Chairman’s Bit, May 2014

All gonged up

All gonged up

This is my first Chairman’s bit after receiving the great honour of becoming chairman of Scarborough 41 Club at the April AGM. That honour was only surpassed on the evening by receiving a pair of Man City underpants from outgoing Chairman Tom Cathcart. For Tom to part with a pair of undergarments that were actually designed to fit him, and which carried the name of his favourite football team (made up of stars dragged from the back streets of Hulme and Moss Side), is honour indeed.

Seriously, though, I found myself surprisingly nervous on the evening, and one only has to look at the list of illustrious names on the 41 Club gong to realise why that was so, and that our Club has a great history, and a great story to tell. The latest name is TC’s, and we all wish him well after his excellent year in the chair.

I am also delighted that Richard Grunwell has accepted the role of Vice Chairman which will ensure his Chairman’s year coincides with the visit of Aalten in 2015. I am equally delighted that we have the same excellent team as last year to look after the business of the Club, namely: Mike Shingler (Secretary); Stephen Slade (Treasurer); Simon Ward (Catering)*; Simon Lockley (Membership); and Stuart Baines and yours truly (Newsletter and website).

After the AGM, I promised not to tell any more bad jokes for the rest of this year. In fact, I will do my best to make them excruciating instead.

My key themes for the year that I mentioned at the AGM is to ensure that we have better links with Table. I would like the Club to be the natural place for any retiring Scarborough Tabler to progress to. Tablers reaching 45 shouldn’t see 41 Club as some distant, far-off remote organisation, but their natural home to come to once Table says goodbye to them. It is a very difficult balancing job for 41 Club Officers to have a programme of events and activities that both meet the bill for young and the more senior 41ers alike. But if we don’t understand that Table has changed, and recognise that in the shape of some change in 41 Club, we are destined to lose our primary source of new members over time.

That said, I was delighted at the AGM to have the additional honour of inducting three new members to the Club: Pete Moss (ex-1188), Andy Moran and Alex Jowett (both ex-88). As I mentioned on the evening, Alex has kindly agreed to accept the unofficial role of Round Table liaison to ensure that we keep in contact with Table at all times. If this role is successful, I would envisage that it would become a permanent officer role for the youngest 41 Club member in from Table. Simon (L) will be working with Alex to ensure we can maximise our membership of past Tablers.

I also hope we can take part in each other’s activities more so that Tablers and 41 Clubbers recognise each other as parts of the same organisation. It was great to see Tablers at our AGM, and there was an excellent turn out of 41 Club members at Table’s AGM a few days later.

I am looking forward to visiting Ian and Suzanne’s later this week for our annual nature ramble through the mud and muck sorry, verdant, rich green meadowland. As I write, the weather might just break with tradition and give us a fine evening so we can enjoy the magnificent view from the farm that Ian reassures us each year is really there. Our grateful thanks to Ian and Suzanne for hosting us once again, TC and John White for the BBQ and Simon for his excellent organisation once again. We are way past the deadline for reserving your steak but if you do find you might like to come at the last minute, try giving Simon a call.

We resume in late September with the first meeting after the summer break on Thursday, 25 September. In between, Mike S is organising his sailing day at Runswick Bay as usual, and we have a three-way Quoits challenge with Table and F.A.R.T.S. in early August. More on all of these later. Do watch the website for diary dates.

I look forward to seeing you over the summer. Have a great one.


Chairman, Scarborough 41Club

* Peter Wilkinson has “engineered” a year’s leave of absence.

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