GGCs v Berkshire Captains - Monday 12 June 2017 - Ross-on-Wye Golf Club
Due to a clash of dates with the South West Golf Week, the usual pair in charge for the Gloucester Golf Captains, Tony and Ian, were doing other duties at Weston Super Mare Golf Club. In their place were the Lansdown pair of Ian Smith and Ken Rawcliffe, who had been suitably briefed in the protocol for such a prestigious event.
These two newly promoted custodians travelled from Bristol in good heart, looking forward to play on a favourite golf course that both, at different times, had achieved some success.
Arriving at the club, in good time, to find most of the team and opposition already in attendance, they started to carry out their duties. Meet with the Club Secretary, introduce themselves with the Bedfordshire Captain and other officials and also to make the necessary arrangements to pay the bills. They arranged with the Club Secretary that wine would be provided on the table for the meal and asked who should be paid. As our two custodians had been selected, or should that be demoted, to go out last, the Secretary was requested to arranged for the bills to be presented before the golf started. This would allow for all the formalities to be finalised in suitable tranquillity, rather than in a rush.
The bill for the food and wine was presented by the caterer, which rather surprised our new custodians. “That can’t be enough for Lunch, Dinner and Wine” was the comment. “No. There has been no arrangement made for us to provide dinner” was the reply ...... Instant Panic!!!
In discussions with the caterers it was made clear that they were unprepared, at such short notice, to provide dinner. They were a week away from leaving the club and had run down their stock of supplies.
The Secretary and Caterer went away and, it was presumed, made some urgent phone calls. This resulted in them proposing an alternative for dinner. A club member owned a restaurant in the town of Ross on Wye and was prepared to provide us with dinner.
This proposition was put to the teams, who gladly accepted the alternative.
The company then moved upstairs for the usual lunch of Sandwiches and Chips, washed down, by some, with wine that had been ordered for dinner. Only a small amount of the wine was consumed, the bulk was later taken and dispatched at the dinner venue.
The match then got underway and with a couple of exceptions were closely fought affairs. Our Captain, Slats, along with Tony Gough, managed to hang on to win at the eighteenth, even though our Captain had left Tony on his own at the last, by putting his drive out of bounds. The match score was Gloucestershire 5 - Berkshire 3.
It was decided that the speeches would take place at the Golf Club and this meant that some of the late starters had to be hurried from the showers. With the usual pleasantries observed and result announced the teams then drove into Ross on Wye. Most of the company used their Sat-Navs with the post code for the restaurant provided. The restaurant was in the High Street, so it took some time for some to find parking and arrival at Seven Seas Fish and Chip Shop was in dribs and drabs. We were made extremely welcome by the owner and staff. They had reserved tables, together, for us and we were served with excellent Fish, Chips and Mushy Peas and a Sweet, with the exception of Robbo, who had beans instead !!!. The remaining Lunch Wine, plus a little more, was much appreciated by those present.
Having used their Sat-Nav to successfully find the restaurant, your new temporary custodians decided to do the same for the trip home. Well, having played quite a few times at Ross on Wye and at South Herefordshire and having had no previous problems in finding a quick route home, they thought it would be a doddle. Getting out of Ross on Wye was not a problem, but after several false turns in Monmouth and an unusual route to Chepstow, they finally found a location they recognised and continued safely home.
It was an unusual day and thanks to everyone, particularly the Berkshire Captains, for their forbearance, for the difficulties that were encountered, and to those that provided a way out of those difficulties.
Ian Smith & Ken Rawcliffe