Thursday, 17 June 2010

RIP Michael Wojas

Well, it was Wojas' funeral today. 53. Cancer. And that's really the end of the Colony Room Club.

My Colony time was almost wholly during Michael's era of stewardship, and partly accurate obits have appeared in the Telegraph, Guardian and Times. Which I suppose is sort of good. Things got very confused towards the end; Michael would squat comfort-rocking on Murial's old chair with a tumbler of Port beside him pretending to be unaware of what was going on. The dodgy lads doing crack out by the coat-stand and the sex in the toilet were one thing, but when someone used a mobile in the bar without being flung down the stairs you knew something was seriously awry. Now it's gone I can happily reveal it was one of the very few places not to have implemented the smoking ban. You were supposed to stand by the back window, but the place was so bloody small it made damn all difference. Smoking, fine. Drinking truly industrial quantities of alcohol, fine. Sex in the toilet, fine. Using a mobile phone, crass and unforgivable. That was the Colony.

My favourite time was the arse-end of the afternoon before fivish when the club would be almost empty and Michael would stand gazing out of the window across Dean Street to Piss Alley; he was captured exactly in that pose in one of Alyson Hunter's prints which I have and value greatly.

And now I shall have a drink or two.

And now Horsley's gone too. Sebastian always brightened up any room and was both affable and witty. What more can one say. One moment of farce came in the basement of a pub off Oxford Street when we Colony Room members were voting on a new committee. After Horsley launched an impassioned speech in favour of one option, a small official voice spoke "Sebastian, you're not a member". And neither was he, it turned out, despite having been a fixture in the club. But that was Sebastian all over, never concerned with the trivialities.


Scrobs... said...

Interesting that you were a member Raeders. I've been reading up on the place since he died, out of pure curiosity because I never even darkened the door!

The other week, I was in a similar place (well known pub in Soho), and spent a happy hour listening to similar chat, comment and bad manners going on.

And I thought that all us builders went to Mulligans...

(or Upper or Lower Bollocks...)!

Raedwald said...

Ah, the 'French', the 'Coach' and Roxy's place aka the Three Greyhounds, together with Gerry's and the Colony formed a sort of circuit and I swear that walking the few yards between them helped keep one sober ... happy days

Scrobs... said...

It was 'The French' Raeders - I can just recall the strange bottles of cider which were piling up on the table at the back...!

Did you ever go to 'The Tatty Bogle'?

TheFatBigot said...

I rather enjoy Roxy's Seven Stars, best steak in London.

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