Those Were The Days

Did you know that the Wemrow Wayfarer began life as a wall-newspaper alongside the railway and other notices in various European languages, with which our landlords decorated the old scout hut in Ranelagh Road!

It was the brainchild of Mike, a tall Don-Juan type training to be a Marks and Spencer's manager and consisted of activity reports, jokes and forthcoming events. My own regular contributions took the form of excruciating Odd Odes, of a highly libellous nature dealing with such characters as an abortionist member and our resident Spiv, who was forced to dress down in female attire in order to recover his own. Alas, what promised to be my masterpiece - about a certain 'car bought for a song at a church bazaar' was banned from publication on pain of not being taken to the pictures again! Inevitably, more journalistic support was not forthcoming and the paper folded to be replaced by a log book started by Cliff Herbert in which leaders faithfully recorded weekend activities for many years.

The programmed activities can be found in the archives, but the impression of so many of us former members is that there is an abiding sense of friendship which extended beyond the regular Tuesday meetings and weekend jaunts. There were the frequent visits to Symphony Concerts, at the Wembley Town Hall, a preview of the following day's News of the World, hot from the press and a noisy greeting to the New Year in Piccadilly Circus, after the annual Palladium Panto, for which Dr. Clarke always managed to obtain about 20 tickets. Above all there were the parties for summer holiday trips and the resultant 'in' jokes. Do folk still remember the Welsh lady who asked for the stout party to move up so that she might sit down, the policeman who directed the unshaven leader to the wrong sort of hostel in Keswick, and the pink pyjama tree in Hemel Hempstead! Do today's wardens allow creeping in at midnight after attendance at the local village hop (no, it wasn't George Perry), and would anyone guess that the 2 respectable Matrons over there discovered a quite fortuitous skill at strip poker in a Swiss hotel bedroom!

Account by Joy Connell