The 212th Annual Dinner of the Chester City Club was held once again at The Chester Grosvenor and was a sell out event with 224 people attending.
Members and guests stared arriving at 6.15 in anticipation of a prompt start at 7.00 under the watchful eye of David Starbuck-Edwards and Paul Crudge who have so successfully run the event for many years.
Top table guests were entertained by their “minders” in one of the hotel’s very select lounges. This provided David Starbuck-Edwards the chance to ensure everyone was present and that he could somehow arrange for the photo of everyone and also ensure they all entered the room in the correct order. This feat worked perfectly once again but did produce beads of sweat before everyone fell into line!
The procession was headed up by Canon Jeremy Dussek who had agreed to say Grace. Many of our reciprocal Clubs were represented including the St. james Club, the Artists Club, the Royal Scotts Club, The Manchester Tennis and Racquets Club, the Old Boys and Park Green Club and also the Chester Caledonian Association. The new Dean of Chester also attended for his first dinner with us.
The armed services were also in attendance, including The Mercian Regiment and The 2nd Battalion the Mercian Regiment. Other notable guest were Councillor S. Parker, Councillor S. Williams, I. O’Doherty (Chairman Elect of Chester Racecourse, Canon Professor Tim Wheeler (Chester University) and Richard Grove (Manager of The Chester Grosvenor).
Once again the Grosvenor supplied an absolutely wonderful meal as follows.
Cured Salmon Wafers with Prawn and Shrimp Croustade, Leafy Lemon SauceSaddle of Venison, Pork Choucroute, Game Saveloy
Lancashire Cheese Croquette, Caramelised Onions and Sticky Fig
Brioche Pudding and Orchard Fruits, Quince Jam, Iced Cinnamon
Coffee and Sweetmeats
The wines also impressed the many connoisseurs including a Romanian white alongside the more traditional countries.
The first speech was given by Reverend David Chesters from St. John’s Church. David talked about Chester and some of the older organisations including his Church, the “new ” cathedral and also the City Club. We think our Club is steeped in history but in comparison to St. John’s which dates back to the Middle Ages, we are a “new boy on the block”.
The President, Tim Leaman, took to the lectern next and attempted a few jokes along with heartfelt thanks to those who had been involved in organising the dinner. He also thanked the wider membership for the support they had given him as President. He also made reference to his two boys, William and Ben who were at the dinner for the first (but hopefully not last) time. He also pointed out he is the third generation of Leaman in the Club, following his Grandfather Bill Leaman and father John Leaman (who was president in 1996). It was wonderful for him to have his family sitting next to him for this special occasion.
The third speaker was Simon Fontes who went to the Choir School with The President back in 1969. Simon entertained us with stories of his time at The Choir School and also thanked the various visitors for attending.
The Final Speaker was Barry York who ensured we all left the dinner happy and laughing, ready for a long night for some back at the Club, playing snooker till the early hours. We also arranged for bacon butties to be available to help sustain the members who returned to the Club.