Kent KOBs 3rd meeting report
I am presenting here an account of our third meeting held at the White Rabbit, Maidstone on the Wednesday 9th of March 2011.
The format was the same as before and the meeting was well attended by 19 OBs and I had received 8 apologies for absence.
Unfortunately I heard the sad news that Tony Bent (MaA 47-55) who attended our first two meetings, sadly passed away in mid February, naturally we extend our condolences to his family.
I am pleased to report that Andrew Hobbs, a CHA board member, also attended and offered some very constructive input to our deliberations.
Fortunately the weather was pleasantly spring-like albeit a little on the cool side. At least for those enduring the privations of public transport it would have made their journeys more bearable.
Again this venue proved very popular. Favourable compliments on the drink, food and prices were made.
Those attending came from Ramsgate, Dover, Canterbury, Greenwich, Dartford, Tunbridge Wells, basically from all over the county.
It was this extensive and diverse range of locations that brought home the immense size of the county of Kent. This in turn drove the tone of some discussions to focus on how we can best â€œspreadâ€ our meetings to the various areas of the county.
In tandem with this topic discussions were directed at how to produce a meeting schedule and venue program that will include our younger working members who cannot get the time to attend meetings in the current format. The fact that the vast majority of KOBs are of working age is definitely not represented in those able to attend weekday lunches.
In an effort to overcome this â€œgenerationâ€ problem I propose that we have a Friday evening meeting in late June to take advantage of the extended daylight and at a time that will take the pressure off working peopleâ€™s weekends. Obviously this meeting would not be exclusive to working OBs, everyone is welcome and that also includes spouses, partners and children. All I have to do now is come up with a venue! Suggestions please particularly from you OBs of the working generation.
The venues for our quarterly meetings were discussed and members have suggested a few alternatives ranging from the Meantime Brewery at Greenwich, the new Turner gallery at Margate, St Augustine Grange Ramsgate, Folkestone Roman Villa at East Cliff and the Falstaff Hotel in Canterbury.
I am proposing that our next quarterly meeting will be held at the Falstaff Hotel Canterbury. The format will be the same as our current meetings and it will give those in the far east of the county a better chance to attend. The date is Wednesday 13th July 2011, time â€“ 12:00 noon to 3:00pm. I shall confirm this within the next 4 weeks after having given the place a serious once over with Eddie Hardy, whose idea it was.
Another issue we discussed, albeit fairly briefly, was â€œIs there an appetite for a more formal evening meeting?â€. The consensus was not an overwhelming support for the idea.
This then led into a discussion about other venues being used and a change in format for our meetings. One scenario put forward was for a venue to be chosen in such a location that people could attend the meeting and use parts of that day for local site seeing. Apparently this has been done in the past where members have very generously offered the use of their private gardens as a limited gathering point. The idea was that people could gather at the premises at pre determined times like 10am to 12 noon for morning coffee and possibly 3;00pm till 5:00pm for afternoon tea. The intervening period could be used to visit local places of interest or hostelries. Last August, Gilly Wilford suggested the garden format, however neither of us have had the opportunity to follow it up.
Other suggestions have been to meet up or have organised outings at places of interest some of which included the odd brewery (thanks Keith Mills). These venues sound great but what we have to bear in mind is transport and access.
Andrew Hobbs reminded the meeting that CH itself could be used as a meeting point and Trevor Knapp suggested possibly marrying an event up with founders day.
What seems to be coming out of our discussions is a plethora of ideas all of them very good and constructive. Combining these ideas with the logistics of accessing each location seems at first to be as daunting as knitting fog. However the fact that you, the members, are responding to my requests for suggestions and ideas spurs me on to achieving our goals.
Whilst this report has been dominated with our discussions relating to meeting venues, the main aim of our get together, a unique type of social event, was a great success. People got together at tables and conversed vigorously on all ranges of subjects and it was great to witness the uninhibited social interaction that was present throughout the room.
At this point I should like to take issue with one remark I received. When I stood up to speak to the meeting I used a wooden spoon as a gavel and gave three sharp knocks on a table top to bring the meeting to order. Three gentlemen immediately said â€œGraceâ€ however another said â€œPongo - Littlefieldâ€. Those of you from Horsham and of a certain era, I think will understand my ire!! Thankfully the CH sense of humour is definitely still with us.
Please accept my thanks for your attendance and support and donâ€™t forget to keep coming up with ideas.
Until our next meeting