Oulton Broad Motor Boat Club
One of the best club events ever, over a lovely warm Summer weekend, and with a record turnout of 26 Boats + 6 cars.
7 teams ( each of 4 to 7 persons) took part in the games, and 50 or so members and guests attended the BBQ. Later, we all crowded inside the gazebos for some nice songs and guitar music from Keith, Bim and John with two sets from our songstress Kath.
The weather remained warm and sunny throughout the weekend, with a moderate breeze to cool us down.
It all began early on the Friday, many of the boats arriving to take up the reserved moorings, ending up with 23 boats at the end of that day. Because of the high numbers in attendance, it was decided to erect both new and old gazebos – luckily Dave and Dawn had kept both on their boat. I seemed to be in the way, and so was banished to the sidelines and into my comfy chair – complete with a few beers, so not too much of a hardship! From then on, the gazebos were erected quickly, end to end, with the old tree stump in the centre to provide the “bandstand”. The whole ensemble was finished off with the bunting and banner, and finally the new flagpole was erected at the river-end – flying the union flag. (again, provided by Dennis, as our club flag was still not ready from our flag-makers). We then began a little drinking, and some of us lads were given colourful wigs to parade around with and be photographed – much to the delight of the ladies.
Many of us dressed our boats and the whole area looked very colourful, bunting flying in all directions.
Some of us went uptown for early evening meals and all returned to sit in the gazebos with some music playing on the new boom-box. Some disco lights had been set up by Peter in the old gazebo, making it resemble a darkened night club , whilst we congregated in the better-lit new gazebo – chatting and drinking until past 11pm or so. End of a lovely first day.
Up early the next morning, with only a few boats still to arrive, we all did our own thing, generally lazing about in the lovely sunshine – with some beginning the Treasure hunt set by Graham and Mary, which involved a stroll around the town. We were visited later that morning by Bob and Robin – both fresh out of The James Paget branch of the OBMBC and still looking a bit frail, although Robin was speeding about on his F1 mobility scooter! We had a nice chat over coffees and biscuits before Bob and Norma had to leave and Robin and Jane went off visiting other boats and friends.
Teams were sorted out and the games began around 3pm – with me adjudicating and trying to control the wacky proceedings and the even wackier scoring process. Still, “good game; good game” was the mantra as we quickly completed the usual rounds of Boules; Quoits; and Cards – all in gorgeous sunshine and all in time for the scheduled 5pm BBQ start.
All BBQing and clearing up was done by 8pm, in time for claiming our places in the gazebos, getting more beer and wine ready, and setting up the live music. I held a quick quiz to round off the day’s games, leaving only the Treasure Hunt to be completed on Sunday before the points could be totted up. At that stage, Essex Boys were well in the lead with 96 pts – but they were not going to do the Treasure hunt so it would still be a close run contest.
Keith was back in attendance, and he kicked off musical proceedings with some lovely folk songs, including his well-loved version of “Wild Rover,” before John and Bim began singing and playing - and this was followed by Kath. Another great night’s entertainment, not finishing until gone 11.30pm.
Sunday was the last day to complete the treasure hunt – with 33 pts up for grabs – and a few went off around the town to try their luck. We decided to take down and pack away both gazebos while they were dry, and this was all done by 10.30am, Dave and Dawn once more storing them and all the attendant paraphernalia on their boat.
With the weather so good, most of us had decided to stay another day – in fact, some stayed for the rest of the week until Carnival weekend and beyond! Sylvia turned up as promised, before lunchtime, and on her boat “Cloud 9”. She had been for a short sea-trip the day before, but now intended to spend a few days at Beccles. So again, back to the drinking and the chatting, whilst the sun still shone! Graham and Mary declared the results of the Treasure hunt just after 4pm – but only 2 of the teams had participated in earnest. This gave John / Bim’s team “Shipwreck” a narrow 4 pts lead over the “Essex Boys”, and so they were declared 2015 winners of the “Paul Hodgson” trophy.
That evening, on a warm night, we all sat round near the boats and were entertained by Pip on her accordion – after which, we continued conversations and enjoying our drinks once more until late.
See you all at the next event – Oulton Broad Regatta weekend. Don't forget the BBQ on Sunday 30th.August, gather about 3pm?