The Gentlemen's Ale Sampling Society

        1982-2017  35 YEARS OF BEERS







Tuesday 8th (second Tuesday)


I know, I know, GASS meets on the first Tuesday!!!

Except when there is a 'U' in the month it would appear - so live with it - IT WON'T HAPPEN AGAIN (until JanUary next).





with guest stars THE GILLINGHAM MALE VOICE CHOIR in support




Just like the TV series, a number of professional singers came along to show us how to do it.

Ten members of GILLINGHAM MALE VOICE CHOIR kindly gave up their evening to beat us into shape.



A very good turnout - excepting only those who simply can't organise their diary to take into account a simple date change - I ask you!!!

Sadly missed;  Andy (looking after four young boys), Nick (his wife's birthday or some similar excuse), Stuart (the same would you believe),

John (another wife's birthday, this is stretching things surely), Chris (another boring meeting - he had his wife's birthday last month).

I do accept I may have some of those excuses wrong - It may have been Andy's wife's birthday too!!


The evening began well enough with our 10 guests from the choir assembled in one corner, immaculate in their striking canary yellow jackets.

17 members of GASS assembled round the bar, looking like a bunch of tramps.  Oh for those heady days when we were fined for not wearing a GASS tie!

The fact that you had to wear a tie meant we all used to meet in jacket, shirt, tie and trousers - now? - faded jeans and a T shirt - standards, standards!

On the bright side we out-numbered the opposition, always a good start.


Once a couple of pints of anti-embarrassment juice had been quaffed the Director of Music, Paul Robinson, came round

and sorted us into the four main voice groups on based solely on our ability to warble "doo-wah-diddy-diddy" or some-such.


The chosen songs for the evening were the fantastic "Nessun Dorma" from Tourandot by Puccini

and the equally well known and loved "Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines" from the 1965 British comedy film of the same name.

Nothing like giving us a nice easy start to our singing career - and that is nothing like one!

We split into groups and practised our parts, under the keen eye and ear of our instructors.








After about 20 minutes practising, which boils down to about 10 minutes a song (I mention this now to excuse the final result to be seen later),

we got together for the first (and probably last) time as a choir.......



Then it was time to cut the mustard, get down to business, shake a leg, and sing our hearts out (apparently those are all choir phrases?).

And we did.  We belted out both songs, just the once mind, dinner was waiting.


At the end of our performance the Director of Music said that it was the best performance he had ever heard.......

from a bunch of tone deaf thickies who had practised from slightly less time than it takes to have a wee.

(for those of you young enough not to have blocked prostrates - it takes us 10 minutes - since you ask)


Now we all thought we'd done a cracking job.  We really did.  Standing in the body of the choir (never thought I would get to type that phrase in reality),

as I said, standing in the body of the choir, it was fantastic.  We all thought so, and we loved it.  Everyone had a whale of a time!

Our genuine thanks go to all of the gentlemen from GILLINGHAM MALE VOICE CHOIR

They were kind, patient, blocked their ears very discretely, and hung on in there - all just so that they could join us for dinner!

See the choir, and all their works, at www.gmvc.99k.orgWell worth a look.



So it seems a bit of a shame to drag us all kicking and screaming back to reality with a video of what we actually sounded like.

But I promised - so here goes.....






I hope you enjoyed that - as much as we enjoyed making it!


After our sterling, heart rending, cat scaring, performance we all repaired to the Roffen Club restaurant for a hearty dinner.

There was a small problem with the bread rolls that led to the M.D getting fined, which was sad,

but it did at least reinforce the point that Keith is not going to be slacking (like some before) on the Fine Secretaries watch.

For those of you that enjoyed the evening - please bear in mind we enjoyed.......


THREE courses and UNLIMITED wine from the FIXED PRICE MENU for just 20 a head - amazing value!!

Or we could have had three courses and unlimited wine from the A LA CARTE menu for just 25.

These offers are open to all members of GASS and GILLINGHAM MALE VOICE CHOIR at any time.

You don't need to be a member of The Roffen to try our restaurant.

Bring along your family and friends and enjoy a great evening out - excellent food & wine at a really good FIXED price.

Simply call 01634-404770 and make a booking - just mention "Brian Henslow's GASS offer"


Check out this months menu here -


(yes, yes, I know, its an advert.  So?  This is a recession you know.  After all, you might like to try dinner at the club?!)



Thanks again to the guys from The Gillingham Male Voice Choir.


Great meeting!!




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