Well. What a weekend we had! We never stopped partying and singing from early doors Friday evening to well after midnight Monday morning.
Margaret Bartlett (with the support of her husband Terry) did ALL the organising, and a superb job they did of it too-a weekend we will always remember.
Our members arrived from all over the Globe, with Sandie and Anne arriving from America; Brith and Arild from Norway; and not least, Daniel and Maria from Portugal. We only really see each other once a year, so you can imagine what it was like when we all met on the Friday-lots of hugs, smiles, excitement, and laughter.
We welcomed also for the very first time, Bernard and Linda from Bradford, and Syl's sister, Hilda. Unfortunately, illness prevented The Legend (father-in-law John) and Mary from joining us-the first time they have missed in seven years, and they were greatly missed by everyone there, and wished Mary a speedy and full recovery.
One of the other guests in the hotel from the Friday was sat in the dining room on his own, and had a word with Ken Parker as Ken seemed to recognise him. Anyway, Ken invited him to join us for the entertainment that evening, and the upshot of it all was that he joined the club! So we extend a very warm welcome to Glen Dalton. We also welcomed as members, our personal friends (who have been on our 'do's for the past seven years also, in Clyde, Sandra, Eva and Brenda.
The Hotel was absolutely lovely, and our hosts, Peter and his good lady ensured throughout the weekend, that we had a great time. Peter, indeed, by the end of first night was thoroughly enjoying himself, singing along with all the great songs from the 50's and early 60's.
They had a surprise for us when we arrived, as on the notice board in the foyer, they had advertised a special evening for us of Bingo, 50's music and line dancing, so straight after the evening meal, we all piled into the bar/concert room. I don't know what happened to the bingo and line dancing, but what we ALL enjoyed was the best Friday nights entertainment we have ever had!
The artist................. was one regularly used by the hotel. The singing never stopped for nearly three hours!! He invited anyone to come and sing a song or two, and some of our members gleefully did so. First up was Bernard Dresser who did a superb set of 2 or 3 Elvis numbers, complete with 'attitude', and drew marvellous applause from all present. Next up was Guy Clover, who most of you will know by now, appeared on 'Stars In Their Eyes' a few years back doing a Billy Fury number (He wanted to do Rick, but they wanted him to do Billy Fury!!). Well, he did HALFWAY TO PARADISE as well as a couple of Ricky numbers, to thunderous applause, as did Daniel Bacelar when he came up and did a couple of Ricky numbers.
........ Was so impressed with Guy's HALWAY TO PARADISE that during the interval, as I went up to put some music one, said to me that it was a shame he didn't have a lead so that he could borrow my mini disc recorder to connect into his so that he could do a copy of Guy singing that record-within seconds I had produced just such a lead from my bag of tricks-and 20 minutes later he was all set up, and Guy was Back on stage 'recording HALWAY TO PARADISE. It was brilliant to say the least. I think it was around 2.30 am when most of us crawled into bed that Friday night. These young ones think they can party, but for 3 nights on the trot, going to bed in the wee small hours and then getting up for breakfast next morning at 8.00-NO CHANCE!! We oldies can still show them a thing or two.
Everyone just relaxed and did some sightseeing Saturday. Syl and I; Hilda; Guy; Christopher; and Alan and Sandra went up into the town and went for our annual ten-pin bowling tournament, and once again really enjoyed ourselves, especially as yours truly went flying as I let go of my first bowl!!! We just wandered around and went into a pub for refreshment and nourishment, and had a lovely time. I must say here, that once again, the weather throughout the weekend was really nice-almost sunbathing temperatures.
Saturday evening was SUPPOSED to be recovery night! - not a chance! Sandie from over the pond gave a short talk about a project she was working on for TV concerning the period when Rick and Kristin were married, which was both interesting and informative-so thank you Sandie for that. Arild then produced a real brain teaser of a quiz. We split up into teams, and had to guess the FLIP side to Rick's single records! Well, what can I say-most of us were brain dead trying to think of the answers. It was superb, and our team was well pleased with our performance in that we finished in 3rd place .... albeit out of 4 teams!!
I then set up the karaoke, and Alan and I set the ball rolling with the Everley's number ALL I HAVE TO DREAM, then one or two others got up. I don't think I can ever be too serious, but when just sorting out the next disc to put on, I stared singing in a high voice to the next track, when suddenly Brith came up and joined me, and there was the two of us gazing into each others eyes, and singing totally out of tune-much to the uproarious amusement of all.
Guy and Bernard had brought their guitars with them, and so we then enjoyed a really enjoyable hour with Bernard, Arild, Daniel and Guy singing along as above. The hotel then had a special surprise for us when around midnight another of their regular performers came along, and entertained us for an hour or so. Another brilliant evening.
Up bright and early again for the coach trip Margaret had put on for us to Norwich and Wroxham. Norwich to have a walk around for a couple of hours to see the lovely Cathedral and city, before going on to Wroxham, where we could enjoy a 2 hour boat trip on the Broads, or just have a wonder around. I don't remember too much of the trip back as I was fast asleep!! Great day out though.
Sunday evening saw our main entertainment event when enjoyed some wonderful entertainment for over 2 and a half hours from a superb duo from Ipswich, forgive me, my memory has gone blank with their names). The singing (and the humour was first class, and they also involved 'the audience'. All too soon however, it was time for the annual group photo.
We had a truly wonderful time, and it was so pleasing to welcome new members joining us for the first time. It was a joy to watch 'mine host' Peter really enjoying it and entering into the spirit of things-to see him each night singing along with all of us was truly a joy to behold.
We look forward next year to Zoe and Mel taking over the rains-most likely in BRIDLINGTON on the South Yorkshire coast, and we will look forward to that, and perhaps persuading one or two more of you to come along and join us-you will be made most welcome.
It is NOT a clique-it's just a group who love this music, and the lovely warm friendship that has evolved over the years since the late Harry Kershaw organised the first one back in 1987. We look forward to seeing you next year.