Some Notes from Jon and Paul
Not regularly, I mean! We have occasional need for an alternative, non-cost venue, for low-profile events when The Guide Dog is unavailable.
Specifications are: less than 5 miles from So’ton city limits; seating-space for c.15-20 people (we may be able to help with actual chairs);
and, ideally: on a ground floor; with nearby parking; with a reasonable acoustic.
(Public Liability) Insurance is covered by our membership of SCoFF/EFDSS.
We ask visitors to bring their own drinks and vessels, so there’s no need for you to provide catering (unless you like to).
The ‘perk’ for you is that you don’t have to travel, or pay (we’ll give you a free raffle ticket or two, as well!)
Larger spaces are of equal interest.
Dates of immediate interest are Jan 31st and May 9th (though we may hire somewhere if we have a high-profile guest: it’s The Focsle’s/Focsle Music’s 55th birthday).
If plans to start meeting on regular, but periodic, other days (Mon. / Fri.) materialize, we may need housing for them (though about half will be at outside venues).
We’d be most grateful to hear from you! firstname.lastname@example.org or O23 8046 2723 or [pref. TEXT] O73 8040 1951
Jon and Paul will occasionally write some notes here, such as Jon's "e-Postcard from Kolkata" [= Calcutta] herewith.
16/12/17 Please transmit my season's greeting to anyone who may wish to receive. Best. Jon
3/12/17 Hi Paul. Seems much too soon to send Season's Greetings. Focsle looks to be well in hand and doing what it is there for. Book me bit of MCing when I get back. Best to all from wintery Kolkata - like a very warm day in August. Mufflers and balaclava helmets are de rigeur here evenings and early mornings.
12/11/17 Well done. Great news [at the success of both Guest Night and House Concert]. Odd how a few small changes can rejuvenate an elderly case like the Focsle. I look forward to rejoining in just over 4 months. Suffering with another cold and cough. Otherwise OK and working on campaign to end child-labour in brickfields. Now using smartphone so mail comes instantly. Best, Jon
31/10/17 Hi Paul,
Hope the club went well last week. I am well enough here, trying to be self-motivated and get through a longish list of jobs.
Inspired by my late friend Jim Insole, and deprived of a guitar here, decided to buy a mandolin and went out and bought one outright! It's Kolkata-made for the family business which runs a decrepit but good music shop. Braganzas are an old Goan family who tune and repair most of the pianos and violins in this part of the world, which is not many. So the mandolin is a 'Braganza', flat-backed, of moderate quality but makes a good ringing sound. I hope to come back a better mandolin player in the Spring.
25/10/17 Hi Paul,
Noticed that it's Focsle night tonight. 10pm here already, early evening with you. Hope you have a pleasant evening. If anyone enquires about me please inform that I am back in Kolkata, well and wish them well also. No sign of folk music in the places I visit here, although I buy a few CDs of Bangla folk songs, which I like.
Read this map in conjunction with notes below it. Note that it doesn't zoom (sorry).
© OpenStreetMap contributors Licensed under the Open Data Commons Open Database License
Unless travelling a distance, cycle is the best way to get to The Guide Dog. Several bus routes serve Bevois Valley Rd [= BVR] or Lodge Rd (or, more distantly, The Avenue: the Middle St / Southcliff Rd stop is nearer than Stag Gates / Lodge Rd). Walking or cycling is the only practical way to get from St Denys Station.
Note that the two short roads leading off BVR to The Dog are not vehicle-accessible. Potentially, there is plenty of street-parking nearby, but most is residential, and in demand at night. A sharp-eyed attender at our first meet noticed that the usual "Mon – Sat 8am – 6pm" times for limited parking are absent from the local signs. I have checked this with the Council and IT IS AN ERROR. You can park free in residential zones (and all the spaces described) after 6pm. Local word is that the student population make it "impossible" to park at night in areas 1a & 1b. After several meetings when they've been back in residence, I haven't found a problem yet, and have always parked that near the pub.
Until you're familiar with the best spots, try this route:
FROM NORTH (Portswood Rd), turn right at lights into Lodge Rd. 1st left into Spear Rd / Clausentum Rd (1b);
FROM WEST (Banister Rd / Lodge Rd) turn right into Earls Rd (1a);
or FROM EAST (Thomas Lewis Way), straight over lights into Lodge Rd; 1st left into Spear Rd / Clausentum Rd (1b);
Look for spaces on Earls Rd, or Spear / Clausentum Rds (or its offshoots), including a short cul-de-sac at the T-jn with Ancasta Rd. If none, turn right (from Ancasta Rd) towards pub.
1a & 1b merge there. (Bevois Mews, making a mini-crossroads here, is private).
Into one-way section of Earls Rd (2), with more spaces.
Pause at T-jn, to check for spaces across BVR, directly opposite (3). Before pulling out, ensure it's sufficiently traffic-free for skewing across both road lanes and stopping in the road. If parking there, walk back via Earls Rd.
If 3 is full, turn left and turn into next left, a cul-de-sac (4). Availability unlikely (only 7 spaces), but it's in sight of the pub.
If 4 is full, turn left and, hard after the pelican beside the next block, turn left into Bevois Valley Car Park (5), with 14 spaces. (It is signposted, but only at the entrance, and easy to miss in the tangle of supporting-poles for the lights).
Should THAT be full, emerge at far end (car park is one-way) and turn right, back on your route. Before Aldi's access-road, there's another long streetside layby (precisely where the digit 5 is on the map). Don't be tempted into Aldi's car park (marked, on Net maps, as if public). Google Maps shows the access as a one-way street. For non-shoppers, it's private, and may well be locked before Focsle Music finishes.
Before pelican, scan ahead for spaces at 3; if none, turn left into Kingsbury Rd (6), with single yellows both sides. Walk back, using pelican, and up Ancasta Rd, where you can see the pub sign on its gable.
FROM SOUTH (City Centre / Onslow Rd), start this sequence at point 3. After BV Car Park, you may prefer to go up the hill and turn left (before the lights) into Forster Rd (more potential spaces), and turn left into Clausentum Rd, following directions from top of this section.
While availability will vary, week to week, once you've found a zone that has spaces, you could ignore this circling round on subsequent visits, and head straight for it.
Subject to demand, we may fix for a marshall to meet those who park in BV Car Park and / or Kingsbury Rd. At closedown, it takes very little time to reset the room, so the night's organizer can ensure (personally, or by engaging someone else present) that no-one has to return to their car alone after dark. Feel free to ask, if that's an issue for you.
Other things of interest