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Derek Knox
1 Posted 04/04/2019 at 09:10:27
Thanks to the Editorial Team for posting information about this event, which turned out to be more difficult than I had originally anticipated, I had originally hoped to get Wetherspoons (the Old Blackler's) due to it's selection of beer/prices/and food should it be required, and also it's geographical location, being near to the centre and all modes of transport.

When I spoke to the duty manager at Wetherspoons, she indicated that she couldn't foresee any problems, but it's only the Manager who can take bookings. He won't be in for two days so ring back then. Which I duly did, only to be met with a ' no way Jose ' response, he said, understandably the week-ends tend to be their busiest periods (especially the food side of things) and with it being further exacerbated by falling on Easter Sunday it was a double negative.

Refusing to give up, I tried several other venues and was basically met with similar responses, with the week-end/Easter Sunday aspect proving to be a major stumbling block.

I then resorted to trawling the Internet under Liverpool Pubs and establishments, I phoned several numbers and in all cases where possible, left a message on the answerphone service.

Having received no responses after waiting a couple of days, which I found somewhat strange, only to later discover that nearly all the website's listed numbers I had rang, were no longer appropriate as the Pubs had changed ownership or had shut.

I then decided to travel to Liverpool personally and do it that way. As I landed at Moorfields, I spotted the Lion Tavern just across the road (which was one of the pubs I could not reach by phone) I talked to the barman, who was quite pleasant, but there was a familiar ring to his response, it that he could not take bookings as it was down to the Manager (Groundhog Day feelings were beginning to take over at this point). He indicated that the Manager would be 'possibly' around between 14.00-15.00. I did return only to be told he had come in, been told about the proposed event, but showed little interest and did not leave any contact details.

I then went walkabout to put some other irons in the fire, and Gumshoed other prospective premises. I tentatively got a vestige of good news from the Barman at The Excelsior, I tested the beer, and had a good chat with him, subsequently he phoned his 'boss' to which the reply, was a resounding 'yes', I later found out through Peter the Barman that it was very much a ' Blue pub ' and the manager Gary is a toffee. Apparently he has Blue podcasts on a weekly basis (Tuesday I think he said).

I now know how Archimedes felt when he ran semi-naked through the streets of Syracuse exclaiming and proclaiming the word Eureka, ( I have found it ) not sure if he meant the soap, or the displacement of a body in water. :-)

As has been mentioned above, it is a real ale CAMRA pub, personally am not into them but I know a lot of people like to sample different potions. From what I could gather it is roughly about £4 a pint, which is a bit dearer than hoped for, but the words beggars and choosers immediately sprung to mind.

What I would suggest, depending on numbers attending, that we split ourselves into bite-size groups, and each group has a 'kitty' they have trays behind the bar so getting the liquid refreshments should not present a problem.

Hoping to see some new faces as well, as the known ones, All are welcome, fully understand that some who would like to go, but find that it may not be possible on that day at that time. Fear not, as I hope we can possibly have similar events in the future.

John McFarlane Snr
2 Posted 04/04/2019 at 11:00:04
Hi Derek, thank you for your efforts in securing a venue for our get together, as we have discussed, our aim is to make such gatherings a regular feature. I trust that you will allow an 'old man' a touch of vanity, because when I invited 'ToffeeWebbers ' to share my 80th birthday with me, the first venture of it's kind; the subsequent response was excellent, and likewise for the visit of Mike Gaynes. I envisaged the formation of a 'ToffeeWeb Club' and I think that we are well on the way to doing that, once again thanks for your efforts, and I hope they do 'real orange juice' as well as real ale.
Tony Abrahams
3 Posted 04/04/2019 at 11:22:33
I just hope Derek, told them to keep the Guinness out the fridge John!
Dave Abrahams
4 Posted 04/04/2019 at 14:23:04
Thanks for all your efforts Derek, glad you were able to find a place, see you after the Man.United game,The Excelsior is a short distance from The Mitre walking towards The Town Hall, a nice cosy pub.
Derek Knox
5 Posted 04/04/2019 at 14:28:37
Thanks Dave, I don't think you, or anybody for that matter will have any complaints, the Midland was alright, but we were standing unable to talk properly to each other, until we managed to get seats with 'Jimmy the Sailor'.
John Raftery
6 Posted 04/04/2019 at 14:58:41
Excellent, well done Derek. I used to frequent the Excelsior when it was a Higsons pub back in the seventies. Looking forward to seeing you and all the group after the match.
Derek Knox
7 Posted 04/04/2019 at 16:00:00
Thanks John, I mentioned last week that I am pretty sure I saw you on the OS 20 minute highlights of the West Ham game, so it will be a bonus to have a 'tv celebrity extra' in our midst. :-)
Ray Roche
8 Posted 04/04/2019 at 16:51:32
Derek, The Excelsior, brings back memories for me. I was an apprentice Cabinet Maker and finished my "time" working on The Excelsior, fitting new bar, back fixtures etc. As John says, it was a Higsons pub then and Higsons head offices were in the building above. The "Top Brass" would come down for lunch and stand behind us watching us work .could have done without THAT! My firm, Ayrton and Grahams in Benson St, had the Higsons contract and we used to do all their work as well as work in the houses of some of the management. A lovely little pub...well,it was fifty one years ago!
I hope to be there to put a face to some of the names.
Derek Knox
9 Posted 04/04/2019 at 17:12:24
That's interesting Ray, so it will be a trip down Memory Lane, for you. It's hard to tell these days, and I am no expert, but it still looks like the original, ' sixties type bar ' to me at any rate.

I doubt whether there has been much modernisation done over the years, and it could well be your original Magnum Opus, that is still in existence Ray.

Forgot to mention also in addition to the Pies+Gravy+Mash+Peas or French Fries, they do Hot Dogs.

Derek Knox
10 Posted 04/04/2019 at 17:18:31
Sorry, I meant Sausage Rolls !
Dave Abrahams
11 Posted 04/04/2019 at 17:42:00
Ray (8), I used to go in The Mitre mostly, once or twice in the Excelsior,I think it was show house for Higson Brewery, most nights it closed early, around eight o’clock, so it wasn’t a pub you used when doing a pub crawl around Dale Street.
Ray Roche
12 Posted 04/04/2019 at 18:02:48
Dave, I’ve not been on a pub crawl for about 15 years! And it’s a couple of years since I had a pint. Red wine 🍷, now that’s a different matter.

Derek, I hope it is the original, at least something I’ve done has stood the test of time!
It’s 46 years since I left Liverpool and about 48 since I went in the Excelsior, so I look forward to the visit.

Bill Watson
13 Posted 04/04/2019 at 18:24:06
Derek; thanks for your efforts in finding a venue and one that sell 'proper' ale, to boot.

Looking forward to putting faces to names!

Andy Crooks
14 Posted 04/04/2019 at 18:25:58
Derek, well done for the work you have put in. It was good to speak to you on Sunday. I'm happy that the venue is not far from where I am staying (Best Western, Hatton Garden).

Although I was not staying too far from the Midland after the last meet, the journey back to the hotel took considerably longer than the journey TO it!

John McFarlane Snr
15 Posted 04/04/2019 at 18:39:25
Hi Tony [3] I've told Grandma Mc that you are a nice lad, and that you'll keep me away from the Guinness, but I never told her that the problem is keeping the Guinness away from me. [when you're in charge of the round].

Tony Abrahams
16 Posted 04/04/2019 at 19:20:23
You’ve fell on your feet with this venue then Andy, even if you’ve got to literally stagger back to your hotel mate, because this is only round the corner from were you’re staying mate.

I owe you a few bottles of Guinness John, so it’s a good job it sounds like you are on rations!

Brian Williams
17 Posted 04/04/2019 at 19:24:11
Nice one, Derek. Well done, mate!
Derek Knox
18 Posted 04/04/2019 at 19:44:13
Thanks Brian, looking forward to seeing you all again as well as hopefully a few new faces to put to familiar names.
Mike Gaynes
19 Posted 04/04/2019 at 19:52:51
Derek, you are one magnificent event planner, my friend! What an effort you've put in. Proud of ya.

I'll be wishing that I was there with you guys, one and all. Take a whole bunch of pictures and post 'em.

Derek Knox
20 Posted 04/04/2019 at 19:58:19
Thanks Mike, I will have to get measured for a new hat with all this praise, and I don't even wear one. It would be nice to see you there Mike, but as we both know 6,000 miles or so is a big deal, but I have every confidence that we will meet again, and hopefully some more US Blues will come with you.
Joe McMahon
21 Posted 04/04/2019 at 20:04:56
Derek, this is brilliant plan, sadly I'm away in the borders, but i'm sure you'll all have a good catch up and a few .
Peter Mills
22 Posted 04/04/2019 at 20:44:35
Derek, this is a great effort on your part. I have really enjoyed the 2 previous get-togethers.

I’m still unsure of family commitments at present, but will be there if I can after the match.

Best wishes all round.

John McFarlane Snr
23 Posted 04/04/2019 at 20:49:13
Hi Derek [20] the wheels are well and truly in motion, and there are still 17 days to go, by my reckoning there are 13 'Blues' intending to be present, including you and I.

Thanks to your hard work, and a little bit of publicity, things are developing the way I had hoped they would, following the initial gathering. Peter Mills and yourself, are to be congratulated for taking the baton, 'From acorns, mighty oak trees grow'.

George McKane
24 Posted 04/04/2019 at 21:05:18
Last time I was in The Excelsior was The Pickford Derby - will see you all there hopefully - cosmic waves all the way
John McFarlane Snr
25 Posted 04/04/2019 at 21:20:05
Hi George [24], I hope you can attend, I enjoyed your company last time, and trust that you are keeping well.
Brian Williams
26 Posted 04/04/2019 at 21:38:41
George #24.

Was Jordan in there as well, George? 😉

Mike Galley
27 Posted 04/04/2019 at 21:38:49
Hello everybody

I'm a sometimes poster on this site so I hope you all don't mind if I come along. It would be good to put some faces to the names, whose comments I read on here all the time.


Brian Williams
28 Posted 04/04/2019 at 21:58:12
Mike, I'm sure I speak for all the others (as long as it's not about our chairman) when I say, "We look forward to seeing you, mate!"
John McFarlane Snr
29 Posted 04/04/2019 at 22:04:26
Hi Mike [27] if you have been reading the various posts, you will be aware that the first get together last July, was for me to thank everyone who wished me well following my 7 weeks in hospital, I used my 80th birthday, and my wish to put faces to names, as the reason for the gathering.

Peter Mills organised the second get together to welcome Mike Gaynes who was on European tour (orchestral, I believe). Derek has done sterling work to organise this gathering, Derek and I have been in contact and I know that like myself, he feels that the more the merrier. I have no doubt that he will post to confirm what I have just written.

Kenn Crawford
30 Posted 04/04/2019 at 22:48:49
Hi Toffewebbers I am not a regular poster but I have been a member for many years and I wish I could join you for what will be a fantastic night. I am originally from the Wirral but I have lived in Australia now for over 40yrs .
I was back in the pool last November and managed to go to the Brighton game
. so I hope you all have a great time and lets hope that the boys give us another fine victory. I can't be physically with you but I will be in spirit
Mike Jones
31 Posted 04/04/2019 at 22:50:42
I think I'd like to come along. I'm an occasional poster but we all share a passion. Thanks for the legwork, Derek.
John McFarlane Snr
32 Posted 04/04/2019 at 23:04:23
Hi Mike [31] I trust that you will amend your post to "I will definitely come along" because as I put in my reply to Mike Galley, I have no doubt that Derek will post to confirm that he will welcome such interest. Derek and I have talked at length on the subject of trying to make these meetings regular occasions and, judging by the response to date, I think we've made giant strides already.
John McFarlane Snr
33 Posted 04/04/2019 at 23:15:46
Hi Kenn, apologies for not replying right away. I would like to thank you on behalf of all who will be in attendance on the 21st of April, and I know that all will appreciate your kind words.
Mike Jones
34 Posted 04/04/2019 at 23:18:52
Thanks, John. I will definitely come along! I don't have a season ticket anymore (that's parenthood for you) so I may be there for the whole match.
Bill Watson
35 Posted 04/04/2019 at 23:29:05
George; hope you're keeping fit and well and hope to catch you, and everyone else, on the 21st. (Co-op Bill)
Mike Gaynes
36 Posted 04/04/2019 at 00:00:55
DK, I'm hoping Jimmy The Sailor is a lurker here and hears about the gathering. What a character that fella was.
Mike Galley
37 Posted 05/04/2019 at 00:31:16
Brian and John senior, thank you very much. Shall see you all there after a win (hopefully) on the Sunday.

Derek Knox
38 Posted 05/04/2019 at 00:56:42
I can only echo and amplify John Snr's words of thanks to you all for showing interest in this 'project' and really am looking forward to re-acquainting myself with those I already know, and welcoming new faces.

George McKane, I am also so glad you are now in a position to be able to attend, and again looking forward to the occasion.

As John said there are still 16 days or so to go, so hoping for the Tsunami effect, with much less devastation of course, to sweep some others along as well.

Mike Gaynes, I doubt 'Jimmy the Sailor's antennae' will pick up on this but you never know, and while not a ToffeeWebber he would be welcome to join us too.

So thanks again to all who are making the 'pilgrimage' and those who would like to but can't, don't worry, with any luck, these events hopefully will become fairly regular occurrences.

Derek Thomas
39 Posted 05/04/2019 at 01:20:08
I had hopes of attending the next one, but its all a bit short notice, trying to get a decent priced flight, at Easter, proved a bit of a leap. If possible, could we fix the next, next one a bit further in advance
Chris Hockenhull
40 Posted 05/04/2019 at 01:24:32
Well done for your efforts to pull all this together. Cheers all round. I make occasional bits over the years to these sacred pages but don't assume anyone will remember them unless you get my Bob Dylan links to my comments. Would love to pop in being a 62 year old Blue and hopefully put faces to names. Again great efforts that I know will be appreciated.
Derek Knox
41 Posted 05/04/2019 at 02:43:48
Wow DT, I am impressed, all the way from Oz, don't worry any future events will have ample notification. It was unfortunate in many ways that this time also, it coincided with that moveable feast they call Easter.

Chris @40, don't think twice it's alright, and don't stay away getting those subterranean homesick blues, the answer my friend is blowing in the wind, and I for one, do recall your posts, you will be more than welcome.

Tony Abrahams
42 Posted 05/04/2019 at 09:11:42
Great response Derek, hopefully if George comes, he can bring his harmonica with him!
Martin Nicholls
43 Posted 05/04/2019 at 10:54:13
Would love to join you guys but can't do so after a match as I have my 10 year old grandson as well as a mate relying on me for a lift home. Easter Sunday (not that I'm religious) is also a no-no for family reasons. I'll definitely join you at a future get together if I can make it.
Have a great time and COYB!
Rob Halligan
44 Posted 05/04/2019 at 11:19:37
Derek, looks like a lot of thoughtful planning has gone into this, except one!!

You do realise that immediately following our game the RS will be live on TV, and we all know that's what RS fans do, go the pub to watch the match. However, I don't think The Excelsior will be full of them, if any at all. The Excelsior is tucked away in its own little corner at the top of Dale street, so everything should be fine. Just a warning though.

Unfortunately I won't be able to attend, due to family commitments, but I know you will all have a great time if the last one is anything to go by.

Once again, well done for arranging this meeting, and I will definitely be attending the next one.

John McFarlane Snr
45 Posted 05/04/2019 at 12:49:56
Hi Rob [44] it's because it is a match day (early kick-off), that Derek selected this date.

What was it that Brian Labone said about one Evertonian and twenty Liverpudlians?

Derek Knox
46 Posted 05/04/2019 at 13:14:13
Sorry Rob, that you won't be able to make it, had you down as a nailed on certainty, but as I said before there will always be a time, when some can, and others can't make it, but hopefully it will all balance out in the end.

It is unfortunate also that it not only fell on the Easter Sunday, but also on the same day the RS were playing, after our game, but the Manager has assured me, is it is not only a Blue Pub, but that there will be copious strings of garlic adorning all entrances, just in case. :-)

Kenn Crawford
47 Posted 06/04/2019 at 21:56:39
Hi John,

Thanks and hope you all have a great time and hopefully the next time I am home I can get to meet some of you gentlemen and share a tipple or to enjoy your day. COYB

Neil Copeland
48 Posted 08/04/2019 at 00:15:53
Derek, wow thanks for your hard work in putting this event together. I haven’t met any of you yet so really looking forward to it. Thanks again.
Bill Griffiths
49 Posted 08/04/2019 at 18:17:32
I'm hopefully attending the get together, it will be good to meet John Mc Snr again and the others guys who were at his 80th.
I know Liverpool more by places, landmarks and pubs etc rather than by street names.
Is Dale Street where Rigby's pub is situated? If yes where is the Excelsior in relation to Rigby's?
John McFarlane Snr
50 Posted 08/04/2019 at 18:32:07
Hi Bill, it would be great to see you again, the Excelsior is situated at the Mersey Tunnel end of Dale Street, the opposite end to the Town Hall.
Derek Knox
51 Posted 08/04/2019 at 19:03:49
Hi Bill, so glad to hear that you will be attending, I have heard many things about you from John Snr, and looking forward to meeting you.

As John says if you travel North on Dale Street you will see a fly-over which has been shut for quite a few months, and cordoned off. The Excelsior is almost opposite that.

Their website has quite a few photos, both inside and out, so you will get a better idea if you have a squint at them.

John McFarlane Snr
52 Posted 08/04/2019 at 19:42:36
Hi Derek [51] you'll remember that we had reservations regarding the time that people would have to talk to each other. I hope that you don't think that I'm trying to steal your thunder, after the time and energy you have put into the project.

But I'm just putting the finishing touches to a system that ensures everyone present, will be able to converse with each other for a minimum of 45 minutes, an hour if we're still standing at 10-o'clock'. If you e-mail your address, I'll send you a copy.

Bill Griffiths
53 Posted 08/04/2019 at 20:03:04
Thanks John & Derek, see you on 21st.
Alan Rodgers
54 Posted 09/04/2019 at 22:20:32
Unfortunately I can't make it but the Excelsior is a great pub .I notice the manager of the Lion wasn't interested, hardly surprising as he's a kopite. Lovely pub though.
Hope all ToffeeWebbers have a good time.
Andy Crooks
55 Posted 18/04/2019 at 19:18:08
Dave A, I Derek, John, every blue who is going on Sunday I am so much looking forward to seeing you all. Dave, I know Tony is away but I hope it is okay if I give you my email address or number so I can be in touch before Sunday. Or if you let me have your number I'll ring you. My email is:
Phone number 07514213785
I have spoken to Derek but as is the way with me have lost his number.
Dave, it is so long since I have seen the team run out to z cars I guess I will have a lump in my throat.
Anyway, it's done to Tony and you. Thank you and see you soon.
Jamie Crowley
56 Posted 18/04/2019 at 19:59:18
I wish I could be there, but alas, there’s an ocean between us.

Everyone have a great time. Derek - well done for putting it all together.

Have a beer for me. Happy Easter!

Derek Knox
57 Posted 19/04/2019 at 11:17:41
Thanks Andy, I will give you an email shortly, and likewise will see you Sunday, looking forward to it, just hope the team can perform on the day.

Jamie, don't worry mate, you will make it over one day, be great to meet you, will have a beer for you, take care.

Neil Copeland
58 Posted 19/04/2019 at 19:55:53
Derek, I am really sorry for the late notice but I can’t make it on Sunday. I hope you all have a great time and hope to meet up at the next one. Sorry once again.
Dave Abrahams
59 Posted 19/04/2019 at 20:17:38
Andy (55), Tony should be home tomorrow, so I’ll make sure he gets in touch with you before Sunday, everything will be okay, I understand about you getting to Goodison and how emotional it will be for you, me or Tony will make sure you get to the ground with plenty of time to have a good look around and get you in the ground to listen to z cars and the sirens before that !!!

The weather is going to be scorching so all we need is for the team to forget about last weeks cock up and put on a show for us, especially you. See you Sunday.

Andy Crooks
60 Posted 19/04/2019 at 22:41:45
Thank you, Dave
Mike Gaynes
61 Posted 19/04/2019 at 22:50:15
I will be thinking of you all. Enviously. And with a bit of a laugh.
Derek Knox
63 Posted 19/04/2019 at 23:20:21
Cheers Mike, no doubt we will get a couple of photos, and post them on the site after the event.
Derek Knox
64 Posted 20/04/2019 at 08:48:13
What a pity Neil was looking forward to a new face, as were the others, hopefully be able to make the next one.
Neil Copeland
65 Posted 20/04/2019 at 18:10:53
Derek, thanks I was too and thought I was all set but stuff at home that I can’t ignore and needs sorting. Hope you all have a great time and thanks for all your efforts in bringing it together. Really hope I can make it to the next one.
Derek Knox
66 Posted 22/04/2019 at 16:09:00
Giving an update on yesterday's ToffeeWeb Get- Together, which I believe was a success, especially coupled with that result, which I don't think in all fairness, any of us could have predicted.

Hoped for, yes!, as in every game, but wow that blew all of us away, and in addition they were all 'good goals' I know all goals are good in terms of the team, but I mean there were no scrambles, lucky deflections, dubious decisions etc, but all well crafted from open play.

I know George McKane always has a fun bet at 4-0, with any winnings going to his charity, but at 100/1, I believe, no-one could have imagined a score-line against one of the top six like that.

As things panned out for me personally, I was promised a Ticket for the match through a Man United acquaintance, which unfortunately did not materialise, however I went to The Excelsior earlier than expected, in the knowledge that I could watch the Match on one of their many TV's.

While we were allowed to use the room allocated for the event, unfortunately due to the place being crowded the inevitable overspill of people managed to encroach into our space, and although they were mainly Evertonians, we did struggle to be 'all together', although we all did have a seat this time.

Some members had to go early to honour their family commitments, being Easter, but I for one, was more than grateful that they turned up, so all due respect to those guys.

Taking all things into consideration, with it being a brilliant day weather-wise, Easter Sunday and Liverpool being on the TV directly after our match, all factors which won't happen at the next meeting. I would like to suggest for any such future event that The Excelsior, again be the chosen venue, I don't mind what little organisation will be involved for the next one I will gladly do it. I would also invite any suggestions for the next one (after the new fixtures are announced) hopefully to coincide with an earlier than normal kick-off, either on a Saturday or a Sunday.

I would also like to thank Mike Gaynes again for his kind gesture. He also wanted some photos of the event, I have a couple on my phone, but they were later on, so the company had dwindled a bit by that time. George McKane had a proper camera, which he has attached some photos to TDH Blues Facebook page. I am not 100% sure how to link mine to the site, but will try to find out.

Finally like to thank the following TW Members for their support : Ged McKean, Ray Roche, Bill Watson, Bill Griffiths, George McKane, Andy Crooks, Brian Williams, Dave and Tony Abrahams, John McFarlane Snr, Steve Ferns, and John Raftery.

Derek Knox
67 Posted 22/04/2019 at 16:30:31
Sorry, in addition there was also Mike Owen, who stayed till fairly late, so sorry Mike for leaving you out!

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