CO:LON:17 - Countdown in London 2017 (Saturday 6th May)

Discussion and announcements relating to unofficial Countdown competitions, held online or in real life. Observation, discussion, reflection, and other stuff ending in -ion.
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Jennifer Steadman
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CO:LON:17 - Countdown in London 2017 (Saturday 6th May)

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:55 am

-WHAT?-
With more than 70 Co-events under the community’s belt, you may have thought you’d seen and done everything… until now. Prepare for glitter, tiaras, #FashionWatch2k17 and aubergine emojis. And that’s just on me.

But for those of you with a less glittery constitution, fear not: all the normal Countdown stuff will take precedence. Everyone will play 6 games of 9 rounds, Lincoln style, after which the top 2 players will play each other in the 15-round grand final. There will be prizes – not just for the top 3, but for other achievements throughout the day, plus spot prizes. Not to mention all the FOCAL points you can pick up! And hopefully there’ll be lots of Countdowners, both new faces and old, who you can play against, socialise with and befriend. (For an idea of what Co-events are like, please have a look at http://www.focalcountdown.co.uk - there are plenty of pictures to see and reports/experiences available to read, plus FAQs and further resources!)

-WHERE?-
This will all be happening in London (as you may have gathered from the event title), making it the first Countdown tournament held there since 2014, and FOCAL's first ever event there. Whether you think our capital city is a historic, multicultural, creative and vibrant metropolis or a shithole full of shit twats who have a cereal café and pay £6 for a slice of toast, it’s kind of a big deal.

Specifically, it’ll be taking place in central London at a pub named The Blacksmith and The Toffeemaker, just five minutes’ walk from Angel tube station on the Northern Line, or within 45 minutes’ walk of most major London terminus stations - including King's Cross, Euston, London Bridge and Liverpool Street - if you’re feeling brave. The venue does very reasonably priced food (menu here: http://www.theblacksmithandthetoffeemaker.co.uk/food)

-WHEN?-
Doors will open at 11.30am with the draw being made at midday, which gives you plenty of time to travel up on the day, or have a lie-in if you’re nearby. We’ll be vacating the room at 6pm – the plan is to move into the main bar area afterwards.

-HOW MUCH?-
To ensure you can put more cash towards having a good time, entry is just £8. Send the money via PayPal to jennifer.steadman@rocketmail.com, or email focalcountdown@gmail.com to arrange alternative payment. (But PayPal would be easier.)

-STAYING OVER-
If you want to make a weekend of it – and you should, because it means more pub time with the Countdown #lads and #ladettes, and you get an opportunity to see all the good stuff London has to offer outside of the usual tourist traps! – you may notice that London accommodation is frighteningly expensive! Here are some websites where you may find a cheaper bed for the night.

- AIRBNB: Rent someone’s room or flat – but hurry, London’s a popular destination! http://tinyurl.com/colonairbnb
- COUCHSURFING: If you’re feeling brave, sign up and get the chance to stay on someone’s couch for free. Hosts get reviewed by guests, so you can stay safe by picking someone with good reviews! https://www.couchsurfing.com/
- HOSTELWORLD: Hire a dorm bed for the night if you’re a heavy sleeper and don’t mind sharing your space. http://tinyurl.com/colonhostels
- EASYHOTEL: Their no-frills rooms in Old Street are a steal, and it’s just 15 minutes’ walk from the venue. http://www.easyhotel.com/
- TRAVELODGE: There are several within walking distance of the venue, from as little as £25 a night (if you share with 2 people). https://www.travelodge.co.uk/

There are plenty of sites offering cheap hotel rooms online too.

-WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE?-
Yes (only the women’s toilet is big enough for a wheelchair, but the venue is fine with men in wheelchairs using it).

-SIGN UP NOW!-
There are more exciting developments to be announced in due course… Get signing up sooner rather than later so you don’t miss out on the pure jazz of CO:LON:17!! xoxo


Confirmed attendees (72):
Zarte Siempre
Thomas Cappleman
Matty Artell
Paul Talmey
Aidan Linge
Graeme Cole
Caroline Steadman*
Peter Steggle
Matt Rowbotham
Matt Morrison
Heather Badcock
Giles Hutchings
Mark Deeks
Gevin Chapwell
Leah King*
Emily Muir*
Conor Travers
Vikash Shah*
Martin Hurst
Ann Dibben
Phil Makepeace
Tom Carey
Lauren Hamer
Ryan Taylor
Michelle Nevitt
James Laverty
Adam Dexter
James Wilson
David Hilton
James Robinson
Tim Down
Mark Murray
Matthew Tassier
Lynne Cumberland
Norm Ahmad*
Sarah Bladon*
Jules Clarke*
Michael Pfeffer*
Phil Quelch*
James Smaldon*
Sara Lawson*
Mike Springett
James Rowan
Eddy Byrne
Amar Chotai*
Tim Springett*
Ben Wilson
Sandie Simonis
Chris Marshall
Dan McColm
Mike Brown
Jonathan Wynn
Tom Chafer-Cook
Berkan Chelikhan*
Stewart Gordon
Jonathan de Souza*
Rob Foster
Stephen Read
Eleni Bohacek*
Joe Tsoi*
George Ford
Amy Godel*
Richard Priest
Luke McBride*
Bob de Caux*
Anthony Endsor
Hugh Binnie
Ravi Sheth*
Richard Judd
Joe Oliva*
Marcus Hares
Oliver Garner

* = first time player
Last edited by Jennifer Steadman on Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:16 am, edited 53 times in total.
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Re: CO:LON:17 - Countdown in London 2017 (Saturday 6th May)

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:23 pm

Amazing response so far... 12 sign-ups in 3 days! People are keen, so if you're sure you're coming, don't delay - pay up sooner rather than later to ensure you don't miss out on the fun. You can be refunded at a later date if something even more pressing crops up. (It won't.)
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Re: CO:LON:17 - Countdown in London 2017 (Saturday 6th May)

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:47 pm

You might have said somewhere already, but is there a specific cap on numbers?

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Re: CO:LON:17 - Countdown in London 2017 (Saturday 6th May)

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:14 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:You might have said somewhere already, but is there a specific cap on numbers?
I have not. At the moment, I'm going to tentatively say it's 45. (So, like, it's over a quarter full already.) But I'm looking into the possibility of hiring their smaller second room as well to fit another 15-20 in. I don't know if 65 is likely, but it's not unrealistic.

Really I need to go back to the venue and have a proper fiddle with the furniture to see what's comfortably possible. (The owners said it tends to be quiet on a Saturday afternoon, so if it's desperately snug in the main room, I doubt it would be an issue for people to spill over into the main pub area - they don't have a TV in there that will be distracting players, nor loud music as far as I remember.)
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Re: CO:LON:17 - Countdown in London 2017 (Saturday 6th May)

Post by Matt Morrison » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:16 am

What does it have out of the usual Co-event joys; quiz machine, pool table, darts board?

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Re: CO:LON:17 - Countdown in London 2017 (Saturday 6th May)

Post by Matt Morrison » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:16 am

Have you scouted out any awesome after party pubs?

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Re: CO:LON:17 - Countdown in London 2017 (Saturday 6th May)

Post by Matt Morrison » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:16 am

So excited.

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Re: CO:LON:17 - Countdown in London 2017 (Saturday 6th May)

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:34 am

Matt Morrison wrote:What does it have out of the usual Co-event joys; quiz machine, pool table, darts board?
From memory it has none, although I could be wrong. Ideally I would've loved to have had those things, but London is hideous for finding a good, affordable venue. I looked for several months for a viable venue (capable of holding 40 people or more), and barely anywhere was less than £1000 for hire or minimum spend, unless it was super hard to get to in south London or way out in zone 4 or whatever. The board games cafe quoted me £7000 for hire. So when I found a venue which is more or less free (aside from an early opening charge), very centrally located, offers affordable food and is pretty much accessible, that was that.

However, you have just given me an idea, so watch this space.
Matt Morrison wrote:Have you scouted out any awesome after party pubs?
Not yet, but one of my non-Countdown friends who's planning to come along lives about 20 minutes' walk away, so I'll ask her for some recommendations.
Matt Morrison wrote:So excited.
:D 8-)
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Re: CO:LON:17 - Countdown in London 2017 (Saturday 6th May)

Post by Matt Morrison » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:16 pm

Cool! Yeah, the Countdown venue itself doesn't need any of those things - events themselves always benefit from these things overall, but that's what you go looking for afterwards. It's nice to take in a few different locations. As you say, not so easy in London these days (particularly with the pool table I think) but we'll see.

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Re: CO:LON:17 - Countdown in London 2017 (Saturday 6th May)

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:34 pm

Jennifer Steadman wrote:At the moment, I'm going to tentatively say it's 45.
1/3 full now... If you definitely want to be there and will definitely be free that day, sign up now to avoid disappointment later!
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Re: CO:LON:17 - Countdown in London 2017 (Saturday 6th May)

Post by Heather Styles » Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:16 am

I'm probably not coming to the event, but I might be around afterwards. Either way, the Old China Hand (the after pub for Comultilon) is very near the venue and has ping pong, darts and board games. Just a thought.

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Re: CO:LON:17 - Countdown in London 2017 (Saturday 6th May)

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:33 am

Heather Styles wrote:Either way, the Old China Hand (the after pub for Comultilon) is very near the venue and has ping pong, darts and board games. Just a thought.
Oh yeah, I remember it. Will bear that in mind, cheers!
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Re: CO:LON:17 - Countdown in London 2017 (Saturday 6th May)

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:25 pm

I'm not going to be able to do my local parkrun and get here in time, so I've decided that, as long as the trains are running properly, I might get into London early and do a parkrun nearby. My research leads me to believe that the nearest parkrun to CO:LON is the Highbury Fields one. It seems slightly mental because it's five laps though. It's about 1.5 miles from the venue, which would mean that there would be more than enough time to get there (if you finish running at about 9:30 that gives you two hours until the doors even open), so if people want to do a parkrun, it doesn't have to be this one.

Edit - And if the trains are playing up, I normally have to get a replacement bus into Newbury Park before getting the Central Line into London proper. The Valentines parkrun is quite near to Newbury Park station, so I might do that one.

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Re: CO:LON:17 - Countdown in London 2017 (Saturday 6th May)

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:27 am

Capacity for the definitely-booked room is 42; capacity for the potential second room is 30. Potential capacity of 72... but only if there's sufficient interest. I've got a month to make the decision about booking the second room. Let me know if you're interested, even if you're not sure yet if you can definitely attend, and invite others along too! :)
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Re: CO:LON:17 - Countdown in London 2017 (Saturday 6th May)

Post by Matt Morrison » Sat Feb 04, 2017 5:59 pm

Jono and Jon please.

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Re: CO:LON:17 - Countdown in London 2017 (Saturday 6th May)

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:43 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:25 pm
I'm not going to be able to do my local parkrun and get here in time, so I've decided that, as long as the trains are running properly, I might get into London early and do a parkrun nearby. My research leads me to believe that the nearest parkrun to CO:LON is the Highbury Fields one. It seems slightly mental because it's five laps though. It's about 1.5 miles from the venue, which would mean that there would be more than enough time to get there (if you finish running at about 9:30 that gives you two hours until the doors even open), so if people want to do a parkrun, it doesn't have to be this one.

Edit - And if the trains are playing up, I normally have to get a replacement bus into Newbury Park before getting the Central Line into London proper. The Valentines parkrun is quite near to Newbury Park station, so I might do that one.
I was sure I just posted this, but it looks like I don't have to put up with replacement buses, so I can probably do any of the central-ish London parkruns.

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Re: CO:LON:17 - Countdown in London 2017 (Saturday 6th May)

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:25 am

30 entries so far! There's room for 72 of you - if you know you're going, why wait to sign up? 8-) xoxo
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Re: CO:LON:17 - Countdown in London 2017 (Saturday 6th May)

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:10 pm

First room = filled. 30 spaces left. With over 2 months to go, it genuinely looks like this could 'sell out' - so if you don't want to miss out on a place, please don't procrastinate on signing up!

edit: .....*29 spaces left
edit 2: ........*28 spaces left
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Re: CO:LON:17 - Countdown in London 2017 (Saturday 6th May)

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:17 am

CO:LON is now *full*. If you would like to be put on the standby list, please message me and I'll add you to it in case anyone drops out on or before the day, but please don't send me any entry fees!
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Re: CO:LON:17 - Countdown in London 2017 (Saturday 6th May)

Post by Vikash Shah » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:29 pm

Sorry if this is a bit off-topic but I'm just a little excited about CO:LON having recognised several of the names on the competitors list from watching the show! I'm a newbie and armchair (well, wheelchair) enthusiast, Vikash Shah (aka Vik). The pub can give the cleaners the day off, because you will all be wiping the floor with me, but I'm sure it'll be fun. I have not even looked at this forum for about 5 years so I'm very out of touch! But hello to everyone!

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Re: CO:LON:17 - Countdown in London 2017 (Saturday 6th May)

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:29 pm

Vikash Shah wrote:
Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:29 pm
Sorry if this is a bit off-topic but I'm just a little excited about CO:LON having recognised several of the names on the competitors list from watching the show! I'm a newbie and armchair (well, wheelchair) enthusiast, Vikash Shah (aka Vik). The pub can give the cleaners the day off, because you will all be wiping the floor with me, but I'm sure it'll be fun. I have not even looked at this forum for about 5 years so I'm very out of touch! But hello to everyone!
<3
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