De La Salle
Newletter June 2015
NEW AGE DE LA SALLE
The AGM this year was as brief as has become the norm but ushered in a new phase in Club life.
For the first time there are as many women members as men on the Club Management
Committee. Sheila Allen and Sarah Wright have joined Linda Green and Barbara O’Callaghan to guarantee ideas and initiative in the future. Peter Mason (our irreplaceable Chairman), Chris Grant, Martin Green, Sam Wainwright and Laurence Green complete the team. It was agreed at the meeting that the Club’s identity was no longer defined as a drinking club but as an events venue, as Linda’s weekly updates clearly illustrate. And the recent play showed an inflow of talented and vibrant young members whom we can’t wait to see electrify the Club in thefuture.
MEMBERSHIP, SUBSCRIPTIONS AND NEWSLETTER
Since Christmas I have been more or less a dead duck as far as De La Salle has been concerned. Fortunately Linda has been relieving me ofmore and more membership work and it seems a good time to spell out the new system which is establishing itself so that you are ready for next year – or still haven’t paid up for 2015!
If Linda has an email address for you, you should make your contribution through her, either by post or direct payment into the Club account.(She will tell you how to do it.) She’ll issue reminders / receipts by email, pay money into the bank and keep records of payment. Meanwhile she will ask around for someone to take on the role of Membership Secretary and will explain what it involves.
Because Linda – bless her! – does so much, the duties won’t be onerous. Think about volunteering.
If you don’t do emails, we’ll communicate by post and you can reply in the same way to Linda or me. There are only about sixty of you so it won’t be a heavy burden for us.
The quarterly newsletters will also go out by post to non-email users along with the current copy ofLinda’s invaluable weekly updates. An email version will be tagged on to Linda’ updates.
Jack and Doreen Davies
Jack’s son Paul writes from 5 Argyle Road, Whitby YO21 3HS: ‘After some deterioration in health for both Jack and Doreen, I have persuaded them to move to acare home in Whitby where I can make frequent visits and they can be properly looked after. I’d like to personally thank you for your support over the years as I know Dad valued your help when Mum died as much as I did. We all wish the association the very best in the future.’
We send thanks to Paul for his letter and warmest good wishes to Jack and Doreen, two of our most popular members.
It was with great sadness that we learnt of the recent death of George. Although he had not been a member for a few years I know that many of you will remember him as a great rugby player and (as Mark Simmerson says) - a club legend. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.
Jim died recently and the Club lost one of its unforgettable characters. Impossible here to do justice to his long and distinguished career as headmaster of a city secondary school. We knew him best as the king of the bowling green every Thursday lunchtime for many years. At various periods Peter Mason, Bernard Slowey, Denis Staniforth, John Houdmont, Bert Higginbottom, and youreditor played with or against him, but none came anywhere near matching Jim’s strength, deadly accuracy and fierce dedication to the game. He was a great companion. We send our deepest sympathy to Jim’s wife Cath and his daughter Susan.
Congratulations to club member Elliot Callis, who was called on to field as a sub for England in the recent Headingley Test. Perhaps he shouldhave been in the full side!
Decoration and Development
Since the last newsletter the Club has been repainted through the main part of the building as part of a major spring clean. This has provided an opportunity to refresh the paintings / pictures and other paraphernalia. The House Committee is liaising with groups and sections to see which items need to go back up so that the Club has more of a slick and streamlined look to it and thanks to that Committee for all the good work so far.
Next up is a plan to run a handrail up alongside the flower bed and rose garden, leading up to the Club. Now you’ll have no excuse for not attending events in Winter!
NOTES FROM THE SECTIONS
The season arrived as usual - colder than you’d want and wetter than you’d hope for. However, very much against tradition the 1st XI won the opening fixture! Since there, something closer to normal service has been resumed for the Firsts, but the Seconds are proceeding well, while the midweek and Sunday sides have had their ups and downs. But whatever the outcome, there are few sights more perfect than a cricket match at Beauchief on a fine day. Why not pop up, bring a picnic and let the scene overwhelm you?
The arrival of spring brings the first sight of archers on Friday and Monday evenings. Summer evenings now play out to the sound of bow strings humming and arrow heads hitting bosses.
Check out the website if you’d like to join in.
Our recent recruitment drive has been very successful and we are pleased to welcome Mick and
Vicky Bladen, Les and Dorothy Firth, Yvonne Gutsell, Paul Sharpe, Margaret Whitelegg and Sue Wormald to our growing numbers. All of these people are also new Club members. We all wish them many years of happy bowling and Club membership, and, I trust, good friendship from all members. Existing Club members are also very welcome to join the Section.
The bowling green is in fine condition and is one of the Club's proud assets. It is open all day, every day and members just come and play whenever they want. Non-members are also welcome to have a go and see if the game suits them. Bowls are available for loan but as a member you are expected to buy your own. Casual visitors (accompanied by a member) normally pay £3 a session but this is not applied to your first couple of 'taster' games. You will usually find other bowlers there on Monday evenings (from about 6.15pm) and Tuesday and Thursday mornings (about 10.30am onwards). For further details please contact Alan Haigh on 2303070.
The section holds three internal competitions, men's and women's singles and doubles. The internal competitions are under way and a few of the games have already taken place. All the first round games must be completed by the end of July. We also play a range of friendly fixtures against other local Clubs. We do not play in a league. The section holds an annual Bowls holiday and this year 20 of us are going to Scarborough in mid-June. We play Bowls in the mornings and build sand castles or ride donkeys in the afternoon.
Having braved the ice and snow of January and February the DLS golfers are unsure just how to deal with things like warmth and lack of rain (and snow). Fortunately, Sam Wainwright brought us back to some sort of reality with a typical piece of banditry in winning the May golf medal. He is known as “El Yo Yo” for posting oscillating scores that regularly take his handicap up to a point where he can suddenly destroy the field by playing quite well. However, the pack is closing round him as more members join. And this month we were blessed with glorious weather and a new winner in newcomer Peter Rollings, only 3 strokes separating the highest and lowest net scores.
Next up is the July De La Salle Matchplay - a chance for members to emulate the heroics of the
European Ryder Cup team. The format is still to be confirmed
Many golf members choose not to enter the medals and just enjoy the chance to practice, or stroll round a calm and peaceful course in a reasonably short space of time. Internationally, golf is suffering a huge decline in participation - largely due to the amount of time it takes to play a round.
Here at Beauchief it’s entirely up to you. Playing the seven holes through a variety of configurations you can play for as long or as little as you want.
Review: THE CURSE OF THE SECRET SCROLLS (Terry McDermott)
Martin Green’s highly original play scanned events from Cleopatra’s time through to the days of
Sheffield Wednesday! An amazing cast ofFrench, Italian, Austrian, American, Swiss and English led us through the 1930s plot in somewhat Lawrence of Arabia style, all competing to find the Secret Scrolls with their rewards of treasure. At various points we were treated to bluesy performances by the inimitable Bungalow Band, the cast performingmass jives so that the small stage was literally full of moving bodies. What a lift these gave to proceedings! Each number was the touchstone for superb jive sessions. I wish I could have joined in! The competition for the Scrolls continued right to the end, with lots of gunfire and excitement. Who won? Not sure about that, but did it matter? A truly wonderful atmosphere prevailed and yet it was extremely funny - belly laugh funny. Summary: a thoroughly good night’s entertainment.
(Bizarrely, I was reminded of my own National Service with the infantryinthe Suez Canal just a few sandhills between us and a hostile Cairo That’s me going back a bit. Terry McDermott.)
As ever, there’s a busy line up of events over the next few months. The back page is designed to be printed / pinned up but here’s a taster of what’s on offer:
July - Family Fun Day Building on the success of last year’s Open Day we’re holding what we’re calling a family fun day, with the chance to come along and see what’s going on, have a picnic, maybe a game of rounders, petanques or putting. The bar will be open and there will be music in the bar to keep you entertained.
July - Mick Bisiker / The Bungalow Band
Mick has been up to the Club a number of times over the last 20 years and has been a key figure on the national folk scene for over 30 years. He’ll be bringing his unique sense of melody, musicianship and humour to share the stage with The Bungalow Band.
August - Scuppered seem to be anything but! This will be their third visit and they grow more popular with each visit. They brand themselves as probably the finest Coal Aston based folk band in the world! Come along and see if they can live up to their reputation.
September sees another return - this time of our very own jazz virtuoso, Alex Hutton. Alex is a supremely gifted pianist and songwriter, with a firmly established reputation in London jazz circles.
We’re delighted he’s made some time to come and visit. Buy tickets while you can. This one will sell out.
October sees a first for the Club in what is being branded as a radio play / ghost story - The
Mystery of Hartstopp Hall -which takes us back to the radio plays of the 20’s & 30’s. It’s a perfect way to build up a spooky atmosphere at Halloween.
Second Wednesdays (Alan Haigh)
More than 40 years ago I used to play the piano on a Sunday night at Hoyland Catholic Club. The evening was very informal and the programme far from structured. Volunteers from the audience would come on stage and I would do my best to accompany them, usually with no music in front of me. I would also start the evening (as I do nowat our Club) with some casual background piano music - again no music in front of me: just a list of titles of popular songs. Those days are long gone and I would be pushed to play for any length of time now without music in front of me.
Our Club's monthly 'second Wednesday' free & easy evening has been running for 8 ½ years and is planned in detail with very hard-working (apologies to our PM who seems to have claimed those words) volunteers. I must start these notes by offering sincere thanks to Sean Crehan who has just retired from the bar duty after more than eight years' conscientious service. It was Sean and I who started these evenings in January 2007. We had been doing a regular monthly bar duty at the Club for many years and the time had arrived when our work was far from onerous: the number of customers had dwindled - I would buy Sean a pint, he would buy me one and then it was time to go home. OK, it wasn't that bad, we did have the odd customer (the names Capps, Morton and Pratt come to mind) but something had to be done and so the musical evenings arrived.
We’re very fortunate to have so many willing and talented volunteers. We’ve even had professional volunteers performing free of charge. Most evenings have a theme and there are so many capable singers and instrumentalists together with gifted readers that I find putting the evenings together is not a stressful or difficult task. I really do appreciate the support I get from both the performers and the audience. Perhaps it is an invidious task to name names but I will risk it by selecting some of the regulars so far this year. Maureen Finnigan, Monica Grant, Mary Harrison (not forgetting Roy Longdon, her accompanist who is great), Anne Hughes, Roberta Kelly, Pat Sleath and Paul Lally are all fantastic singers. You will see we need more male vocalists - please volunteer! Our talented readers have included Mike O'Callaghan, Jan Oxley, Betty Parkin and Terry Sleath. Hugh Finnigan is a regular piano soloist and accompanist displaying virtuosic talent and imagination. Guest performers have been Steve Jones (piano), David Hawley (organ keyboard), The Bungalow Band, Hallmark of Harmony barber-shop singers, and the Cellarmen (male trio vocal and instrumental).
The coming months are already largely mapped out. The June evening had a 1940s theme with quality music from composers such as Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hammerstein. On July 8 a French theme is highly probable. On August 12 I will be handing of the MC's mike to Paul Lally who will have the pleasure of introducing the Bungalow Band as well as a wide range of other talented volunteers. From the date, it promises to be a 'glorious' evening. We are delighted to have Brian and Clare Campbell joining us as the main act on September 9and a Scottish Dance and folk theme will be evident as Brian plays the accordion and Clare her violin as well as singing . On October 14 we are pleased to have the return of the U3A A Cappella group with Stephanie Dixon. On November 11 we are fortunate to have a return visit from the recently formed Sheffield group, the Cellarmen. Any ideas for December? We shall see!
I will conclude by offering a special thanks to Chris Grant who has taken over the running of the bar on these evenings very capably supported by David Hawley. Their work is much appreciated. Do come along and join us - the second Wednesday of every month. There is no charge for admission.