A number of you will know I enjoy going to pen clubs and meets, and may even know me from those. I was a regular at the London Pen Club before the Southern Pen Club started up and since then have been a regular at Fleet, Hampshire. Being up near Liverpool and knowing there are a few members of the FPUK Facebook group near by, I gave short notice of the option to meet up.
I had been back in Southport for a few days. The last time I was there I met up with Mr. Teal, Bernardo Gomes, from the FPUK group at The Pen Factory in Hope Street, Liverpool. On that occasion we met the owner who had worked in the area all his life and remembered when the Lang factory was still open. After he sent us a detailed article on the history of the building.
So with just three days to go before I was due to head back down south I posted on the group about my intention to meet for lunch and to find if anyone else was interested. Bernardo was up for it, as was Becky Harding. There were a couple more who would like to have attended but one scooter failure and one ‘she who must be obeyed’ meant it was just the three of us, but that was fine.
With some initial confusion as I diverted to collect Bernardo, who had left to make sure Becky was not wondering where we were, forgetting I would not be able to read his FB Message until I got to his, we met up and pen cases were soon spread across the table (hope they do not spot the ink splashes …).
While it may only have been three of us, we still spent over three hours discussing pens and inks across lunch and I think we all had a good time. On a number of occasions we were approached by people at a near by table as they had seen our pens and were also users, though alas avoiding the risk of the rabbit hole.
The bar is a great place for a pen meet though it is a good 10-15 minutes walk up hill from Central and Lime Street stations. Street parking outside is available, though the payment system is truly rubbish (anyone from Liverpool Council reading this ?) allowing a maximum of two hours IF you can pay, though the meters do not like to accept money, have no credit card facility, and the online option the council try to push you to use does not work properly and will only allow you to pay for 30 minutes, even if you select 2 hours, and adds an additional charge. Fortunately Becky had spotted a car park near by that was free on this day. I moved my car after 25 minutes.
The bar itself is ok price wise, food is limited and I would consider on the high side for what you get, or more accurately the prices are what I would expect down south near London. The staff are friendly and noise does not seem to carry, even if you have a large group near by. Many of the tables are large and can potentially be moved together. I can see this being the perfect place if enough interested people are in the area to consider a regular or semi-regular meet up, or even for a Pelikan Hub (if those return).