Summer Cruise: 14th July – River Thames
A Capital time on the River!
After the longest spell of sustained good weather since 1976, there were thoughts that the rain would return just in time for the Old Friends Thames River Cruise. However, some timely sun dances by your devoted committee ensured the rain stayed away and a dry and balmy evening greeted 80 Old Friends and Guests as they arrived at the Hung Drawn and Quartered Pub in Tower Hill by train, taxi and even bicycle!
With views of the Shard, the Walkie Talkie building and the Tower of London, it proved to be an ideal gathering place for a quick drink prior to the short stroll to the Tower Millennium Pier and the waiting Millennium Time River Cruiser.
A quick count-up showed that everyone expected had made it on time and the boat prepared to set sail. Your President, David Langdown, is not particularly at home on the water, however fortified by the sensible ingestion of three pints of Vitamin G (Guinness to the uninitiated!) he welcomed everyone aboard. This was the first dinner of his presidency, and it added a new and informal event to the Old Friends calendar.
The President reminded those present that it is customary to begin his speech with the words “Old Friends, your friends…”. However, on this occasion he felt a hearty “Ahoy, Shipmates” would be more appropriate. A raucous response of “Ahoy” from the floor suggested it was a good decision!
Thanks were offered to the Committee for organising the event so efficiently, and in particular to Steve Robinson who had been instrumental in the planning. The absent Steve Hilleard and Janet Bell of OPI were also thanked for sponsoring the entertainment despite not being able to attend themselves. This was provided by the excellent guitarist and vocalist, Luke Rendell, who played a great mix of current and classic hits throughout the evening.
The President explained that this was not the first time the Old Friends had been on a River Cruise but the last one was so long ago that Old Friend Stanley Vaughan was still in the role of Roger the Cabin Boy.
Guests were delighted to see some stunning London landmarks as the cruise took the party out towards the Thames Barrier before turning and returning some 3 hours later. Tower Bridge rose both on the way out and back and there were photo opportunities aplenty. It looks like this event could well become a fixture in the Old Friends calendar.
Members were advised to check the website as the dates of the Autumn Events have changed, please visit the upcoming events page for details.
Ahoy there, Old Friends … until the next time!!