ROUGOL meeting room – use it or lose it!

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Back in January 2020, the RISC OS User Group of London (ROUGOL) moved from their previous home of some eighteen years to a new one, after the old pub had unexpectedly closed. With the arrival of the coronavirus on the UK’s shores and the subsequent lockdowns, however, the meetings moved online after only a small number of meetings at the new venue.

With restrictions lifted, the group returned to its new home in July of this year with a new hybrid format. This means that those able to come to the pub can enjoy a bite to eat and a drink with RISC OS-using friends, and those unable to do so can join in from afar via the Zoom video conferencing software.

However, for the first few meetings in this new format, attendance has been very low – and ROUGOL has therefore put out a very simple plea: If you are able to attend the meeting in person, please do so!

The new venue – the Duke of Sussex pub – is very well located for public transport, being just a stone’s throw from Waterloo station, and there are even parking spaces right outside for those coming by car, making it an ideal meeting space. The room in the pub is also free for ROUGOL to use, which is why the group’s meetings are free to attend – but this only works if enough people turn up to ensure the pub gets a reasonable amount of trade from them, through sales of food and drink. While visitor numbers are low, the pub’s sales are correspondingly low, so keeping the meeting room exclusively for ROUGOL use is not practical for them.

While they have been very understanding since meetings restarted, but they are understandably reluctant to continue booking out the room for ROUGOL’s exclusive use if the group is unable to fill it.

ROUGOL needs as many people who can to attend the next meeting in person, rather than join via Zoom. This won’t be possible for everyone, with some people still having medical concerns and so on, but for those who are able to it would be very helpful if you could hop on that bus, get in your car, or make use of those things that separate your torso from the ground. No, not the chair, you fool, your legs!

If you definitely can’t come this month, but feel that you will be able to do so next year – for example, after you’ve had a booster vaccine, or with the expectation of infections (and therefore the spread of the virus) reducing – please let ROUGOL know. With a better idea of likely numbers, the group will then be able to offer the pub some reassurance that things will improve – and can then proceed to book the room for the planned meeting dates for 2022.

That next meeting is 15th November – tomorrow – when Gerph will be talking to the group about how Pyromaniac has progressed since his last talk on the subject, twelve months ago. The talk will kick off at 7:45pm, though the meeting room itself will be open (and some members likely to be on hand) from 6:30pm, and it is The Chichester Room, upstairs at:

The Duke of Sussex,
23 Baylis Road,
London,
SE1 7AY.

It’s just a short walk from Waterloo Station, and for drivers there is parking outside from 6:30pm (on Coral Street) – and while Gerph will not himself be attending in person, and will instead be giving his presentation via Zoom, he has provided some resources and material that in-person attendees will be able to take a closer look at.