Proposal: ABUG London and International

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lazarusr
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Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby lazarusr » Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:46 pm

Looking at my diary and noticing that it is still a long time until ABUG Cambridge and following the collapse of the proposed TechSat in the Netherlands, I was wondering if there is room in the annual fixture calendar for another event.

Having thought about this, I was wondering whether there would be any interest in a 'London and International' event based at Heathrow. I know that Heathrow isn't that far from Cambridge, but it is far enough that it may encourage some more people based in the West Country and South Wales to make the trip. It would also be supremely convenient for people coming from overseas.

I have not looked into anything yet, but there are clearly loads of potential venues in and around Heathrow and I am sure there will be one which meets our needs and budget. Indeed, it might be possible to find somewhere a little larger if there is sufficient interest.

Let me know what you think.

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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby RobC » Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:52 pm

I'd definitely be keen on something around Heathrow as it's an easy run from South Wales.

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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby tricky » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:05 pm

I'd be up for that, is the RiscOS venue anywhere near by?
I'm not suggesting it, but it is about the only place I go that is inside the M25.

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lazarusr
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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby lazarusr » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:12 pm

tricky wrote:I'd be up for that, is the RiscOS venue anywhere near by?
I'm not suggesting it, but it is about the only place I go that is inside the M25.

The RISC OS London Show is at the St Giles Feltham which is very near the Airport. Certainly a venue worth checking out if there is sufficient interest. I may speak to Bryan about it.

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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby Arcadian » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:13 pm

Hi, I think it would be great to see a 'true' Southern ABug weekender added to the Calendar - in addition to the Cambridge ABugs of course rather than instead of it - as I appreciate that Cambridge still isn't local if you're in London or further South.

In terms of the Calendar there have been some developments regarding future ABugs over the past few days. Myself and Simon (Sydney) met up in Newcastle on Monday and after speaking with Alex (Leicester ABug organiser) we tentatively planned the following...

As the November time frame doesn't really suit Simon at all (who obviously organises the Northern ABugs) instead of running another ABug Leicester in the summer (which was the original plan) we were going to swap this for a Northern meetup on the August bank holiday weekend. ABug Leicester would take the Northern spot on the usual November weekend i.e. 17/18/19 November and then another ABug North would run at the end of January.

But I should stress that no venues have been booked as of yet so if we need to do some jiggling in order to allow the birth of a London weekender then that shouldn't be a problem.

Regarding locations, when I Iooked at the Stardot members 'map' it always struck me that Basingstoke seemed to be a very central location in terms of proximity to a lot of Southern members. I know there are a few Country style hotels in the area (with cheap function rooms) so I'd be interested to hear what others think! Obviously Heathrow area would be more suitable for international attendees, mind. (The St Giles hotel has a smaller room opposite the suite that ROUGOL use for the Southern show, but from what I remember from when I enquired a couple of years ago it was pretty expensive).
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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby tricky » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:19 pm

I still fancy the computer museum at Bletchly park, where we did the been repairs, and not just because I am closest. I'm not volunteering though as it would be the beeb's 50th before I got around to organising it.

PS Basingstoke looks OK.

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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby Prime » Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:28 am

I think either Heathrow or Basingstoke would be doable for me coming from Coventry so happy with either.

Attendence would of course depend on not being on holiday (end of June) or at another event :) Due mostly to not having mastered the art of being in two places at one time......Normal August and November dates are normally fine however.

Cheers.

Phill.

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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby kieranhj » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:05 pm

I would definitely come to an ABUG south event. Basingstoke would certainly work. Heathrow is a good location from a travel logistics POV, especially if we want to encourage international participants, but most of the areas around there are pretty grotty (compared to the nice rural pub venue of ABUG Midlands at least!)
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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby kieranhj » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:06 pm

tricky wrote:I still fancy the computer museum at Bletchly park, where we did the been repairs, and not just because I am closest. I'm not volunteering though as it would be the beeb's 50th before I got around to organising it.

Yes, Bletchley Park would be a nice dual-purpose location but it's not ~that~ much further up the M1 to Leicester. Would they be as amenable to an ABUG event compared with the CCH folks in Cambridge?
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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby helpful » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:19 am

Arcadian wrote:Hi, I think it would be great to see a 'true' Southern ABug weekender added to the Calendar - in addition to the Cambridge ABugs of course rather than instead of it - as I appreciate that Cambridge still isn't local if you're in London or further South.

Well I'd say that Cambridge is pretty local to London. Nice fast train link :-)

Regarding locations, when I Iooked at the Stardot members 'map' it always struck me that Basingstoke seemed to be a very central location in terms of proximity to a lot of Southern members.

Not a bad suggestion at all, reasonably central, and also a fast train from London!

Obviously Heathrow area would be more suitable for international attendees, mind. (The St Giles hotel has a smaller room opposite the suite that ROUGOL use for the Southern show, but from what I remember from when I enquired a couple of years ago it was pretty expensive).

To hire just one of the side rooms used by the ROUGOL show in the St Giles for a weekend (Fri-Sun) would cost almost a grand, and the room opposite is more expensive :-( So probably a non-starter, but let me know if you want me to enquire to see if a deal could be done.

One thing though, try to keep the date of any Southern ABUG away from the London Show date (*plug* 28th October). After many years of trying, and with the help of Jason, Tricky and co, I think last year we finally got the Beeb section up to speed at the show, so it would be a shame to lose that now by putting two events too close together.

Bryan.
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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby Arcadian » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:54 am

From what I recall reading, when some of the guys on here were last looking into running at ABug at Bletchley Park, TNMOC were not open to the idea of opening late on the Friday / Saturday (which to me is a major component of the gatherings) so I think we're best off sticking with CFCH for Southern Museum ABugs IMHO.

And yes, I definitely agree with Bryan in that any Southern ABug should be as far away from late October as possible in order to safeguard the 8-bit presence at ROLS! :)
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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby lazarusr » Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:57 pm

Arcadian wrote:And yes, I definitely agree with Bryan in that any Southern ABug should be as far away from late October as possible in order to safeguard the 8-bit presence at ROLS! :)

My suggestion was March.

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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby Arcadian » Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:30 pm

Ok, yep March would be good - but we might want to look at moving ABug Cambridge away from May next year (assuming Jason F is still happy to host) otherwise you'd have two Southern ABugs back-back.

So the potential calendar for 2017-18 could look like this:

2017
May: ABug South (Cambridge)
Summer: ABug North (Bolton)
November: ABug Midlands (Leicester)

2018
January: ABug North
February: RISC OS SW Show
March: ABug South (London/Heathrow, Basingstoke etc)
April: Wakefield RISC OS Show
May: ABug Midlands (Leicester)
Summer: ABug South (Cambridge)
October: RISC OS London Show
November: ABug Midlands (Leicester)
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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby Arcadian » Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:32 pm

Oh, just realised do you mean March 2018 or March (as in next month? :shock:).
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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby lazarusr » Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:39 pm

Arcadian wrote:Oh, just realised do you mean March 2018 or March (as in next month? :shock:).

I am happy to volunteer to help with the organisation of this one. But if it is to be next month, I'd have to quit my job to find sufficient time. So I think 2018 was more what I had in mind.

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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby Arcadian » Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:40 pm

Phew! ;)
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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby 1024MAK » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:00 pm

lazarusr wrote:
Arcadian wrote:Oh, just realised do you mean March 2018 or March (as in next month? :shock:).

I am happy to volunteer to help with the organisation of this one. But if it is to be next month, I'd have to quit my job to find sufficient time. So I think 2018 was more what I had in mind.

Arcadian wrote:Phew! ;)

:lol: :lol: :lol:

It would be good to have a Southern ABUG :D

Mark
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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby BitWise » Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:39 pm

How big a room would you need for an ABUG South Meeting?
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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby Arcadian » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:13 pm

Regarding locations, when I Iooked at the Stardot members 'map' it always struck me that Basingstoke seemed to be a very central location in terms of proximity to a lot of Southern members.

Not a bad suggestion at all, reasonably central, and also a fast train from London!


Obviously Heathrow area would be more suitable for international attendees, mind. (The St Giles hotel has a smaller room opposite the suite that ROUGOL use for the Southern show, but from what I remember from when I enquired a couple of years ago it was pretty expensive).

To hire just one of the side rooms used by the ROUGOL show in the St Giles for a weekend (Fri-Sun) would cost almost a grand, and the room opposite is more expensive :-(


Ok, with the above in mind and to start the ball rolling, I've just spoken with the Basingstoke Country Hotel with regards to the possibility of staging a user group meet in Spring 2018.

I haven't visited myself but it's been on my radar for a number of years (it used to be part of the Barcelo chain, then Puma now it's Britannia). Obviously it's a country hotel with everything we need on-site (conference room, bedrooms, bar, restaurant etc) which should put us in good stead for replicating the formula that has worked so well in Halifax and Leicestershire.

A very large room is available (ground floor, close to parking/loading doors) at a price that is within our normal budget. The dimensions are 30m x 9m which equates to a stonking 263sq m ... so several times bigger than any room we've used before, which means that we shouldn't have to limit capacity (as the last few events have filled up well in advance). It should also mean that everybody could get one table each if they wanted!

They're going to send me photos / more information next week (including options for room / dining packages e.g. Saturday afternoon buffet) so I'll post details to this thread when I receive them. I've just checked booking.com and weekend rooms are available for around £45/night in the spring - and I believe Britannia always guarantee the lowest prices if you book via themselves too.

Robert I'll forward you the email I've just sent them and if this turns out to be a venue that you/others are happy to go with, you could take over liaison with the hotel! :)

Edit: post updated with a few pics I found on the web.
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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby lazarusr » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:57 pm

Sounds like a plan. It's only about an hour from where I live, so I should be able to go and have a recce at some stage.

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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby kieranhj » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:00 pm

lazarusr wrote:Sounds like a plan. It's only about an hour from where I live, so I should be able to go and have a recce at some stage.

Nice venue. Turns out it's < 30 mins from me so let me know when you're doing a recce - happy to come along for a second opinion and help with organisation & logistics.
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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby ThomasAdam » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:55 pm

Hi,

I'd happily go to Basingstoke (from Southampton, not far at all) -- but I'd be subject to the trains to get there.

Would be nice to meet some of you, and to say: "Hello". :)

If you need help organising anything, let me know. Would be happy to help in any way I can.

Kindly,
Thomas

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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby lazarusr » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:52 pm

kieranhj wrote:Turns out it's < 30 mins from me so let me know when you're doing a recce - happy to come along for a second opinion and help with organisation & logistics.

Thanks! That would be cool. I'll keep you in the loop. :D

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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby helpful » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:45 am


Can they be prosecuted under the trade description act? Basingstoke my arse, it's miles away!

It is actually nearer Hook, about 1.5 miles away. Much slower to get to by train :-(

Bryan.
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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby kieranhj » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:56 am

helpful wrote:Can they be prosecuted under the trade description act? Basingstoke my arse, it's miles away!

It is actually nearer Hook, about 1.5 miles away. Much slower to get to by train :-(

Bryan.

That is a fair point - although hard to bring kit by train! It's very easy to get to by car from the M3 at J5. Might be worth doing a poll as to how many people would be more likely to attend if they could travel by train? If the numbers are modest I'm sure we can set up some taxi runs to Hook/Basingstoke to pick up a few folks between us. I'd certainly be happy to do that.
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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby ThomasAdam » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:36 pm

kieranhj wrote:
helpful wrote:Can they be prosecuted under the trade description act? Basingstoke my arse, it's miles away!

It is actually nearer Hook, about 1.5 miles away. Much slower to get to by train :-(

Bryan.

That is a fair point - although hard to bring kit by train! It's very easy to get to by car from the M3 at J5. Might be worth doing a poll as to how many people would be more likely to attend if they could travel by train? If the numbers are modest I'm sure we can set up some taxi runs to Hook/Basingstoke to pick up a few folks between us. I'd certainly be happy to do that.


I can only travel by train, and would be bringing my laptop as the only bit of equipment.

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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby BitWise » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:11 pm

I live in Reading and could help with transport to/from the station for a few people.
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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby Scoobyatgb » Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:45 pm

A show near Heathrow would be good

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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby sixxdog_uk » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:40 pm

I'm a but of an ABUG slut and will go anywhere , so count me in. :)

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Re: Proposal: ABUG London and International

Postby 1024MAK » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:56 pm

sixxdog_uk wrote:I'm a but of an ABUG slut and will go anywhere , so count me in. :)

:lol: ROTFLMAO :lol:

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