BSAC 406 exiles (London Branch) reunion. Geoff tells the story:
I hope all is well. A few 406 Exiles met up last week for some drinks and tales of past adventures with SWDC.
A pleasant Saturday afternoon in early August provided an opportunity for a few past members of BSAC 406 (and a present member) to get together in Wapping, East London.
Wapping is an area on the north side of the Thames between ‘The City’ and Canary Wharf on the ‘Isle of Dogs’. The history of Wapping can be traced back to Anglo-Saxon times and it was a centre for marine trade from the middle ages with many docks, wharves and warehouses. This infrastructure was supplemented by public houses lining the river to nourish the seafarers, workers and cutthroats that made Wapping home. They were also frequented by the likes of the “Hanging” Judge Jeffreys and Samuel Pepys in the 17th Century, Charles Dickens in the 19th Century, royalty and stars of the silver screen in the 20th century.
The Captain Kidd pub (named after the famed pirate who was executed at nearby Execution Dock in 1701) and next to the Marine Police Force (the oldest marine police force in the world) was the meeting point for Mike and Zulfa Dalton, Robin Hughes, Derek Roberts and myself. We were also fortunate to have Cara join us during her summer break from the UAE.
A lot of reminiscing was done over several local libations and a hearty lunch before we headed off to ‘The Prospect of Whitby’, a pub steeped in tradition and dating back to around 1520. Formerly known as ‘The Pelican’ and ‘The Devils Tavern’ to reflect its nefarious connections, it retains its original stone floors and has many nautical related features, including a replica gallows over the river.
After farewells to Robin, Mike and Zulfa and a promise to arrange another reunion, Cara, Derek and I headed to ‘The Town of Ramsgate’, another pub able to trace its heritage back to the 16th Century to enjoy “one for the ‘frog and toad’ before going our separate ways.
I think I speak for all when I say this was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon, meeting up in a unique area of London with old friends who would never had met if it had not been for the wonderful bond of SWDC BSAC406 that introduced us all.
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Ian Hussey and Dive Member Contributions.