The Spice Coordinators used to have lots of fun dreaming up fake events for April Fool’s Day. Over the years these have included the relocation of Stonehenge, extreme knitting, white line painting on the M4 motorway, hover-boarding, a roadkill cookery workshop and sending the first Spice member to Mars.
Back in 2005, and less into a year into our roles, I added the following write up to our programme of events:
Bring your own broomstick
|Date:||Friday 1st April 2005|
|Place:||Leavesden Studios, London (HP1 4JK)|
|Meet:||11am at main entrance|
|Cost:||£7.50 to play, £5 to spectate|
What a fabulous event this is for you! Filming of the Kwidditch World Cup from the set of the new Harry Potter film, the Goblet of Fire has just been completed at Leavesden Studios, outside London, and we’ve been invited along to play on the set! An abandoned British aerodrome with a runway still remain mostly intact, Leavesden was used for years by Rolls-Royce as an aircraft engine factory. Millennium Group bought the 286-acre site for conversion to film production use and has plans to develop the site into a complete studio tour and entertainment center, including the world’s first Kwidditch pitch, and we’ve been invited to come along to test the facilities for them. We must make it clear that this is a test site and we will in essence be trialling this unique event prior to it being opened to the public, as such we can put it out at such a low price, so be the first to experience this amazing event. There’s also a big grandstand, so if you don’t fancy playing, you can come along and spectate instead.
So, grab your broomsticks and prepare for aerial competition high above the Kwidditch pitch and experience the magical power, speed, and competition of Kwidditch, the favourite sport of witches and wizards. Harnessed and suspended by individual cranes, we will play in two teams of seven players, playing four balls simultaneously. Three Chasers will try to score with the Quaffle, two Beaters will control the dangerous Bludgers, the Keeper protects the three goal rings, and the Seeker will chase the elusive Golden Snitch. We’ll take turns at playing as many positions as time allows and all rules will be explained on the day.
Please note this is a high security area and cameras, mobile phones and wands are not permitted on site.
I don’t need to tell you that I was in my element creating this write-up. Dom kept telling me not to make it too convincing as people would believe it was true, but I was having too much fun and therein lies my downfall. I took a call late one afternoon from a lady checking on availability. She was overjoyed when I told her we had a couple of spaces left, all the time resisting the urge to giggle and let the cat out of the bag.
“Is it possible to bring my daughter and her friend? They’re both huge Harry Potter fans.” she asked.
Well, I must admit that I was tickled pink that I had managed to fool someone so convincingly and I went on to ask her a few questions about her daughter’s and her friend’s ages. They had just turned 18, which is the minimal age to attend a Spice event. The conversation went on for several minutes and I tried my best to elude to the fact that it might be a hoax.
“Do you know what date it is?”
“And you know wehere to find it from the postcode?”
“Yes, I’m sure I can find it.”
Eventually I had to come clean and confess.
“Oh.” she replied, crestfallen. “They were so looking forward to this, you see, my daughter is partially sighted and her friend is blind.” She paused, as if gathering her emotions. “I thought they would really enjoy this treat.”
Oh boy, did I feel bad. I couldn’t apologise enough. Dom was sitting at his desk, witnessing my acute embarrassment as I tried to squirm my way out of the conversation.
“I told you not to make it too good” he said.
I don’t think that lady remained a member for very long after that incident so I never got to meet her to apologise in person, but if she does by chance hear about this post, please let her know that I still feel bad about it to this day. Harry Potter world did open up in the UK a few years later and I sincerely hope that both girls had the most magical time that they truly deserved.