The advertising info for this event began distribution on 13 September; but by 23
September the evening was totally oversubscribed and Rodger Wheeler, the organiser,
had to stop taking bookings; he thought only 40 could be accommodated but we had
52 booked. This was the first time this had ever happened but there's a limit to
the number that can be seated and catered for in the clubhouse and we had reached
that number unexpectedly quickly.
On the prior Friday Bodgit & Son had just about finished the new 'conservatory' extension.
This structure was designed and manufactured so that it can be simply be removed
and stored when not required but can easily be put in place in an afternoon. It was
to be used as a cocktail lounge on the night.
The clubhouse was then decorated and lights and sound system installed. A separate
crew then arrived on Saturday to prepare the food, lay-up the tables and finish the
hundred and one things that had to be done.
When Keith, Madeline, Lyn and I arrived on Saturday night it rapidly became obvious
that something was very wrong. The clubhouse was in darkness and several people were
wandering about looking very worried. It transpired that all power to the club was
out and had been for a couple of hours; the peak preparation and cooking period.
Some working lights had been rigged up from a generator on Don's cruiser but all
was far from well.
Eventually the Thames Water duty site electrician was contacted. He traced the fault
which was in a high voltage area that required two persons to be present to enter.
There was another wait until another 'sparks' could arrive. They then traced the
problem to a blown 60amp fuse in the supply line and fixed it, restoring light and
power, much to Rodgers relief. The electricians were greeted down at the club like
heros and appeared highly embarrassed by the whole thing.
The evening then got underway, albeit a tad late because of the cooking delay. Cocktails
were served and the old place looked very up market with many of the gentlemen in
DJ's and the Ladies resplendent in evening dresses and bling. The theme was Casino
Royale as in Ian Fleming's books and John Money out did himself in a dress, a.k.a.
Miss Moneypenny while John Neale dyed his hair, looking very suave as James Bond
As everybody took their seats the trio of Pat Halling (violin), Chris Le'bon (cello)
and Mike Lee (piano) started the entertainment. Between the first two courses they
played a selection of Bond film themes and were joined by vocalist Mandy Lee. Mandy
has a lovely voice and it was very good of her to sing like that in such close proximity
to her audience. The main course was a triumph despite worries about cooking times
thrown out by the earlier loss of power.
After dessert the trio played a number of other pieces and at one point Rodger was
invited to 'sit in’ and play violin with them. If he looked nervous before it was
nothing to the way he looked then, but he shouldn't have worried, it was great. Pat
ended the music with his own version of Last Night of the Proms and had the whole
audience singing Land of Hope and Glory. It was brilliant. Over cheese and coffee
the evening began to wind down and it was well past 2:00a.m. by the time our party
All our thanks go to Rodger for masterminding and organising the event; Also to everybody
who helped prior to the event and on the day preparing and serving the dinner. To
the musicians for the entertainment and to everybody who turned up on Sunday morning
to help clear up. It was a classic Aquarius evening enjoyed by a record attendance.