23rd Annual Dinner

Lynwilg Hotel - Strathspey 
12-13 November 1988

The clans gathered from far afield; the Skinners from Cumbria, the Fishers from Lancashire, and furthest of all, Alan Melville from Surrey. Mags even made it from Glasgow and announced her engagement. 
So eager were the assorted gangrels that there were enough early arrivals for a preliminary party on the Friday night.
Dick, Roni & Kenny - party animals on Friday
Parties went off in several directions on the Saturday, some to the snowy plateau to Ben Macdhui, some along the rim of the northern Cairngorm corries, some to the Glen Feshie hills, some to explore Rothiemurchus forest and it is rumoured that some got as far as the Aviemore Centre.

By the appointed hour a record number of 52 plus one dog were assembled for the dinner.
waiting for dinner - Graham, Ian Jones, Elizabeth, Ron, Dee & Andrew
Now, in last years Journal I posed the question "So what was different in 1987?" and answered by musing on what might change in future. well, in 1988 there were some differences. 

We were at a brand new location, the Lynwilg Hotel near Aviemore. The bemused owners had only been in charge for three weeks and while they were not the first hoteliers to double-book us, they were the first to solve the problem by accommodating us on settees, the lounge floor, the corridors, and the wood shed. Some members wisely preferred frosty tents on the lawn. Older members were reminded of air-raid shelters in the blitz.
Another new experience was the advent of professional entertainment to replace games and feats of strength after dinner, in the attractive form of Isobel Hirst and her accordion to lead the ceilidh. 
Isobel Hirst - and the club dancers
Her "oppo" caused no little consternation by tuning up in the gents at 2.00am and emerging with bagpipes at full shriek. 

They led the dancing in a marathon stint until 2.00am, introducing such things as "The Hooligans' Jig" (seems appropriate)
Frank preforming a Ukrainian dance
Frank & Bill in a double Cossack act
Jack & Roni 'take the floor'
They were not the only entertainment. The new Mull Men gave us a fresh version of their tuneful scurrilous character demolition of club members.
The 'New' Mull Men
John Mykura brought the house down with a rhyming toast to the lassies; and our principal guest Ian Jones from Outward Bound Loch Eil chose as his theme the leading of blind people up Mont Blanc (was he trying to tell us something?) 

George Stewart almost  managed to reduce Eric to inarticulacy by presenting him, on behalf of the club, with a certificate of Honorary Life Membership. 
He based his speech on Eric's name -
E for enthusiasm, R for reliability, I for interest in members, C for canoeing, 
S for sea-level, O for old, T for talkative and T even more talkative. 
Jack Maxwell , in best trade union style, came up with a back dated cheque in refund of fees. The only snag was it was on a board about 6 feet x 4 feet and Eric now has problems with his bank manger.
Eric and the giant cheque
Jack was on good form - your author will not easily forget the sight of his 5'6" frame firmly giving marching orders to a 7'6" gate-crasher from the Killin mountain rescue team in the wee small hours.

Even the elements laid on a spectacular. The Northern Lights flickered for a while over our celebrations, though some sceptics believed they were the Old Aberdeen variety.

And so, as the barman later said "We closed the bar about 4.00am because no-one was buying any more"

Astonishingly, about a couple of dozen bright eyed and bushy tailed celebrants appeared on a Sunday for a hearty breakfast, but only hardy veterans like George, Bruce, Stuart and Eric, propelled by Jenny, were seen to totter off up a Corbett to maintain the fiction of a hill walking meet.

Yes, Jack organised an epic in the best tradition of Club Dinners. 

What lies in store for 1989?  A question to tempt Fate.

author - Eric Scott
photographs - Eric Scott & Bill Gray

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