Continue Birding: When Bill Oddie, Norman Pace, retro board games and a quiz in an old chocolate factory, collide

Published on 20 November 2011 in , ,

Bill Oddie's Great Bird Race Game

Regular readers might remember me blogging about Bill Oddie’s Great Bird Race Game; a board gaming phenomenon that has, strangely, yet to take over the world.

Funnily enough, that might have been the one and only blog post about that great game that ever featured on this blog had it not been for a “Retro Games Club” night at Menier Chocolate Factory, in Borough, near London Bridge.

For those that don’t know (and until pretty much last weekend, that included me), Menier Chocolate Factory is an arts venue and theatre in an old chocolate factory.

A friend suggested the games night because, hey, we all like games. However the night that was best for us all to meet was on Saturday and that included a quiz presented by a “Celebrity Host”.

(Trust me, this is leading somewhere. Honest)

Obviously we needed a team name and before the quiz started many were discussed. For some reason my suggestion of “The Andrew Bowden All Stars” was rejected by the rest of the team and instead two game related names were suggested. One, Special Building Phase, relates to the game “Settlers of Catan” (specifically the 5-6 player expansion pack). The second was “Continue Birding”. This is the message printed on many of the game cards in the aforementioned Bill Oddie’s Great Bird Race Game, and is, naturally, the source of much hilarity and amusement between us thanks to it being compulsory to say it in a daft voice.

(Really. This is leading somewhere. Seriously.)

So anyway it turns out that our quiz host was none other than Norman Pace, pop star and one half (of course) of Hale and Pace. He happens to know the owner of the theatre and plays poker with him. Nuff said.

The quiz progressed and thanks to our resident Movies and 80s pop music expert Chris, we did all right and somehow, to our surprise, we came in a respectable 2nd place. Had it not have been for the round all about Menier Chocolate Factory productions which, oddly, we hadn’t expected and therefore not revised for, maybe we would have come in first.

On reading out the scores though, Mr Pace seemed a little confused. For some unknown reason he was not aware of Bill Oddie’s Great Bird Race Game (I mean, how could he not?) which required us (specifically Chris again) to explain the team name. Norman seemed pretty baffled but rather impressed by the explanation. Either that or he was a good actor.

And there it all would have ended had it not been for Chris bundling this in my Twitter stream this afternoon.


(Finally we’re at the payoff… Told you it was going somewhere. Not very far admittedly though, but frankly if you don’t appreciate fine art, don’t visit the gallery. Which is next door to the theatre by the way.)