4Cs Social Gathering Nov 24th, 2018

Apologies for absence were received from:

Jayne & Mick Provost, Lynne & Roger Mellors, Ged & Marilyn Layfield, Ian & Clare Gillet, Adrian Padfield, David & Francis Jeffries, Peter & Lesley Taylor Mo Waghorn and Tony Little.

The Commodore then gave a brief report on the year:

We had a mixed year of cruising, with a very successful cruise across the Wash, and a planned cruise in the other side of the country that was drought stricken.  However they weren’t on their own as we all know the lack of rain caused lots of problems. We also welcomed some new members who we hope will enjoy cruising in the company of some people who like to think of themselves as a bit mad.

Also the committee would like to welcome Jan Bird on board as treasurer, as you will realise from the welter of paperwork this year the club couldn’t function without volunteers.

Mention was also made of two of our members who have been recognised for their respective efforts. Lesley Taylor has been awarded a Richard Bird Medal by the IWA for “bringing significant benefits to the IWA over a sustained period”.  She has put an enormous amount of work into the northwest branch, and she was the person who got Myself and Hilary into the 4Cs in Chester. Congratulations.

Lynne and Roger Mellors of Unique were awarded the Robert Aickman trophy for the most meritorious journey and the RCR Cruising Challenge for the most enterprising journey at the IWA St Neots Festival . They had done 200 miles and 18 locks more than their nearest rival. Again, congratulations and well done

We then had some interesting videos and still presentations of the Wash and Middle Levels cruise by Ric & Hilary  Whitby and Bob Hallam.

We had two Long Service presentations to make: Firstly, to our retiring Commodore Martin. He has been at the helm of the club for all but a couple of years or so and has done an enormous amount of work over the years.

I will try very hard to follow him, but it is a large pair of shoes to fill. To mark our appreciation, we presented Martin with a small token of appreciation which we hope he takes in moderation.

Secondly, to a committee member and club founder member who has decided to retire from committee life this year. We would like to thank Bob Hallam for his cruise planning and input over the years. I shall always address him by his proper title of Cruise Director or CD! He received a bottle of his favourite tipple especially sourced from Ely by our industrious Secretary, Mo Wood

Lastly we presented the Commodore’s special awards for the Wash and Middle levels cruise. This was occasioned by the IWA tempting Clara Grace into trying to visit Holme as part of the Silver Propeller Challenge. Whilst Unique had done it before we reckon the water had gone down subsequently, resulting in us having to reverse about a mile along a muddy narrow ditch. We couldn’t understand why anyone would want to go there anyway, there’s nothing to speak of at the end! So, to mark all of the other mishaps along the way, we decided on the spot to instigate the 4Cs Silver Elsan Award.

So, in no particular order, as they say on some lesser TV programme (sorry CD) the awards were:

The In Sanitary Key award– leaving your keys in the sanitary Station and navigating about 5 miles away and back….Gt Escape

The Unlicensed adventures award– mooring where it says No Mooring and visiting some unmentionable place without a license- ……Elemiah

The fastest trip Home Award (mainly by omitting the Middle Levels)- Yorkshire Bourne

Electrical Outage Class 1 Award – complete cooking of leisure batts- Dabbling

Electrical Outage Class 2 Award – merely a starter battery and a main switch- Cormorant 11 that’s 2 not 11

Longest Adventures Award – well it has to be Unique who may still be out there!

The longest Reverse Award – Clara Grace!

A short Secretary’s awards  session followed  for members who had been involved in the Wash crossing  and Middle levels cruise. Prizes and Certificates went to:

Most Interviewed Crew Member – Hilary Whitby

Most Original Outfit –  Jan Bird

Bringer of Mirth Award – Mo Waghorn (accepted in her absence by Mo Wood)

Golden Thong Award  – for the least clothing worn on the trip-Mike Wood

Martin then gave a short presentation on the 2019 Mon & Brec Cruise, of which there are some 10 hire boats from the club attending as well as a brief resume of the “other” 4Cs summer cruise by two boats to the Stratford on Avon Festival, where they were joined by other members for the day, before a trip to Stourport, meeting up with some more 4Cs boats and generally having a spiffing time!

He finished by giving a short update about the Cotswolds Boatmobility project which is our pet charity, to which we donated the proceeds of the raffle, and have also pledged a £100 donation from funds this year.

We then discussed plans for cruising in 2019. Apart from the Mon & Brec, we came to the conclusion that the Stratford Festival was a good place to meet up, on the 6/7 July. The forms/applications for this will apparently appear around January. There is then a clockwise and anticlockwise group, some are going south and thence onto the Severn hopefully, and home via Bristol and the K&A, and some down to Stratford and up the Severn.

The BCN Explorer Cruise was discussed, and we now have 6 boats from the Club doing their second event over the 14th to 22nd June. Then, all but one,  are progressing to Stratford.

Apart from a possibility of reviving the waterless and lockless cruise this year to the Caldon and Maccy, later in the year, not much else was suggested.

Peter and Ruth however, came up with a plan to try and navigate the Basingstoke next year (2020 that is).

The Raffle was held and  a further £46 and some shrapnel was raised for Boatmobility and everybody went home with something they didn’t bring!

We finished, rather belatedly but completely unanimously, with a vote of thanks to Mo Wood in recognition of all the hard work she put into making this event a success. Thanks Mo! Without you it wouldn’t have been possible.

All the best for Christmas and the New Year, see you in 2019!

Ric Whitby