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 Post subject: Cambodian Embassy in London - Guild of Transcultural Studies
Post #1 Posted: Wed Dec 20, 2023 4:37 am 
Lives with ko

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A brief entry in the British Go Association Newsletter No. 2 - April 1982- notes that "The Hampstead Go Club now meets at the Guild of Transcultural Studies, 21 Avenue Road, London NW8", A bit of further research indicates that a "Not the European Championship" tournament was held there in August 1981. With the British Go Journal noting: The venue was the elegant and exotic home of the Guild of Transcultural Studies and everything, including an exotic lunch, was organised by Judith Beck.

It turns out that the Guild of Transcultural Studies was based at a squatted embassy of some fame, and even the subject of a book "Tales From The Embassy: Communiqués From The Guild of Transcultural Studies 1976 – 1991", which is summarised as:

Quote:
One night in 1976, a group of squatters entered the Cambodian Embassy in London, an opulent building that had remained empty for two years following the bloody revolution of the Khmer Rouge. For the next fifteen years, this peculiar residence would play host to the Guild of Transcultural Studies, an open platform for creative monomaniacs, radical metaphysicians, poets, prophets and exiles.


and there is an article from a local newspaper: https://www.camdennewjournal.co.uk/article/pol-pots-role-in-the-counterculture-movement

Does anyone know anymore about this strange period in the history of London/British Go?

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 Post subject: Re: Cambodian Embassy in London - Guild of Transcultural Stu
Post #2 Posted: Wed Dec 20, 2023 6:46 am 
Lives with ko

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I'm informed that this is likely to be something that the late Jim Barty had a hand in organising .. I hadn't known that apparently Jim (a long standing British 4 dan who challenged for the British Go Championship in the 1980s) passed away in 2021. Another gap in the history...

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 Post subject: Re: Cambodian Embassy in London - Guild of Transcultural Stu
Post #3 Posted: Wed Dec 20, 2023 8:27 am 
Oza

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I have driven down that road (just north of London Zoo) countless times, including yesterday, without knowing that connection.

Basically, it's a very well-heeled area but it's gone through various phases. My memory is that it was then noted for a famous/notorious/expensive clinic when legal abortion became a thing (around 1967?), though now there are some tatty-looking properties. More to the point, it was fairly close to TWO London go clubs. One was the London Go Centre a bit to the east in Belsize Park, and much later the Central London Go Club just off Baker Street (of Sherlock Holmes fame).

I can't give any useful details except perhaps something that might jog others' memories.

The LGC ran from 1975-78, and it attracted a lot of go players to the area. Some were squatters. These were not homeless people as we might define them nowadays. Some were Oxbridge graduates, so earning a living was not beyond them, and in fact some of their "homes" were well-enough appointed for me to take my wife to them.

It was more that they were making a statement. Revolution was in the air. I remember that fairly well because I spent 1968 at university in Czechoslovakia when the Russian tanks moved in to quash the Dubcek government, and then Strasbourg University, where the Franco-German Danny Cohn Bendit made life interesting. The revolutionary fervour lingered for some time, and for some squatting was one way of expressing that. I have no idea whether that applied to Dave Tomlin. I don't even know whether he was a go player, but his face and name do seem familiar to me. One possibility is that he came to the London Go Centre with Jim Barty, though not necessarily on go business. As I not too clearly recall it, Jim would sometimes walz in and out in conger fashion with a party of followers on some filming expedition. I think Jim's father was a film-maker and so Jim had access to very upmarket camera equipment. Not used for go, as far as I know. Beyond that, I know next to nothing about Jim, but I do remember him as a nice, affable guy.

I don't remember Judith Beck, but there was a male Beck around (???Graham Beck).

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 Post subject: Re: Cambodian Embassy in London - Guild of Transcultural Stu
Post #4 Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2023 4:12 am 
Dies with sente

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John Fairbairn wrote:

I don't remember Judith Beck, but there was a male Beck around (???Graham Beck).


Perhaps Phil Beck? Sometime auditor of the BGA.

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