Volume 33 Number 2 Article 2
The Best Tenner I Ever Spent
Saturday 22 June 1996
It was a beautiful sunny day when I was abruptly woken by Chaz-type thunderous snores, only it was Pete Hall, which did nothing for my thumping great headache. As it was the RRCPC's big 'Five O', one had to go caving on this special day, if only to get rid of the hangover. Bernies - Diccan - Alum was the order of the day, or was it Alum - Bernies - Diccan. At this point I was not quite sure. Lee attempted to reformat my memory by hitting Ctrl, Alt, Del. and then directed me to Bernies. A big hearty breakfast and endless cups of tea soon brought me back to normality (if that's possible), before heading off to Borrins to set up camp and not before 12, go caving.
Arriving at Borrins I was a little confused as to which tardis Darlek had arrived in. However, upon further inspection, I realised that the blue boxes were in fact cr_ches for brown trout. Seriously, it must be stated that all and sundry were most grateful to our Major for providing these and many other facilities. After much socialising (wally'ing) and a crack of two start, Lee and I wandered across the fell an hour and half after everybody else, only to find Youth dangling. Youth by the way had been misinformed of the trip contract...... Diccan it was then.
For this fine and prestigious trip several closet cavers took the opportunity to come out: Transvestite Bob, who had left his skirt behind; Spiderman Spurr had left his Northern grip, South of Watford; Cum By F***G Ya Ives, mercifully left his instrument; King of the Swingers Lee, left D&D's dot to dot book and yours truly, was left to bring up the rear. Arriving at the bottom of Diccan, I was looking forward to my ascent of Alum (never done before), only to find the pitch wasn't rigged. Youth's parentage was definitely questioned at this stage. However, our obnoxious busker quoted the small print of the aforementioned contract. Unfortunately, as Youth still abides by the PG certificate he was not privy to the exchange clause. Lee now familiar with the red dots gathered speed and pissed off, leaving the rest of us to increase the blood sugar levels of tuneless Ives, to get himself out.
Back at Borrins, a sense of excitement was building. Lots of people arriving, people busying in the barn and importantly, the caterers had just arrived with the grub truck. All set for a good do, until our dear chairman delegated me with the task of selling the raffle tickets. I would like to clarify once and for all the assumption that I like demanding money out of people - I don't (smile). As chief money collector, what better way of guaranteeing a sale to a tight fisted caver, than to stand in front of the beer pumps. Beers had topical names such as Major Tanner and Ignorance is Bliss and were greatly appreciated by all. Our supreme beer brewers the Johnson's, had once again done a fine job. Stuart got the logistics of supply and demand to the average caver spot on. However, his brother in law Kinghom did throw him into a panic at one in the morning. Stuart carrying out an impromptu stock take inquired of the hour, to which Kinghom replied 11 pm. Stuart immediately had the need of the blue box as he feared for his life at the prospect of the beer running out and being lynched. As he touched cloth, Kinghom shouted, Ha Ha only joking, it's 1 o'clock! The relief was evident. For info, there was just enough beer for those who required a liquid breakfast.
Grub Up! A superb buffet was laid out (soon to be transformed into what looked like the aftermath of Woodstock) and delighted the hungry. The comic delivery of the after dinner speeches were by the leading lights of the decade. Anecdotes ranging from the roaring 40's (tweed suits & candles) to the high tech 90 's (still digging with a trowel flat out in water). I am pleased to say I was too young to be involved from the 40's to the 70's, but did enjoy the 80's. Thanks Hugh for my three seconds of glory in the RRCPC's historical hall of fame. Thanks go to all the speakers who did a grand job, particularly as they didn't get a chance to refuse, as the high council determined the speakers via the newsheet. I was proud to stand and listen to our devoted honorary president make his last speech before handing the bog chain over to one of the dwarfs. The RRCPC's first female president! Our little Sandra (vertically challenged), needed to stand on a box so we could see her, let alone hear her. The only drag of the evening was the length of time it took to draw the raffle (sorry about that). Thanks to all who donated prizes and its fair to say the big win, the FX5, went to a devoted caver - Linda Johnson.
Meanwhile the band (Owter Zeds) had arrived at 8pm and didn't take stage until early next morning. Fortunately, this wasn't a problem as the band took refuge in their mobile pleasure dome with the sole purpose of equalising Columbia's trade deficit. Allegedly, as supplies were getting low and something was getting high, the lead singer exited the van. He did so however, before engaging feet and ricocheted into the adjacent vehicle into a crumpled mass during his return trip from Xanado. However, by the time the band took centre stage the rest of us were on the same planet, apart from the Del Monte followers who said NO! At last the band! And they were brilliant. The first twenty minutes was a riot, a sheer mass of body uncoordination. Pints flying, bodies crashing, arms flaying and Pacey diving off the stage - pity someone caught him. A damn good bop!
Starting am-ish, all facilities were finally put to use as the hospitality tent was gradually inhabited by selective invitation only. No prejudice was shown; green, blue and orange rizzla's were equally welcomed. Apparently, the gathered spent many a mellow hour extolling the virtues of ZOG and the art of motorcycle maintenance. The synopsis of this lengthy conversation is in fact, wholly testicular, paraphrased to complete bollox! Talking of which, I heard rumour of scandal, of the leg over variety, in the flesh pots of Borrins. This evidence diminuendo'ed into a crescendo of crowing cocks as the first rays of Sunday morning thrust over Penyghent! And what a beautiful day it was too.....
Many thanks go to Major Tanner and his regiment of helpers (too many to mention) for organising this superb and memorable 50th anniversary. Special thanks go to Jim and Helen for accommodating us over the whole weekend.