Once again the Club Annual Dinner was held in the New Inn. Attendance was good, although a number of last minute cancellations meant that at 26 diners we were down a bit on last year.
This year instead of being crammed into one end we were given the exclusive use of the pub whilst we ate. This meant that we had a lot more room, but as a result some of the intimacy was lost. In particular we had two tables that were laid for only two people! Malcolm and Helen Stewart ended up at a table on their own – not quite what you would expect at a club dinner. The other twin table remained empty due to the aforementioned cancellations. As this table was opposite the bar it had the effect of dividing the club into two groups: Croydon Caving Club and the Other Croydon Caving Club. The gap was, however, a natural venue for the after dinner activities.
As is somewhat traditional, after dinner I gave a Chairman’s Address. (Someone else can write about that if they want.) Steve Murray was present but didn’t bring his friend Malcolm*. This meant that we were denied the benefit of the comedy double act. Steve did however unwittingly contribute to the entertainment. Unknown to him Chris Crowley had prepared a special presentation based on his recent meeting with someone who caved with Steve many years ago.
Steve Murray – This is Your Caving Life proved to be of great embarrassment to Steve, but was highly entertaining to everyone else.
*Note to new members. Malcolm is a ventriloquist's dummy. He often makes an appearance at the Annual Dinner.