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

History 2011 - 12




​​​​As a DJ might say announcing a top record that had not come up through the charts, “straight in at number 1” came new chairman Bob Oxley, due to Peter Whitehead’s ongoing medical treatment in the UK. New VC was Phil Fraser, with Ted Homewood and Jim Thomas elected Treasurer and Secretary respectively at the 2011 AGM. Born within cheering distance of Sheffield Wednesday’s ground, like most boys from his end of the city, he disliked Sheffield United, so it was ironic that in his late teens/early twenties he found himself working the turnstiles of both clubs on alternate Saturdays.
​​’From school, I joined the English Steel Corporation as a Commercial trainee, spending two years doing an HND in Business Studies and working in various office sections including Transport, Personnel, Purchasing and Accounts. I elected to return to Sales, but after a year, I decided that I could do better ‘on the road’, so I joined the Beecham Group promoting toiletries and proprietary medicines in non-chemist outlets. The company moved me to the East Midlands to take over grocery key accounts, after which I left to go into management in Nottingham with the ‘Wonderloaf’ bakery division of Spillers.

Over the next 16 years I worked for a number of ‘Fast Moving Consumer Goods’ (FMCG) companies with responsibility for National Accounts. I got married, had three children and moved house three times, eventually ending up in Buckinghamshire. I joined Sawbridgeworth Round Table, then, due to a job relocation, transferred to High Wycombe, where I was both Chairman and President of Table, then Chairman of Wycombe Old Tablers and a member of High Wycombe 41 Club. Mirroring me, my wife Joan also became Chairman of her Ladies Circle, then Circle Area 13, each year after me’.


Andrew Johnson hands over to Bob  Oxley

​​‘As Chairman of RT Area 25, Thames Valley, I was presenting the Charter to a new club in Thatcham when I was offered a job by the inaugural chairman’s guest. I declined, but a month later, I was made redundant. I followed up the offer, but was not happy with its credibility. However, I was sufficiently interested in working in the industry, and I have spent the last 25 years in financial services, both as an independent in the UK, and over the last 8 years, taking over an existing business here in Spain.’
​​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.

Moving into the chair at the 2010 AGM was Andrew Johnson, supported by VC Peter Whitehead with Ted Homewood and Steve Moores as Treasurer and Secretary respectively. ‘A Business Studies graduate at Bournemouth, I joined the Thompson Organisation, and by 1974, was sales manager for the Home Counties. I married Kathy in 1975, and the same year joined Chelmsford Round Table, moving the following year to Lutterworth. I organised the ‘High Tiddle in the Pennines’, a unique Table tiddlywinks competition where the rules specify the minimum height above sea level. I moved again, transferring to Wellingborough Table and joining Frames Travel, but in a later move to Hampshire to join the AA, I lost touch with Table, although I enjoyed the friendship of some members of Brussels No:1 Table, where we lived and worked for over 10 years’.
As CEO of the AA’s European Auto Clubs coordination arm, he took the opportunity to move on in 2004 and take early retirement, with a guarantee of 2 years consultancy with the AA’s new buyers. Meanwhile, the Spanish national motoring club, RACE had a change of management, and the AA in the UK also changed ownership again. ‘I was asked to mentor the CEOs of both organisations, especially in respect of international negotiations. Introduced to Paul McKenna, both Kathy and I studied ‘Neuro Linguistic Programming’ which helped with the mentoring and continues to attract new clients. Later introduced to cruise lecturing, we have both so far enjoyed 10 cruises at the operator’s expense’.

​​Sadly two more past chairman passed away, Islay Burns and David Noakes. Islay had had a brilliant career in electronics, and worked on an advanced VHF radio whilst at GEC, enabling Spitfires and Hurricanes communicate with each other and ground control. Later, he was involved in developing radar and anti-aircraft rockets. David was one of the backbones of our club. A quiet man who was always ready to step in if needed. He was a great sportsman, both playing and watching. He won many tennis tournaments both here 
Islay Burns
Chairman 1999-2000
David Noakes
Chairman 1995-96 
​​and in the UK. He started his working life with Hastings & Thanet Building Society, and survived takeovers by the Anglia and Nationwide, moving to a number of other branches.                                              
National President Malcolm Lockley joined the club, as well as Jean Claude Alquier, our first French overseas member, and Phil and Eliza Fraser from Hong Kong. Later in the year we welcomed David and Morag McAulay from Largs and National VP Vaughan Harris and wife Jill, who have a property in Cabo Roig. Peter Whitehead was forced to withdraw from the Vice-Chairmanship due to ongoing treatment for his hereditary medical condition.
​​Those of us who managed to pass the navigation test and found the new chairman’s Calpe home were rewarded gastronomically at the ‘Hi/’Bye’ party. CB won the ‘Billy Boule’ trophy despite loaning Calpe some top notch players, and the summer passed with a paella party at Casa Ogden, lunch at Negros, then a pre-Cluster fish and chip dinner at the Azorin. We had another enjoyable bowling evening at Los Keglos, and a superb curry evening at Peter and Ethna Williamson’s, raising €300.00 for the National President’s charity. Ladies Night was held at Javea Golf Club, and the 25th Charter Anniversary at Riu Rau, Javea.
Cluster was a very successful weekend, ‘with a really good initial informal meal at the Austriaco, followed by an excellent gala dinner at the Parador on Friday, during which National President Malcolm Lockley presented Tony with the prestigious Association Award for his services to his clubs, the Iberian Cluster and the Association. On the Saturday evening we all decamped to Benidorm Palace for a spectacular show and dinner’.

​Following the AGM on the Saturday morning, we had a guided walking tour of Javea old town. Both National officers had to return to London to represent the Association at the Cenotaph service the following day, leaving IRO Andy Waite to report on progress within the Association.  Unfortunately it sounded more like a VP nomination appeal, which failed to inspire the meeting. The weekend ended with an informal paella lunch at L’Hort.
Photo call following Tony's presentation be continued....

This is the sixteenth 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​​​​