The Gentlemen's Ale Sampling Society

        1982-2017  35 YEARS OF BEERS







Thursday 18th





An evening with Michael Jackson

OK, nobody in these photos is actually dressed as Michael Jackson, we are all actually dressed for Grease, the musical.

Reason:  we were supposed to be at a Grease night - but it got cancelled - after we had brought the quiffs!

(obviously I am not counting Phil R who actually looks more like Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons).


A further complication to our efforts at fancy dress is that nobody else in the building, and that included another 150 souls,

had made ANY attempt to dress up.  The term 'Smart Casual' seemed to have impacted far more on their sartorial decision making process

than on ours.  As usual we went more for the 'look like wasocks' theory of dressing to impress.  It amused the crowd though.


Below are a selection of what the smartly dressed guests at the 'Michael Jackson Cabaret' night had to suffer.




JB                                         The Don                                          Andy & Phil                                   Sideshow Bob




Phil, Stuart & Pete, only Stuart is wearing a false quiff.                                              Tony & Steve         




Father Christmas & Brian                           Ian & Friend                                     The Ron                                  Elvis & Brian (again)




However, one member got it right!

Guess who?

Yup, its that man again - Alana did GASS proud, not only by being the best dressed Michael there, apart from Michael himself of course,

but also by becoming a vital part of the Cabaret. No real surprise there then.

Now where have I seen those boots before?







Everyone enjoyed themselves, the free bar really was a free bar, Michael really was just like Michael,

all in all a very enjoyable, and economical, night.







And for the record

An interesting exchange of views regarding payment of Monthly Subscriptions


Dear Brian,

I am in receipt of the recent GASS invoice, which I see that you have raised in your new position as Honorary Assistant to the Deputy Treasurer.

I have absolutely no problems paying the annual subscriptions as outlined on the invoice so there is no dispute in that area.

With regards to the bet money from Stockbury, I know that you have mentioned this in the past but as I was so pissed that evening I really have no recollection of any bet or whether I failed to win it.

Under the circumstances (and especially as you have mentioned it on numerous occasions now), I will happily include the £50 bet money.

Finally, I do have a problem with the £40 fine levied.  Firstly, I know of no such GASS Rule and if one was to brought in then no doubt there would have to be a vote on this.  In addition, as you are no doubt fully aware, these sort of rules cannot be made retrospectively (unless you are a Labour Government in the UK).

Indeed if I was to pay the full subscriptions for the year now (which I am doing), I would actually be paying only two months into this year, so does that mean I get a rebate?  As Honorary Treasurer for many years I spent countless hours chasing GASS members for unpaid subscriptions and there was never any mention of a fine or interest to be levied on those members, so to randomly impose this arbitrary fine is outside the scope of current GASS rules.

Hopefully this matter has now been resolved and in future I will pay my subscriptions annually in advance in order to avoid being unexpectedly and unnecessarily reprimanded in front of fellow GASS Members.

yours sincerely,


Yours sincerely,

 Dear Hew,

Thanks for your letter regarding your GASS subscriptions.  I am not quite sure why you are writing to me, a bit of ‘shoot the messenger’ I think. 

Your letter expresses your displeasure at the Treasurer and Deputy Chairman having the cheek to point out that you had not paid your subscriptions since August.

Personally I think you should be making all these points to the members, not me. and so to save you having to bring the matter up at the Christmas meeting I will put your letter, and my reply, on the website. 

Your points are:-

  1. You have no recollection of any bet from Stockbury:  You bet GASS £50 that you could eat every dessert on the menu.  A vast mound of desserts were produced, (and added to the GASS bill costing us all about £50).  You did well, but ultimately failed to eat them all.  Done and dusted, £50 owed.  I am the Secretary and put it in the minutes at the time.  Up until now you have never argued the details of your bet.  I mentioned it because others mentioned it to me.
  2. You do not want to pay the £40 fine The fine was levied at the last meeting by the Fines Secretary, based on the fact that you have not paid any subscriptions since August.  You say that for the Fines Secretary to fine you would require a vote and the passing of a new rule.  I actually though the Fines Secretary could do what he likes and normally fines people for doing daft things.  I simply can’t resist pointing out that some may think the same logic would apply to anyone wanting to vary the ‘Fees £40 Monthly by Standing Order’ rule.  GASS might have wanted to vote on whether to allow individual members to pay subscriptions a year in arrears.
  3. You dislike being unexpectedly and unnecessarily reprimanded in front of fellow GASS members Why tell me?   Len was not at the meeting so passed on to me his concerns.  I passed the information on to Phil as Deputy Chairman and he brought it up, very humorously I thought.  No harm done.  It would be totally wrong for Len to keep secret from the remainder of GASS that you were not paying monthly subscriptions, he was obliged to let everyone know.

The long and the short of it is we all pay our fees monthly.  You decided, completely independently, to pay yours a year in arrears.  This was very politely brought up at the AGM through a note in the accounts and we hoped you would take the hint.  In retrospect maybe it would have been better to have had a full blown debate at the AGM, but we did not want to make a mountain out of a molehill.    If we all paid a year in arrears GASS would be in debt for £1,000 a month, hardly a workable proposal. 

The points you make in your letter are a matter for the whole of GASS, not for a private discussion with me.  You decided to put your views in an open letter, so I have given you the courtesy of an open reply.  The members can draw their own conclusions by reading our exchange of views at their leisure.  Saves boring them at Christmas!

Honours even, subscriptions paid, now lets forget it.

All that remains is for you to convince everyone you don’t owe the £40 fine!!!!!!!!    Good luck.

All the best,