Whitstable Branch

This has been a quiet period for the Whitstable Branch.

Our hopes for success at the annual Bat & Trap final at Oare, didn't quite materialise, having achieved fourth place. However, we comforted ourselves having actually beaten the overall winners in one of the earlier rounds! Next year maybe.

Things then considerably improved as we were delighted to welcome two new members to the branch - John and Pauline Knight. Both have now joined the Bat & Trap team and are fast becoming key players.

The visit to Penshurst Place, the home of Association President Viscount and Lady De L'Isle in September, was much enjoyed by several members of the branch.

Members have also enjoyed visits to other branches events, including, the Lynsted Fish & Chip Quiz evening, where our showing maintained our previous high standards and the annual Medway branch Black Tie Dinner, which was also thoroughly enjoyed.

At our Sept. 11th. Coffee Morning, an open forum discussed places and events that members might like to visit or take part in for the coming year. The first of these was a lunch at the Golden Lion P.H at Broadoak.

This was duly arranged for the 1st. of August and was a great success! Some members arrived early and had an excellent game of Bat & Trap - there being no opposing team, we did rather well! We will be visiting the Golden Lion regularly next year.

At our Nov. 11th. Coffee morning, I put on a 'Film Show' of photographs taken at our branch events over the past few years. In addition there were photo sets of places that we plan to visit in the coming year, including, the Pines Gardens, St.Margarets at Cliffe and Provender House, Norton. The show was warmly applauded.

Our final event of the year will be the Christmas Lunch at the Whitstable Castle, which, if up to last year's standard will be greatly enjoyed. More next time.

And finally - in future, updated 'Flyers' will be available at Coffee mornings; but if you prefer, I can email a copy by contacting me at - nafunga@gmail.com. That way you won't miss out if you can't be at the meeting.

David Woodnott.

We are delighted to welcome two returning members to the branch, Mr & Mrs E Oldfield who were with us some years ago. Welcome Eddie and Betty, good to have you with us! Bat & Trap maybe? And finally just a reminder of the Christmas Lunch at the Whitstable Castle on Dec. 5th. Bookings with Jane Massee please.

Blessing the Waters, 1 August 2013

The annual Blessing the Waters attracted a large audience of Natives and holidaymakers on the hottest evening of the year.

Rev Simon Tillotson officiated, supported by Fr Kevin St Aubyn and Rev Geoffrey Collins, and our Chairman Trevor Dole read the lesson.

We were honoured by the presence of our President, Lord De L'Isle and Lady De L'Isle, the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Canterbury and Chairman of Council Mick Backhouse.

Following the service, we dined at the Marine Hotel, Tankerton, joined by members of Canterbury, Deal & Walmer, Dover, Medway and Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells branches.

To mark the centenary of Whitstable Branch, a special cake had been made and this was ceremoniously cut to warm applause by Lady De L'Isle.

Lady De L'Isle cutting the Commemerative cake.

A special feature of the evening was a rousing speech by our Branch President, David Pearce, who exhorted us in his usual extravagant manner to extraordinary efforts as we set course on our way to the next hundred years.

Your fearless Bat & Trap team have been practising all summer long, and are more than usually hopeful of some success at the upcoming Final at Oare.

By the time you read this our fate will have been sealed and possibly prove our hopes accomplished.

The 13th of July brought the Association AGM to the Marine Hotel, Whitstable. Following the church service, the AGM and Lunch proved very well supported and enjoyed by all attending.

Mick Backhouse, newly elected Chairman, addresses the AGM.

June 20th was the 'Dog Racing' evening at the Sittingbourne Dog Track, arranged by Head Office. Needless to say, our gambling expertise has hardly improved since last year's Race day at Folkestone!

We all however thoroughly enjoyed the evening which included a two course meal. Hopefully to be repeated next year!

At our June 9th Coffee morning, Charles Judd once more stepped into the breach with a talk on a musical theme. Various musical tracks were played which we were hopefully to identify.

Charles then stepped in to explain what the tracks actually were! All in all, a lot of fun!

On April the 27th, a group of keen Whitstable quizzers visited the Lynsted 'Wine & Wisdom' night at Norton Village Hall.

Our showing was to our usual high standard! Nuff said! However, we all enjoyed the evening out!

At our April 17th Coffee Morning our stalwart speaker, Charles Judd entertained us with a talk on 'Things that happened on this date in previous years'.

Charles enlightened us all with his imaginative take on past happenings over the centuries.

At last! On the 10th of April the weather was finally kind to us and we managed the planting of the commemorative Holm Oak tree at the Victory Wood site, Hernehill.

We plan to affix a suitable commemorative plaque later in the year.

Tree planting at Victory Woods

Wednesday March 13th. was the date of our Branch AGM, held as is customary at the Community Centre, Whitstable. We were joined by Mick Backhouse, Association Vice Chairman and our own President, David Pearce. Mick entertained us with good humour on what was happening around the Association at present and of things for the future, including new sponsorship arrangements which should benefit us all.

The AGM business was swiftly dealt with by our Chairman, Trevor Dole. All Committee members were re-elected with the welcome addition of new member Bob Dole, who we hope will add some weight to our flagging Bat & trap team!

The meeting closed with David Pearce in his inimitable style encouraging us all to do all we can to find new members for the branch. Then followed the important part of the meeting - the Fish & Chip lunch! This was warmly welcomed and enjoyed by us all.

Following the close, it was arranged that we journey to the Woodland Trust's Victory Woods site to plant a Holm Oak sapling as part of our Centenary celebrations. This however was put off by the foul weather conditions on the day as also was the following date picked for the planting (27th. March) also due to poor conditions.

Hopefully by the next magazine I will be able to report that we have actually planted it!

At our February Coffee Morning, in the absence of a speaker, Trevor Dole produced a Quiz which severely tested our knowledge of Kent!

Later in the month a team of us joined the Faversham Branch at their 'Nosh & Knowledge' evening. A very enjoyable time was had by one and all with the slight, yet not unexpected detail that we won the 'Booby Prize' (Again!).

In January, at our first Coffee Morning of the New Year I arranged a 'Film Show' of two of last year's outings.

The first was of the Association Race Day at Folkestone and the other of the Christmas Lunch at the Castle. These were well received and of interest (so I'm told!) especially to those of us who missed the event.

Our Christmas Lunch at the Whitstable Castle was a great success and was enjoyed by all those present.

David Pearce, our Branch President, stormed the occasion with an impassioned speech of encouragement for the celebrations he envisages at our Branch Centenary later this year.

These ideas included, hoisting the AMKKM flag onto one of the wartime forts off Whitstable harbour and commandeering the motor vessel Medway Queen for the day (!) This brought much cheering from the diners who thoroughly enjoyed the idea!

Our actual celebrations have proved slightly more difficult to realise - more later.

David Woodnott.

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