The Gentlemen's Ale Sampling Society

        1982-2017  35 YEARS OF BEERS







in the Castle Gardens, Rochester Castle





DRESS:  Summer Blazers, Boaters, Collar & Tie.

(collar and tie essential please as it is required for The Castle Club)


The dress code above was what it said on the website.  The Castle Club is a bastion of old fashioned taste and decorum. 

I was asked to stress 'collar and tie', which I did.  I did not feel I needed to also say trousers, shoes, shreddies, shirt, or anything else.

My mistake - a number of members turned up with just a collar and a tie.  No jacket.

'Nicks Jacket Hire' did a roaring trade in cheap polyester jackets, thank goodness!


We met for drinkie-poos on Nicks wonderful balcony overlooking The Castle Gardens.  Many thanks Nick.

At 6.30 we could see Les and his Penny Farthings ready to roll, so we got started.


It went something like this.....







Yes, only a few of us got a go round the circle, then the wheels fell off the entertainment - quite literally.

As you can see above the damage to the forks, wheel bearings and handle bars was pretty catastrophic!

Les, the kind and generous owner of the Penny Farthings looks less than happy.

Luckily the two top engineering firms in Kent offered (or were press ganged) into repairing the poor bike for free.


Not sure whether the Defibrillator Team was for us or the poor bike, but a sensible precaution in any event.





Now the problems started.

Nick had kindly, if unwisely, broken the GASS 'No Sherry' rule. 

He thought it unfair that Hew could not avail himself of his usual poison and so provided a bottle.



We made our way to the aforementioned Castle Club, where manners, dress code and passing the port the right way are still of immense importance.

Its a bit like an early Victorian outpost in a modern world.  Shoulders back, ties done up, shoes polished, and most importantly - Jackets on!!!



On this particular evening Hew, in his Sherry haze,  seemed allergic to his own jacket and kept taking it off.

JB as Chairman kept asking, requesting and finally ordering Hew to put it back on.

Hew did exactly what he wanted and has now been formally barred from The Castle Club for life.



After dinner we adjourned to the gardens for the 'Flag Ceremony'.

The Union Jack was lowered ceremoniously, and on the other flag pole Hew's jacket was raises unceremoniously

As you can see below Hew was required to climb the slippery pole of justice to recover his garments - he failed..





At the meeting Brian did a 'Show and Tell' to show everyone how to explain to their wives how to iron on the GASS Biker Jacket  transfers for the AGM.

There was an agreement to the AGM plans for Monday being Biker day and the AGM, Tuesday free, Wednesday Catamaran Trip,

Thursday was free but Nick got it changed to the La Gomera Trip, Friday free.

Plane tickets will be available soon to be collected from The Roffen Club.  Date available TBN.


Brian reminded everyone about the massive party at The Roffen, 4.00pm Sunday 24th August, for Sara, Miles and Beth's birthdays.

Wear something RED to go with the the theme.  Drinks reception 4.00pm so please don't be late.  Live band, entertainment, grub, the works!



A sample copy will be available for everyone to see at the AGM.

After that we will place orders.  If we order 20 the price is 75 a copy (it is 170 pages with 700 photos!).  If we order less than 20 it is 85 a copy.


JB suggested Husky Driving and Hovercraft Racing as meeting ideas, Graham suggested Pole Climbing.


Everyone had a great evening - except that poor bike.


Thanks to Les for the bikes, Nick for the drinks, and John for the meeting.