Oulton Broad Motor Boat Club
Weather blustery, cloudy, sunny spells - but on average not too bad over the whole weekend. A very good turnout as usual, this time of 25 boats + 4 cars.
6 teams (each of 4 to 6 persons) took part in the games, and nearly 60 members and guests attended over the weekend. Later, we all crowded inside the double-gazebo (plus Ray’s Foyer!) for some nice songs and ukulele / guitar music from Kath, Bim, and John.
Nearly all of us arrived by the Friday evening, 24 in all, (only “Satori” left it to the Saturday), all braving the strong winds to get moored in our allocated spots. A committee meeting had been arranged for the Friday afternoon, but it was too windy to erect the gazebo and so we all squeezed into the rear cockpit of “Lady Grace”, enjoying “complimentary” beers and wine during the meeting, ending just after 5pm. Meeting was very successful, agreeing on venues and dates for next year’s events. After the meeting, members gathered along the (new) quay heading and on the adjacent grass areas, continuing with a few drinks and a chat before time for dinner. New members Bill & Sandra Cook ( “MR C”) were introduced to us and welcomed into the club by all members. We then went back on our respective boats for dinner – some of us, as usual, getting fish ‘n chips – and settling down for the night. The wind had died down on Saturday morning, and the sun was out, so allowing both gazebos to be erected on the central grass area. These were joined nose-to-tail to give us 18 x 3 metres of covered space, and Ray added his smaller gazebo across the entrance to give an additional 3 x 3 metres of a “Foyer” – very swish! With the number of members attending, we needed all that space.
Sandra had bought packs of solar lights from nearby B&M’s and these were placed at the base of each guy rope, along with yards of red/white “danger” tape – we were determined to comply with our own Elf & Safety risk assessment for the weekend. All this was finished off with the planting of the flagpole on the river front and the hoisting of the Club ensign.
Soon the gazebos and the outside “Games” area were full of tables and chairs and the sound of clinking bottles. Six teams entered the Funday competition, with myself organising and adjudicating in the comfort of my canvas chair, behind the beer-laden “Captains” table. (Luckily, I can still lift beer bottles even if my leg joints are temporarily “knackered”). I was also well assisted by Commodore Bob (lovely to see Norma up and about after her spell in hospital) ; Steve & John and other members, all of us ready to enjoy a comical afternoon. Unfortunately, the rain started even before we could finish the first game (Bob’s boules) and all had to hightail it into the gazebos, which turned out to be no problem as there was plenty of room to continue all the games inside in comfort.
“Breast balls”; “Hoola-hoops”; “Quoits”; and Dawn’s “Play-your-cards-right”; all swiftly completed by 5pm – I was saving the Quiz “decider” to early evening, before the music entertainment began.
Then the rain stopped and the sun shone – it must be BBQ time! What a lucky lot we are with the weather at BBQ time? The BBQ went well, all cooking and eating in our chosen spots and, because it was such a lovely evening, only a few ate in the gazebos, most of us were all done by 7pm and with time to clean up and prepare for the evening entertainment. The gazebo at night was lit prettily with mood fairy lights, except for a solitary mains light above the “stage” area for the musicians. My quiz was delayed until about 8.30 as members drifted in to the gazebos, I too being late as my BBQ decided to go for a swim, as I was lifting it back on the boat. (Thanks to Dave here, who fished the important bits out with his giant magnet). It was a short quiz, but definitely sorted out the day’s winners and losers, and the canny teams had saved their Jokers until last. The quiz itself was won by the “Musicians”, but the overall winners of the “Paul Hodgson” trophy shield were the “Old Crocks” (Pip/Colin; Ray/Margaret and Dee) with 124 points, closely followed by last year’s winners “KAS” on 118 points. Bringing up the rear were the “Cruisers” on 83 points; “Peelers” were 5th. on 86; the famous “Double D’s came in 4th. on 105; and the “Musicians” ended 3rd. on 113. In the words of dearly departed Brucie – “Good game, good game”! Well done to all who took part.
The music entertainment got underway just before 9pm, Bim and John kicking off proceedings, followed by Kath singing a long set starting around 9.30. Ivan chipped in with a few songs as the night drifted on and John continued until well after 11pm. Plenty of dancing going on throughout the evening, and plenty of drinking as well. Another lovely evening, many thanks to our musical performers.
Sunday was nice to begin with, I had the early task of informing the teams of how they fared and of informing the winners of the trophy. One of the gazebos was taken down early on Sunday morning, but one was left until later, for Pip to use for her local folk band, who were visiting Beccles that day. We also left up Ray’s “Foyer”, for members to use, those who had decided to remain at Beccles during the following week or so. Others drifted off downriver as the day progressed.