LONDON GATHERING Friday 16th August to Sunday 18th August 2013 On the last few gatherings that we have had, the idea of a get-together in London has been brought up, but nothing ever materialised, probably because the consensus was that it would be far too expensive to put something together in the city, with the inflated cost of hotels etc. After a suggestion from Neil Souch to check out Travel Lodges, I found that providing a room is booked well in advance, they can be very affordable. So, after a few online conversations with Neil, and a few telephone conversations with Jon Butler, this would be a proposed plan for a London gathering. The venue would be the Travel Lodge at Tower Bridge. The price per person per night will be £38, providing booked in advance. More info can be found here: http://www.travelodge.co.uk/hotels/391/London-Central-Tower-Bridge-hotel I can’t believe that the hotel is going to provide 4 star accommodation, but the hotel is in a great location, with many of the local attractions within walking distance, or a very short tube ride away, such as St Katherine’s Dock, Borough Market, Tower Bridge, the South Bank, Tate Modern, the Millennium Bridge and St Pauls, and not forgetting Canary Wharf. Also, and importantly, there is a wonderful exhibition on up town, the Natural History Museum hosts Sebastiao Salgado’s first showing of his new body of work called “Genesis”. This will be a huge exhibition of some 250 images that have been eight years in the making, and London gets the first showing before it travels worldwide. The Exhibition is showing from April 11th to September 8th. More info here: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/temporary-exhibitions/salgado-genesis/index.html Those of you that are fortunate to spend time in the city will know that life is fast, and there is always little time to take in the surroundings, so this gathering will be the perfect opportunity to do just that. There is something truly magical about the city, and my hair on the back of my neck still stands on end when I cross the Thames, and look down river from one of the many bridges. We will also be very fortunate to be joined by Jon Butler who has a great knowledge of the area, and has offered to join me in planning a weekend to remember, with wonderful photo walks along the South Bank, great venues, with wonderful photo opportunities. A suggested itinerary could be as follows: Friday ~ Meet up in the Hotel for the usual social gathering, general chit chat and photo talk. Saturday ~ After breakfast we can be perhaps head towards St Katherine’s Dock, which is a beautiful part of London, spending a bit of time making photographs, then head over Tower Bridge to the South bank, and on to the Tate Modern, which is a wonderful building in itself, and makes for some great images. After a coffee or two, some more time can be spent making photographs along the South Bank, and then perhaps head over the Millennium Bridge towards St Pauls. Perhaps then make the short journey by tube to take in the Salgado exhibition, or one of the many exhibitions that may be showing locally at the time, perhaps in the OXO Tower. In the evening, a print share has been penciled in for around 7pm back at the hotel, along with the usual general chit chat, and of course we will all need to eat at some point! Sunday ~ This can be pretty much the same, perhaps heading to Canary Wharf, again a wonderfully photographic part of London, or it may be decided that this would be the best day for visiting the Salgado exhibition, whatever is decided, I am sure it will make for a great weekend. So, what do you think, fancy joining us? If so, here are a few things to remember………… Booking the hotel early is recommended. At present, the rates for the weekend of 16th/18th August are £38 a night. This would be non-returnable. If you wish to cover yourself in case of a cancellation, then your room will cost £70 a night (booking now), but is returnable up to noon on your day of arrival. You make your choice. The earlier you book, the less you pay. If you booked just prior to the gathering, a room would be about £87 per night, but if you book approximately..... 1 month before and it would be £70pn 6 weeks before and it would be £50pn 8 weeks before and it would be £46pn 10 weeks before and you would then pay the £38pn, so providing you book early June you will be getting the cheapest rates. It would not be advisable to travel in by car as there is no parking at the hotel, but there is a site nearby: The cost is £2 an Hour Monday to Saturday, and £2 on Sunday, so could work out rather expensive. The cost of the hotel room does not include breakfast, which will be £7.65 for an all you can eat breakfast, but this can be paid for at the time of booking for a saving of £1. It would be better for those that wish to take in the Salgado Exhibition to decide whether it will be visited on the Saturday, or the Sunday, as it is a ticketed exhibition, so will need to be booked in advance. It would be advisable to leave your tripod at home. It’s not illegal to take photographs in London, but it is illegal to block a public highway. You will be moved on. That said, I am sure that you would get away with it a little later in the day on the Riverside. Attending so far are Stoo Batchelor Jon Butler Neil Souch Barry Wilkinson BobF Possibly Maybe’s Bill Spears Mark Burley Leo Stehlik Paulc Traveling in for the day Paul Enters Alan Jones Tudor So what do you think? Come along and join us, even for just a day. Or if you wish, pop along to the hotel at 7pm on the Saturday for the print share, perhaps bringing some of your own along, or just to sit and relax and enjoy others, and join in with the chat. There is no prejudice as to what camera is hanging around your neck, or even if you only use an Iphone. This is a great opportunity to meet new faces, share in a wonderful location, and see some fabulous prints if you are still about for the print share. We would love to have you along. Stoo Batchelor P.S.....please do look at my online APUG gallery to see some images of past U.K Gatherings.