Despite the passing of our esteemed president in March, the Sly family have extended their usual generous invitation to join them at Old Blades again this year. We endeavour to make this well attended club gathering extra special: Partly because it's our 125th year and partly in honour of Peter who loved entertaining during regatta.
As part of our anniversary celebrations, there will also be a row over the course during the tea interval (16.30) by an VIII made up entirely of Cygnet Captains new and old, before which you're likely to have to endure a speech by the Chairman.
Club members and guests are welcome from around 12 noon until 6 pm (end of racing), at which point we have to have tidied up our rubbish and move on to the various commercial venues along the course.
Picnic - the basics
Over the past ten years, we have organised a coordinated picnic. This all started when we had visitors from Benrath, in Germany, who came over for the 40th anniversary of our friendship. As it happens, 2015 is the year we celebrate 50 years of friendship, and yet again a number of Benrath members will attend the picnic as our guests.
To spread the efforts in catering for BBLRC, Cygnet and Benrath in equal measure, can I ask Cygnet members to take care of drinks (for 1 plus ANOther), bread and cheeses, and BBLRC members bringing salads (for 5/6). Our lovely hostesses Pat and Prudence Sly will provide a gazebo with tables to deposit the salads and other food stuffs on, and the picnic table in the middle of the garden will be the drinks "bar". It is entirely up to you if you wish to bring your own picnic instead, though!
Picnic BBLRC/Cygnet/Benrath - the details
If you would like to participate in this organised picnic, do let Marj know what you intend to bring. Not because I am nosy (although I am that too) but mainly to ensure that we end up with a variety of salads, rather than 10 couscous salads and some bread! Now's the time to get that special summer salad recipe and wow everyone with your skills! And remember, it only needs to be a salad for 5-6 people.
The safest way to travel to Henley (and if this is your first time, the only way, just for the experience) is by train from Paddington or Ealing Broadway, via Twyford. Go with your crew, club friends, close friends....
From the station, follow the crowd towards the river, cross the river by the Angel Pub, and take the first turn left; the path will lead you behind the boating tents and enclosures before turning left to the towpath along the river. Go right and follow the towpath along a variety of rowing clubs, drinking and shopping stalls. When you see a garden fence right along the towpath, you've reached your destination.
Note that there are no general parking facilities at Old Blades; do get in touch with me if you have to drive to Henley!
Although this must be one of the most exclusive enclosures along the course there is no strict dress code. Most Cygnets will wear their club blazer, and ladies go all out in summer frocks and hats. If you plan to go into the Stewards enclosure (there will be some tickets to be shared on the day) note that gentlemen will have to be appropriately dressed in club blazer, shirt and tie, and ladies MUST wear frocks with hems below the knee. Trouser suits are not allowed for the ladies.