Oulton Broad Motor Boat Club
A blustery start at Beccles Quay on the Friday when most boats arrived – 40mph winds and showers. Not much improvement for the rest of the weekend, except lighter winds and almost constant drizzle –or “mizzling” as the Suff-folk say. Not enough to dampen our enthusiasm though!
11 club boats were at the event, 10 moored at the Beccles Yacht station (including 2 “home” moorers there) and one (Grey Goose) in pole position outside the venue itself! Other members came by car on the night, or stayed at the hotel. Not such a good turnout as other years, but a nice number for the smaller room, 39 sitting down for the meal.
Some of us had the usual Fish ‘n chips on the Friday evening, eating on our own boats, after earlier drinks and chats, as too damp to sit outside. Early night for most, to prepare for Saturday’s big night.
Another wet day dawned on the Saturday so not much activity on the quayside, although a few went up the town – shopping, and the local pubs no doubt? Jen and I went to the venue in the afternoon, to check table layouts and to take up all the raffle prizes (lots of them, so thanks to Tim lending us his car, and to Dave for driving us). We met Steve / Angela and Bill / Sandra up there, who helped putting on the individual raffle tickets, ready for the prize draw. Bim popped in as well, and on seeing the baby-grand piano in the room, immediately started playing – nice background music as we busied ourselves sorting out the prize table. Bob arrived with the printed tickets and placed them on each table setting, two each – ready for the prize ticket draw later. Those who were staying at the hotel had set up “camp” near to the bar area, and we all enjoyed a few drinks and a chat, with other members joining us, after they too had booked in to the hotel It was a lovely start to the occasion, but Jen and I had to hurry back to the quay - it was going on for 5pm before we left, and we still had to get our glad-rags on!
The taxis started their shuttle service just after 6.30pm, with the rain still falling, and quickly the boating contingent were joining their fellow members in the Staithe Suite, all enjoying pre-dinner drinks from the main bar. Everyone soon found their places and Bob began the call to sit down just before 7.30pm. John then got up to inform us of a “Get Well Soon” card for Ron that he would be passing around the room for us all to sign. I added to this by reading out an e mail from Ron where he apologises as, due to failing health, he can no longer attend any club events. A great shame for our President and long-standing club member. Bob then held the “lucky ticket” prize draw, which was won by Pip, and I presented her with a superb (looking) bottle of “expensive” Cava, Casa El Tesco. The serving of the excellent meal promptly begun, with background music playing courtesy of our band for the night, “An Evening with Bob”. They begun their actual live set at 9pm, just as soon as we had finished our teas and coffee. Their music was fine and varied, not as loud as previous years, but ideal for dancing and the dance floor quickly filled. Dawn and Jen were excused dancing for the first part of the evening, as they diligently went around the tables selling the raffle tickets – lots of them as it turned out! (They collected a total sum of £152, well done them and all who contributed!)
The band took an early break at 9.45pm, allowing Bob and I to begin the presentations. Team "WINKLE" ( John/Sandra; Bim/Jackie; Tim/Dee etc ) won the "Paul Hodgson" trophy, for the Funday games. The Challenge Plate was awarded to Ray (Stornaway ) for his towing help to Jim when “Helene” broke down earlier in summer. Ray had helped members out before by towing them to safety and he has become our own (r)A(yr)A(y) service! The Commodore’s Cup was won by my team, “Back-of-the-Tent” (Ken/Jen; Colin/Chris; John/Lin; and Bill/Sandra etc.), and the latter two came up to accept the award. The “Broken Oar" was awarded this year to "Lioness", with me reciting the long saga of Chris’s engine/fuel problems on a voyage returning from Devon, around the South coast. Whilst checking the fuel at the tank drain, the plug dropped down and Chris was forced to put his finger in the hole as he searched for the missing plug. Unfortunately, he couldn’t reach down far enough without releasing his finger, and having done just that, got 5 gallons or so of diesel over him for his troubles! The inscription reads “Finger plugging”. As an aside to this, Trish then leapt up to the mike to tell us of another Chris faux-pas – when she wrote a reminder in lipstick on the toilet seat – “Please put me down”. Next thing, she spies our hero walking around with that message transferred onto the back of his white shirt, blissfully unaware! (I myself now check the toilet seat each time - a lot of wives were listening to that story – with wry smiles on their faces!)
Anyway, massive congratulations to all our 2019 trophy winners.
The band started again at the end of the presentations, around 10pm, and there was once more plenty of dancing going on, before a second break at 10.30pm – for the prize raffle. Bob and I conducted the draw, at breakneck pace as usual so as not to interrupt the Band too long (even the Band bought some tickets). Lots of prizes up for grabs, and Jen & I did our fair share in grabbing, winning the star prize - a week in Hilda’s cottage - and lots more goodies as well. All tables seem to do well, as bottles of wine and perfumes built up on each.
The Band were in full swing again by 11pm, and the dance floor busy once more for the final set, until midnight. Good band, good music and a very enjoyable evening – except for the heavy rain which persisted during boarding the taxis, and while scurrying along the quayside to our boats.
Sunday opened with more rain in the morning, but lighter winds, so it was very quiet again around the moorings. Like most, we said our goodbyes and left just before 1pm, on the start of the ebb tide.
The venue next year will again be the Waveney House hotel, the Staithe Suite, but maybe for the last time? (We need much better attendance to make these dinner dances a continuing success). We have provisionally booked the “Evening with Bob” band again, although they did say they may be taking a year off, we’ll wait and see? Please note the booked date of 24th.October 2020.
Ken October 2019