2022: The Nonagintennial Anniversary Trip

The Tuesday weather on the drive down to the south west didn’t bode well for our Wednesday flight to the Isles of Scilly. Low cloud and rain from Bodmin Moor onwards failed to dampen our enthusiasm, but the Mals were having none it and Wednesday started better and got betterer!

Forty eight Trippers gathered at the airport, eleven New Boys, three flushee’s and thirty four Mals. Four flights transported the squad to St. Mary’s, and to our ‘home from home’ for the next 5 days; Tregarthens Hotel, Hugh Town. The bugle sounded whilst the flag was raised and the DG as usual heartily welcomed everyone and explained what was expected over the next five days.

To the quay! All aboard the Sea King for our visit to St. Martins. Lunch at the Seven Stones was a first for the club with tasty food and great company. The weather was absolutely perfect, good to see the sparrows from Juliette’s Garden greeting us in the late summer sun. Arriving back at the quay on St. Mary’s the Mals divided into three squads. The tennis squad made their way to the Garrison, where Shaun Galloway and the President Elect greeted them with the news that the Mals were 1-0 up, after they had played the first match whilst we were sunning ourselves on St. Martin’s.

The basketball, volleyball, dodgeball, vets football and table tennis squads disappeared to the school. The remainder made their way to the golf club where we met the family of past President Reg Cutts, who were on the Isles to scatter Reg’s ashes on the third fairway next to his friend Ben Guest. In what could only be described as ‘blustery’ conditions, some lovely words and poems were spoken and recited prior to scattering Reg’s ashes over the golf course. RIP Reg a true Mal de Mer.

Due to refurbishment’s at the hotel, the bar area and foyer had transformed itself into a dining room. Fears about crushes and lack of space were soon allayed as forty eight sportsmen sat down for supper. Our past President Wilf Feely was unable to attend due to a lengthy convalescence back home in Royal Leamington Spa, so Rent-a-Prez, Pete Nelstrop, stepped in once again to flush our new President Keith Williams into office. Wearing the ‘Balls of Office’, the President restated his ‘Mission’ statement and then flushed in Ollie Gray, Oli Collins and James Barry. We look forward to you all being presidents in the mid 2030’s. New Boys were introduced by their sponsors, by which time Mal-Nutrition (see what I did there Ed) was setting in!

Captains gave their match reports starting with Shaun Galloway, who reported that the team despite giving 114% were 1-2 down in the first rubber. David Broadbent senior followed, reporting that after our victory last year, the Islanders had set up a new basket ball league containing notable teams such as ‘The Hugh Town Globetrotters,’ and ‘The Bryher Bulls.’ To that end another defeat was reported 29-12 to the Islanders. Various Mals were fined for not wearing the club badge, most notable ‘4 more years’, ex president Pete Nelstrop who claimed that his sponsor had never bought him a badge… A bit of a pants on fire moment. Dave Martin reported a victory, 8-5 to the Mals at the table tennis. Paul Broadbent also recorded a victory in the volleyball 2-0. This is better! Sean Calfe kept the mood positive with a 3-0 win in the dodgeball and finally David Nottingham reported that a much improved veterans 5-a-side narrowly lost 8-3. The Mals were 3-2 up in the sports, so let’s go for a beer! And another etc.

Thursday started cool and windy. Would the golf course cope with 48 players? Sans doute! The golfers Perry Pot was won by James Barry with Alastair Hick a close second, bit of a theme running here. The goofers Morgan Mug was won by ‘New Boy’, Richard Tredwell, with the intrepid Rob Epton a close second.

Down to Porthmellon Beach for a look at the footballers from both sides. Will the tide have turned? Unbelievably the score was the same as last year and a very proud Mals captain, Paul Calfe, cheered his victorious team all the way. 6-3 to the Mals. Tom Mileham scoring a hat-trick. Well played everyone.

Oli Collins, Beach volleyball captain, kept the momentum going with a 2-1 victory, the crowd were going wild! Wild enough to go for a swim. Many sportsmen (and Andy Smith) braved the potentially deadly waters of the Atlantic, what a hard bunch.

Now for some Blue Riband hockey, ably captained by Jim Ward. What an honour to captain a sport that goes back 90 years in Mals history. Everyone gave 125% and we won 3-1. A fantastic day all-round, just Fort Scillonian to storm this evening now.

Dinner unfortunately was a rush along with the match reports, and after tattoos were distributed we were off to the Scillonian. Captain Guest’s team did not quite get the point, losing 7-2 at darts. Congratulations to Mr. O and Sean on their victories. It was our first defeat of the day.

Pool was so close that it ended in a 5-5 draw. Due to it’s popularity the snooker was held ‘off-site.’ A capacity crowd saw the Merlot Mals lose to the Scilly Sauvignons 1-3. Oops!

Must be time for the guest band to appear live at Treg’s. Apparently this was the start of Break Wind and Fire’s World Tour. Do You Remember? Unfortunately who could forget! It was a tribute to President Keith’s sporting prowess, and a memorable moment of his from yesteryear.

Ex President Wilf Feeley’s phone message of good wishes was relayed to us all at dinner. We look forward to having you back in our ranks Wilf!

Fridays weather started calmly but the forecast for the golf match looked dodgy. The battle for the George Twist Tankards took place in perfect conditions. The Golfer/Goofer American Foursomes format revealed proper winners, the new Golf Captain, Andy Smith and Tractor Boy, Andy Pugh. Runners up were the Hole in the Wall Gang, Cisco Farr and Pancho Nelstrop!

The Golf Match. As holders of the trophy the new captain was on great form and despite the weather forecast there was a real sense of optimism. I know over the years we have played in some foul weather but 2022 will live long in the memory. It’s at these times it makes you so proud to be a Mal de Mer. 18 golfers plus 18 caddies did battle, not only with the Islanders, but with the weather too! You could say that the Islanders are used to these conditions but may I say nobody in their right mind would play any sport in those conditions! It was a fantastic tussle and deservedly the Islanders won 5.5-3.5. Thank you everyone, golfers, caddies and supporters.

Unfortunately the inclement weather meant the Gig racing was cancelled, due to a waterlogged course…

Another busy dinner with Alastair Hick toasting the 11 New Boys. Tom Hinchley responded and said some lovely things about the Mals, some of which were nearly true. Time for more combat. The Badminton squad marched down to the school, and the 1st Foot & Mouth Rifles and Archers marched up to the Garrison. Of late the Island badminton team have been formidable and proved just so again. The Mals won the shooting last year in a close encounter but were unfortunately outdrawn this time. Just the archery to go. Chief ‘Crazy Hick’ and his braves proved too strong for the Islanders retaining the trophy again. Heap Good Show. Time for a few fire waters back at the reservation.

Jack Davidge woke us bright and early. It’s Super Saturday. Well not so super for Russell Webster one of the New Boys who decided to have a lie in! He’ll not be doing that again!

A bright and sunny day beckoned us to the golf course. Competitions were the Bishop’s Beaker for Golfers and the Nosworthy Noggin for Goofers. Winner for the Golfers was Jim Ward, with Paul Broadbent in silver place. “Lincolnshire, la, la, la, Lincolnshire ,la, la, la!” (That’s enough, Ed). The Goofers was a very close family affair! Winner was David Epton, with brother Rob in Silver. “Lincolnshire… (you’ve been warned, Ed).

Now for another Blue Riband event. Cricket vs St. Mary’s at the Garrison. This is a pivotal game, a win for St. Mary’s would tie the Mals score for the overall result. Come on you Mals! St. Mary’s batted first scoring 144. Unfortunately, this was too much for the Mals who scored 97 all out.

8-8 overall. Don’t panic!

Up at the Garrison, just before kick off, both teams lined up and a minutes applause was held in memory of our old friend Chas Chandler, who very sadly had recently passed on. He will be sadly missed not only by the Mals, but by all who knew him. A lovely man who loved the Isles and the game of football. RIP Chas.

The beach football captain handed his winning baton over to the big school football captain Harry. Spoilt for choice this year, Harry put out a very competitive squad, and we witnessed one of the most betterer games in years. Everyone gave 135%, players, subs and crowd. The scoreline didn’t really do justice to the effort of the Mals and we unfortunately trailed 1-2 to the Isles of Scilly league all stars. Despite the score, there was a distinct lift in the mood of the Mals on their way back to Treg’s.

Dinner was a more sedate affair. The D.G. assured the club members that they were in good hands and that Alastair Hick had impressed us suitably enough to become President elect.

Two more events this evening, the Quiz and the Boat Race. Both Trophies were in the hands of the Islands, could we wrestle them away? The Quiz started very well with the Mals taking an early lead, but the experience of Clive Mumford and his sometimes Merry Men eventually told, leaving the Mals in silver position. I am afraid to report similarly on the Boat Race. Everyone gave 138 litres (% Shurly, Ed). Let’s have another drink.

Sunday and the last day of the 2022 Trip. A bit drizzly to start but getting betterer all the time. The Mals best shots convened in the square at 10a.m., and the tennis, cricket and bird spotting squads boarded the ‘Kingfisher’, bound for Tresco.

The tennis squad had a bit to do trailing 1-2 from the first leg. It was unfortunately a similar result to the first with Shaun and Mr President winning their match, and the Mals losing the next two. Thank you to Dave D, Notty, Darryl F, Struan, Steve Dann and David Broadbent jnr who were out-tennised by the Island team.

The cricket was a brief affair with Tresco being dismissed for 37. The Mals quickly knocked off the runs to claim a deserved win. Oli Collins played his first ever game of cricket and Notty didn’t hurt his fingers. Thank you Jim Ward for ably deputising for Ben Jakes who was still on sick leave.

Good news greeted us on our return to St. Mary’s. The Clay pigeon team had won their shoot out. Reluctant to pick out any stars new captain Eddie Gladden thanked everyone, but especially New Boys, Tom, Russell, Sam and Simon.

The second leg of the football! A capacity crowd had turned out filled with much anticipation and crab sandwiches. A great game, the Mals team to a man put together a sublime performance. 3-3 was the final score on the day, unfortunately losing 5-4 on aggregate. Thank you, the Woolpack Gunners, for the first time in quite a while you were tested and managed to hang on!

Just time for a quick shower before guest evening. Always a great evening for having a yarn or two with our Island friends. A superb meal was enjoyed by everyone and a big thank you to Richard Waters who sponsored the wine on the top table. We learnt about the recipient of the Merit Trophy Ryan Whittaker.

Our President spoke about his personal experiences on the Isles, the competition and his love of the Mal de Mer Club. Our great Island friend Bo Green responded on behalf the Islanders. He spoke of his years of cheerful association with the Mals and the friends he had made. Thank you Bo for your kind words.

Joss Davidge started up the ‘Randomiser’ and the Future Fund Draw was live! The £25 prize was won by Joss Davidge himself! How fortunate was that? The £50 was won by Charlie Applewhite. Now for the £100 top prize… First number drawn belonged to… Joss Davidge! How lucky is that? Joss who is trying to patent the ‘Randomiser’ put his number back in the Draw. Top Prize again… it’s Jeremy Chadwick! Jeremy ever the diplomat, returned his number back into the Draw. Third time lucky – and it’s The President!

It had been a hard week for Keith and he trousered the cash. Despite many Hurrrrumphs Joss denied any skull duggery. Later on he did admit to not switching off the ‘Most Admired Employee’ programme, for his company, which apparently Joss wins on a fairly regular basis.

Roll out the Red Carpet it’s showtime! ‘Ghost’, a GuestSmith production, with a cast of thousands, which followed the champagne style life of our President through the years. The cutting room floor was littered with last minute censorships, but everybody agreed that this was the best show in years.

Well what a Trip! We narrowly lost 10-12 overall, but that doesn’t begin to tell half the story. 48 sportsmen arrived on the Isles of Scilly 90 years after the club’s first Trip.

As usual there were highs and lows but throughout, the Mals displayed the wishes of our founder Jimmie Goold ‘to sponsor sportsmanship and good fellowship both on and off the sports field’.

Did we have a go? I think we did.

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Wednesday 25th September, 2024
Monday 30th September, 2024