birthday Bash. I’m hosting a Burns Night supper that night. Many thanks to BD and all the reviewers for such a wonderful site. Have a great day everyone.

  8. Thoroughly enjoyed the last one, great to meet the cruciverbalist community, going to do my best to make this one too.

  9. Sorry not to be able to attend this year due to a prior engagement. For any of you hoping to use the railway between Peterborough and Kings Cross – dont! That stretch of line will be closed all weekend. Have fun those of you going, and congratulations to Dave on yet another anniversary.

  10. I will try to be along, probably lunchtime till mid afternoon. Casual user of this site and certainly not an ace solver…. but will be good to meet Big Dave and others. Passed very near a couple of months back while walking the Jubilee Greenway walk, nice area. And our trains seem to be running normally.

  11. I know this splendid pub in Little Venice as I had many ‘work’ do’s there back when I was a working man rather than part of the ‘idle’ poor (retired) community. A great choice by BD. My apologies as I have a minor op on that day – but hope to be there next year . Have a wonderful day – how exciting it would have been to meet you all – I have pictures of all of you in my mind – which I am sure will be very different. For example I always see BD as an even taller version of Brian Blessed, with hands big enough to manhandle anyone that puts an additional hint to a Sunday Prize crossword 😁

    1. Try The Gallery in the features at the top of the page. You will find photos of Lots of people there

  12. Have a great day. It certainly was last year when pommette and I turned up unexpectedly. Sadly it aint going to happen this year.

  13. I was hoping to attend again if only to sample CS’s excellent cake again. I have earned many a virtual slice after errant comments. However, as mentioned Kings Cross is closed that weekend and the cost of a hotel and entertaining my aging mother until we can get a train home on Monday has put me off. I would encourage anyone who can to take the plunge they are a friendly bunch and very welcoming to newbies and experts alike.

    1. You just turn up. The first time I went which is probably nine years ago – not sure really, but certainly quite a long time ago, I got about half way there in the train and suddenly felt absolutely terrified and very much, “What the hell am I doing going to meet a load of people I don’t know, who don’t know me etc etc”. That feeling lasted for about one minute, if that!
      Everyone is very friendly – just go! :smile:

  14. A health issue means that I will be missing a Big Dave birthday gathering for the first time. I am on the mend but I’m not yet at the stage where I can manage a trip to London and an afternoon’s drinking. I hope to see you all next year for the 12th birthday!

    1. Bufo I am in the same predicameny sadly. Coupled with the train issues having to decline this year. Boo hoo

  15. I look forward to catching up with all on Saturday! I’ll be doing my usual ‘Listener crossword quarterly’ first then plan to join you mid-afternoon.



  16. We are visiting from the U.S. and luckily can join you all. What fun! We anticipate a blizzard of Clerihews and will try to bring our contributions.

    Woody Carter
    Pam Whalley

  17. I’m all set for Saturday. Luckily the trains from Nottingham to St Pancras are running OK so far as I know, although probably busy due to the King’s Cross situation. I’ve taken the precaution of booking First Class on the 8.15 which will give me breakfast and stoke me up before the beer. Just need to remember the exit from Paddington which takes me straight on to the canal path and NOT to put my return ticket in a safe place. I have found a handwritten name tag from a previous year in a Big Dave lanyard. See you soon…..

  18. I’ll be there if I can tempt Madam with a visit to Abbey Road afterwards. Fingers crossed
    Travelling into London is a white knuckle ride for me :sad:

    1. Nope, sorry folks. Madam is out shopping with her sister and I can’t make the journey alone. Have fun, I will be with you in spirit

  19. I would just love to come, it is only 45 minutes from Cambridge but sadly we shall be driving back from north wales. Have fun – I am sure you will.

  20. Alas, I have a prior engagement and can’t make it this year. I hope that all those attending will have a great time.

  21. Sorry guys but I won’t be able to attend this year although I’ll be there in spirit.
    Hope you all have a fantastic day.

  22. Breakfast on train – tick
    Prize crossword finished – tick
    Train on time – tick
    So far so good – Little Venice here I come

  23. I was hoping to come, but domestic issues have at the last minute prevented that outcome. Enjoy yourselves.

    1. You were much missed at the bijou gathering. I think we totalled 20 over the course of the afternoon. I think everyone who couldn’t attend was mentioned in conversation during the afternoon. Had 9 pieces of cake to bring home. One went to a lady on the train and Mr CS us currently checking the condition of some of the other pieces

  24. Great to see you all today, pity more weren’t there but had a great day. Will be putting a few photos and other things on my website later, will post link when done.

      1. Enjoyed your guided tour. When I lived in London in the first half of the 1960s, I lived in the top flat at 21 Buckingham Street near Charing Cross. So central and close to all the things you “should see” while living in London as a colonial visitor! I wonder if Buck Street is still there.

        1. https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/21+Buckingham+St,+Charing+Cross,+London+WC2N+6EF/@51.5085424,-0.1237054,3a,90y,45.96h,98.98t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1souZxBs6XdQZiPs0jsJbNLA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m5!3m4!1s0x487604ceb4109701:0xd2e822c1ab2795a1!8m2!3d51.5086497!4d-0.1236054?hl=en-GB

          I am unsure if that will work for you but Buckingham St is still there and 21 has a nice blue door and 4 storeys although the brass plaque beside the door indicates it probably not residential anymore.

          1. Well I never, it looks exactly the same! I’m quite nostalgic. Only the top flat was residential, everything underneath was offices. My landlord was a passenger of mine on PanAm some years later and he told me that the flat was still vacant and I could return if I wanted. He said, due to regulations, it couldn’t be turned into offices and had to be kept residential. Richard Burton (not the actor) translated, I think, the Karma Sutra in “rooms in Buckingham Street”, I romantically thought it must have been number 21. Why not?

      2. Thanks for the pics Puzzler Dave. I recognised four faces, and look forward to meeting others hopefully at the next bash.

        1. Thanks, glad you enjoyed them. It seems I have created a lot of interest, looking at my website stats there were 70 visits to my page from here yesterday alone. Obviously BD has a lot more visitors than we hear from – and he would have been delighted if those 70 had turned up at the Bridge House on Saturday!

          1. I tried to save time by copying and pasting the link but it’s caused my message to go into moderation. You can find the link in Puzzler Dave’s third message above.

  25. Pleased that everyone had a good time – what an erudite and distinguished group! I will be there next year, godwilling.

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