We have just all had the BEST time ever in Cambridge - with the best people in the world - we have laughed and hugged and kissed and talked and none of us wanted to come home! (Libby Gausden Chisman)
Undoubtedly the best, friendliest, most lively and most accurate Syd Barrett group on Facebook is Birdie Hop.
It is the equivalent of Eternal Isolation's Late Night forum that, let's not be fussy about that, has suffered a lot from Facebook's ever-groping octopus tentacles. A person (m/f) with a critical mind could add that Facebook is shallow and volatile, that any post older than three days tends to disappear in a bottomless pit never to be found again and that, to the Reverend's mind, there is continuous repetition and proportionally it can get a bit boring.
But Birdie Hop has an audience. And people who have an audience ought to be heard. There is no point in constantly hammering that Betamax is the better recording system when VHS has conquered the world. Now there's a comparison that seems to be fruitless today and quite opaque for the young people among us.
Birdie Hop is a spirited place and like Late Night at its peak period it is the village pub. People come and go, friendships are made (and sometimes lost) and scarcely hidden love affairs happen, with snogging outside in the garden under the cherry tree.
But all this happens in the relatively safe environment of cyberspace. In September of last year the idea was uttered, among Birdie Hop members, to meet and greet in Cambridge. (The Holy Igquisiton has vainly tried to find that post back on Facebook, while on a forum it would take about a minute, perhaps somebody should call the NSA.)
We all have seen this happen before really, people saying 'let's meet', but when push comes to a shove, nothing happens. But Birdie Hop has an excellent set of administrators, not only they are friendly, beautiful and intelligent but they can be bloody effective as well.
Alexander the Great
Alexander made it his mission to make this happen, immediately a date was pinpointed (14 to 16 June 2013) and Mick Brown was kindly asked to act as Birdie's local liaison officer. The bandwagon started rolling and an I Spy Syd in Cambridge tour (with a bus) was organised through the capable hands of Warren 'Bear' Dosanjh. In March of this year Alexander travelled to Cambridge to tie the loose ends (and test the quality of the local beer) and from then on it was a restless wait for the day to come.
Here we go. (Underneath text largely taken from Alexander & Warren's tour program.)
Friday 14 June 2013
An evening at the Cambridge Blue on Gwydir Street: a totally real ale pub with the best selection of (Belgian!) ales in Cambridge plus pub grub and a large beer garden.
Saturday 15 June 2013
09.30 Meet at Le Gros Franck for breakfast and to buy a take-away lunch from a fantastic choice of international dishes, 57 Hills Road.
10.00 Botanical Gardens, where the actual tour started. Unfortunately they had to chase a bum away who had been sleeping on Syd's bench.
10.30 Pick-up by coach at the main entrance of the Botanical Gardens in Bateman Street.
183 Hills Road, Syd's house.
The Cambridgeshire High School for Boys (now the Hills Road Sixth Form College), where Syd, Roger Waters, Bob 'Rado' Klose and Storm Thorgerson studied.
Morley Primary Junior School where Mary Waters taught her son and Syd.
The Friends Meeting House on Hartington Grove, where Geoff Mott & The Mottoes played their one and only gig.
6 St. Margaret's Square, where Syd last lived after moving back to Cambridge.
Cherry Hinton Chalk Pits where some Birdie Hop members did a bizarre reenactment of the Syd's First Trip movie.
Grantchester Meadows: lunch stop with a pint (BYO) from the Blue Ball pub opposite.
Walk on the meadows...
And a river of green is sliding unseen beneath the trees
Laughing as it passes through the endless summer
Making for the sea.
...and back on the bus at David and Peter Gilmour's house, 109 Grantchester Meadows.
City walk (Corn Exchange, Union Cellar, King´s College, Market Square etc..)
18.30: meet at the Geldart for dinner and drinks.
Sunday 16 June 2013
Informal meet and goodbye greet at the Earl of Derby, 129 Hills Road for a full English breakfast from 8.30 in the morning or lunch from 12.00 for those who couldn't get out of bed. Unfortunately nobody seemed fit enough to take any pictures or wanted their pictures to be taken!
Be a part of the legend!
Why don't you join Birdie Hop, not only you'll be able to see all the pictures of this amazing journey, but you'll meet a bunch of friendly, sexy people!
The list of attendees of the 2013 meeting not only had the best Birdies around but also reads like a Cambridge Mafia wet dream: Libby Gausden Chisman, Neil Chisman, Jenny Spires, Viv Brans, Eva Wijkniet, Sven Wijkniet, Dave "Dean" Parker, Mrs. Parker, Vic Singh, Brian Wernham, Mick Brown, Peter Gilmour, Mary Cosco, Antonio (Tio Junior), Mario von Barrett (González), Fernando Lanzilotto, Giulio Bonfissuto, Hazel (Libby´s school-friend), George Marshall (school-friend of Syd and Roger Waters who happened to be drinking in the Blue Ball when the gang arrived), Gary Hill, Stephen Pyle (only Friday afternoon, afterwards he had to run a street fest), Warren Dosanjh (tour guide), Alexander P. Hoffmann (host)...
Eva Wijkniet: Warren was the best tourguide and took us to the best pubs in Cambridge. Great guy to talk to and we have to thank him massively for the effort he made for us.
Brian Wernham: What a great day in Cambridge doing lots of Syd stuff, meeting some of Syd's old friends, Peter Gilmour and meeting some wonderful Syd fans as well!
Warren Dosanjh: I have guided nearly all Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett tours in Cambridge since 2006. But this was the best and most extraordinary ever.
Libby Gausden Chisman: too exhausted to tell you atm - I have lost my voice due to over talking and over laughing and over kissing and hugging - it was just the best time evah!
A 'many thanks' line to end this article would merely repeat the people who are all cited above, but let's have an exception and thank the most extraordinary person who wrote the most peculiar kind of tunes.
Many thanks to Roger Keith 'Syd' Barrett, for making this all happen and for creating friends for a lifetime.
See you in 2015...
Update 03 01 2014: Mick Brown made a video of the event that we
forgot all about, so - with over a half year's delay - here it is.
Update 16 06 2014: The copyright gestapo censored Mick Brown's original movie, so a second version was uploaded with an excellent soundtrack by Rich Hall (taken from his Birdie Hop and the Sydiots record).
Many thanks to: Alexander P. HB.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥
A second Birdie Hop meeting took place in 2015: Iggy Rose in Cambridge.