The 60th anniversary edition of the East Coast Area Annual Dinner took place on Saturday 1, April 2023 at the Royal Burnham Yacht Club.
It’s always a good “do”, there’s no doubt about it. Perhaps it’s the personal touch with Trevor and Elaine Rawlinson involved every step of the way. From OGA bunting over the bar and personalised place mats, to gaffer flags in the rafters of the grand dining room and Elaine’s pretty table decorations, the Royal Burnham Yacht Club really looked the part.
Even the Gaffers themselves scrubbed up pretty well for the occasion, having travelled from most points of the compass and from as far afield as the Netherlands, the west coast of Scotland, Stratford-upon-Avon, London and Woodbridge. A few hardy souls clambered off a sailing boat on the Club jetty having voyaged all of seven miles with the tide under them. Whether you come to Burnham by water or by road there’s bound to be tacking involved. You might get a fair wind one way or the other if sailing, but the road route has a few miles of zig zagging in both directions.
Dinner was excellent, the Crouch Mafia vocal as ever swapping tales of derring-do, cheese course with port as always a favourite and of course the infamous raffle. The evening ended with a rowdy faction singing in the bar to the accompaniment of a gaff-rigged fiddle. Plus ça change . . .
Next gaffer gathering will be at Ramsgate to give the 60th Anniversary Round Britain crews a good send off.
Find out more if you’d like to join us over the weekend 29th-30th April.
Words and photos: Sue Lewis