As promised yesterday, the rest of the story...
My colleagues and I went to the pub across the street from Blackfriar's Rail Station and Tube Stop to have dinner and await the beginning of the ghost tour of London. Anticipating the long walk after dark along the cold streets of Central London, we decided to steel ourselves against the cold the fear of the tour by having a pint or three and a good, rib-sticking pub dinner.
We had no sooner started to tuck into our first pint when the barmaid stood on a stool behind the bar and announced at the top of her volume range:
"Attention everyone, attention, please! Could everyone please leave the pub? We've found an unclaimed bag in the pub and the police have been called."
This seemed a bit of overkill for us and a number of patrons made comments about how the owner of the bag was probably away in the loo and would be surprised to see the ruckus they had caused. But we picked-up our beers and our belongings and walked out into the bier garten (beer garden) and were met by a pair of London's finest.
"Please step along this other way." He directed. "Just walk into the next block if you could." They were clearing the bier garten as well? This was interesting! It took me a few minutes to realize that I should have been snapping pictures. Hell, what did I have a camera for anyway?
One of the locals was making comment about the overkill being employed in response to a misplaced bag. But as I pointed-out this pub is situated above a shallow Tube Stop and below a Rail Station. What better place to do some damage if one is so inclined?
We were to discover later (by listening to the police talking among themselves that there was a second bag in the bier garten which explained their emptying that.) The police dogs showed-up and sniffed about a bit and half-an-hour later we were back in the pub, mugging for pictures and getting our dinner. It was a bit of excitement to get us ready for an evening of fun!
One post-script, I heard one of the patrons telling another that he owner of the bag showed-up to claim it only to be told that it had been carted off by the police. (Although that part of the story may be apocryphal.) All-in-all, it was a good evening and we got two stories to tell out of it.)
Three if you count the fact that our train back to Thames Ditton was cancelled because a train heading into Waterloo had derailed whilst we were in Central London and had caused major disruption to the rail service that was still affecting the commute the next morning.
I hope that wherever you are today all your stories are good ones!
Don Bergquist - 26 October 2006 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK