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

History 2015-16

​​​​“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 sea
to the rescue,
by the bucket load!"

​​New Chairman Bob Gordon was born in Scarborough, but moved around several times with his parents before they decided that ‘a life at sea may keep me out of trouble. I was sent to HMS Conway in Anglesey – what a shock, but the Conway set me up for life. I became the Chief Cadet Captain and then went to sea as a commissioned midshipman RNR with Blue Funnel Line, Alfred Holt & Co, Liverpool. I obtained my ‘Mates ticket’ then moved to P&O 3 years later’.

​​‘‘Forced back onshore through eyesight problems, I joined the Metropolitan Police, and had spells in and out of uniform ultimately receiving a ‘Commissioner’s Commendation’. I became a member of Deptford Table in South East London. As Programme Secretary, I managed to persuade John Ridgeway and Chay Blyth to come and speak to us about their experiences, just after they had rowed across the Atlantic’.

‘8 years later I took a chance, left the security of the Police Force and became a ‘commission only’ life assurance salesman with Sun Life of Canada. I had 
​​found my forte, and set up my own brokerage in Bromley, and later in the City of London. I invested in a mini computer and moved into the developing world of IT’.

‘Still retaining the brokerage I set up a company with a friend selling software packages to the insurance industry with the endorsement of IBM. The company had grown successfully to 250 employees when we sold out to a major insurance company. I then developed a presentation on ‘motivation and computerisation in insurance’.
​​‘Life was at a peak, a Rolls Royce, a chauffeur, and travel to many exotic places around the world. Then the recession hit! 15% interest rates and property values halving overnight. Without a secure enough base, I went bankrupt. Back to the bottom! Now I had to tread very carefully. Undeterred, I started a new business in ‘book-keeping for the self-employed’.
‘I’ve made no mention of my matrimonial status so far, but after a couple of failed marriages, (who can put up with a workaholic?), I decided to learn from my mistakes and to seek true love on the Internet. I met Sylvi, a Norwegian lady and after 7 years, we married’.

​​In a revealing article in the Euro Weekly News, Bob recounts how he “found a stray cat in the road covered in blood and took it to the vet expecting it to be put down. About to return to the UK, the vet advised me that ‘my’ cat was fully recovered, so I took it back, put it in a room in the underbuild and persuaded neighbours to go in and feed it. Returning to Spain six week later, Sylvi and I found a very fit, totally socialised cat which we called Fumph, and we took him back to the UK. He lived for another 12 years”.

They both enjoy travelling and were lucky enough to do a round the world trip in 1997. They now move between Spain, Norway and occasionally the UK. Although officially retired, Bob still has a business importing Norwegian convector heaters into the UK and Spain, making full use of the facilities offered through the Internet.

The club followed up on his suggestion, and moved there for it’s general meetings. The Cluster, hosted by Nerja, was well attended by Costa Blanca. The Christmas lunch was held at Pepe’s, Alcalali.
The Newsletter reports that ‘Past Chairman Phil Fraser and wife Eliza are returning to Hong Kong for a family visit and plan short trips to Japan, Cambodia and Thailand, temporarily giving up their spacious villa accommodation in Javea for a 35 sq m two bedroom flat on Hong Kong Island. However, it was all worthwhile when they met their new grandson. Chairman David and wife Morag, en route to New Zealand, dropped in for a visit and a conducted tour of the sights’. This was the last Newsletter to be published, the club taking the decision to rely in future on the website to keep members informed.

Sadly we lost past National President Vaughan Harris, a recent new member and one of the few people who have been National President of both Table and 41 Club. Wife Jill, a member of Tanget’s  National
Executive has remained as an associate of the club, and we look forward to her future visits. The club welcomed Keith and Sue Hyde and George Thomas during the year.

Invited by a friend to a Table Civic Night in 1977, where Alan Knott, the England and Kent wicketkeeper was speaking, Peter Williamson attended further meetings and subsequently joined Gravesend Round Table, 187. ’A child of the 1940s, (just), I started life in Carshalton, Surrey, then over the next 16 years, lived there, in Lanarkshire, back to Carshalton, then York and finally Kent, where I still am’.
‘At University I read Zoology and then a second degree in Business Studies. I had to take a test in London to get in to the second degree, so went back home for the weekend and stayed over for a family birthday. One night I was in a pub and a small blonde lady trod on my foot. I bought her a drink and believe it or not, she later became my wife. Ethna and I celebrate 45 years soon, have a son and daughter and two lovely grandchildren’.
Vaughan Harris
National President 2011-12
Recalling his days in Table, ‘they were happy times running things like go kart derbies, air shows, old folks Christmas meals, contact with the other Table -87 clubs and an attempt to twin with Gravelines in France. Although I managed to avoid most senior offices, I became Chairman in my penultimate year, then ejected in 1990. Joining Gravesend 41 Club was easy after a long time in Table, as many of the members had been in Table during my time. Although they are a sociable bunch and we still meet for the odd meal or golf day, the club itself has disassociated from the Round Table Family’.

‘In 1989 we bought a villa in Javea and after seeing Tony Ogden’s appeal in the 41 Club magazine, I joined Costa Blanca in 1991. I was then limited to about three visits to Javea a year tied in to school holidays, but 
​​as the kids left school our times in Spain became more frequent and longer and I attended the club more often. Back in England I have joined a neighbouring club, Northfleet and District’. ‘Although I have so far also managed to avoid being a senior officer of CB 41, I was pleased to be elected Chairman at the 2015 AGM, the year of the Club’s 30th anniversary’.​​​​

Also elected at the AGM were VC Bob Gordon, and re-elected, Jim Thomas and Bob Oxley as Secretary and Treasurer respectively. David and Peter are just two of a growing number of CB 41 members during the ’20teens’ who have attended National Conferences, as well as visiting the other Iberian clubs during their hosting of the Cluster. Peter recalls, ‘I 
Tony's National Mag' appeal
​​have enjoyed the National Conferences which have provided many memories. Also the Clusters and a unique tour to Israel in 2000 with Tony and Janet Ogden, culminating in the *chartering of clubs 3 and 4 of the National Association there’.
(*see 1998/99 ‘Happy Holas and Sad Goodbyes’).

​​As usual, the social programme was circulated at the beginning of the year, embracing a variety of lunches or dinners at several restaurants around the area, such as Ca Maria and Montgo, Javea, with Christmas lunch at Pepe’s, Alcalali. The Cluster was hosted by Mallorca, and Ladies Night and Charter Night were both held at La Cocina, Javea. National President Terry Cooper and wife Lynn were hosted by Peter and Ethna, who held a St Patrick’s Day celebration the following day, much to the appreciation of Terry who exclaimed ‘that it is great to be just a house guest and not the main focus’.                                         
30th Charter Top Table Guest
David Campbell IRO, Lin Cooper, Terry Cooper National President , Ethna and Peter
In a unique joint anniversary lunch at Restaurante Le Gourmand, Javea a total of 220 years of marriage were celebrated by Ted & Sue Homewood, 30 years; David & Morag McAulay and Andrew & Kathy Johnson, 40 years each; Jim & Chris Thomas, 50 years and Bob & June Grainger, 60 years. Congratulations!
From left to right Andrew and Kathy, David and Morag, Ted and Sue,
June and Bob and Jim and Chris be continued.....

This is the nineteenth chapter on the history and development of the Costa Blanca 41 Club. Now that the Newsletters produced by Ted Homewood have ceased, it is being compiled from news articles, information provided by club members and pen portraits provided 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.

Ted Homewood/Bob Oxley 

                                                 Home Page

Ted Homewood
Chairman 2005-06

Bob Oxley
Chairman  2011-12

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