London calling

The first to greet you at Over-Seas House, ROSL Porters Tony Ford, Frankie Barzey, and Mikael Lorinquer are fonts of knowledge when it comes to the club and London. Read on to find out why they love this city and ROSL

Brockwell Park Lido

What are your favourite things about London?

Tony: Dulwich Picture Gallery in South London has an amazing collection including Poussin, Canaletto, and Rubens, but also newer exhibitions such as Helen Frankenthaler (Radical Beauty).

The Lido in Brockwell Park is a delight when we do manage to have a decent summer. It has a relaxing sun terrace and a café that becomes a bistro at night which is charming and reasonably priced.

The Horniman Museum in Forest Hill is an amazing building that is home to a rather quirky private collection ranging from a stuffed Walrus to Egyptian artefacts, with wonderful gardens and a conservatory for refreshments.

Frankie: During my time off away from the club I am often in the recording studio or at home researching rare records such as jazz, world music, and other similar genres. I play the board game Kensington and am often looking for a worthy opponent, which these days is proving to be quite difficult to find! If you play this rare British board game, please do let me know. Living in London and seeing how much it has evolved over the years is always a new experience with something to see and do; from exploring comedy clubs to new restaurants, art galleries and night clubs, street markets and new pop up stores, it is quite the adventure.

Mikael: I’ve been living here for almost eight years, and the best way I’ve found to discover London is by meeting locals. My partner is a genuine Londoner, as well as a writer and a journalist, so she has introduced me to all sorts of writers, singers, screenwriters, and actors. I happened to meet Brian over a beer one day, and he turned out a great singer and guitarist looking for a harmonica player, which I am. As we had a drink, I gave him a quick audition and got the job. I then started to play harmonica in Blues Jam sessions all around Camden with his band. In my spare time, I also work as a Supporting Artist in feature films, TV dramas, commercials, and documentaries, which gives me a proper opportunity to explore this industry from its very heart.

Last but not least, I never thought that I’d live on a boat but London gave me this opportunity. My neighbours turned from dodgy fellas in Camden into swans, ducks, coots, herons, and cormorants in Limehouse. No more police sirens waking me up in the middle of the night, no more foxes ransacking the bins right out my doorstep. Love that.

What are your highlights of working at ROSL?

Tony: The flags recently installed by Artist-in-Residence Nisha Duggal are fantastic. Every time I arrive for work, I always interpret them differently. Listening to the musicians rehearse whilst I am on duty is a pleasure and very relaxing. But best of all, helping with the new member showaround tours of our club. We have so much to offer and a rich history that defines our individuality in comparison with many other London clubs.

Frankie: My favourite things about working at the Royal Over-Seas League is firstly the Princes Alexander Music Hall and its many events as well as the exhibitions on display in the Central Lounge. The garden in the summer time is such a beautiful feature and also a wonderful place to dine with its jazz events and summer plays. There is always something new to look into at ROSL. The team are a pleasant lot to work alongside and always willing to help one another to improve. Its great to walk through those doors every day and be a part of the history of the Royal Over-Seas League.

Mikael: ROSL involvement in the arts makes a huge difference to me. The variety of artists and performers who come through our doors makes this the perfect place to work. The actual building itself and its walls and rooms are the echo of London’s past and it gives this place a unique position in the history of London.

Living in London and seeing how much it has evolved over the years is always a new experience with something new to see and do