David Wilkinson - 16 May 2013

My Chilli Con Carne and Bevil’s Lunch Club



Photograph by Izabela Bartusik (Food and Beverage Supervisor at One Great George Street)

Life is full of interesting people and it is just wonderful to get off the treadmill of life in London and take time to chat with them. Shelley Coleman from our catering team recently had the chance to sit down with a character from Railway Engineering. Here is the resulting guest blog post from her, which I trust you will enjoy reading.

Hello, I am Shelley. I found that George exudes enjoyment for life and the friendships that he has made. He is a retired railway engineering consultant, and I talked to him during his regular Thursday lunch club in our informal Café Bar at One Great George Street.

The birth and founders of the Thursday lunch club

The club was set up to form a meeting point for friends from many walks of life. It was set up in 1923 by Lord Reith who was the first Director General of the BBC, Kenneth Cantile (advisory engineer to the Chinese National Railway) and Bevil Rudd. Bevil was a colourful, interesting character and an Olympic athlete after whom the club was named. Alan Beckett was a recent eminent Civil Engineer member who designed the floating pontoon roadway which was crucial to the success of the Mulberry harbour that was used in the Normandy Landings.

George’s five loves of the Café Bar and One Great George Street

  1. Accessibility: I struggle with arthritis and I wish I had a magic wand to get rid of it. The Westminster location is convenient and the venue has good accessible features.
  2. The service: The catering staff are always very helpful and bring my meal to me without being asked.
  3. Chilli con carne: My favourite dish is the home made Chilli con carne. I know it is 100% beef. The Chef is good and I am told he spends a lot of time sourcing quality ingredients.
  4. Chatting to friends: It is a highlight of my week as I meet my friends here. We have the chance to discuss many things including engineering and how to cure the ills of the world. The latter is the bigger challenge.
  5. Banquette seating: The seating is very comfortable and convenient making easier to have a group discussion. As you can tell from the photos, we try to squeeze as many Bevil’s club members around one table as we possibly can!



The lunch club in 2005 prior to the instillation of new banquette seating.

 George Carpenter gets up a head of steam….



Photograph by Izabela Bartusik (Food and Beverage Supervisor at One Great George Street)

 George has had a fascinating career in Railway Engineering and has a deep passion for the age of steam railways. One of the engineering challenges in his life time was working on a high powered coal-burning turbine-electric locomotive to haul heavy coal trains from the Powder Riven Basin in Wyoming where 200 million of tons of coal are mined each year, the largest source of coal in the U.S.A

The final word from George:

“Engineering is a fascinating career and I enjoy reminiscing about the age of steam and discussing modern developments.  The power of steam still the principal means of electrical power generation in many countries including China. I will keep returning to One Great George Street for Thursday lunch hoping that Chili Con Carne is on the menu for as long as I can (I am now 89!).”

Bon Appétit George and to everyone else that enjoys the food at OGGSVenue
Shelley Coleman

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