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

History 1993 - 94


​‘When
 the Algarve was in
 the Med’

Four members of the Costa Blanca club and their wives attended the first ever Cluster meeting in Mallorca. The scrupulous travel arrangements were quickly undone when the car in which four of them were travelling stopped in Ondara for two of the occupants to post letters. 
One of the white envelopes to be posted was left on the dashboard. All eight tickets for a 3.35pm flight from Valencia to Palma, also in a white envelope, had just been posted in error. What could they do now!
 
A stop at a call box; an explanation and plea to the travel agent to contact the airline reservations desk; a dash to the airport; a hasty explanation to the other four passengers waiting to check in; then a stony faced clerk who claimed to know nothing about their predicament. They were rescued by another clerk who, seeing their names on the 


manifest, arranged for the check-in desk to remain open and the plane to be delayed, enabling them to buy another set of tickets, and board the ‘plane. Their original tickets were eventually returned to the travel agent together with a refund.

In addition to members from the Algarve and Gibraltar, one of our non-res members Len Jones brought a contingent from his home 41 club Long Eaton. We met all the members of the Mallorcan club and their wives and enjoyed a very full programme which went a little astray when a minibus did not turn up and half the party got stuck in a train tunnel due to leaves on the line!
​​During the visit, Tony ‘took some time out to discuss with National President David and Secretary Geoff, together with Ken Evans from Mallorca, the future of Mediterranean Cluster meetings. Costa Blanca had by far the largest membership, and although travel was not difficult between the Algarve, Gibraltar, Mallorca and ourselves, it was a bit of a problem with Cyprus and Malta. Lisbon and Jerusalem were being formed, and we were invited to a Charter Night in Romania’.
​​‘It was agreed to have a Cluster meeting not more than once per year, and to take it in turns to host, leaving Cyprus and Malta out until later. We extended an invitation for 1994, and for important meetings, representatives from National should be invited. Although they would be welcome at other meetings, it was felt that we would prefer to spend time getting to know the members of the other Mediterranean clubs on an informal basis’

Despite the ‘no more than once a year agreement’, our hosting debut was also our Charter Anniversary in March 1994. Initially there were more visiting members and their wives than we could host, but in the end, we hosted four couples from Mallorca, two from the Algarve and the National President and Secretary from the UK. In addition there were some ex-Tablers from the UK and Meaux in France.

​We started with a buffet lunch so that everyone could get to know each other. At the Charter Dinner, ‘each of the groups introduced themselves and banners were exchanged. Our Mallorcan friends gave us a well thought out gift, a ‘Hinge’ made from olive wood and joined with a brass hinge. Saturday was a day of leisure, and many of our visitors were taken to Denia to see the ‘Fallas’ and the flower parade, where of course, the children stole the show. The Dinner was held at the Venta de Posa, and a farewell paella lunch the following day at L’Era in Parcent, followed by coffee and brandy at the home of Peter and Dorothea Will.’

The future of the Mediterranean Cluster was discussed, with the main topics being why Gibraltar could not attend; the costs of travel and hosting; and the frequency of the meetings. An invitation from the Algarve for October 1994 was accepted, where it was hoped that Gibraltar would attend and invite us all there in 1995.

Paddy O’Callaghan took over as Chairman in 1994, with Islay Burns as Secretary and Hans Waller as Treasurer. On paper, ‘there were 26 resident and 34 non-resident members, but the Treasurer stated that each category should be reduced by 6. New banners have been purchased, but in view of increased capitation fees and other expenses, the proposal to increase subscriptions met with calls

​​for scrapping the birthday cards, reducing the Newsletter and disaffiliating ourselves from National. In the end, subscription was voted in at 1,500 pts’ and the status quo was maintained.' 

Our younger energetic member, David Noakes, won the Mens Doubles in the L’ncora Open Tennis Tournament in Javea, and was runner-up in the Mixed Doubles Final.

New resident Alan Anderson has been a member of many Tables throughout the globe and wife Val is a past National President of Ladies Circle.


Ian Ritchie became the first new member to send an application form by fax. He and wife Carol are having a house built in Calpe, and over welcome drinks received about six different views on how best to proceed, from resident members.
​​An invitation has been received from the Algarve confirming the next Cluster’. It just goes to show how little I know about geography’, comments Tony, amending the event to ‘The Mediterranean & Atlantic Cluster’. Joe quoted something overheard in a doctor’s waiting room about ‘Living Withouts’. “I’m getting used to my bifocals and my hearing aid. I’m learning to live with my dentures and I can now cope with my arthritis, but, oh! dear, I really miss my mind"  

​                                                                                                                               ....to be continued...                                                                                                                           
Note

This is the seventh 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