About Us?


They say, “If you can remember London in the 60s – you weren’t there!” We’re going to test that old adage…

We WERE there – and we DO remember – some of it. And – we are going to pull it all back together on these pages. Why? To embarrass our families? Probably… To amuse ourselves? Possibly – Hopefully…

And to set the scene for a Second Journey…

London, 1966 – four young men from four different countries – met in the Overseas Visitors Club – and came together to be part of COMEX – a grand plan to rebuild the British Commonwealth – from a new base in Simla, India. Their part (as the African recruitment team) was to drive a Landrover around the coast of North, West, South and East Africa – ending in Nairobi, Kenya. Then to fly to India with the African delegation.



It never happened…
that year the British economy stalled – and the goverment drastically reduced funded projects. Comex 2 continued (as planned) later in 1967 – but our African Venture 66 was cancelled.Marble Arch on the Egyptian Border

So – those four young men decided to go it alone  on a lesser journey (they thought), they met in a pub and bought a 1957 Morris J2 van. It was old, and it was blue, but it held together for several months.

It survived a major collision with a low flying Citroen (our first day on the road!), forced entry by angry Guardia Civilia in Torremolinos, blown bridges in Algeria, sand filled tyres (no more spares) in Libya, an angry crowd in Cairo, a dodgy loading sling on the Alexandria wharves, encounters with hill tribes in Lebanon, a mad retreat from a squadron of Syrian tanks, an engine rebuild in Turkey, stripped to the chasis during a drug search on the Greek border, failed brakes in mountain passes and ferry rides through Greece and Italy.

Back to London – and a car yard somewhere. Still only one owner – a little old lady who got lost on the way to church – in the Sahara.

We all went our separate ways… as young men tend to do – and within a few months had lost all contact with each other – as young men also tend to do. Careers flourished, families formed, parents moved. Years passed – old addresses failed. We now know that each of us was trying to contact the others – there were close calls, but only failures, for the next 30 years…

John & Keith - Tokyo 1993RE-UNITING: 1975 – 2001

Tokyo – 1993. JATA Congress (Japan Association of Travel Agents) – reserved seating – VERY formal. 5,000 international delegates in the auditorium – John and Keith were seated one chair apart. A noisy reunion which featured that night on NTV – and lasted a week. It took another 6 years to find the other two…

John & David - Kent 2001Late August, 2001. John was preparing for a business trip to England and Europe. Late one night, the computer beeps, an email from David.  He had done a Yahoo People search and found two John Polsons.  Two weeks later John arrived at David’s home in Kent… at EXACTLY 2:00pm GMT on September 11 – 9:00am in New York City.

The world had changed a lot in 35 years – but it changed a lot more in the following 35 minutes… for three days, our reunion took place in front of the TV – and CNN broadcasts from New York.

Anne & Peter - London 2004Since then – contact has been continual. David & Patricia visited Australia – Keith has visited Australia and the UK – and Peter & Anne attended David’s 60th birthday in London. David is MUCH older than the rest of us…

There is a detailed Re-Uniting Page here…

 

The Second Journey?  In June/July 2006 – we will return to Le Mans, France. And then – to Agen – we have hired a boat and will spend two weeks cruising through the locks on the Canal du Midi… We won’t spoil it for you – follow it all here

It is unclear at this stage – whether we have one story with four authors – or four stories with converging chapters. It is more likely to be one story – with four wildly divergent memories. Some will write more than others, some may not write at all – no matter – it’s the story that matters – to us…

There are 4 chapters in this section;

In The Beginning… David
Later came… Peter
Next was… John
Then came… Keith

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2006 is also the 40th anniversary of COMEX…
and there is an interesting website here and also here. Colonel Lionel (Greg) Gregory is still a driving force and there is much of his writing and poetry on the site. I remember him as a fascinating (and motivating) man – and I regret not having the opportunity of completing our adventure with him. Many thousands of other young people did – and I suspect that his influence and vision extends far beyond his beloved Commonwealth…

David has just (January’06) re-established contact with him – and I know he visits this site… Welcome aboard Greg – and enjoy with us – what you started!

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One Response to About Us?

  1. Taiwo & Dadah says:

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