THE AQUARIUS SAILING CLUB
Monday 20 June was a bit of a red letter day. I
finally posted off the application for the new Club Premises
Certificate to the new licensing authority and the Police. It
took nearly three months to prepare. What a bureaucratic load
of old cods! And that's putting it politely.
If we were a 5,000 capacity night club in the
middle of Kingston, serving drinks till god knows what time
in the morning, fighting a drugs problem and viewing anti
social behaviour as a way of life I could understand all the
palaver concerned with getting a new bar license; but for a
small, non profit making, private members club it does seem a
Mind you, I've got my eye on some of our senior
members, too much sugar in their tea and they go berserk.
Square dancing, ballroom, lace making, you name it,
the’re into it. The management committee might even
have to start issuing OAP ASBO's to curb their disturbing
gardening, bird watching and stamp collecting
Recently the licensing authorities have been
expressing concern that very few establishments had submitted
their license applications. The media meanwhile were saying
that the reason for late submission was that the application
forms were incomprehensible and wide open to
misinterpretation which could lead to application rejection;
but as the 6 August got nearer and nearer a look at the
public notice pages of the local newspapers made interesting
reading. More and more concerns took the plunge to get their
applications in, many taking the variation option to extend
their current licensing hours.
More recently the national newspapers and TV
have been having a field day regarding the potential
ramifications of allowing 24hr drinking. It's a bit late for
that, perhaps they should have given the subject a little
more deliberation when our esteemed government, and I use
that word loosely, first proposed easing the licensing laws
as a way of combating binge drinking.
I suppose there is a twisted logic in their
thinking but it certainly isn't in tune with what's actually
going on in the streets. Most of the kids I know just view
the new policy as an opportunity to spend longer in the clubs
It's going to be interesting to see how 'the
authorities' plan to deal with all the businesses that may
still not be licensed after the published cut off date and
possibly even more interesting to see how our already
overstretched Police are going to deal, in real terms, with
the ramifications of what is about to unleashed by this ill
Do you have a view on the above? Drop me a line
and I'll publish it in the next edition of The Main
Update: Well what do you know, it's 8 August
and I've just heard from Joan that AQSC's club certificate
application has been approved by Richmond Borough
This news was followed closely by a survey
request from the RYA asking if we had (a) applied, (b) been
approved or turned down, and (c) how much our application
cost. The RYA is still fighting a rearguard action to have
sailing clubs put in a separate category to pubs, hotels and
nightclubs from a charges standpoint.
I wish them well but I think our Government is
currently distracted by the adverse outcry this legislation
is causing to be too bothered about the dissimilarity of
On the domestic front, welcome to all our new
members. I trust you will enjoy your membership and take
advantage of all Aquarius has to offer. The training
programme is going well and hopefully, in the not so distant
future, we will have our first graduate.
I would like to remind you all about
forthcoming events. There's a quiz night scheduled for 15
October which I'm told will be a little less taxing than the
last 'Chinese' quiz.
Firework night at Kempton Park will be on
Saturday 5 November with supper back at the clubhouse.
Tickets via Richard. The AQSC annual dinner will be held at
the club on Saturday 19 November, details elsewhere in this
newsletter. This is a not-to-be-missed event and early
booking is highly recommended.
I believe Diana has ordered a limited number of
tickets for 'Aladdin' at Richmond Theatre in January.
The AGM, prizegiving and end of season party
will be held at the club on 3 December. That will be my last
AGM as Commodore as I will be standing down to make way for
someone with fresh ideas and enthusiasm.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank
everybody on the club Management Committee for all their help
advice and assistance over the last three years. It's been
much appreciated. I'd especially like to thank Bodgitt &
Son for all their work in the clubhouse over the last couple
of years. That title covers several members, who between them
have contributed an amazing amount of their time, knowledge
and expertise. Gentlemen, it's been both an education and a
pleasure to work with you.
Meanwhile, on the water, sailing continues
until 13 November so there are still plenty of opportunities
to get afloat before the end of the season. Richard is
keeping track of the series results but there's still time
for you to rack up a few more points.
As always more newsletter contributions would
be appreciated. Just look at all the ramblings I turn out,
you've got to be able to do better than those; Plus I'm
running out of things to write about, so sharpen up your PC
quill pens and lets have your 'take' on what's going on at
the club, it's social programmes or anything else that takes
See you on the water!