Memories · Notes from West London

It was 18 years ago today (20:02 20-02-2002)

Today is a day full of zero’s and two’s: 20-02-2020. At 8:02pm tonight the date and time will read 20:20 20-02-2020.

18 years ago today we had the same collection of digits in a different order, and at 8:02pm the date and time read 20:02 20-02-2002. The significance of this, and we were aware of it at the time, was that the date and time were the same backwards, forwards and upside down. This will not happen again.

The night that it did happen I was in a pub near Cambridge Circus, “in the heart of London’s West End”. It was called the Marquis of Granby at the time (now it’s a Brewdog) and I had met up with a group of people I used to work with in the 1990s. As 8pm approached we all made sure that we were ready to witness the backwards, forwards, upside-down date/time combination. At 8pm I called my wife at home in case she needed a reminder. She didn’t. I hung up and at 20:02 20-02-2002 I was standing on a pavement near Seven Dials with a group of former work-mates, turning my Motorola Timeport upside down, reading the numbers backwards and forwards, knowing that this time would never be repeated. Of course, if you use the American date format (02-20-2002) it never happened in the first place.




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