Wednesday, 26 Jan 2022

The First 100 Years - 1885 - 1985

Some people think we no longer have "characters" as they did in years gone by. I don't agree. Forgive me for mentioning just two, well known to us all.

Philip Woodward - an uncle like character with a constitution of steel frequently known to be up at 5 a.m. around his farm, go to London where he serves on the committee of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institute, back in the Club for tea and play competition snooker until midnight. A great servant and supporter of the Club as he has done the Suffolk Agricultural Association and many other agricultural interests. Jim Roberts, a tall upright character, in both senses of the word, ageless in appearance, always good for a laugh. Retired nasher man (Dental Surgeon), one of the oldest members and still a frequent attender.

Club tales are always told and retold, gaining embellishment I am sure.

Walter Hayles tells me of an evening when Teddy Bostock brought a performing bear into the bar (nothing in the rules against this!). The bear proceeded to do its pickpocketing act on Harry Edmonds who was not amused!

At one time quite a number of County Councillors used to diRe at the Club: Over coffee one was heard to say "Old Bloggs spoke well after dinner last night" . From behind a newspaper came a voice "Yes, for an hour and fourteen minutes"'.

A snooker player one day dashed through the quiet room in his shirt sleeves only to be asked if he was delivering the coal. To this day cries of "coal" are to be heard if a member appears improperly dressed.

A new member was being discussed at the bar. Somebody asked "Do I gather he's a good snooker player?" The nameless Director replied 'Yes very good, I beat him last night".

For those of you who shun superstition I give you this true story. One day I arrived at the Club to be greeted by a very agitated Winnie. "Mr. Page, the big picture in the Dining Room has fallen down. Somebody is going to die". Later that day we learned of the death of one of our most prominent members Dr. Mervyn Gonin. What we did not know until some weeks later was that the picture of ships in full sail in Sole Bay was the doctors property, on loan to the Club. Mervyn Gonin was a great character. His Saturday evening duals with his friend Donald Cornell sometimes became heated.