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

History 1989 - 90

Older and wiser maybe but definitely not stuck in the mud!
One member clearly in favour of charity work was Alec Morrison. He ran ‘in the Benidorm Marathon, resulting in over 50,000 pts being sent to the Cholbi Old People’s Home in Javea’ . The social scene dramatically picked up. Tony reports ‘we had a deluge the day and night before our trip to Valencia. I  didn’t expect anyone to turn up, but just for the exercise put on my wellies and golf waterproofs to meet the coach’.

Suddenly everyone started to appear out of the storm and we were off only an hour late. We all enjoyed it, with lunch in the caves, but couldn’t take the boat trip as the water level was nearly up to the roof. We managed to tuck in a visit to the shoe factory where a nameless member managed to purchase a pair of walking shoes for thirty bob, then a tour around the ceramics museum then into the Lladro seconds shop for yet more bargains’.

‘Ralph Spilsbury organised another trip to the Maserof Bodega in the Sierra Bernia. We didn’t participate in the treading of the grapes (thank goodness), but just sampled the wines, somee of which
were 17 years old and we did justice to a very hearty lunch presided over by a tubby mine host’
Benidorm Marathon
Museo de Ceramica
A motoring treasure hunt had a surprise ending. ‘Some 32 of us were sitting down to lunch in Alkalali when all hell broke loose in the drive, with fireworks going off and the town band playing drowning out the sound of the bangs. They came into the restaurant, still playing, and sat down at the next table to us. They played in between courses, and conversation stopped. We all danced, and at 5.00 pm left for home. It was the fiesta for St Cecelia, the patron saint of music!’

After having gone through the European Court and winning a long winded case against the UK VAT office, Vice-Chairman Richard Burrell stood down to visit friends 
Maserof Bodega in the Sierra Bernia
​​and relations around the globe. At the 1989/90 AGM, Tony became chairman, with Ralph as VC, Islay Burns as Secretary and Paddy O’Callaghan as Treasurer. Telephone communication still remained the top topic.  ‘Being connected is almost as exciting as having a baby, (from the male point of view of course)’. With a great sense of achievement, the successful member bought the beer at the next meeting, with no less than four members one month being ‘in the chair’. However, ‘VC Richard, with no hope of a telephone for years, has rigged a contraption on his roof which connects to the house of a German friend on the other side of the valley’, which works perfectly. The club did indeed start to meet more often in ‘private’ rooms and increased the number of ‘speaker’ meetings.
Spanish culture and practices often take time to get used to, or even to understand. For example, ‘car tax’. If not paid on time, the Guardia can seize your car. Trouble is, finding out when to pay. First we are told we could pay in April, then May, next July and now September. (For 1990 of course.)’  

If you are going to live here, it makes sense to get involved in at least speaking the language and in some of the culture. For example Len Peacock’s daughter Debbie ‘was invited to partake in the Moors and Christians fiesta’, and a golfing friend of Tony’s ‘was made ‘Festero’, which meant he had to put on his suit and march next to his wife, who was dressed in the traditional  black lace, at the head of the bands.  He complained that as head of the fiesta he had to go to church and receive the blessing, whilst his Spanish pals on the committee were all in the local bar. What’s changed?’
                                                                           be continued...
This is the third 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

​Home Page​

​​Bob Oxley
Chairman 2011-12
Ted Homewood
Chairman 2005-06

Reaching the end of only it’s second year in existence, a controversial suggestion in a Council meeting triggered a series of comments. ‘Some of our younger breed of 41ers told us that we are far too laid back in our attitude to the Club; we must be more formal; have more speakers at our meetings; get off our backsides with regard to charity work; and so on. The Council met and deliberated, decided that it was much too large an issue for them, and in true parliamentary form, called for a referendum from all the local members and visitors present at the time.

When the votes were counted, they revealed that the Club ’did not want more formal meetings; would prefer meeting in a private room within a restaurant; a few more speakers; no attendance rule and did not want to get involved with charity work’. There was unanimous agreement that the Charter night should be a dinner dance, with short speeches from only the Chairman and his wife, and that lounge suits would be worn.
Another instalment in the history of our Club