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Lee's Memories - Friday Part 1.

Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:51 pm
by Auf Wiedersehen, Pet
Friday I got up pretty early about 6.30, and I was already nervous about the day ahead.
I had got everything ready the night before, scripts to take, Stan's Sweater from Series 2, pictures and of course my own clobber.

Threw everything in the car and headed on the road. I had visions of everyone else doing the same, and I was also wondering about where the frigging hell Breaking Away was, and if he would be making it to the small drinks get together on the Friday night. My biggest worry for the day ahead was making sure everyone was happy. I headed on the road, 'Auf Wiedersehen, Pet Soundtrack' of course blasting out. I did wonder how many people I could be passing on the M6 heading on the same journey as me, probably not many. I had a few texts from Tim, saying he was heading off at about 11/12am, and would meet us there in Geordieland.

2 and a half hours later, and after a quick 'WC break' at Scotch Corner' I was back on the road. I got into Newcastle at about 11.30am, and park straight up at The Hilton. I knew the parking was going to be 'a bit pricey' but I wanted the car to be safe, and I was planning on having a few beers, and didn't want to risk 'bashing the wing in later'.

Got into 'Arch Sixteen' and had a cup of tea. I text Howard Radcliffe and told him I was in his 'lovely metropolis' and that I should be hoyering back a few beers, I had one cup of tea and then got stuck into Peroni. David met me at about 12.30, we headed to the Hilton to have a quick nosy, and just as we were heading out on the Hilton, Tim pulls up! I had a text from him earlier, and told him to meet us a The Hilton, he could park up for nowt, and head out on a 'walking' trip around Newcastle.

We had the Treasure Hunt to map out, and walked around to the pubs who were taking part. 1 of the buggers wasn't open, but we got most of it done. I popped into a Newsagents in the centre and picked up copy of the Evening Chronicle, as it had a 'centre spread' on Howard and what he was doing for the Convention.

We got all but 1 poster up for the Hunt, and headed back to the Hilton.
I got told earlier that David was doing a bit on BBC Newcastle, and I would tag along for the ride. I managed to squeeze in a few more beers, I was getting even more nervous, people were texting me telling they were there or almost there. I got a text from Si saying he was checked in now and heading down to the bar.....

This was his first text to me...

Re: Lee's Memories - Friday Part 1.

Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:12 pm
by Tracy
Luv it bonny lad !

Re: Lee's Memories - Friday Part 1.

Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:44 pm
by AWP Corsa Tim
Was a good day, not a bad travel time up there, then minutes before getting to the Hilton my car stalled and made a backfire.. after that it was ok again.. Good sum up so far though Lee.

Re: Lee's Memories - Friday Part 2.

Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:09 pm
by Auf Wiedersehen, Pet
After going round Newcastle and getting back to the Hilton, I had that first text from Si, so headed to the Bar and squeezed a quick beer in, 'just for to steady wor nerves...'
I expected Si to look nothing like he did, although I don't have any idea of what he was going to look like. I spotted a tall bloke in a 'Green Bodywarmer' and headed straight in!

"Yes...., this is wor Norma...."

It was like the lads first meeting and loads of hand shaking...only joking!

Anyway, straight in, good chat, and how Tim is recognised easily by everyone.
David and I had to shoot off to BBC Newcastle, so got a taxi and shot off from the Hilton. I was getting pretty nervous at this point, I mean being on the bloody radio, just out of my comfort zone! The whole weekend I was out of my comfort zone, but I just had to be confident, and realise to not sound like a 'right wanker' these fans were here because of me. The thought of that did keep banging in my head, and even now 6 weeks later, to know that from me starting a small website back in May 2012, and to be in Newcastle 16 months later, on the verge of meeting people I have admired for years, it was a very emotional feeling, and I don't think it will ever leave me! :D

We are in the Taxi heading to BBC Newcastle, the beer is making me feel very good, and I just have a few minutes to take it all in. We get dropped off outside, and walk into the entrance. We explain what we are here for, and another bloke in reception hears us, and starts talking about how good the show is, and what an achievement. I never felt like a big headed bugger, just felt really good in how things were going along.

A guy comes to meet us in reception, and walks us into the studio. Jon Harle is the guy doing the Drivetime show, and says he will be live in about 10 minutes. We get told to relax and have a coffee. Now the coffee was like Rocket Fuel! and that accompanied by the several beers I had had during the day, and I reckon I could have floated off the roof!

Jon comes back out into the Green Area and explains as David is a local, he will do the interview, and how did I feel about this. I was a bit taken back, but also massively relieved as I was a bit pissed and the coffee was making me a bit jumpy. We listened to the show and watched a tidy boiler do the news bits, and then come 5.30 Jon comes out saying 5 minutes lads....

"Lee you can come in and listen, put the headphones on so you can hear the show and everything...." Cushti, I'm quite liking this now, and the boiler is tidy, so I'm happy as a pig in...

5.35 and the tidy one is still doing her news bits, and we get pointed to the chairs to sit in, and walk around slowly, admiring the totty, sit down, headphones on, quite nervous.......

Jon starts his bit..."This weekend in Newcastle Auf Wiedersehen, Pet is celebrating......."
I'm seeing David looking a bit nervous, and he handles his first question ok....

"So Lee Series 1 and 2 are the classic series, do the newer ones made by the BBC still get as much love?!...."

In my head....."SHIT!!!!! :shock: ........"

Re: Lee's Memories - Friday Part 1.

Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:06 pm
by AWP Corsa Tim
:lol: Love it..

Re: Lee's Memories - Friday Part 1.

Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:08 pm
by Tracy
Priceless !!!

Re: Lee's Memories - Friday Part 1.

Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:37 pm
by Auf Wiedersehen, Pet
I have had nothing to eat all day, its 5.40 now, I've had several beers and one shot of Coffee that was like rocket fuel!

Instant panic sets in but I just let it flow....
"The older series are the classics and loved by those that watched it in the 80's, but now we have a newer generation of fans liking the newer stuff...."

I can't believe it, I came out with a great answer, I didn't throw up, and I didn't swear!
I'm feeling good, David gets another question, and then it's back to me.
It was something about who is coming tomorrow I think, But I just say something along the lines of "You'll have to wait and see...." I think I got a few more answers in but I was buzzing and hoping I didn't sound like a complete idiot.

It goes to the news, the tidy boiler is off on it, and I keep staring at her.
Anyway, Jon waves us out, and says good job lads. At this point I could have said...

I didn't.

I shook his hand, had another glimpse at the news reader totty, and made our way to the front door. The guy behind the desk took our guest passes, and ordered us a Taxi. He talked about Pet and how he had heard about this. We gave him the bullshit about us being heros etc. By this point, I could eat a frigging horse, and I tell David I must get back and eat or I'm going to fall over man. We head on back to the Hilton, I think I checked in, and then made our way to Arch Sixteen. I got a beer and a sandwich, Tim, Si, Norma, David and Hedley were there. I missed poor Hedley earlier on, but I didn't have chance to pop in and say hello, so I made up for it this time. I forced a sandwich doon my neck, another beer....and chatted with Tim about being up in Newcastle and how great it was.

What happened next, 'I can't remember!...'
Yours till the next point of interest, Lee.

Re: Lee's Memories - Friday Part 1.

Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:47 pm
by AWP Corsa Tim
I think after that it was a case of seeing what others were doing and where they were meeting us for the pub crawl.. something along those lines..

Re: Lee's Memories - Friday Part 1.

Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:04 pm
by Auf Wiedersehen, Pet
I think at this point I had tried to ring Breaking Away, but got the 'phone off message' so left him for a while. I headed back to the Hilton to freshen up, and promised to meet back at Arch Sixteen in a while with the lads. David came back with me, and after Si's message about 'Lesley/Vicki' being next door to him in the Hilton, I said to David, why don't we give her a ring?

I have her number on my phone :shock: , so David rang her and persuaded Lesley to have a drink in the Hilton bar with us, she agreed. This was it! I get to meet Vicki. After countless Emails and Facebook messages, it was finally here. I really have admiration for Lesley, just for being a real person. I have just told the lads to be at Arch Sixteen at 6.30, the plans have changed!

I quickly text Tim, Si, and Hedley and say get in the Hilton Bar reet noo!
I was wondering if they were thinking...'What now like?!..." but I was sure they wouldn't be dissapointed. 16 months after buying, we have come down to this.....

I will never forget Friday night. (Although I said in the previous post, I can't remember what happened next, well forget that bit... :) )

Re: Lee's Memories - Friday Part 1.

Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:25 pm
by Tracy
A sandwich, no crisps ? By the way, do they sell eggs in Duckmanton ?

Re: Lee's Memories - Friday Part 1.

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:46 am
by Breaking Away
Hold on a minute, I've got a page missing here. What happened next!

Re: Lee's Memories - Friday Part 1.

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:36 am
by Auf Wiedersehen, Pet
In the words of Neville....."Give it* a chance!..."

*Change 'it' to 'me'.

Re: Lee's Memories - Friday Part 1.

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:41 am
by Breaking Away
This is great stuff Lee, loving it. The excitement is coming back!

Re: Lee's Memories - Friday Part 1.

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:22 pm
by Auf Wiedersehen, Pet
I chuck a bit of Deodorant on and head down to the Hilton Bar with David.
When we arrive, Tim, Hedley, Si and Norma are already there. I'm feeling quite nervous at what is about to happen, but all is good. I grab a beer from the Bar, and feel like adding the comment of I've only ordered a beer man not 22! After writing out a cheque* for the drink, I get back in with the lads. Si shakes my hand, and I admire his Norma. Everyone is feeling the excitement of the weekend ahead, but I'm feeling quite nervous of the night ahead, out of my comfort zone, but still buzzing from the coffee I had at BBC Newcastle!

*Cash 4.50

David and I know whats coming. In my head I am actually thinking, is this happening, are we really about to meet Vicki from Auf Wiedersehen, Pet?!!

"Heads up...."
Everyone turns around to see Vicki aka Lesley Saint John walking into the bar area. Now, I haven't seen her for quite a long time, only a few pictures, and she doesn't look any different. David gets stuck in first, and I introduce me'sell. We might have emailed and text, but she has no idea what I look like. It was really good to finally meet her, a living legend. Tim, Hedley, Si and Norma all get stuck in and get a bloody kiss on the cheek from her!
I made up for the cheek kissing on Saturday night, so it was cushti!

After talking with Lesley for about 20 minutes, we decide its time to head off to Arch Sixteen for a quick beer, and chat with the lads and lasses. I give Breaking Away a quick ring, and he answers! He's just got through Airport Security, so I tell him I will ring back in a bit let him get strip searched etc. We all get a drink in at Arch Sixteen, and I get to have a few words with Paul Armstrong, who was a real gentleman.

We head to the first pub, 'The Central', which is just a stones throw from Arch Sixteen and The Hilton. As soon as we get in its a bit busy, so we all get a drink and head through into the next bar area. As we walk through, the next bit is even busier, and bloody loud! We keep on going and find another bit of the bar, which is a bit quieter, and has some seats. We talk about how great it is, and how I'm a hero for doing all this. I agree. ;)

After a while you could hear a pin drop, so we hurl the drinks doon wor necks and head off to the next bar. The Quayside is the next watering hole...(See what I did their, dropped in an Australian term for Breaking?...)
The Quayside is pretty full of crackerjacks bevvying it up, and I get a call from Breaking to say hes "at The Central, and where the frig is everyone?!...."

"All reet man, calm doon, calm doon!...."*

*Breaking is actually very chilled, but I added this for comedic effect.

I was actually pretty glad to get out of The Quayside, it might have been used in Series 3, but the inside certainly wasn't! So, I have a long walk back to The Central. At this point I'm feeling like Steve Cram after a bloody marathon, and I haven't had a drink in about 20 minutes! I told Breaking I would be wearing a dark green jacket with a Union Jack on the left sleeve.

I walk into The Central, and there is not a sole in there, just a few stragglers at the Bar. I notice a tall blonde haired gentleman at the bar with a woman, but brush that from my mind, as Breaking in my head is a dark haired short bloke. I head through into the next bar area, but just as I'm walking through, I hear a voice..."Lee?!.."
"Alastair?!...." It was the blonde haired guy and his wife......He looked just like Crocodile Dundee with a pint in his hand!

Re: Lee's Memories - Friday Part 1.

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:02 pm
by Breaking Away
Must have been the hat and the knife...