Chairman’s log July 2019

To celebrate the start of the new boating season, 41 TSCC members gathered in April for our annual Fitting Out Supper. This year it was held at Topo Gigio Ristorante in Ewell, a great-value venue with excellent food and friendly, efficient service. It was a terrific evening and I have no doubt we will return there some time in the future. A big thank-you to George and Jan who led the organisation.

The following month, 30 of us ventured up to town for a convivial lunch in Covent Garden followed by a matinee performance of the hit musical ‘9 to 5’. With a star-studded cast headed by Brian Conley, Louise Redknapp and Bonnie Langford, the show was filled with fun, frivolity and some great music – plus an underlying message that is no less relevant today than it was 40 years ago when the original film was first released. Many thanks to Jackie for organising. Our first big event of the year was a D-Day cruise aboard the MV Marco Polo attended by 29 members and friends. It was supposed to kick off with a D-Day dinner to mark the 75th anniversary of that pivotal event, but unfortunately the ship was stuck elsewhere because of storms. But no worries, we all got a refund and joined the ship the following morning! The Marco Polo is over 50 years old and here and there its age begins to show. However, any minor niggles are easily forgiven because of all the positives: a fantastic crew who truly care about the passengers and the ship; top notch food and service; and outstanding evening entertainment. And, because the ship only accommodates 650 passengers there is a real feeling of intimacy. All in all, a fantastic week. Our thanks to George for pulling it together.

Somewhat breathlessly, the following week we arrived at Hurley for our annual gathering on the Thames. The event was attended by 17 members aboard seven craft plus a further nine staying at the Old Bell in the village. In addition, it was great to welcome Rosie who organised our Hungerford outing, as well as Mary and Dusty Miller and Chris and Les Easterling who drove up for the fun day. This major event was again led by George with help from Rosie and from
Andy Vine who organised our outing to West Wickham. A big thank-you to all three and to Janet for the invaluable support she gives to George.

We were deeply saddened by the untimely death of John Oakley with whom we have shared many happy times. Our thoughts go out to his entire family and above all to his wife Lesley who has been a rock at his side throughout his long and difficult illness. It was Rosie and David who brought John and Lesley into the Club and later in this Newsletter you can read a personal tribute penned by Rosie.

If you have not yet had a chance, please check out the new-look TSCC website www.tscc.org.uk . A big thanks to Alex McNeill for all his help in getting it set up. We hope you like it and would welcome your feedback. This is also a good moment for me to express our thanks to Peter Simpson who is both our webmaster and the editor of this outstanding newsletter. Thanks a million Peter! For me, a key aim of the Club is to raise money for deserving Scouting causes whilst at the same time having fun. Recently I visited Addlestone Canoe Club which is an important boating base for Scouts in the Runnymede District. The clubhouse is in need of urgent upgrade and the necessary fundraising is in full swing. However, the Scouts also have some more basic needs including buoyancy aids and canoe paddles suitable for Beavers, as well as some additional spray decks. Having received a request to help, we were delighted to oblige. We wish them lots of fun afloat. If you know of a deserving Scouting cause that could benefit from a small grant from the TSCC please let George Barber know. Here’s hoping you’re having a cracking summer, whether afloat or ashore or a bit of both. Mark