Oulton Broad - August Bank Holiday Weekend 24th - 27th August 2012

Another enjoyable weekend with 17 Boats, including 2 new members, + 2 cars. A total of 40 members plus lots of guests over the whole Bank holiday.
The staff at the Yacht station did us proud this Bank Holiday – helping all into their berths and maintaining a good mooring plan, preventing the usual gripes and grumbles on this busiest of weekends. Most members arrived on the Thursday or Friday, some even had been there for the whole of Regatta week.
The weather was fairly kind to us, except some strong winds on Saturday / Sunday, and heavy rain on Sunday, which luckily abated by the time of the club BBQ in the afternoon - and that rain didn't return until just as the last firework had exploded in Monday night's brilliant display. Lucky again?
There was also a Norfolk Forum club meet on the Friday - they were preparing to Cruise-in-company to Beccles (for the weekend) with MTB 102, so all their boats were "dressed" and looked good as they escorted the WWII boat out of the lock and on its way - albeit a little later than planned due to last-minute repairs to the ageing warship. Mind you, I capitalised on their delay by distributing copies of our yearbook, for those that may be interested in future membership, and by "selling" lots more quiz sheets for charity.
A number of old friends and colleagues joined us at various times over the weekend. On the Friday, our previous commodore, Nigel, came along for a chat. He is now back at Cove Marina, Brundall, together with a new boat - a Broom 35' European. Brian and Jackie (Playful Spirit) popped along during Sunday afternoon - they are still based at Loddon, but don't venture out much on their boat these days. Malcolm and Julie (Springtide) were about over the whole weekend - as was Terry (Mar-Tel II), who joined in a lot of events. Also Geoff and Merryl (Fly-Eagle) stopped by for chats.
Again, I gave all our visitors copies of our yearbook - perhaps they will rejoin us in the future?
In the meantime, we did get a couple of new members and another renewal. Welcome to newcomers Langford & Margaret ("Barracuda") and David & Diane ("Escape"), and welcome back to Mike Cole ("Nereus of Wight"). Mike explained that, sadly, his wife Diane passed away this time last year and so Mike lapsed his membership - but his son Michael now joins him on his boat and has become a club member. Your committee and fellow members also proposed that we give "honorary" membership to Paul, the assistant harbourmaster, as he has always shown interest in our club and helped out at discos etc.
A "members and friends" get-together dinner was arranged for the Saturday night, held at the Waveney pub just over the road from the Broad. We asked Bob and Norma to attend as our ulterior motive was to congratulate them on the occasion of their forthcoming Golden Wedding anniversary. In all, 22 sat down for a good chat; a fine “pub” meal; and plenty of complimentary wine – culminating in a presentation of a large bouquet of flowers to Norma, and an anniversary card signed by everyone at the table and all their friends around the Yacht station. That surprised them!
The Sunday club BBQ went really well in the late afternoon sunshine - plenty of food and drink as usual, but we had to clear up quickly so as to get ready for the “Fifties” night of music and dancing which had been arranged by Paul and held in the Boulevard cafe / bar. What a night that was - just look at the photos.
So many people turned up in fancy dress to make it a colourful occasion, with disco by Paul and live music provided by our members Bob; John; Pip; and Sylvia - with help from various other acts.
We needed a peaceful Bank Holiday Monday to get over it all - what a glorious weekend!

Quiz report
All 100 of my usual cryptic-quiz sheets were distributed over the first half of the weekend – raising the impressive amount of nigh-on £200 for the childrens’ charity “Make-a Wish” foundation. Thanks to all those who took part and donated so well – especially the visitors from Essex Boatyards marina; the yacht station staff; and our old friend Terry of “Martel II”. Your committee agreed for the club to donate the prizes (Olympic soft-toys) so that all proceeds went to the charity – plus we added a few pounds at the end to round it up to the full £200.
Unfortunately I might have made the clues a little too difficult as only 15 sheets were returned for the “Underground London” quiz (based on questions given in by Bob – originally destined for the (abandoned) Bramerton Funday quiz). Even less were handed in for my topical theme “ London Olympics”. Members Mike and Jan of “Clanmer” won “Silver” in the former but achieved “Gold” in the Olympic quiz – “Bronze” in which was won by Steve and Angela of “Emma Louise”. Other prizes were won by non-members. Congratulations to all of them.
Now to think of next year’s quiz subjects – any ideas?

Ken 12/09/2012

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