12 November 2014

London Meet Up - November 2014

Last Sunday we held another London Philofaxy meet up, this was the first we had held on a Sunday, but it seemed as popular as ever. I was in London with Alison for the weekend to celebrate (if that's the right word) 10 years since I was made redundant.

We flew to London from Tours on Friday afternoon staying in London. On the journey back I had an hour or so with just a notebook and a pen to sit and jot thoughts and ideas down. I need to do that more often. However, it got me thinking.... (oh no!!)

If I hadn't been made redundant in 2004 and then got a different job in 2005.... Then I might not have gone back to using a Filofax.... that would have meant it would have been unlikely I would have come across Philofaxy sometime in 2007/8.... and by 2010 when I retired,  I wouldn't have dedicated my spare time (some would say life!) to writing and doing all the other amazing things with Philofaxy and all of the companies and the people in the community.

Sometimes things happen for a reason!

Anyway, we had a great time on Saturday with about 40 of my ex-engineering colleagues where the most repeated phrase was 'Do you remember when.....' and the most bemused looks where when I explained what I was doing now.... writing about Filofax organisers, and as you might guess they thought I was joking too!

So Sunday arrived... sunny but cold, but it was dry at least. Alison and I left the club in Mayfair to get to the meet up. Alison was coming a long as well. This wasn't her first Philofaxy Meet Up, she came along to the very first one back in November 2010, when the idea of a meet up was just an idea and we didn't know if anyone would like the idea of 'meeting strangers off the internet!'

Well we have had about 12 meet ups in London if I've counted correctly and there have been dozens of others around UK and in other countries where the same basic formula seems to work well each time.

There was 18 of us in total, which is quite a lot for a meet up. But we all managed to sit together and circulate and chat with most people during our extended lunch in Vapiano's in Great Portland Street.

And some of the highlights of things people brought with them.

Jené brought along several of her 'vintage' Filofax organisers including this very cheerful yellow Winchester.

Inside it she has this marvellous accessory which has all sorts of add-ons which fits on to the rings. It wasn't complete when she bought it off eBay, but with perseverance and a keen eye for things that will fit, Jené has managed to complete the set.

A sewing kit is in the back, essential when your shirt button pings off and is lost!

Some inserts too, Jené is going to scan these in for us so we can add them to our growing collection.

This organiser is one that Jené and her partner managed to repair by swapping the rings on and I think you will agree it looks very nice now.

Sheetal had brought along her Van der Spek custom binder. In the first picture it is photographed alongside my own VdS Standard (Personal) organiser. The other though is quite special it is sort of a hybrid ring organiser and travellers note book in one organiser. 

The exterior is ostrich print leather (232) and I think the interior is (08)

Opening it up it has a set of personal size/spacing 25mm rings with a fairly conventional Van der Spek lay out, but the whole organiser is a lot taller so that it can take travellers notebooks too.

The additional width has been used to allow for more horizontal card slots in the back cover. As you can see it has two pen loops and a conventional clasp closure too.

Lovely to see such a degree of customisation is possible from our friends at Van der Spek and so well executed.

We then went on a spot of shopping taking in Tiger, Muji, Paperchase, TK Maxx and I also visited Rymans

As always the day drew to a close and we said our goodbyes until the next time we meet up.

Alison and I flew back to France on Monday afternoon it had been quite a hectic trip but very enjoyable. Thank you to everyone who came along.


  1. What a gorgeous colour the yellow Winchester is! The multi-tool insert is amazing. Filofax could do to produce that - I'm sure it would be a sell out, it's like having a Swiss Army knife in your organiser!

  2. Looks like another terrific meetup. Steve, it's very interesting to read how you came back to using filofaxes and what it led to.

    Jené's lovely sunny Winchester! The planner version of the Swiss army knife is fascinating. Amazing what was made for 6-ring planners back in the day!

    I have a question for Sheetal (what a lovely bespoke VdS): what is that pouch with the eyelet holes to fit on the rings? I've been looking for a zip pouch like that, I'd be interested to know where you got it? Is it by VdS too?

    1. Van der Spek do sell Zip Pouch fly leafs now:


      But I believe that particular one came from an Etsy shop, I will try and find out which one.


  3. Thank Steve for another excellent meet-up post. I enjoyed the day a lot. NB - we couldn't find any Filofax at both TKMax stores, unfortunately.

    Thanks all for mentioning the 'sunny Winchester', it is a delight to use. The accessory kit was purchased with a used Filofax and was stored away, but I didn't realise what I had until I read the French Filofax 1991 catalogue (see web link below) and spotted the scissors :-) It took me a few hours to find the kit - so glad I did!


  4. I love the accessory kit. Too bad it is so difficult to find and not produced any more.