25th October – Skittles Evening

What a weekend of competitive sport it was. Out in Japan the Rugby World Cup semi-finals saw the All Blacks well beaten by some team playing in white, and Wales narrowly lose a very close encounter with eventual champions South Africa. But perhaps the most keenly contested sporting event was held nearer to home at Oaklands Park Golf Club on the Friday evening. It was of course our very own CDWS Skittles Evening.

Rob Britton was the chief organiser and took charge of the evening in his best courtroom manner. Thirty seven people had booked for the evening, mostly members of our Welsh Society but with a handful of welcome guests. Two were non-players, including new member Vivienne Jack who attended despite a strained wrist. Somehow Rob managed the trick of organising everyone into six teams of six.

Each team played one after the other for three rounds. In every round each player had three skittle balls to knock down the nine pins. If the player was skilled or lucky enough to knock down all nine pins using less than three balls the pins were reset so they could score more points.

We had the Oaklands Park Golf clubhouse to ourselves, with three front of house staff to serve drinks, food and help with the computer when needed. The skittle alley was laid on the floor of the lounge, leaving plenty of room for us to sit and socialise when not “skittling”. Pam Britton took charge of the computer to record scores, which were projected onto a large tv screen.

A key role fell to Pamela Jones, the other non-player. She took a special chair next to the alley, armed with a Welsh flag. Near to one end of the alley was a red line. The skittle ball had to be rolled over this rather than be thrown over it. Pamie’s job was to wave the flag to signify any foul throw that she spotted. She took to this job with gusto and nothing escaped her eagle eye.

Graham Beavan had the misfortune to captain the first team to play. The other teams learned from his team’s mistakes in the first round, as they kept Pamela Jones busy with foul throws. Clearly not everyone had listened to Rob’s instructions despite his stentorian efforts. At least Gail Thomas’s guest Maggi Newcombe had the excuse that she had got lost on the way, arrived a little late and so missed Rob’s exposition of the rules.

A variety of techniques were tried by the players. Maldwyn started as though he intended to send the pins flying. Alan Longshaw took this a step further and almost turned them into matchwood.  On the other hand, Monica Owen sent her shots gently down the alley and still managed to knock them over. Several players made the remarkable discovery that the ball was just small enough to squeeze its way through between the pins. As a result some turns scored nothing, even when the ball was rolled almost straight down the middle. I’ll mention no names for those who suffered this misfortune.

Half way through the rounds, play stopped and we enjoyed an excellent hot meal from the buffet. Good sized salmon steaks were accompanied by new potatoes and mixed vegetables and a tasty sauce. Then we could help ourselves to coffee and mints.

At the end of the evening prizes were awarded to the top scoring lady and top scoring gentleman, and to the members of the top scoring team.

Despite being probably the smallest person playing, and needing both hands to lift the ball, Pat Chapman showed off her previously undiscovered talent for skittles by winning the lady’s prize with the best individual score of the evening.  Alan Longshaw took the men’s prize with only one point less than Pat, and just one point ahead of his nearest male rivals.

The winning team was captained by Gwyndaf, and included Anthea Beavan, Lloyd Jones, Peter Johnson, Jane Morris and Pam Britton. They won by a mere two points and the result was in doubt until the very end of the sporting contest.

Thanks were given to the Oaklands Park staff for the tasty meal and their good service. Then also to Rob, for organising such an enjoyable event and adjudicating so capably when competitive feelings were running high and a riot could so easily have been triggered. The two Pam’s were also thanked, one for her work keeping the score and the other for her sterling work ensuring fair play.

Gwyndaf John

Golf Day – 30th August 2019

Once again we were blessed with perfect golfing weather.  I cannot recall having played our golf day in any other conditions.

Colin Thomas, Pam Britton and Rob Brett

The scores of the team competition were very close, and was won by Pam Britton, Colin Thomas and Robert Brett. 

Lady Winner – Irene Glyn Jones

The winner of the individual stapleford score was Irene Glynn-Jones, who returned a fantastic score of 44.  Irene played an excellent round of golf and her putting was outstanding.

The ladies’ longest drive went to Pam Britton and the men’s longest drive went to Ralph Broomby.

Men’s Longest Drive Winner – Raph Broomby

The ladies’ nearest the pin was won by Jane Morris and the men’s by Eryll Morris.  Perhaps they have been practicing hard together!

Unfortunately the numbers of golfers went down this year again, but we had full support from those members of the Society who came to the lunch.

Chris Thomas and Pam Britton were thanked for organising the golf day and the club staff for a very enjoyable meal.

Rob Britton

Golf Day 2018

Once again we had a glorious golf day at Oakland Park Golf Club on 31 August 2018.  The day was well supported with 34 sitting down for lunch.  It was agreed without dissent that the golf day will again take place at Oakland Park on 30 August 2019.

 

It was good to have so many members coming for lunch who did not play.  As lunch was not until 2.30 it gave members the opportunity before lunch to catch up with old friends and meet new ones from the Society.

 

 

The day is primarily for fellowship and fun, and although the golf and scoring is always important, it is the enjoyment of the day that is paramount.  Our president, Anne Evans, presented the prizes.  There were 6 teams of 3.

 

 

The winning team was Margaret Broomby, Colin Thomas, Eryl Morris

Highest stableford score was awarded to Margaret Broomby

Longest lady’s drive – Jane Morris

Longest men’s drive –  Rob Britton

Nearest the pin – ladies – Sue Mills

Shame on the men, no-one landed on the green from the tee on the designated hole!!

 

Members thanks Pam Britton and Chris Thomas for organising the day.

 

Robert Britton

St David’s Dinner 2018

After the snow reduced the number of attendees for our Christmas get-together, we had to postpone our St David’s Day Dinner as snow again threatened to prevent people attending, so we bravely chose Friday 13th April instead.

The Committee debated what to call our delayed event: CDWS Spring Dinner 2018, the Spring Dinner, the Postponed St David’s Day Dinner?  In the end we stayed with the St David’s Dinner.

While some of our members couldn’t make the new date, fortunately both our singer, Meilir Jones and Iain Ledingham, acting as accompanist, were able to attend. Others who couldn’t make the 1st March could attend for the new date. In the end we had a headcount of 70 – not bad.

Arriving at 6:30, it was a pleasure to see Harewood Downs in the daylight, as it was still light and we were able to admire the fine views over the Misbourne Valley.

The staff were very attentive and we were greeted with a glass of Prosecco or a non-alcoholic alternative while we assembled and met old friends and welcomed new members.

When we found our places at the tables, Gwyndaf John said grace in Welsh, but before he did so he explained the origin of the poem and the rules of the poetic style in which it was written (somewhat similar to a Japanese Haiku), giving it its unique style.

Our menu choices were cleverly printed out for each table, so that that would be no arguments about who had selected which dish – thanks to Graham Beavan.

The food was very good with main course choices of lamb shank, gammon or hake. Everyone was pleased with the quality and service.

After dinner, Kay introduced our entertainment for the evening, Meilir Jones (Baritone), accompanied by Iain Ledingham.

Meilir was originally from Llangefni on the Isle of Anglesey and is one of the first recipients of an award from the Bryn Terfel Foundation. He is currently engaged in postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Iain Ledingham is a Professor at The Royal Academy and also founded the Amersham Festival of music.

Meilir sang a variety of baritone works ranging from opera, to welsh folksongs and even a Shakespearean sonnet. These were all enthusiastically received by the members, who all called for an encore.

 


As the evening came to a close, Barrie Reece stepped up to the piano and played a series of welsh favourites with many of the society joining in.

At the end of the evening, we all thought that it was another successful St David’s Day – even if it had been delayed by six weeks!

 

 

 

Golf Day 2017

Society Golf Day

On a beautiful sunny day, with just a hint of autumn in the air, nineteen eager golfers gathered at Oakland Park Golf Club for our annual Society Golf Day. We enjoyed delicious bacon baps and coffee as we were greeted by Pam and Chris, who had organised the day, and were given our teams and told the format of the competition.

The first intrepid trio teed off at 9:00am and, before long, we were all on our way trying to drive the ball straight enough to cling onto the fairways and thereafter negotiating the various hazards: – long grass, big trees, strategically placed bunkers and various areas of water.

Many of the holes were lined with wild flowers, which provided a stunning array of colours, a consolation to those of us whose shots were less than glorious.

After golf, hot and weary, we gathered on the patio for a welcome drink with non-playing members who were joining us for lunch providing a welcome opportunity to catch up with old friends.

A delicious lunch was served upstairs by the efficient, friendly staff before Chris Thomas announced the day’s winners:

 

 

 

Jane Morris, Colin Thomas and Tony Glyn-Jones won the team event.
Colin Thomas had the best net score with an impressive 40 points.
Marilyn Evans won the Ladies` longest drive

 

 

 

 

 

Huw Thomas won the Men’s longest drive
Jane Morris was nearest the pin for the ladies
John Rigelsford was nearest the pin for the men.

 

 

 

 

 

After the results, Rob Britten and Ralph Broomby paid tribute to Mike Stythe, a long-standing member of the Society who died earlier this year. Ralph told some wonderful stories of walking and climbing trips led by Mike in his beloved Snowdonia with members of the society, whose courage he tested to the full with some hair-raising feats. He will be greatly missed.

Many thanks to Pam Britten and Chris Thomas whose superb organisation greatly contributed to an extremely enjoyable day. I’m sure we are all looking forward to next year’s event: let’s hope the weather will be as kind, the lunch as delicious and, for some of us, the golf of a higher standard.

Pat Whitworth

 

St David’s Day Dinner 2016

Saint David’s Day Dinner
On 1st March we held our annual St David’s Day dinner at the Gerrards Cross Golf Club.
P1060044
We met at 6:30 to give us a chance for members to catch up with friends both old and new and chat over a glass of bubbly or orange juice.

 

 

P1060046

 

 

 

 

 

 

At about 7:15 we went into the dining room and Chairman Kay Day greeted a record turnout of 84 people and welcomed 5 new members.

P1060056

 

 

 

 

P1060058There was then a chance to chat to our neighbours at the table. At our table we wished Eilwen Turner a happy birthday as she was born on St David’s Day.
The food was excellent featuring Welsh Lamb Rump (of course) or Haddock as an alternative.
Liz Seely, who was sitting next to me, said that her food was the best she’d ever had in any golf club – up to gourmet standards!

 

I went round and took some pictures of people sitting at their tables.P1060060

P1060059

There are more pictures on the ‘gallery’ page of the web site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kay then introduced our soprano, Alys Roberts, accompanied by Iain Ledingham at the piano.P1060071

 

Iain, who lives locally, is a professor in the piano, vocal and opera faculties at the Royal Academy of Music. He coaches many young Academy singers and pianists in preparation for operatic and concert work, and also trains and conducts choirs. Alys is one of his most promising young students.

 

 

P1060073

Alys studied music at Durham University and is now at the Royal Academy. She has been a solo soprano at Durham Cathedral and has sung at many other locations.

 

Alys entertained us, starting with some Welsh folk songs, and then moving on to a selection of operatic arias including pieces from La Boheme, Romeo and Juliette.

I particularly liked her version of Summertime in Welsh. Alys finished with some more Welsh folk songs, this time as arranged by Benjamin Britten.

P1060081

Kay then thanked our musicians and presented them with small tokens of our appreciation.

Alys and Iain stayed on for a while to chat to people before they left.

P1060090

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, our stalwart singers prepared themselves.P1060085

I’m afraid that my party were feeling a little tired, and needed to leave at this point, so I am unable to report back on the quality or quantity of the singing, but based on previous years, I’m sure that a great time was had by one and all.

GOLF DAY 29th AUGUST 2014

What a fabulous summer and fortunately the weather on our golf day was once again kind to us. We had 18 golfers sign up, so it worked perfectly without drafting in any of our stalwart extras.  Mike Stythe was due to join us but sadly suffered some cracked ribs at the last minute and had to withdraw.  We had an additional 6 members came for lunch which was great.  Our President was unfortunately called away to America and was unable to join us.

IMG_4406The results were as follows:

Winning team:  Colin Thomas, Margaret Broomby, Marilyn Evans

IMG_4416IMG_4405IMG_4408Marilyn had a brilliant round, scoring top marks, 44 stableford points.  Jasper Garnham had the highest score for the men of 34.  Colin and Pam Britton won nearest the pin and the longest drives were won by Margaret and Gwyn Owen.  Ann Lawrence, who was unable to play due to injury this year, kindly presented the prizes.

Robert Britton addressed everyone, suggesting that maybe another year we should go to pastures new with fresh organisers and a new format.  No-one volunteered to take over the helm, and the consensus seemed to be ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’!  So we have booked the same Friday next year at Oakland Park.

Colin gave a vote of thanks to Pam and Rob for organising the event.

St David’s Day 2014

P1040638This year’s St David’s Day dinner was the best attended yet, and what an enjoyable evening!

Eighty four people attended our event on 1st March at Gerrards Cross Golf Club. We all gathered about 6:30 for a glass of bubbly and this year Gwyndaf provided name badges, which were particularly helpful for our newer members (or people like me who can always remember a face, but not always the name to go with it).

P1040644The meal included a really delicious Welsh lamb steak, preceded by a prawn tart and finished off with a good old fashioned sponge pudding with custard.

After the meal we were entertained by the lovely Rhiannon Llewellyn accompanied at the piano by Peter Foggit.

Rhiannon told us tales about her background (including Wales & Chalfont St Peter) and the fact that she used to be taught by Jayne Pegler.

P1040654A wonderful operatic soprano, Rhiannon will this year be the guest soloist for the London Welsh Festival of Male Choirs at the Royal Albert Hall. She gave a charming and captivating performance covering a varied programme, ranging from Puccini’s La Boheme to Gershwin’s Summertime. I think that most of the men in the audience liked the pieces where she played the ‘vamp’ and teased various gentlemen in the room singing amorously at them (soprano/lap dancer she says in a recent tweet).

P1040660Jonathan Pegler thanked the pair, Rhiannon was presented with a bouquet of flowers, and Peter with a bottle of wine.P1040671

Afterwards everyone gathered around the piano where song sheets were distributed and Jonathan played many of our old favourites.P1040675

Overall – an excellent evening of singing!