Oulton Broad Motor Boat Club
Sunny weather, but cooled by strong Northerly winds, stayed with us all weekend. Some light showers also threatened but it was generally a warm weekend and the event attracted a best ever ( for this venue) turnout of 14 boats + 3 cars. We needed to use both new gazebos on the wharf green due to the numbers attending. It was neaps low tide under the bridges, around lunchtime, giving no problem for those attending on the day.
Although, quite a number of boats arrived on the Friday, the others arriving on the Saturday morning did so after spending a few days or a week or more holidaying on the Northern Broads ( including yours truly on “Lady Grace”, accompanied by “Mr.C”). Our resident Northern Broads members were also there, making a busy gathering that almost filled the Stracey Arms moorings. Members enjoyed the hospitality of Dawn and Ronnie, who took over the premises from Tony & Sue a couple of years previous, and what a go they have made of it. They had refurbished both the shop and the tearoom, relaid the patio and gardens, and still managed to keep (and even expand ) the menagerie of various farmyard animals. Members enjoyed lovely breakfasts each day of their stay, and frequented the shop for the rest of their provisions. Dawn had also organised that members coming over by car could park on her driveway for the duration of their stay, a nice gesture considering that the old “Pontiac” car park is no longer available to us.
All members helped to erect our 2 new blue gazebos on the ( thickly ) grassed area of the wharf quay, joining them together to make a 9 x 3m marquee – necessary for the amount of members present for the weekend. We are still getting used to the new units, and still struggling a little with erecting them as a double unit, not helped by the strong winds, but hopefully our expertise gained will help us at Beccles (next) when we will need both the new and old gazebos? The high grass was soon trampled down and John tried out his new “stage” flooring ( a thick plastic sheet ), and soon set up the mikes and amps etc for him and Bim.
We finished the marquee later in the afternoon, and tidied up in time for a few well-earned beers before starting our BBQ’s about 5pm, most cooking individually adjacent to their boats. The sun made a welcome appearance at this time as well – as it has done for previous BBQs this season.
We were all fed and “watered” by 7pm or so, and had moved our chairs into a crowded marquee, ready for firing up the trusty generator for the evening’s entertainment at 8.30pm, courtesy of Bim (Uke) & John (Guitar). Great music as usual, plenty of dancing, with 25 or so of us crowded into, or sitting outside, the warm gazebos. Finished at 10.45pm, and cleared the band gear back to the boats, although Dave & Dawn, and Jen & I, stayed inside for clearing up, and more drinks, before creeping back to our boats at midnight. Another lovely Club evening.
Sunday began a bit overcast, and still windy, with some members going in for breakfast about 10am. The rest of us hurriedly began to dismantle the gazebos as misty rain started to wet the fabric, and luckily the gazebos came down and were packed away much quicker than they went up – the single cantilever frames being brilliant compared to all those poles on the old gazebos!
Members began to drift away as the morning progressed, but those who were returning South didn’t need to leave until 2.30pm or so, to catch slack-water at Yarmouth at about 4pm. John / Sandra / Tim / Dee and Jim left earlier, heading upstream, to continue their Northern’s holiday week. The finish of a nice club weekend.
The next club meeting is the Grand event - the famous Beccles Funday! This is next week, Saturday 3rd.August. Some sunshine and more warmth is forecast. See you all there?