Group makes British feel right at home

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By Nancy Edwards

Individuals and families imported from England have discovered a real home away from home, thanks to a group that has introduced the fellow Brits to one another.

The Fishers British Meet and Greet was started by Alison Smith, who made some great British friends while she was living in Atlanta. After moving to Fishers, Smith decided she wanted to make some new friends from England and went online to www.meetup.com to start the group.

Now, with more than 100 members and growing, the group consists of a variety of individuals: From those who lived in England or those who married someone British, to Americans who traveled abroad and want to learn more about the British culture. The club also has people from Brazil, Wales, Ireland and South America.

“Those of us who have become firm friends meet at least once a week for tea, lunch, dinner, babysitting or just catch up,” Smith said. “It is a home away from home where we can be ourselves and be with like-minded friends.”

The group also incorporates festivities from England, including Boxing Day and Guy Fawkes Night. As well, members trade tips on where to find the best fish and chips, beer and pubs to watch a game of soccer. Plus, they feel free to share their sarcasm used commonly in their native country.

“We get together and complain about the weather and use our sense of humor,” Dave Lewis, who joined the group in 2005, said. Lewis lived in Birmingham, England, before moving to the U.S. “We’ve got a good network of friends here with kids around the same ages.”

Ali Shales, originally from Peterborough, England, said she and her husband had made good friends with about four other families they met from the group.

“Fishers is home now,” she said.

For more information about the group, email Smith at alicat8a@hotmail.com or visit http://www.meetup.com/brit-222/.

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