I WELL know the drill at 86 Princes Street. You don’t risk invoking the wrath of the New Club’s guardians by turning up tieless. Top of the stairs (not using the lift keeps one fitter) and reception staff, albeit with a benevolent smile, cast a knowing, wary you’ll-never-get-away-with-it eye.
My last-minute mission? To pen a piece on the barman, Peter Crossland, who retired just hours earlier on his birthday on Sunday after watering the members for 20 years.
Possibly the only bar in Edinburgh where nary a nasty word can be heard between gins and tonic, nor is spoken. Cheshire-born Peter, resident in Newington, came up here in 1973. Initially at the club he was a waiter in the dining room. “When the job in the bar became vacant I jumped at it,” he recalled. “I found them extremely nice, seriously pleasant people. I unfailingly gave them ‘sir’ or ‘lord’ or whatever.”
Peter, who met and married a local girl in 1975, has three adult children.
“We have a two-year grandchild so we foresee a busy retirement and, for my part, a computer course What I’ll miss considerably is the panoramic view of the city from the bar.”
Breast and be thankful. Charlie Dimmock. Went down a bomb with the boys. It was her spectacular cleavage, irresistible to the cameras, wot did it.
She fronted the other night the Great British Garden Revival on BBC 2. I’ve been at the shops investing in a hoe and calling a spade a spade, even though I don’t have garden.
Charlie, I couldn’t wait to welcome you back. Let’s be thankful the great Dimmock hasn’t diminished. I want to see more of you more often.
Now if I can be of any help with your new potatoes . . .