The Gentlemen's Ale Sampling Society

        1982-2017  35 YEARS OF BEERS









Sponsor - our new chairman - Mr Steve Riches






Steve proudly stepped up to the plate, or the touchline, or the pitchers mound, or the line in the sand, or whichever the hell it is in Rugger parlance and was as good as his word in organising an absolutely classic GASS night of the 'pub' variety. 


We all bowled up, or pitched up, or rolled up, or scrummed down (now that has a faint ring to it), at Medway Rugby Club and found ourselves in a large hall smelling slightly of disinfectant and strongly of years of association with the Riches and Jenkins clans, so much so that junior members of the clans had been roped in to perform rugby-like feats on the floodlit fields below, just for our entertainment. 


Pints were downed and the dinner gong was rung.  Food was served, good honest fare, slopped up prison style at a long table at the far end of the hall by willing helpers, and damn good it was too.  Bottles of wine had been brought in especially and you could hear the oohs and aahs from the throng at the far end as they espied wine being opened for the first time.  "What's that Dad? Is it red beer? Is it blood?".  " No son - that's what posh folk call WINE....... ",  "Don't you get on that wyhne stuff dad, you stay on beer, you know how you got on that Cherie stuff".  And so on.


After a decent pause for the food to be scoffed and about 800 bottles of wine to be quaffed, a man stood and begged our attention.  He explained that he was The Director of Rugby (uuhh?) and that has name was Mark Marriott.  His aim was to make us sing for our supper and he was not a person to be trifled with.  Song sheets were handed out and singing began in earnest, in earnest that is for those who were not in the following groups:-


1.  The Blind:  Those who had forgotten their glasses and those who are so sodding vain that they don't even carry glasses.  I include in that number the eldest member of GASS who has to have menus read out to him in restaurants, of course I may be wrong, Peter may be in group 2.


2.  The Dyslexic:  Those members of GASS who have never taken the time to learn to read, mainly as Borstal was never strong on the three R's (plenty of the three arse, just not the three R's).


3.  The Mute:  The sole member of GASS who has managed to actually lose his voice, poor NJ, a man who at times got close to the famous Uncle Albert in his stentorian tones (OK, OK, I can hear the moans from here - no-one comes close to Uncle Albert for sheer projection and power, that is a given.  We all know he could warn ships away from Beachy Head from his seat in the KGV pub, and regularly does - but Nick came a close second).  Well not now, not no more!  More the gentle croak of the OAP, "I'm 101 tomorrow you know" in a reedy wispy whistle.  Curse our luck, it couldn't have been JB could it God, just imagine?!


Taking out the six in group 1, the seven in group 2, Nick in group 3, left just three members who could read, speak and sing at the same time (as well as pat their tummy and rub their heads).    Still, we raised the roof to a number of the old favourites and had a grand old time singing and performing the actions - just like singing YMCA, you know when you make the shapes of the letters.  Strangely enough, in Medway Rugby Club, we did not actually get to sing YMCA, weird that, as it one of our favourites.


To be fair we did not get to sing "Old McDonald has a Farm" either - and we all know that fights break out every time that one comes up.  All right, who called P*** a liar!!!!!!!!!!!!  Calm down everyone.


Well done Steve, a great success on your first ever GASS event.  Thanks.