This is the authorised version of the Angel, Glemsford, "visit" to Belgium. October 17 - 19, 2003.

I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the account.

If in doubt, blame Kevin, who also took the photos.

31 of us gathered at The Angel at 6 a.m. on Friday 17 October for bacon sandwiches and refreshments.

Assembly at The Angel
A life on the ocean ...

The coach picked us up at 7a.m.. After picking up more passengers from Braintree and Southminster we headed for Dover. Thank you to P & O ferries for 3 for 2 bottles of Grolsch.

We finally got to our hotel in Ostende at about 4 p.m., b.m.t. Our first casualty was Sue Thompson who twisted her ankle between the coach and the short walk to the hotel (bless).

After a quick check-in we all met in the hotel bar before going out. After frequenting numerous bars, clubs and burger stalls, the group also thinning out along the way, we all gathered in the club called "Dreams" (wow!). Enough said about that.

On returning to the hotel, more casualties! The landlord from Southminster had fallen and dislocated his shoulder and cracked a few ribs. Plus one of his group had "done a Beckham" (broken toe).

We're so glad

Saturday 18. After having a full Irish breakfast in the Dingle's Irish bar, we headed for Sluis in Holland. Just another drinking opportunity, apart from numerous s*x shops and something about w**d, but nothing to do with the Flower Pot Men. We did see the start of the England v South Africa.

We just got back to Ostende to see the last 15 minutes in the Dingle's bar - well done England. Then to the beer festival . Great atmosphere! Good beer, hot-dogs o.k., but don't have the mustard (strong). Everyone who made it to the festival had a wonderful time.

They call me Mr Pitiful

After getting back to Ostende. Something about Dreams

Sunday 19. Thank you to the couple at Dingle's bar for opening an hour early to serve our Irish breakfast, because the coach was picking us up early. On the way to the ferry we stopped at the Venice of Belgium, Bruges. The bar was excellent (Jupiler) then the coach picked us up. 3 for 2 on the ferry (keep it up P & O)

Exotic tastes, these Belgians

After dropping the boys from Southminster (what a great bunch of guys, thanks for the entertainment - see you on the 17th Jan next year, Alex) and Braintree (where did they go all weekend?), the coach broke down just outside Braintree! We finally crawled into Glemsford at 9.30 p.m.

Let it be said, however, that I am not totally convinced by the landlord's tale. Apart from the fact that he can clearly be seen drinking Lemsip and Coke, which proves that he was very ill, a large number of his photos seem to suggest that the "Beer Festival" story was just a cover to infiltrate Glemsford's Secret Agent into the corridors of the European Machine in Brussels.
Just consider how many times one face stands out from the crowd.
This is clearly our agent.
Stand Up, Newman Ford.

Here, for instance, we meet our brave hero living up to his nickname "Four Lagers Ford", and proving that, when Stella is around, nothing can put him off his stroke.

Reduced to a half
Nothing beats an early start

And we can detect him catching up on his background reading and indulging in diplomatic conversation

Who's the brains around here?

He also proved the master
of all social situations.

And the master of disguise.

I rest my case

Page maintained by Stephen Clarke, 09 November 2005 Copyright(c) . Created: 24/11/2003 Updated: 24/11/2003