At our meeting earlier in the year, it was suggested that we organise a Riverboat Cruise. There was much enthusiasm and a date was decided. It is always difficult to find a date that suits everyone and that is not already booked. Eventually Saturday, 25th July was chosen as being most convenient.
The weather at that time was very changeable and as we approached the chosen date we kept our fingers crossed! Cruising in the pouring rain is not to be recommended!
As it happens, it was the most glorious day, very warm and sunny. Everyone was cheerful and there was a very happy and friendly group of Members and friends, 51 in all, who boarded the Turks Launch, Kingston Royale at Noon at their pier in Kingston.
It was a very comfortable boat with two covered decks and a small external deck aft! Suzanne and Mark, in particular, certainly seemed to enjoy the opportunity of the fresh air and open space and we were delighted they could join us. The captain and crew were very helpful and obliging and the bar on the lower deck was well supplied and patronised! There were plenty of seats and tables so everyone could move around in comfort and mix together. The atmosphere was fantastic.
The boat cruised along the river to Kingston Bridge, Hampton Court and Richmond before returning to Kingston Pier. It was most enjoyable and as it was such a perfect day, people relaxing on the riverbank with friends and family, waved to us continuously and children shrieked with delight. The riverside is so interesting when viewed from the water and you get such a different perspective of all the places you pass. It brought back many childhood memories for many people and it was such a delight to see everyone enjoying the river in such diverse ways.
At around 1 pm, delicious fish and chips were delivered to the boat. What a treat! When all present were well fed and having participated in a glass or two, the raffle tickets were produced. I must say, at this stage that the raffle prizes that were donated were incredible, everyone was so generous and it was really appreciated. A special mention must be given to Greta Curtis, Nona Soloman and Patricia Lumley whose help was invaluable and without them and our young helper, Emma , the raffle would not have been such an outstanding success. We raised £231 and also members very kindly donated an extra £30 towards our funds. The event actually made a profit! People are so kind and it was a lot of fun.
In conclusion, I would like to personally thank Dr Ian Beeton and his charming wife Lesley, for giving their time and joining us. They helped to make the day a resounding success and were even lucky in the raffle although I don’t think they were fortunate enough to get the box of chocolates Lesley had her eye on!!!