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

History 2009 - 10


​​​​Heard the one about the Welsh biker who joined the RAF, spent time re-building trucks and buses and later became a caravanner and a second-hand car salesman? This enthusiastic two wheeler graduated from Nortons, Triumphs and BMW’s to a 146 mph Yamaha FJ1200. He was christened  ‘Hell’s Grandad’ by his children and elected chairman of the Costa Blanca Club at the 2009 AGM, supported by VC Andrew Johnson with Derick Berridge and Steve Moores as Treasurer and Secretary respectively.
​​Jim Thomas’s pen portrait reveals that he was too young for National Service but joined the RAF anyway, where he trained as a motor mechanic. ‘I applied for an overseas posting and volunteered for Hong Kong, Germany and Singapore. I was sent to RAF Khormaksar in Aden and became a heavy vehicle specialist, dealing with HVs sent back from the desert, stripping them back to the chassis and rebuilding them. After a couple of short detachments in Nairobi and Bahrain, I arrived back in the UK, at Bicester. After a couple of jobs where my independent spirit was not appreciated, I joined Mobil Oil as a Tanker driver, and met and married Chris’.

 'I was offered a job as a salesman with a Chrysler dealership, which including a company car. Yes! I later joined a BMW dealership, and as it expanded, I became General Sales Manager’. He was chairman of Oldbury Table, and later joined Sutton Coldfield 41 Club, where he was also chairman. He moved back to Oldbury taking on a filling station with an attached car sales site, and later bought a former Citroen dealership and took on a Hyundai franchise.’Bored with the showroom time commitments, I rented out the premises and started working from home ’trading’ with other dealers, underwriters and garages’.  

Club meetings moved to L’Hort with the ladies also meeting there in a separate room. We had a car Treasure Hunt which ended at Monroe’s Pedreguer, and the annual Boule challenge with Calpe, with CB retaining the ‘Billy Boule’ trophy. The summer saw us lunching at El Puerto and dining at the Montgo with a BBQ at Casa Ogden. In addition to Ladies Night and Charter Night, we had an interesting evening with Calpe 41 Club at Los Keglos, a German Bowling centre, where the bowling far outclassed the food.

​​The Cluster was hosted by Algarve in an excellent hotel with views overlooking the sea in an undeveloped area. The National President reported on the current situation with both Round Table and 41 Clubs. To the amazement of some, we heard that prospective Tablers had to find 100 pounds of which 75 pounds goes to the National Association. In addition, a PR company has been engaged at a cost of 75,000 pounds to advise on what is wrong with the Association and how to put it right!
Enjoying a glass of red wine
10th Charter at L'Hort
​​In a poignant eulogy to his wife Janet, written on the date of her 81st birthday, Tony talks of their first meeting at a Sussex Youth Club in 1945. Of their time in Spain, he recalls that she played bowls at least 4 times a week, often with Terry and Beryl Loftus. She was a member of all three local bowls clubs, and on one occasion, won a knockout to become the Champion of Champions. He was overwhelmed with the 120 plus people who attended her funeral, and for the support that he has had from their many friends and family.

​​Town Centre to the centre of Moraira. Now there are nine. These and others vary from being just painted on the road at a junction, to those big enough to house a tower block. In the main, they have improved the traffic flow, but even when sited on a dual carriageway with two lanes on all sides, drivers hog the right hand lane even if turning left. Coupled with the average Spanish driver’s reluctance to ever use a mirror or a flashing indicator, this can be rather disconcerting, especially if you happen to be in the left hand lane at the time of the manoeuvre and can’t immediately recall the appropriate Spanish phrase! (Hand gestures may not always help.)
Two impromptu meetings of members were held on quaysides in South America when the cruise ship ‘Norwegian Dream’ with Harry and Anita Atkinson on board,  moored in Chile alongside a ship carrying Tony and Janet Ogden. After travelling around the Horn in their separate ships, they continued their ‘off site’  .
​​meeting in Argentina. Also active on the world cruise ship circuit are Andrew and Kathy Johnson and Alan and Anne Oliver. Andrew and Kathy have built up a reputation for their presentations on cultural material and talks specific to the cruise locations, on a ‘no fee, food and accommodation only basis’. Alan is now involved as well, having stepped in following a long cruise they made themselves on a ship short of speakers.


Norwegian Dream
​​Past chairman Ernie Ironman has taken up a contract with a firm of interior designers in Dubai and will shortly be leaving us. Also permanently returning to the UK are Richard and Sally-Anne Barrell. On a positive note, Joe Barnfield, Jack Cope, Len Peacock, John Mail, Hans Waller and Islay Burns, are all managing their various health problems. Having now reached the age of 90, Islay has been made an honorary member, joining Len and Jack’.                                               
​​                                                                                                                                                                           ‘In an amazing coincidence, past chairman Trevor Lebentz visited a Car Rally in the UK and was astonished to see his first car, a 1934 Singer Le Mans coupe that he had purchased in 1953 for 15 pounds. It’s now worth 
around 14,000 pounds! Some weeks later he was stopped whilst driving to the golf club on a quiet Sunday morning by a Guardia radar car, alleging a speed of 70 kpm in a 60 kpm limit. Asked to back into a lay-by, he undid his seat belt to reverse, and was fined €200 for speeding and €150 for driving without a seat belt. It was later revealed that the Guardia, in a clampdown on speeding, had taken delivery of some 800 Citroen cars with in-house radar facilities’.
1934 Singer Le Mans coupe be continued....

This is the fifteenth of a series of articles on the history and development of the Costa Blanca 41 Club. It is being compiled from a large number of newsletters recovered from files held by Tony Ogden, who played a major part in the development of the Club and later in the development of the group of clubs now known as the ‘Iberian Cluster’. All the text above in italics is directly quoted from newsletters published at the time, and the web posting and additional illustration images are provided by Gordon Macnab.

Ted Homewood/Bob Oxley

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Ted Homewood
Chairman 2005-06

Bob Oxley
Chairman  2011-12

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