Despite the difficulties of 2021 we managed to get together on Littlehampton Beach for a picnic followed by another excellent meal with Sue and Alan.
The beach party just before Neville and Scilla arrived.
Sue has a slight lead in the Olympic individual ice cream scoffing event
It was another well attended virtual Club Zoom meeting last Wednesday when we were entertained by Colin McFarlane talking to us about Community First Responders of which he is a member working with the South East Coast Ambulance Service. Colin made some interesting points and offered some good advice when confronted with a potentially life changing situation.
Personally, I wasn’t aware that the organisation was quite so large and from recent accounts in the press it will soon massively increase in size as they look to take on another 60,000 volunteers thanks to £7 million pounds worth of funding raised by Capt. Tom Moore. They look like becoming a major addition to the emergency services.
The annual Club barbeque took place during the first week of June but what a mixed bag of weather we had to contend with. The plan for several boats to leave their marinas and converge on Bray Marina on the Friday afternoon were dashed by the awful weather. No one likes standing in the pouring rain whilst negotiating a lock so this meant we all stayed put and set off the following morning for Bray. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to meet Richard and Sylvia on “Trilogy” as losing a day meant it would be too much of a dash from Shepperton to Bray and back by the Sunday evening, never mind, we will catch up later in the season.
The weather on Saturday was much improved and we managed to get the gazebo erected in time for the members arriving by car to sort their seats out. The barbie was set up by Phil and the cooking was organised by head chef Julia who did a great job of flipping burgers and rolling sausages to perfection. Add a large dose of onions, mustard and ketchup and what’s not to like.
The weather was so different to the proceeding day as the gazebo provided welcome shade from the sun. Because of Covid, this was the first time in 18 months that we were all able to get together (legally) and it was really good to be able to chat and catch up. Neville and Scilla arrived in their boat replacement, a magnificent stretched motorhome that several people took up the chance of a guided tour, it really is a boat with wheels. Unfortunately, Detlef and Debbie were absent as Detlef suffered a reversal with his condition and had to go into hospital. I am sure most of you will have read Debbie’s posting on WhatsApp concerning Detlef’s health and we all send our support and best wishes to them both.
On the Sunday the boats set off for the week away upriver spending the first night at Cookham where several crews enjoyed a meal in a local restaurant. Day two saw everyone enjoy a bankside barbecue at Fawley Meadows in Henley in the evening sunshine. From there onwards to Pangbourne.
As we have been unable to meet for the last year, we decided to hold a Zoom Club Night with a guest speaker, Sandi Johnson, speaking on behalf of the Guide Dogs organisation. Sandi is visually impaired herself and has a guide do named Kane.
Well I have to say, from the feedback we have received, that the first WBCC virtual Club Night Zoom meeting was a great success with nearly all members logging on to watch Sandi from the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association give us a talk on how the dogs are trained from a puppy onwards. Personally, I learnt a few things and thought that Sandi, with her dog Kane assisting her, made a really interesting presentation. It was also good to see some Club members dressing for the occasion! For your interest the evening raised £315.25 for the association so well done WBCC. A big thank you must go to David for arranging the Club night and for hosting the Zoom meeting.