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Costa Blanca 41 Club
​​A place in the sun for the Ex-Round Tabler​​

History 2017-19

​​​​“A native of Scotland, Estate Agent Manager David McAulay was educated at Hamilton Academy before earning his sea legs with the Merchant Navy”. So reported the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald when he became Chairman of RT Area 47, South West Scotland. The paper goes on to report that David “had spent ten adventurous years as a deck officer, travelling the world mainly on passenger and cargo ships, and especially enjoying his time in Australia, New Zealand and South America”.​​
the helm"


Although Club membership remained around 30, non-resident members were still accounting for two thirds of the membership, so at the 2017 AGM we elected our third successive non-res Chairman, Keith Hyde, supported by VC Gordon Macnab, with Bob Oxley and Jim Thomas remaining as Treasurer and Secretary respectively. Subs remained at €10.00 per annum, and during the year we welcomed new members, past National President David Smith and David and Lesley Stebbing.

Now used to not having our Chairman at all our meetings, Keith took this to a new level, visiting his property and business interests in Australia, Hungary and the Far East as well as here in Spain. A Liverpudlian by birth, he was educated in Liverpool and Highgate (London).”I was accepted on a four year sandwich course which resulted in an HND at Hatfield College of Technology. I joined Texas Instruments and with a further 4 years shop floor management experience, qualified as a Chartered Engineer. I then won a scholarship to Loughborough University and obtained a Masters Degree in Engineering Management”.

“I joined Black & Decker and moved to the North East where I joined Hartlepool Round Table. Taking advantage of B & D’s policy of reducing overheads by periodic redundancies, (but with generous terms), I moved as Plant Manager to the frustrating, wild, embryonic Commodore Computers in Darlington. In 1982 I started my own company, which became the Haredata Company, Harrogate. The Group was involved in industrial and consumer electronics, an electric vehicle for children with special needs and property management”.

​​Chairman Keith
takes control at the 2017 AGM
​​“In 1992, I took on a new challenge and obtained a Private Pilot (Helicopter) licence. (I’ve stopped now as my brain is not able to process data at the speed needed for flying. Get it wrong, and you’re dead!) As well as 41 Club, my wife Sue and I developed our social life, with Sue becoming a Harrogate Councillor and myself a President of the Gentleman’s Club, Harrogate”. He later became Chairman of the 23 person strong Harrogate Theatre Board. They moved to Javea full time in 2006, having first bought a villa here in 1975.

A luncheon was held at the Restaurante ‘El Secreto de Tomate’, and the ‘Hi/Bye’ dinner at the Montgo, Javea. Many members attended Calpe’s Charter Dinner and Ladies Night, and Calpe hosted the Billy Boule match on Altea Beach. Peter and Ethna Williamson again hosted the August social, and Ladies Night was held at Chez Angel, Javea.

We have usually held our traditional Christmas lunch in the Jalon Valley, this year being no exception, at Restaurante El Cid, Benidoleig. However, our numbers have dropped dramatically, from highs of 20+ in the early ‘20teens’ to just 10 this year. There is a reluctance by many restaurants now to offer a traditional English roast too early in the month, because of low ‘take up’. This coincides with very few non-res members visiting and many residents spending Christmas away. 
Off the beaten track one Sunday, was a visit to the lake at Albufera*, (previously visited in 1996), where the world and his dog appeared to have assembled. It seemed that half of Spain congregated in this small town south of Valencia to enjoy a boat ride across the lake and a paella lunch. Then another off-site visit, this time to demonstrate our skills at Javea Bowls Club, followed by lunch. We ended the year with dinner at Casa Lili, Moraira, then Charter Night at Javea’s Plaza 6 Restaurant, attended by National President David Campbell.
                                                          *Chapter 9 – ‘Membership and Rules dominate’

Costa Blanca hosted the 25th Anniversary of the Cluster 
Boarding time at Albufera Lake
​​with over 100 delegates from all the Iberian Clubs except Gibraltar, and from the UK. The group was split between three Arenal restaurants for an informal ‘get to know’ you arrival dinner, with an optional bodega visit the following day to the Enrique Mendoza Winery, and an evening Spanish themed dinner with Jose Manuel’s Flamenco Show. During the AGM the ladies had a presentation by Funky Baglets, and music for the Gala Dinner was provided by the superb group ‘Gatecrash’. A successful and entertaining Cluster weekend organised by Gordon Macnab and his team.
Meanwhile, Gordon was successfully fulfilling his offer at the 2014 AGM to take over as the club’s webmaster, and had produced a website to not only be proud of, but superior to all other 41 Club websites, and was awarded the ‘David Hewitt Award for the Best Website’ at the 2017 National AGM. As a Past National President and Iberian Cluster Chairman, he then added Chairman of the Costa Blanca 41 Club to his CV at the 2018 AGM. Supporting him was yet another past National President, this time of Belgium, Roy Van Handenhove as VC, with Jim Thomas and Bob Oxley as Secretary and Treasurer respectively.  

Bob Oxley, David McAulay, Keith Hyde, Gordon Macnab and National President David Campbell
Iberian Cluster 2017 AGM Top Table
Rugby loving banker Gordon “attended Inverness Royal Academy before 
Chairman Keith and Cluster Chairman Gordon with our Top Table Guests

starting work in Inverness on the 6th of the 6th 1966. A flying winger, I played for Highland, Lochaber and Perthshire as I moved around the country with the Bank. In 1974 I married Elaine and was transferred to Edinburgh, and following various promotions, managed a branch in Aberdeen in the early 80s where I joined Aberdeen Bon Accord Table. I was later transferred to Bristol, then Birmingham, necessitating transfers also to Henleaze Table and 41 Club, then Sutton Coldfield Ex-Tablers Club. I became Regional Manager in Coventry ​​
Past Chairmen Peter Williamson and David McAulay
with the David Hewitt Award at the
Blackpool National AGM 
​​commuting daily from Birmingham, returning to another executive job in Birmingham, before accepting early retirement in 2000 at the tender age of 52”.​​​​​​

With his constant job and Table mobility, Gordon missed out on being Chairman during his Table years, however, he did make Area 12 Treasurer in his final year in Table. “In 1989 I transferred to Sutton Coldfield Ex-Tablers, where I was Treasurer and finally Chairman in 1993/4. At the 41 Club National AGM in Great Yarmouth in 1994 I was elected National Treasurer, a post I held until 1999 when I was appointed National Vice President and National President Elect 2000/01. As National President I attended the Iberian Cluster in Gibraltar where I met several members of the Costa Blanca 41 Club, and was invited to attend the Club’s 15th Charter in March 2001. In 2009, I became President of Lichfield 41 Club and also joined  Costa Blanca 41 Club”.

“We probably had the largest contingent of Costa Blanca members ever attend the 2018 National AGM in Belfast. 
My first act as Chairman was to lead the official interruption at the Tangent National AGM to welcome Jill Harris, widow of past member and past National President Vaughan Harris, as Tangent National President. We produced a humorous slide show entitled ‘this is almost your Life’

The social scene included restaurant visits to Benemarquia, La Xara, La Gourmand, Montgo, Ca Maria and Calima, Javea. A walking tour of Jesus Pobre followed by lunch in the village at El Sequer, and a cassoulet lunch hosted by the Williamson’s. Billy Boule was unfortunately washed out by heavy rain, and for the first time ever, we did not attend the Cluster. Both  Ladies and Charter Nights
Costa Blanca 41 Club on Parade
Costa Blanca at the Joint Presidents Ball Belfast
again held at La Plaza 6, Javea. Breaking tradition, Christmas lunch was at our usual Montevideo meeting place, and we again supported Calpe’s Charter and Ladies Night. 
Health issues became a major concern, with a number of members and wives receiving new and ongoing medical treatments both here in Spain and in the UK. The club reviewed it’s notification procedure, and concluded that the practice of passing the responsibility to the outgoing Chairman to keep the club informed, could be better served if members notified the website. Sadly, almost immediately, chairman Gordon advised that Mena and Marion, the respective wives of Eddie Carroll and Peter Mitchell, had both passed away.

We have previously commented on the development of roundabouts on the road between Javea and Moraira*.  
Jesus Pobre Walk
During the year, Benitachell introduced yet another unique version of this traffic phenomena, by siting a series of blue and white ‘skittles’ in a circle on a small junction in the middle of the old town, near the market square. It was so offset, that traffic approaching from the market area frequently ignored it and proceeded on the wrong side, going head on with drivers travelling towards them. Members travelling to Restaurante Montevideo are unlikely to have seen this latest gaff, one of many in Benitachell over the years.                                                                                                                                                                                   *Chapter 15 ‘More people, places and sad goodbyes’   

These have included installing a series of traffic lights and a Tourist Centre on the main CV740 thoroughfare, then quickly having to permanently reset the three on the outskirts of the village to amber because of the bottlenecks they caused to through traffic. The unused Tourist Centre was later moved into the centre of the village, (where there is no parking), and it took over ten years to adjust the lights sequence at the Moraira junction to allow traffic travelling from Javea towards Teulada to flow at the same time as that turning left. Needless to say, the ‘skittle circle’ mysteriously vanished a few months after it’s installation. 
                                                                                                                                               … to be continued…


This is the twenty-first chapter on the history and development of the Costa Blanca 41 Club. It is being compiled from news articles, information from club members and pen portraits by the incoming Club Chairmen. The text is written by Bob Oxley, except that in italics which is directly quoted from articles and documents available at the time. The web posting and additional illustration images are provided by Gordon Macnab. 

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Bob Oxley
Chairman  2011-12

Gordon Macnab
Chairman 2018-19

Another instalment in the history of our Club​​​​