Oulton Broad Motor Boat Club
Showery weather for the whole weekend, and even some heavy thunderstorms, but plenty of sunshine when it mattered – during the games and BBQ, and at the AGM. Gusty, SW winds on the Friday – which only abated slightly as the weekend progressed. A very good turnout as usual, - 23 boats (including 1 new member) + 5 cars. 6 teams (each of 2 to 6 persons) took part in the games on the Saturday, and over 40 members and guests attended the weekend.
Most of us arrived by Friday lunchtime, 21 in all, some having been there a few days, boats mooring in order going east from the river end – all well controlled by Harbourmaster Tim. We enjoyed some good chats outside our boats, in between showers, and the “dressing” of boats was undertaken by most. We started at 1pm to erect the 2 pop-up gazebos, with all members helping under the supervision of Dave and Steve, to provide shelter for the committee meeting. We left the front open, ready to add the old white gazebo on Saturday, and added extra tie-downs due to the strong winds. Steve decided to start the committee meeting a little early, at 3.15pm, and it went well – finishing by 4.30. Quite a few members went to the chippie and brought fish ‘n chips back to eat on their individual boats, followed by more chatting and drinking outside until around 9.30, before closing up and retiring for the night.
Saturday began showery again, but members began early to erect the old white gazebo, with the usual mix-ups and struggles! Dave then raised the club flag alongside the gazebos, with Steve taking the salute. We were good to go! We left the gazebos’ front open again, until the evening, and then set out the prize tables and brought our tables/chairs inside – which then got wet as the rain came in through the gazebo “joins”. This got especially bad when severe thunderstorms hit at lunchtime, stranding Bim and myself inside with just some chairs and a few boxes of beers to take comfort from. Very relaxing, watching the waterfalls streaming down the gazebo edges! Poor Bim got a little wet though, when post-thunderstorms, a bulge appeared in the gazebo roof and our attempts to push it out resulted in a deluge of water down the gaps, just where Bim was standing. Oh dear!
But miraculously the weather cleared, and the sun came out just in time for the Funday games at 3.15pm. 6 teams entered, all with lots of support from the side-lines. Jen and Sandra C had been busy since 12 noon going around selling raffle tickets for the later prize draw, proceeds to the Club gazebos’ fund, and the generosity of members and guests continued throughout the whole afternoon. Bob and Norma had joined us in their car by then, and another boat arrived – “Mystic Lady”, from it’s mooring close by at Hippersons. Bob helped me organise the games as previous years and a fun time was had by all. The games finished early at 4.30 and we took a short break to total up the scores, and to sort out the raffle tickets ready for the draw at 5pm. I declared team “Hardly There” as worthy winners of this year’s games; Colin’s “Woofters” a close second; and last time (2019) winners, “Winkle” a commendable third place. Bob presented Steve with the “Paul Hodgson” trophy. The raffle prize draw followed, with lots of prizes and plenty of winners, even though the “Best-dressed Boat” prize bottle of Champagne went astray during this frantic process. It was quickly located and returned to its rightful home – my boat! - as Judge Bob, after a stroll among the moored boats, announced “Lady Grace” to be best-dressed of the weekend. Well done me!
BBQs were then fired up and meals enjoyed in the continuing sunshine, most cleared away by 7pm or so, ready for a game of bingo – players entering for a £1 a head, again proceeds to the gazebo fund. This fund was building up nicely, thanks also to some generous additional donations from members and friends. (All in all, we collected £270 this weekend, and other donations followed in the following days – one big donation being from Bim donating 24 copies of his book “Glug” to be sold at up to £10 per copy. Marvellous!) The gazebos had filled up by 8pm when Bingo caller Bim began, with young Edward claiming first line prize; Rosie the 2 lines; and then a 3-way tie for the final “full-house” – won by Dave on a tie-break, the star-prize of a lovely porcelain dinner plate, donated by Bob and Norma.
This delayed the start of the music entertainment, Bim and John kicking off at 8.45 and continuing non-stop until 10pm – when sadly we had to stop and begin the clear-up, to comply with new rules regarding silence by 10.30pm. The neighbours wanting to sleep, and me thinking it was a new “woke” (awake?) society? However, the evening went very well, plenty of dancing to some great music again from our resident duo. Very enjoyable! Actually, the early night was good for Bim as he then had to return to Brundall by car, to collect his errant moggie who had hidden on Friday and rejected all attempts to join us at Beccles. Bim’s second trip back actually, when he tried Friday night, after a train journey, the cat stayed well hidden! Great fun, Not?
Sunday was an early start for us all, AGM morning. Even Bim was around early, bright and breezy, although the weather was still a bit showery, but there were sunny breaks. Some began to take their bunting down early and tidy the boats before the AGM began. Over 40 attended and enjoyed bacon baguettes served from 10.30 am onwards, the actual AGM starting at 11.15. and finishing at 12.30. We then all pitched in to dismantle the old gazebo and one pop-up, leaving one gazebo for members’ use, those who were staying at Beccles for the next few weeks. That gazebo was moved closer to the office, on the green outside. The dismantled gazebos and the flag were put back on Dave’s boat for storage, and then boats began to move off around lunchtime, except for a few who stayed on until Monday, and the others who were staying for the remainder of August.
Their “staycation” in Becclesdorm, as the town has become known?
It had been another successful club weekend.
Ken September 2021