Dear Brethren,

I really must share with you all the details of our Afternoon Tea on the Thames which happened last Sunday 7th Sep 2014.

There were 40 of us that got under way at 12:00 prompt from the Thames Promenade and we navigated our way up river, enroute to Mapleduram, passing through Tilehurst, Pangbourne and even under Whitchurch Bridge, which many of us have not seen for many months, due to the ongoing repair works there. (Someone’s income must be greatly reduced as the toll itself has not been in operation for many months now!)

The inevitable raffle tickets were sold by our team of willing helpers during the first part of the afternoon. I will make further reference to the magnificent raffle itself later on.

At approximately 13:30 we had the first of the auction items to be sold. This was the night for two staying at the Elcot Park Mercure Hotel, Newbury which was donated by Bro Peter Browning of The Hungerford Lodge and it eventually reached £75.00 when the hammer fell.
The second item auctioned was the flight for two from White Waltham Airfield for a flight time of one hour. This is pretty much a full day out with family in attendance at the club house if you so wish. This was donated by Charles Wilkinson Lodge and it raised a wonderful £150.00. There was a closely contested battle between two very interested Brethren for this fantastic day out.
The third item was a late donation of a case of wine from Majestic Wines, donated by First Choice Cards Reading, complete with tasting notes for each wine and the whole package finished in a presentation box. This raised an additional £60.00.

The buffet followed the auction which was a selection of quality sandwiches, including smoked salmon, egg & cress and gammon ham & mustard. These were followed by various cakes with tea and coffee. It has to be said that no one left with an empty tummy as there was plenty for all, including the tea and coffee.

Next on the agenda was the raffle. The star prize was a 24 inch LED colour flat screen TV. The PGM drew the first ticket and the number was kept secret until the end. There was an absolute plethora of prizes and donations by many Brethren and visitors alike. This was a truly magnificent raffle and the outcome was obvious. It raised well over £200.00 alone.

With some free time to continue watching the banks of the Thames drift by, we returned to our starting point around 16:00. Before everyone dispersed and went their separate ways, we managed to catch many of the assembled throng with a couple of pictures to record the event for posterity and they are attached to this report.

I would like to send a great big thank you to all the Brethren and their guests for supporting the afternoon so generously and providing such quality prizes for the raffle. I must also thank Angela and Linda for their sales patter with the raffle tickets, as I know that everyone on board witnessed their persuasive methods! Thanks also to the rest of my guests for folding the many raffle tickets and assisting where needed. Finally a massive thank you to Tim of Thames Rivercruise Ltd, as our captain for the day and the two young ladies that kept us well supplied in the bar and refreshment areas. It was an absolute pleasure organising this for you all and if it is felt that we might do it again next year, I could probably be persuaded! Eventually…..

I hope those who attended really enjoyed it as much as my party did and we look forwards to the next Festival Event.

Very best regards,
Bro Steve Croston

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