It’s time to celebrate our lovely local league’s successes over the past seventy years

By Katie Garner

It’s quite an achievement to see something start, develop, grow and then fully thrive for any period of time, so when the Barking, Havering and District League hit the big 7-0 this summer, as a committee, we couldn’t let this epitome of hard work, dedication and sporting passion pass unnoticed as we blithely blundered towards the end of the club season.

What better way to celebrate an event of this magnitude than with a traditional dinner and dance style shindig that the league shall be hosting at swanky golf club Top Meadow, situated in Upminster, on Saturday 29th June at 7.00pm.



Toss away any notions you may have of a mere sandwich buffet, as the league is pushing the boat out with a pre-ordered three course meal for every member attending, with some really lovely choices streaked throughout the menu. Starters include your classic prawn cocktail, a chicken liver pate for meat lovers and a mushroom risotto for those who fancy an Italian flavour. Despite the event being held on a Saturday, main courses include Sunday dinner special roast turkey with all the trimmings, although you could opt for salmon fillet or a vegetable lasagne if you prefer.  Renowned for my sweet tooth, I shall be looking forward to dessert, where chocolate lovers can divulge in profiteroles, but if you fancy something more cleansing and fresh you could go for the fruit salad or pump for the luxurious with American Cheesecake.

As if the food alone isn’t enough of a pull to get you queuing for tickets, the league have also hired a DJ for the evening, so with Macarena style poses at the ready, we will be expected to dance the night away with as much gusto and vigour as we can manage – and I happen to know that Wychelmers can throw some serious shapes, so no letting me down there troops! For those who would prefer to remain seated, there will also be a raffle for which we have all been collecting prizes over the past month or so, so there will be plenty of exciting goodies for you to pick and choose from, should you be lucky enough to be selected.

What is truly fantastic about this event is that is reaches across all the clubs united by the league. During match season we mingle and gossip with players from other clubs, getting to know the ins and outs of their daily lives, swapping sweets and chocolates, congratulating and commenting on play and generally enjoying their company. I always think it’s a shame that we don’t see more of them in a social setting, so this dinner and dance will provide the ideal opportunity to really catch up with people we may not have seen in a good few months now. Since you can also drag spouses and other halves with you, it’s also a great chance to put names to faces of the partners you’ve heard so much about on Monday evenings.

At the last league meeting, it was confirmed that approximately 93 members across the clubs had committed to attend. Since then I have managed to round my club figure up a bit, so I sincerely hope that we are now pushing the 100 mark, which would be a massive achievement and also create a brilliant event. We have 20 Wychelm members (including plus ones if people are bringing them) signed up so even if you aren’t familiar with league faces, there will be plenty of ones you do recognise to have a laugh with.

If you would be interested in attending, tickets are £30 each and I will need to collect both your money and food order by 31st May, ideally as soon as possible as I will need to get the tickets from the efficient Kellie who has been absolutely amazing at putting this whole extravaganza together. Please talk to me after the AGM on 13th May so I can sign you up.

It’s going to be one hell of a night, and I for one cannot wait!