People tell stories about the Saracen’s Head. Ghost stories, why else is it called the Ghost Bar? Stories of famous visitors – the Who sat there once, apparently, drinking beer, looking like any ordinary mod in Chelmsford to hear a good group at the Corn Exchange. War work was carried out at the back of the building. And last week – the Chelmsford launch of A Sense of Occasion. As has already been reported, Chelmsford was aquiver with excitement. And why not?
The music was good – who could argue with Chris Montez, the Crystals, Bob and Earl and of course, Smokey Robinson? The atmosphere was great – candles, pictures of Jim Morrison, Amy Winehouse, Madonna, comfy chairs, white tablecloths, Twiglets. The awaiting welcome glasses of Prosecco had strawberries in.
It was a great evening, filled with people from far and near but who all had some connection with Chelmsford – including Christine, my oldest friend, who lived across the road.
There was a prize draw with fabulous prizes – mugs and pens with the book cover on them (plus a bottle of bubbles for the youngest guest (5) who came with her mum and dad). It has to be said that there was a poor showing in the best mod outfit category (in fact I should have won – I had arrived in a parka and had a mod-ish dress from Sainsbury’s – my couturier of choice)
but I had a pen left so gave it to the sisters to share (you can do that with pens).
One of the best moments for me was the response when I said ‘Let’s hear it for the Woodhall Estate’ and the room was filled with a loud cheer from all the people who had lived on our estate. A very good evening. And I sold a load of books.
Thanks to all at the Saracen’s Head, particularly Sharnelle and Jordan, to Gill, Chris and Caroline – and again Christine.
Next stop London.