The Gentlemen's Ale Sampling Society

        1982-2017  35 YEARS OF BEERS






Before going into the meeting details, more of which can be found here on the MEETINGS  page, we need to consider the:-




At the last meeting we had what must be described as an open, honest and surprisingly reasonable discussion on GASS budgetary control.

This came about not because of any catastrophic failure in fees or budgets.  Just the simple fact that attendance at meetings has soared - which is a good thing.

There was the added problem of members losing focus on the fact that they pay just 40 a month into the fund and can't really expect to take our 80 every month in food and drink alone.


The effect of the two problems above is that if left unchecked GASS would run out of money.

Three options were discussed.

1.  Raise Fees to 50 a month:  This is an obvious solution but could have the effect of losing members.  The budget is actually fine for our needs if we wind our necks in a bit.

2.  Have an 'Attendance Fee' of 10 a meeting:  This is a good idea and solves the budget problem and puts the cost on those actually attending.  BUT it is a real pain to collect and administer at every meeting.

3.  On expensive meetings have a 20 levy:  This works a bit like 2 above, but only happens 2-3 times a year or when a meeting is looking costly.  Easier to tailor to our actual budget needs.



The upshot of the meeting was that everyone seemed to accept that we need to bear in mind we are paying 40 a month to GASS and to tailor our expectations accordingly.

Whilst everyone is entitled to order what they like when they go out socially, when in a group such as GASS if they want something special like better wine, liqueurs etc. then please just pay for it yourself - do not bill it to GASS.

Everyone seemed to accept that it is fairer to raise funds from those who attend a particularly expensive meeting and that options 2 or 3 are the best bet.

It was decided that we would go for option 3 for the time being - a 20 levy on attendees at expensive meetings.

Brian and Ron would continue to monitor the budget and Brian would include more budgetary information on the website as guidance.


That will solve the problem for 2015-16, and maybe even further.


(note from Ron - If you bring a guest please pay your guest fees direct to Ron as soon as you arrive.  Too often members bring along a friend and simply 'forget' to cough up or have to be chased)



Balloon Twisting


At The Black Horse at Thurham

Pilgrims Way, Thurnham, Kent ME14 3LD





Yet another first for GASS

We had Twistina!  We had Twistina!

Winner - International Balloon Twister of the Year - as seen on BBC and ITV

The queen of little balloon animals.


Check out our famous hostess at -




Twistina came all the way down from somewhere a long way away in a magical land up North to entertain us, and so she did!

She started slowly by creating some fabulous creations while batting away a steady stream of obscene banter based entirely around gentleman sausage shaped balloons.



Her first main creation was a lovely hat with flashing lights which ended up on Pete's head at a jaunty angle.

The banter immediately changed to pointing out that the hat was the perfect cover for Pete's cranial ashtray and that he should wear it more often.

It certainly beat that old comb over from way back!



Next she made some hats in the shape of a monkey, and attached it to the shoulder of our own little monkey, Steve Bell.

Bellie was then subjected to the ignominy of having the little fellas tail turned into a cock and jammed in Bells' mouth.



Next was a sodding great fish, which ended up on fish face Henslows' head.



Then a small delicate penguin, which ended up on the massive hand of indelicate Stuart.



The came the free for all - our hat making competition.

With all the possible designs of hats in the world to choose from Twistina decided to pick a Valkyrie Warrieress's helmet complete with blonde pigtails.

Here is how it was supposed to look....



Here is a selection of how our efforts looked after at least 40 minutes of blowing, swearing, twisting, and a host of loud explosions.














Finally it was done and we assembled for a group shot.





Many thanks to Twistina who was fantastic, she kept us in stitches and everyone had a great time.

A prime example of how the most esoteric meetings can often be the funniest.


Many thanks to everyone at The Black Horse.  An excellent room, great food and service.


Well done to the members for appreciating that a budget of 40 a month each really does not stretch to 80 a month of food and drink each.

Everyone sensibly agreed to live within budget and pay for any extras and extravagances themselves from now on - or just not go mad.

The everyone coughed up 20 to cover part of the overspend so far this year - very generous guys!



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