On Saturday 19-Nov-22, members met-up at Stafford Boat Club for the annual social.  26 people, representing 14 boats, attended and a convivial atmosphere was quickly created.  As well as the various presentations, a ‘chippie’ lunch from a local fryer had been arranged by Mo Wood.

Commodore, Ric Whitby, welcomed everyone and highlighted the Club’s activities over the last year, the first full season since 2019 following Covid19 restrictions being totally lifted and the 10th Anniversary of the 4Cs.

Peter Powell gave a presentation on the Basingstoke Canal cruise that he had organised, which lasted a few days longer than planned !!  Peter brought back many memories of the trip, the enforced stay at St Johns Wood and the inaugural Boat Festival.  Click here for Cruise Report.  In appreciation of Peter efforts, the boats on the cruise contributed to an ‘Afternoon Tea’ package from Betty’s Tea Rooms in Harrogate, which the Commodore presented on behalf of the group.

Jan Thomas gave a presentation on Cotswolds Boatmobility, the 4Cs nominated charity, and their achievements this year, also aspirations for the future.  After the informative presentation on how CB enriches disabled peoples’ lives, the Commodore presented the 4Cs donation of £100, to which would be added the proceeds of today’s raffle – approximately £80.  Jan offered her thanks on behalf of CB.

There then followed presentation of a couple of ‘informal’ awards to recognise contributions and achievements by members while out cruising.  Firstly, Melvyn Bann of NowThen received the “It’s All Part of the Fun” certificate in recognition of his positive attitude to cruising challenges, together with his encyclopaedic knowledge of moorings on the River Thames.  Secondly, Hillary Whitby of Clara Grace received a certificate for “Miles Most Travelled”, not on water, but for the many rail journeys back home to fulfil grandchildren care duties and then back to where Ric had now moored the boat.  An additional set of awards to the Basingstoke Cruise boats was made by Bob Hallam, as he had salvaged a branch from the offending oak tree that caused the stoppage and had mounted sections on plinths, together with a “Basingstoke Oaktet” inscription – many thanks Bob, it went some way to the subsequent disruption of the Thames cruising.

Looking forward to 2023, Ged Bird gave a presentation on a proposal for cruising the Northern waterways.  The main organised part of the proposal was getting together in Liverpool and crossing the River Mersey to the Manchester Ship Canal.  The other significant parts are the Huddersfield Canals with the Standedge Tunnel and the Leeds & Liverpool canal  Click here for Cruise Proposal.

To conclude the activities there was the drawing of the Raffle.  Prizes, donated by Members on the day were plentiful, so the drawing of winning tickets was not a quick affair !!  Eventually, all the prizes were won and nobody seemed to go home empty-handed.

Commodore brought the event to a close, thanking everybody for coming, looking forward to cruising together next year and wished safe journeys home.