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Latest comment: 2 months ago by Lajmmoore in topic Visitor from New Zealand

Location of the London Meetup[edit]

If getting the cheapest booze in Britain is the only important criteria, then those that have this as their goal in life could try sitting on the benches outside the nearest Tesco Metro, and having the super benefit of cider for under £2/litre and the bonus of best quality European beer for £3/litre. Due to their xenophobic pro-NoDealBrexit "strategy", European drinks are now banned from Weatherspoons. The rest of us that are more interested in Wikimedia projects rather than alcohol, could meet in the safe space of any of the many thousands of women friendly, LGBT+ friendly, non-English friendly, no-Brexit politics London cafe with free WiFi. Perhaps one that sells fresh ground Italian coffee and French or Viennese traditional patisserie. -- (talk) 13:47, 22 January 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • I have to say I rather agree with here. It's really unrealistic to demand that any venue used will have been for less than £4. The only company that cheap is Wetherspoons, so demanding cheap beer as the main criteria naturally will reduce the possible places to 'a branch of Wetherspoons'. What with the added xenophobia Mr Martin is introducing by banning all European wines, I'm also reluctant to come to another event here. There are many other places with good wifi, alcohol and wheelchair access. For example:
- Bars in this list like Timber Yard (Old Street/covent garden).
- The Royal Festival Hall
- The Google Campus (not totally sure about alcohol in this case) - see this list.
- Near Waterloo there's also bars like Scooter Cafe and The Steam Engine pub.
I think that this move to another venue, which is clearly needed, is more of a case of will than anything else. If people really want to find another venue, then they will. But what I worry is that the group is missing out on lots of other people who could come because people are unwilling to change the habit of a lifetime. I personally think that the most problematic thing about the current venue is that it is not encouraging women to attend. I recently saw an email thread where someone in Oxford inquired about Wikipedia meetups, but then refused to go to the Oxford one which is also held in a Wetherspoons, I think. So I think the group really has to make a decision about this, and think outside of the box if necessary. However, if the number one Red Line obstructing a deal is the need for very cheap beer, then I think that we're really facing a No Deal scenario, and the group is facing a disastrous cliff edge. :)--Jwslubbock (talk) 13:09, 22 January 2019 (UTC)Reply

As discussed previously, the essential requirements for a London meetup are a venue that is:

  • Large enough and with enough available space to cater for the number of people we get
  • Flexible enough to cope with a group that changes from 2-3 people to 30 people and back again over the course of the event
  • Quiet enough (volume) so that people can have a conversation
  • Centrally located and within easy reach of at least one station
  • Accessible
  • Family friendly
  • Open on a Sunday lunchtime, afternoon and evening every month.

Highly desirable requirements are:

  • Serves food of at least reasonable quality at reasonable prices
  • Serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks at reasonable prices, ideally a wide selection of both
  • Free wifi

On all of the occasions this has been discussed, not one person has been able to suggest any non-Weatherpsoons venue that meets all the essential criteria, let alone the desirable ones too. The only pubs other than the Penderel's Oak that I know of that comes close are a Weatherspoons in Acton, a Weatherspoons in Woolwich and an (I think) independent pub in Hackney - none of which are easily accessible to people from other parts of London, let alone those who come from further afield. Looking at the ones you mention: The Timber Yard makes no mention of food and drink prices but implies that we would need to book a room for £50 for the volume of people we attract; The Royal Festival Hall bar in my experience is crowded and noisy (I think it's expensive too, but I'm less certain of that); the Google campus appears to be for members only and I'm uncertain about food or alcohol; Scooter Bar is uniformly described as "little" and it appears to have an inflexible layout designed for couples and small groups. The Steam Engine Pub's website doesn't give me enough information to say whether it is suitable or not, it would need somebody familiar with the London meetups to visit and report back. This isn't to say that there is one, but until somebody actually finds one (not just a theoretical one, or one you've heard of that might be alright when there ins't football on TV) you will never get consensus to change the venue. To continue the analogy with the EU - It's up to those who want to leave to formulate a plan for doing so and until you can convince me that the alternative is at least as good as what we have now then I'm going to vote remain. Thryduulf (talk: meta · en.wp · wikidata) 00:23, 30 January 2019 (UTC)Reply

Nobody has to convince you, it is not a question of what you want to believe. This is a pro Brexit unsafe space. Those of us who do not want to support Tim Martin's fake news campaign will not be there. -- (talk) 07:49, 30 January 2019 (UTC)Reply
If you want to start an alternative meet then no you don't need to convince me or anyone else of anything. If you want to move the existing meet then you do need to convince those people who currently attend it that an alternative would be at least equally as good (just because a space is better for you personally doesn't mean it is suitable for everybody - I would be excluded by a venue without step-free access for example and there are several people who would be excluded by a crowded venue). Both options are equally valid, but you need to be clear about what you are trying. Thryduulf (talk: meta · en.wp · wikidata) 09:21, 31 January 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • I'm thinking we should create a central discussion about this, as it gets mentioned every couple of months, and then forgotten about. Maybe Talk:Meetup/London would be a good place to centralise the venue discussion? FWIW, I agree that Wikimedia is NPOV whereas Wetherspoons are not, would be open to another pub venue if possible. Joseph2302 (talk) 13:57, 30 January 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • Thank you Joseph, I moved it here as you suggested as it was overwhelming the sign-up page. Philafrenzy (talk) 06:32, 31 January 2019 (UTC)Reply

I'm absolutely positive that the people who serve us drinks and cook the food in the pub are not hardcore Brexiteers and would wince at some of the drivel Tim Martin comes up with. This conversation reminds me of an old episode of Have I Got News For You, where Louise Mensch made some comment around "those people were protesting against captalism, then had a coffee in Starbucks!", and Ian Hislop retorting that, "we're not going to return to bartering in the stone age!" Some of my best friends voted leave (although they pretty much universally condemn the present implementation of it) and people who voted leave because they wanted £350m a week extra on the NHS should not be condemned for being thick. Fae, would it placate you if I turned up with a roll of "Bollocks to Brexit" stickers? Ritchie333 (talk) 17:26, 31 January 2019 (UTC)Reply

If anything that demonstrates why it's not an appropriately welcoming and neutral venue for a wikimeet.
The Wetherspoons pro-Brexit campaign is synonymous with fake news, and it is a company position not just that of Tim Martin as an individual. As Wikimedians we are committed to the fair presentation and access to factual information for everyone on the planet. Supporting a company that invests in, and promotes, fake news, by choosing to spend our money there, is hypocrisy. -- (talk) 17:52, 31 January 2019 (UTC)Reply
If I boycotted every business which had questionable policies or practices then I couldn't buy anything from anyone. I would also be permanently out of work. --Redrose64 (talk; at English Wikipedia) 20:55, 31 January 2019 (UTC)Reply
Do you draw the line at anything, or do you just never care who is abused or damaged by the products or services you buy? -- (talk) 12:37, 3 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
Are there any ethically-clean organisations? Many claim to be: and then get exposed. I don't have time to invesigate everybody. --Redrose64 (talk; at English Wikipedia) 14:27, 8 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • Wikipedia is a neutral organisation. Refusing to meet in a particular place because it is allegedly a pro Brexit unsafe space would be the very opposite of neutrality. The Penderel's Oak ticks all the boxes we need for a Meetup, and I would Oppose any proposal to move to alternatives unless they were also sufficiently central, quiet, cheap, happy to let us occupy a whole section of the pub without buying that much, and accessible, as the PO is. Amakuru (talk) 10:44, 1 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • I feel the opposite way to Amakuru. Wikipedia/Wikimedia is a neutral organisation. But Wetherspoons is the only pub chain I know that prints a magazine, the front page of which is almost always politically POV. And that POV bias is on almost every table. Regardless of people's personal political opinions, going to a pub which pushes its POV agenda is questionable. If we could find another suitable (per most of the requirements above) pub, we should at least try that in my opinion. Joseph2302 (talk) 13:41, 1 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • In terms of the options suggested, [1] are mostly coffee bars, so not sure how much they'd appeal to the current attendees (including myself). [2] similar, maybe some of those could work. RFH is expensive and not much space every time I've been there. As a venue, Wetherspoons works well because it has a range of food/drink options so people can eat/drink as much/little as they want (including they're happy if some people buy almost nothing). And whilst we want to encourage new people, we also don't want to disenfranchise the current regulars. Joseph2302 (talk) 13:47, 1 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • I don’t think we should be selecting venues purely on the basis of the owner's politics, particularly when they have a perfect right to express their view and others to rebut it, as they have. Where does it stop? What about abortion, gay marriage, animal rights and other controversial topics? Are we to assess venues according to their stance on those issues? How will we know? Does it make a difference if they keep their opinions to themselves or speak up? What is our view on these topics anyway? There are more than a few Brexiteers at the meetup and since we spend a lot of time arguing I suspect there are many similar cleavages amongst our ranks on other controversial topics. Philafrenzy (talk) 12:07, 3 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
    This is not "the owner's politics", it is Wetherspoons' politics which they have actively defended as an organization.
    Tim Martin's trip around 100 Wetherspoons pubs is supported by Wetherspoons, Google it. The idea that these events are for any healthy discussion is laughable, this is a pure radical No Deal Brexit propaganda campaign.
    Here's a quote from the Irish Examiner this week:
    "The pub was packed with men mostly, quite a lot of them with pints. Some local Lib Dems (Liberal Democrats) came to ambush and disrupt it somewhat, and it all got very, very testy, with people on the brink of violence on occasion.
    "It was quite a thing to see. I've never seen people go hammer and tongs on trade tariffs before they have even had lunch. It was a bit much, but it was fascinating."
    "... It's quite male quite testosteroney sentiments I guess I felt quite uncomfortable in that pub.
    You may personally feel happy having a wikimeet in venue that has been deliberately turned into a testosterony propaganda machine, with No Deal propaganda on every table, but don't put a "Wikimedia" label on it, that would be misuse of our brand.
    P.S. Factcheck: Tim Martin is not "the owner", he is the CEO and holds a quarter share of Wetherspoons. -- (talk) 12:28, 3 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • It's interesting to look back at the earliest London meetups where it appears that a variety of venues were tried:
    London 1 - St James's Park (cafe), The Lord Moon of the Mall (pub), Wagamama (restaurant)
    London 2 - Penderel's Oak
    London 3 - The Cock Tavern, Great Portland Street. That's a Samuel Smith pub and note that they have a civility policy!
    London 4 - Archery Tavern, Bayswater (now closed)
It would be good to try some other places again but I agree that we should hold onto the current venue as the primary core unless and until there's clearly a better choice. To explore alternatives, it would be sensible to start with them as extras, as happened at the first event. This coming Sunday, 10 February 2019, I propose to start at Pearl Liang near Paddington at noon. It's the Chinese New Year and dim sum snacks would be thematic. It's best to book, so get in touch if you want to join me and my partner. After brunch, we will move onto Chinatown, where the new year will be celebrated, and the main meeting in Holborn. Andrew D. (talk) 18:24, 4 February 2019 (UTC)Reply


I'm thinking aloud here, but since we have London and Oxford meets, has anyone thought about an Ashford one? The Glass House is about 5-10 minutes' walk from Ashford International station (35 minutes from St Pancras), round the corner from the bus station and several car parks (that are free on Sundays), does a very nice Curious IPA (yum), other beers, wines, coffees and food, and runs other social activities (such as kid's pantomimes and art workshops). Last week, I was chatting to a guy in there about the pros and cons of C programming, so we probably fit right in! And it's nothing to do with Wetherspoons at all. ClemRutter, do you fancy checking it out and getting a second opinion? Ritchie333 (talk) 17:47, 7 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

More meetups are good and you don't need anybody's permission to organise one. You just need a venue, a date and publicity (Redrose64 is good at organising the on-wiki side of that). If you don't have a banner then WMUK should be able to lend you one (pinging User:Jwslubbock for confirmation) - these can help newcomers spot you. Thryduulf (talk: meta · en.wp · wikidata) 15:44, 8 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

June Meetup?[edit]

Just wondering, is there going to be a June (virtual) London meetup on 14 June? The monthly page for it is usually up by now, but I didn't know if we were being superceded by the UK-wide WMF meetup? Pinging the regular organisers: @WereSpielChequers and The wub: Joseph2302 (talk) 16:25, 3 June 2020 (UTC)Reply

@Joseph2302: Sorry for the late creation, wasn't sure if I would be able to host on 14 June but have now confirmed that I can. Just created the page at Meetup/London/155, mass pinged everyone who attended the last two, and will go set up a watchlist notice on en.wikipedia now. the wub "?!" 13:12, 6 June 2020 (UTC)Reply

January 2022[edit]

The second Sunday of the month is 9th January. I can see no reference that the meeting isn't happening or that it is? Will it be happening indoors at the Penderels or outdoors nearby? As I am indefinitely blocked there are a limited number forums open to me. I would suggest that an item for discussion should be 'Editor Retention and the defacto change of culture from co-operation to nit-picking.' ClemRutter (talk) 01:23, 8 January 2022 (UTC) @WereSpielChequers and The wub:Reply

@ClemRutter, WereSpielChequers, The wub, and Philafrenzy: I am not available to meet up tomorrow, and presumably as you say there isn't one scheduled, but I very much hope the London in-person meetups start up again soon. I didn't manage to make one in the autumn, but in general I will be up for coming to them when time permits! Amakuru (talk) 23:03, 8 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
I'm not available tomorrow either. Can't see us doing anything indoors until the current covid wave subsides, nor outdoors until the weather warms up a bit. I will try and schedule another virtual meetup soon though. the wub "?!" 00:41, 9 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
Having attended two very cold stationary protests in Westminster- I have invested in some new clothing (polar standard) so I am quite happy to sit outside. We do need something in February.ClemRutter (talk) 12:07, 9 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
@ClemRutter @Amakuru @WereSpielChequers @Philafrenzy I've planned a virtual meetup for the evening of Thursday 20 January, as I think the move to weeknight ones has gone fairly well. the wub "?!" 23:08, 9 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
I may be free on the 20th and would be happy to join you if I can. Though I'm going to be a bit preoccupied with some real life stuff for the next four months. By the time that's over I'm hoping we'll have warm weather and maybe even a different COVID situation. WereSpielChequers (talk) 23:19, 9 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
Everybody dropped out of the last one so I didn't create a January page with infections in London as high as one in ten in the last few weeks. I think February is doubtful too but maybe March would work? Any brave person can create a Feb page if they think anyone will attend. Philafrenzy (talk) 00:52, 10 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
Looking at things from today's perspective, I'd be up for an indoor meeting in February assuming I'm not the only one. Thryduulf (talk: meta · en.wp · wikidata) 01:49, 10 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
I could probably make it and would be happy to turn up and chat. Pubs are still open at the moment, and it looks like the Omicron wave is already on a downward path. I might join the virtual one, but can't promise as Thursdays are often busy for me. Amakuru (talk) 16:42, 14 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
I will attempt to join you all on Thursday but I don't find online shebangs satisfactory. The value of the of face to face meetings is the parallel and side conversations. As everyone is aware I have been 'permanent blocked' by a hardworking but difficult editor. I see on her archive page that she has terminally upset another long term editor who was in the process of doing a complex cleanup on a site where he was a provisional expert. There is a lot on those pages that suggest discussion is needed- I can't see we can do that on a zoom call. ClemRutter (talk) 10:09, 16 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

February 2022[edit]

I looked in here to see what's planned and am not seeing anything. My impression is that the combination of drama and the pandemic have been a double-whammy. Anyway, my position is that I'm not at all scared of COVID now that the Omicron wave has broken. I have been to many comparable indoor events in recent weeks and so would consider going to this again too. My main reservation is that I'm not a big fan of the Penderell's Oak style of event as I prefer editathons with a focus on getting something done. But I am willing to come along for a chat to show willing. I'd probably combine the journey with a trip to a Chinese restaurant for some dim sum, especially as it's the Chinese New Year. Anyway, let's have a roll call: @ClemRutter, Johnbod, Amakuru, Thryduulf, WereSpielChequers, The wub, Joseph2302, Ritchie333, Philafrenzy, Edwardx, Mccapra, and Broichmore: Andrew D. (talk) 19:35, 6 February 2022 (UTC)Reply

Unfortunately I need to be more cautious than most people re COVID. Plus I have some real life distraction for the next three months that will eat into my availability between now and mid May. Hope to be back in circulation after that. WereSpielChequers (talk) 19:44, 6 February 2022 (UTC)Reply
Happy to meet up in the usual place or dim sum. Mccapra (talk) 20:49, 6 February 2022 (UTC)Reply
I'm happy to meet up, and in contrast to January, I've got very little booked this month so I'm generally available. Also pinging @Redrose64, @Serendipodous and @Geni. Thryduulf (talk: meta · en.wp · wikidata) 01:53, 7 February 2022 (UTC)Reply
The covid forecast isn't looking too bad at the moment. Any suggestions for time and place?Geni (talk) 05:06, 7 February 2022 (UTC)Reply
I'm happy to come along if I'm free on a particular date, probably not this month but possibly in March. The last couple of meet-ups have clashed with Remembrance or Christmas concerts I now have a hand in, but there aren't any of those for the foreseeable future. Ages ago, I speculated the idea of a Thanet "Jolly Boy's Outing" Meet, and checked out the Chapel pub / bookshop in Broadstairs I've mentioned before, but it doesn't do food. Still, I did spend the afternoon looking at a set of old 1980s Michelin touring map of France over a pint or two. Ritchie333 (talk) 08:14, 7 February 2022 (UTC)Reply
Annoyingly, I thought I had a clear calendar this coming weekend but now an errand has cropped up that is likely to keep me busy until at least 5pm. So realistically I'll probably have to defer until next month. Quite a shame, as I've really missed meeting Wikipedians in person. Amakuru (talk) 12:11, 7 February 2022 (UTC)Reply
In principle, I would be up for meeting. I'm busy this Sunday though. Joseph2302 (talk) 12:46, 7 February 2022 (UTC)Reply
Same here, I'm busy this Sunday. the wub "?!" 23:38, 8 February 2022 (UTC)Reply
I have kept the second Sunday of the month free. So that is 13th February- I assume (against my politics) that it will be in a central London Wetherspoons. Wikipedia wise I am fairly stymied until I am unblocked. We do have a fairly full agenda. We do have the issue of Diannaa to sort out, on her talk page I see I am not the only longterm editor who is inactive now after a run in with her aggressive criticism- and misunderstanding of the ethos of cooperation. A bigger fish that imho is Michael Gove who has cut and pasted Wikipedia text into his Levelling up white paper without giving attribution on the page or in the bibliography, then published the whole document under an OGV license. I am also interested with sharing with you what I have learned in Whitehall. I am sure that we could operate a Zoom from within the pub so the more Covid-worried could take part. ClemRutter (talk) 19:47, 7 February 2022 (UTC)Reply
It seems a bit late to create an "official" meetup now and only a few have said they will go (which they still can "unofficially"). I have created the page for 13 March. I wonder if this discussion should take place on Wikipedia rather than Meta, where people would more readily notice they have been pinged? Philafrenzy (talk) 10:31, 10 February 2022 (UTC)Reply
I agree that we don't have a quorum for a Feb meeting this Sunday so thanks for making a start on March.
Discussions should remain on Meta -- for one thing, Clem is blocked on the English Wikipedia, so this is a more friendly space. There's a notification preference for "Cross-wiki notifications" which will "Show notifications from other wikis". I have that ticked but I'm not sure whether that's the default setting. Andrew D. (talk) 11:07, 10 February 2022 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for starting the page for the March event, I've added it to the upcomming meetups template. Discussion should continue here as it is not an en.wp exclusive event, but there are ways of advertising this on en.wp (and other wikis) with geonotices. I don't know how to make them or whether (and if so where) consensus is needed but @Redrose64 has done them in the past iirc. Posts on noticeboards and talk pages are also a thing. Thryduulf (talk: meta · en.wp · wikidata) 11:49, 10 February 2022 (UTC)Reply
The page to edit is w:en:Wikipedia:Geonotice/list.json, and w:en:User:MusikBot II will broadcast it within 5 minutes. The last time that I added one was March 2020 and nobody else came along. --Redrose64 (talk; at English Wikipedia) 18:08, 10 February 2022 (UTC)Reply
I've queued up an en.wikipedia Geonotice to go live on 23 February, after the current one for Meetup/UK virtual/9 finishes. the wub "?!" 19:52, 11 February 2022 (UTC)Reply
I went to Pendrel's Oak on Sunday for the hell of it (I was doing a walk round London parks, it started raining, I fancied lunch) and there couldn't have been more than about 20 people in the entire pub - you could have socially distanced to one a table! Ritchie333 (talk) 10:48, 15 February 2022 (UTC)Reply

Visiting London from Aus[edit]

Hi London people - I'll be visiting from Australia in September and I'm always keen to make it to local meetups when I travel. I'll be in London 9-13 Sept so if there's a meetup in that window, I'll try and come along. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 00:38, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply

@Evolution and evolvability: Good news, the London meetups are on the second Sunday every month, so there should be one on 11th September. I expect it will be posted at Meetup/London/184 fairly soon. Hope to see you there! the wub "?!" 22:42, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply

Other South East Meetups[edit]

I'm still thinking of other venues to hold a meet-up, and I've always liked the idea of a "Meetup by the sea". The problem against that, is the typical pub that's comparable to the Pendrel's Oak, like the Mechanical Elephant in Margate, the Samuel Peto in Folkestone or the John Logie Baird in Hastings, aren't really somewhere I'd consider is good for a quiet chat about encyclopedia writing like Pendrel's is, or somewhere you could be confident of walking up and grabbing a table for 10, which is only really practical in Central London. I like the Coachworks in Ashford, because it's got a nice selection of food and beer, and is literally the other side of the road to Ashford International station, on the High Speed from St Pancras - but I can't exactly recommend Ashford as a "fun day out" unless looking at old train sheds and storage buildings is your "thing" (which it might well be, actually). As a complete alternative, I love spending an afternoon on a hot summer's day on the outside bar at Horatio's on Brighton Palace Pier, but again I'm not sure that'll easily cater for more than 4-5 people. As an alternative in Brighton, there's The Bright Helm on West Street, about 10 minutes' walk from the station. Anyway, plenty of food for thought there - any ideas? Ritchie333 (talk) 15:58, 11 April 2023 (UTC)Reply

Visitor from New Zealand[edit]

Hello folks! Siobhan Leachman, @Ambrosia10 is visiting London the last few days of July, first few days of August (pre-Wikimania) and is keen to meet up with UK-based Wiki-folks! I'm based in Leeds, so haven't made a London meet-up yet :( & Siobhan's vist won't fit with the 2nd Sunday schedule - but if I was to arrange something, would others be interested? Many thanks Lajmmoore (talk) 08:12, 8 March 2024 (UTC)Reply