Thursday, 24 October 2013

RNIB Black Lion Pub Quiz - the whole thing with thanks and photos

Anyone that follows me on twitter (@14NC) will know that I've been going on and on lately about a special pub quiz at The Black Lion Pub in West End Lane, NW6 on behalf of the Royal National Institute of the Blind, (RNIB), Read For RNIB Day Campaign.  Well this post, which is a slight departure from the norm, is to say thank you to the many that helped with the night and to share some photos from the evening.

My idea was to take over the usual pub quiz and make it into a "literary" one, i.e. Read For RNIB, to raise awareness of the RNIB's work and to highlight the fact that only 7% of books are available to those that can't read normal print ( while having a bit of fun at the same time.

I needed help.  I managed to recruit Carla who works at Paramount Properties (@west_hampstead) in West End Lane, and I couldn't have involved a better person or company. 

Carla and I went "cold-calling" to the pub and saw Gloria, (see earlier post Half A Bank Holiday for more about Gloria).  She loved the idea but had to check with management.  Management, in the guise of James, couldn't have been more helpful and supportive. (@TheBlackLionNW6)

Yes, we could have the pub on Sunday, 13th October and take over their normal quiz.  Usually all the entrance money goes first to paying the Quiz Master, Gareth, and then whatever is left over is the winners' prize.  The pub very generously agreed to hand over the entry money to us for the RNIB.

We had a date and a venue.  Now we needed prizes.  We had two main ideas.  Books and local businesses.  At this point, we had no idea how just how generous people were going to be!

To the authors and agents and anonymous individuals that donated signed copies of books, an enormous, huge, thank you and thumbs up 
Ruth Cherrington (@CHistorians)
Barbara Levy Literary Agency
Dame Stephanie Shirley (@LetItGoOfficial)
Fiona Barrows (@fbarrows)
Kay Sexton (@kaysexton)
Rupert Crew Agency (@rupertcrew)

Other prizes donated included books, farm jam and proseco.  These were from various individuals but from someone I would particularly like to mention, Andy Sarner, (@Bubela), some mixing bowls and a kitchen towel as prizes for the winners.  Even though Andy couldn't make it on the night she went especially to the local kitchen shop to buy.  Other individuals and companies that deserve a thank you are Kamils, Chris and Ed at Browns, West Hampstead Library, Matthew at Cycle Surgery, Lena's, Jonathan of, Anne, Marlee and Dave.  (If I've left anyone out, in this list, above or below, forgive me, let me know and I'll add you in!  Also, throughout here I've put twitter names if known and websites but I haven't included facebook pages which I know a lot you have, forgive me.)

To the local businesses, who so stepped up the mark, both putting up our posters and contributing prizes, you get an overwhelming thumbs up and thank you 
Danny and Saskia at West End Lane Books - a credit voucher (@WELBooks)
Andre at West Fish Cafe - a meal voucher (@TheWetFishCafe)
Shane at Art 4 Fun - six individual studio sessions (@Art4FunCafe)
Sylvia and Neel at Banana Tree - a credit voucher, a cuddly toy and a tote bag (@bananatree)
Debbie and David Colour Division - voucher for photo session (@ColourDivision1)
James at Little Bay Restaurants - credit voucher (@TheLittleBay)
Esmeralda at Nail Suit - credit voucher
Ed and Maziar at One Blenheim Terrace - a meal voucher (@OneBlenheim)
Mukesh and Nilesh at Peppercorns - (@peppercornsuk1) a credit voucher 
Alicia and Davood at Hana - a meal voucher (@HanaRestaurantx)
Elijas and Sam at David's Deli - a meal voucher

The Black Lion in the end, didn't just donate the door money, they also donated bottles of wine as prizes, a meal for two voucher, arranged a Truman Brewery tour and stuck their hands in their pockets to add to the collection.  I can't say thank you enough and then we come to Carla.  

Paramount Properties are very involved in the neighbourhood and through Carla, Robert Lazarus, the Sales Director and Spencer Lawrence, the Letting Director, not only did Paramount give a beautifully designed tote bag to absolutely everyone that took part in the quiz, but they also agreed to match whatever we raised at the pub.  Thank you  

The Tote Bag
So this was my idea for what the evening would involve but then, married couple Carol and Bob Bridgestock,who write the D.I. Dylan (@DIJackDylan) crime thrillers under the name R.C. Bridgestock (@RCBridgestock) and who had already sent me a signed copy of one of their books and an Audio CD of another came up with a great wheeze; I could auction off being a character in their next book.  Brilliant, in keeping with the theme and, more importantly, a great money raiser. Thank you both, so much. 

Okay, we've got the prizes now we need an event.  The RNIB helped (in the guise of Benjamin, Julia and Julie ) by sending balloons to decorate the pub, more tote bags for prizes, pins for the winners bags, bookmarks, posters, and literature for anyone who wanted to know more, but still, we needed a Quiz Master.  

In stepped Gareth.  Gareth usually does the quiz at the pub but we had the idea of wanting to add extra book-ish and blind-ish questions, (like "What time travelling author who fooled a nation with his radio broadcast also wrote short stories including one entitled, The Country of the Blind?" and "Which author of the Adrian Mole books has lost her sight?" and "Which blind Labour politician was Home Secretary from 2001 until 2004?"), no problem.  He was game for it.  I want to do a sealed bid auction at the beginning and end.  no problem.  But there was a problem, (to me); we couldn't speak until the week of the quiz or meet until the night.  Now I'm not a control freak, (no really, it's all lies), but this was giving me a little bit of anxiety.  Absolutely no need.  Gareth excelled and couldn't have been more helpful, intuitive or collaborative.  No only that, but after he'd left and said goodnight, Gloria handed me more cash; Gareth had donated his fee for the night.  Gareth, thank you and  a huge thumbs up   

And in case I didn't say thank you enough to James and all the staff at the Black Lion who were so brilliant on the night and before.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, we'll be back! 

Now to the night itself - wow it was great and I hope these pictures give a little sense of how much fun we all had! (if anyone would like a copy of any of these photos, please do just get in touch)

And.... the grand total raised?  £700.00.  Thank you all so much and give yourselves another thumbs up or two.

In closing, anyone who is unfamiliar with the EverdayFolk Blogspot, we're here for you, this is a public pinboard where you can tell us about that great smile, that bit of extra service you encountered in your day which just made the difference.  Please feel free to send us posts, comments or just follow.  Thanks.



  1. Excellent work Brie! I'm sure the £700 raised will help others achieve a lot in the future.

  2. CONGRATS! What an incredible effort...bravo Brie! :)

  3. It sounds like a military operation! Well done to all and I would say thumbs up to you for doing it! :-)