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

History 1994 - 95

​​
“A milestone year”


Eleven Costa Blanca members travelled in several cars to the 3rd Cluster meeting in the Algarve. A great time was had by all, meeting old friends from National, Mallorca and the host club, as well as meeting members of the Gibraltar 41 Club for the first time. The Cluster organiser Colin Brown and wife Sybil hosted a buffet supper, enabling all the delegates to get to know each other. ‘The next morning was spent on the bowling green, followed by the Algarve/Cluster AGM meeting, an all male affair with the ladies eating at another restaurant.
​​Following a long car trip to the tip of Portugal, (where the next bit of land was the USA), we played golf at the ‘Paque de Floresta’, a new retirement development run by the chairman of the Algarve Club’. Tony  comments, ’with the course more suited to mountain goats, the residents who play golf here are likely to have a short but happy retirement’. Nevertheless, he won the tournament, ‘probably because I have had more practice at drinking all night and playing golf early next morning!’

‘That evening we had an excellent Chairman’s Ladies Dinner Dance, and the next morning it was the turn of David Noakes to get up early and claim the tennis trophy for the Costa Blanca club. This was followed by a guided tour of the ancient town of Silves, and a farewell lunch in the mountains’.

On the domestic front, after waiting for 8 years, Alec Morrison is now finally on the telephone. ‘Dick and Dorothy Phillips were welcomed back following a traumatic return from Canada. On a flight from Calgary to Heathrow, Dick felt ill and was unable to be revived with oxygen. Following an appeal for a doctor on board, the captain was advised that he may arrive at Heathrow with one less passenger. 


​Paque de Floresta
​​Silves
​​The flight was diverted to Alaska, where he received specialist treatment and was able to travel back some time later under the supervision of a specialist nurse’.

David Noakes took over as Chairman in 1995, with Hans Waller as VC, Islay Burns as Secretary and Len Peacock as Treasurer. All was relatively peaceful until the subject of sending birthday cards was broached. ‘After heated exchanges it was decided to carry on with the custom.  

​​However ,emphasis should be put on sending ‘get well’ cards when members or their wives were sick. It was essential when members or their wives became ill, that this was communicated either to the Almoner or the Chairman’.

A number of non resident members were struck off under the subscription rule, but were assured that they would still be welcome as visitors at future meetings.  ‘Social Secretary Terry Loftus produced a full year’s programme, to include a Car Treasure trail, visit to Benidorm Palace and a Horse Racing night, as well as some of our old favourites such as a BBQ,  

​​Octoberfest, Paella lunch and Ladies and Charter Nights. With comings and goings, our numbers are down to 23 resident members and around 29 non- residents’.

Almost inevitably, we are leaving the Meson de Paco at the end of the year. We were in the back room of the restaurant so that we could have a speaker, but they have been putting other customers with us, even though tables were still free in the main dining room. As a result, from January, we will meet in the Bon Appetit restaurant on the Arenal’.
Although it seems that he is rarely off the pages of the Newsletters, there is ‘a fascinating and lengthy account of Alec and Margaret Morrison’s ‘Great African Adventure’, an overland trip covering nine and a half




thousand miles over a twelve week period, visiting nine countries in East, Central and West Africa, including such things as mountain treks, being conveyed by camel, dug out canoes and ferries, but mainly by a special 4 wheel drive vehicle containing a kitchen, library, bar and two shovels (to dig yourself out!’)

This was obviously not a club activity, and it is debateable whether or not it merits inclusion in the club’s history. However, in a club that is made up of ex-Tablers from many UK national and International clubs, with no individual Table history, the main assets of the club are it’s members, whose backgrounds and interests give the club it’s character and personality. This is why we believe that this and other similar inclusions are justified.
We attended the first ever Cluster meeting in Gibraltar, from the 23rd – 25th February ‘held at the Caletta Palace Hotel. The journey was uneventful, but skirting the Sierra Nevadas, it snowed, (the real stuff), but only a dusting on the road. We had a first sighting of a Spanish snowplough, albeit speeding along the motorway at 120 kph, the driver probably going home for tea!
The Gibraltar Club made us all most welcome and the conference atmosphere was strong as we crowded into bedrooms, getting up to date with the news and having a
last drink before the functions’. Friends from the Algarve and Mallorca were there, together with the 41 Club National Presidents of both France and the UK.’​​

On the first night we went out for a tapas party, and on the Saturday, whilst the ladies went shopping, the men attended the formal Cluster meeting, with the presentation of banners and an exchange of gifts. We received a hand blown tankard, made and engraved in Gibraltar by a man who was trained at Dartington Glass in Devon. We then had a tour of the Rock, visiting the apes, the tunnels and historic sites’.
Dinner and the wines at the Casino were excellent, as was the 

Sunday brunch. We then joined what a notice said was a ‘political queue’, taking one and a half hours to exit back into Spain’. .Following the Cluster meeting, the Gibraltar club requested that the group be renamed the ‘Iberian Cluster’. The group should be within the peninsula, with meetings 12 - 18 months apart. Although other Mediterranean clubs would be welcome as guests, it would save embarrassment regarding visits to Malta, France, Italy and Cyprus, because of the travel cost and logistics in getting there.



Less than a month later, we held our 10th Charter Anniversary. 65 members and their guests, together with National President David and wife Eileen, dined at the Clouds Restaurant in Javea Port.
Similar tankard presented in 2000
On Saturday we  moved on to the Venta de Posa in La Jara for a BBQ and evening of dancing, with a farewell paella lunch at L’Era in Parcent on Sunday.

With all this activity throughout the year, we must not forget the sad passing of founder member and past chairman Dennis Tearle in Alicante hospital after a short illness. Also leaving us, past c
hairman Joe Barnfield, who has sold his house and is moving back to the UK.
                               

                                                                               …….to be continued……..



David Sharp
Nat. Pres. 1995-96

Note

This is the eigth 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