The Gentlemen's Ale Sampling Society

        1982-2017  35 YEARS OF BEERS







JB organised our visit to get up close and personal with the leviathans of the RAILWAY


We all rode on the footplate of a steam engine at Chatham's Historic Dockyard.

 The engine driver and stoker started preparing the fire at around lunchtime, it was freezing so they bloody needed too!
JB was there by their sides with  a few cans of beer, ale and cider to warm our cockles too.

Bill, the boss of the Steam Engine section, kindly took us in groups for a chuff around the yard, as the photos below lovingly record.

Once we had alternately frozen our nuts off waiting, and then been burnt to a crisp in the engine room, we departed for the Ghurkha Restaurant in Chatham.


There we proceeded to blow one enormous hole in the budget for the year.

A hole that nicely matched the other, slightly smaller, budgetary holes we had already blown, leaving us 665 down on target to date.
Not a disaster, but it is becoming increasingly clear that some members can't fathom that if everyone attends every bloody meeting,
and if everyone eats three courses, oh!, and they order liqueur coffee, Oh! and cheese, our money will actually run out.

We may need a discussion on whether we:-

a:  Wind our necks in a bit and behave more responsibly over food ordering reflecting on the fact that we only pay 40 a meeting.

b:  Agree that if a meal  starts to get a bit heavy then we cough up an extra 20 each.
(and if we really want individual extras like liqueur coffee then we pay for it personally - I mean, sorry???  Liqueur coffee - is this the GASS I know and love?)
As an example 20 a head at the last meeting would have more than sorted the issue and maybe it's my or JB's fault for not spotting it and asking for the money there and then when the bill started to get a bit lively..

c:  Up the monthly fee to 50 forthwith.
(and you still don't get to kick the arse out of it for just an extra tenner)
On this one we need to ensure that members who miss more meetings than most won't feel they are losing out. 
I am genuinely concerned that Ray, Stuart and Steve R in particular may consider their position if the fees rise and vote with their feet, because they miss more meetings than most.
If that happened we would not only be poorer as a group , but poorer financially, which would be really shooting ourselves in said feet in a counter-productive sort of way.

I know it is a laugh to over order or be the person who has ordered the most,
and it is perfectly fair to say that if someone wants something on a night out then we are all old enough and certainly rich enough to feel that we should not be restricted.
However, we are out with GASS, not as individuals but as a group, and we are on a limited group budget, which actually does extremely well most of the time.  What it is not is un-limited. 
My personal feeling is that GASS is about unique entertainment, good company, beers, simple spirits, house wine and good basic food - as a group.

It will always struggle to be a gourmet dining club with some people happy with one course, others wanting three courses, some happy with beer, others ordering more expensive wines.
As the self appointed (I know!) Chief Executive Officer it behoves me to make this point - my attempt to bolt the stable door before the GASS budget horse gallops off, never to be seen again.
So no shooting the messenger please.  Just a fair discussion on how to behave as a group when food and drink ordering are involved because of the effect on the budget.

By all means start a heated email discussion - I think a,b,or c above are the only options - My choice is b because it is easiest, less admin, no risk of losing members.
Therefore, in the true spirit of dictatorship I will use this method until I am forcibly restrained or someone gives a big enough shit about it to force a vote on a counter proposal.


(unless of course I am deposed by a palace coup in the meantime - and we all know what happened the last time!)











Many thanks to Bill and his team for a great night out chuffing.

See you with your balloon hats on at the next meeting ......