September 2019

Business Meeting 1st August 2019

Chairman Roger Gourd welcomed Members and our Speaker and welcomed back Brian Thomas. Our latest member, David Read, (absent this month) will be inducted in September. Present: 29 members plus speaker Robin Ford ( ). Formal thanks: Jim Mulvey.

Almoner, Andrew Kellard, reported the absences of Reg Baker (just about recovered from a fall, but now has pulled a back muscle), Roger Davies=, Tony Simpson=, Lionel Downton= (= no change), Alan Bird (wife had to go to hospital), Ian Cullen (unwell with recurring problem).

Acting Luncheon Secretary, Andrew Kellard. Please notify Andrew by 10.30 am the prior Tuesday if you are not able to attend. Also, if you, your partner or another member is unwell please contact almoner, Andrew Kellard on 01737 554055.

Vacancies: Luncheon Secretary to replace Andrew Kellard.
Post filled: Brian Morris has kindly agreed to become our Accounts Examiner. The charity collection raised £77.95 for the Chairman’s Charity –MacMillan Cancer Support. The raffle for the amenity fund raised £34.

Outings and Events

Ladies Lunch: 17th October at the Chateau Napoleon. Entertainment – a mandolin player. £34p.p. Guests welcome. Please complete invitation/menu.Quiz: 22nd November, Cameron Hall for teams, pairs or individuals. £12.50 p.p. Quizmaster Dennis Evans, fish & chips etc. Please complete entry/menu form.


Today – Jim Mulvey: Fake History
October 3rd – Vic Quale: Fun on Four Wheels
November 7th – Andrew Warde: The London Roman Wall
December 5th – Revd. Malcolm Newman: “Christmas Theme”

Editorial Note – Vincent Fosdike

You may notice the first of a series of reminiscences supplied by members as requested in my last edition. These will appear under the title: BAR ROOM REMINISCENCES. These are short and will remain anonymous unless otherwise requested. Please keep them coming!

Robin Ford, Kidney research group at St. Helier Hospital

As we get older the theme of health enters more into our conversation. Possibly it dominates our thoughts more than is good for us. Finding a balance between sensible and practical health management in so far as we can make our own relevant decisions and switching our attention to more rewarding activities is much to be desired. A lot of us are involved in charitable activities on the medical front and so socialise with people suffering from a wide spectrum of illnesses.

My own experience suggests that whilst the social side may well be therapeutic it can also result in sessions (perhaps in local hostelries) which result in a sort of stock market trading floor where medical statistics are touted at length with lots of personal figures exchanged.

When guest speakers tackle medical themes it is hard for them to combinean informative approach without either approaching a “slough of despond”or skimming over the subject so that it risks losing meaningful impact and helpful information.

Our speaker on the 1st August was Robin Ford of the South West Thames Institute for Renal Research at St.Helier Hospital and I believe he struck the balance well. It is particularly worth noting that the charity is in the running for an award for the smallest charity of the year. They have only one full time member of staff! Despite this they manage a huge range of fund raising activities including: presentations at local venues, fêtes, polo matches, classic car events and even silent auctions at the Houses of Parliament. Whilst they do receive a small amount of assistance from grants they must regularly raise half a million pounds per annum from such activities.

So, a few brief points about kidney function and treatment may be appropriate here. We all know that we must have at least one functioningkidney although Robins’ son does not have any Kidneys and has lived formany years wholly reliant on dialysis which leaves him frequently in a state of exhaustion. Hence the need for transplants. Did you know that the law has changed to give a presumption of donorship unless we opt out?

Better and earlier diagnosis is a key objective of the charity and to this end it has developed a bedside phone app which allows a fifteen minute diagnosis saving many days of tests and delays. Work has begun on “growing Kidneys”which must surely rank a minor miracle. These projects are of course headed by world class experts based at St. Helier. There is a correlative benefit in the field of diabetes which is closely linked to kidney problems.

As with any research there is a tendency for the low hanging fruit to be easier to get but then the questions get deeper and more expensive toexplore. What was once a miracle becomes a standard and “demanded”treatment. So the people at the sharp end cannot rest and we all thank them and their supporters for not doing so.

Bar Room Reminiscence

Drink all you can. Well that’s what the man said. They were only softdrinks on the production line so not really what you think. My job? Justsmash the bottles when the machine jammed on the conveyor belt, “Keep it moving right, here’s your tyre lever – you’ll get an envelope at the end of the week, foreman will let you out in batches, don’t all go at once or therewill be no more work, know what I mean?”

Some strong-minded family orientated mothers on the line didn’t just drink(and swear) they filled their shopping bags as the bottles clinked by. Come end of night shift and the bags were full as the lights went out. That night was different. Suddenly the management gallery lights came back on and a managerial voice commanded over the Tannoy:

A wave of panic swept across the upturned faces. Bottles were kicked away, bags shoved under the conveyors, some tried to hide behind the Vats. Guilt and Fear froze them in a tableau of greed. It lasted just long enough for my mate and me (should say I) to get down and out from the gallery and onto our motorbikes still clutching our brown envelopes and oh so glad both bikes started first kick!


Murder on the Kent Express

It was a family present on our 50th anniversary – five course Pullman lunch and murder mystery whilst the train hurtled from Victoria on a mystery tour of Kent (Ashford, Canterbury, Ramsgate, Margate, Whitstable).

Coffee in the waiting room where we met our fellow passengers and the actors. We clambered aboard the luxury train, all polished wood panelling and 20’s décor, and sat in our plush individual armchairs. The Mystery characters, one by one, came through to introduce

began. The plot themselves and to face questioning – who had killed Clinton Flick and why? He was found in the middle carriage (shareholders
meeting room) before each of the characters (obviously bar
one) arrived from their individual carriages – the secretary, the
executive, the daughter, the investment manager, the (2nd) wife
and the spiv, all shareholders in this doubtful enterprise.

The five course lunch interrupted the detective work – horsd’œuvre, soup, sea trout, cheeses and tart – with service to the highest order.

We failed to identify the culprit.

Ian & Pauline Payne

A Jolly Boy by Norman Williams

Continued from Last Month: (. . . offered a lift to an elderly gentleman . . .)

Once on board he gratefully accepted a drink (or two) and before long he was relaxed and chatting as if he was one of us but, as the coach got out of the traffic and sped up, he suddenly realised that he had gone past where he should have got off. He was told not to worry as we would arrange for a taxi to take him back when we stopped.

We arrived at the social club that was to be our starting point and the gent did not need much persuading to join us. After a while some people decided to move on to other venues and gradually our numbers dwindled so a taxi was arranged for the gent (it turned out that he was on his way to get some shopping whilst his wife remained at home). I often wonder how he got on when explaining to his wife that he had been kidnapped by a group of Jolly Boys.

Eddie suggested that we visit his cousin who managed a pub nearby.Unfortunately the pub was nothing special and Eddie’s cousin’s wife did not appear to appreciate a large group of men who had obviously already had a drink (even though they were spending a great deal) and were a bit noisy so it did not help matters when I was leaning back on a bar stool and fell backwards to hoots of laughter. Fortunately I did not hurt myself just a bit bruised but embarrassed and more so when I was told to leave the pub. It really was not a good start to my being a Jolly Boy but being loyal, everyone in our party also left and would not hear of my apologising.

We decided that it was time to eat so bought some fish and chips which we sat eating on the beach and I have to say was utterly delicious and I would have enjoyed staying resting on the beach but no it was off to another pub for a final drink before we left.

Arrangements had been made to stop off at another social club on the way home and we set off. I do not remember falling asleep on the coach but I obviously had done so because when I awoke I was all alone in the coach in what was a car park. Somewhat confused I realised that the others must be in the club and got up and tried the coach door which fortunately was not closed and set off to find the club which was only a short distance away. Upon entering the club I was greeted with a loud cheer and someone pointed to a pint which was ready for me on a table – whether I was ready for the pint is another matter.

I had just started on my pint when an excited Eddie came rushing in to tell everyone that I was missing (he being a great friend had gone to check on me) which brought about more laughter and his face when he saw me was one of relief. Apparently I had taken the long way to the club and we had passed each other on different routes.

We stayed until the club closed and I managed to stay awake until we arrived home and I was pleased that I had survived my first day out as a Jolly Boy but resolved that I would be better prepared for the next trip.

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