Sat 10th Nov, 2007
KMC Annual Dinner 2007
On Friday the 9th of November 2007, the back bar of the Goat Hotel began to resound with the tales of the KMC for the second time in a mere 48 years. The banter continued long after the solitary barman's bedtime as we commenced labelling operations on the inaugural KMC founders brew: "Old Stubby", which the hotel had agreed to sell from behind the bar the next night.
At breakfast the vanguard company split into climbing and walking teams. The day, though damp, saw several of the KMC out on the hills in different spots with Roger Dyke, Katie and I heading to the sanctuary of Tremadog punctuated by an innings at Eric's. All congregated back at the hotel in the early evening where a few welcome surprise guests swelled our numbers to fifty just before being called in to dinner. Lord Hunt himself presided over seventy nine last time so we were not doing too badly.
The hotel did us proud with a feast of well-prepared local fare. Compare this year's menu to that of 17th October 1959 to see just how good it was.
This year's speech was provided by Les Ainsworth, editor of the Lancashire guidebook, former day contemporary of early KMC exploits and latter day activist for access and bolting. The speech covered a lot of ground and even drew heckles from Ken Beetham and others. Les (as was said of Lady Hunt at the last dinner) proved to be "a good sport" and managed to court the kind of controversy enjoyed by our erstwhile guest Don Whillains through a scathing rebuke of "those Rockfax people".
Following a club speech from our president, several awards, some sadly in absentia, were presented on behalf of the committee:
Dave Wylie was awarded the "Golden Mouse" for his tireless and much appreciated work as the club's webmaster.
Roger Daley's literary prowess was acknowledged with the "Golden Biro" award in recognition of his Shakespearean contribution to the club newsletter.
Our most active member: Al Metelko was equipped with the "Golden Karabiner" which he promptly inspected and proclaimed to be unfit for use! As Al seems to solo everything this is unlikely to prove a problem.
Finally Roger Dyke added an extra award of his own, berating Neville McMillan with the "Sandbag of the Year".
Unlike the club's 15th annual dinner when Bowden Black orchestrated a re-enactment of Hannibal's crossing of Bleaklow by elephant(?), thespians at the 63rd dinner proved to be in short supply. This year's entertainments were the drawing of raffle prizes and the marking of the table quiz with a closing attempt at the world mass DIY kazoo choir record. A group rendition of the Manchester Rambler descended into chaos until Frank Williams saved the day and closed the musical portion of the evening with a sterling comb and baking paper rendition of God Save the Queen.
Once again the Goat's barman served above and beyond the call of duty leaving only when Andy had bought every remaining bottle of beer and had it opened on the bar. While most guests retired to the comfort of hotel rooms, a few headed back home and at least one made for the sanctuary of the hut - pity about the lock on the middle gate though, eh Anne?
Breakfast was a convenient marshalling time again and we split into two walking groups with a third trio of Roger Dyke, Les Ainsworth and his daughter heading for Tremadog.
Katie Horgan led the more relaxed of the two walks up past the coppermine and around Myndd Sygyn accompanied by Frank Williams, Iain McCallum, Pat McCallum, Sue Brooke, Pete Hughes, Pete Walker, Neville McMillan and Alan "Liverpool" Jones.
The hardier group, comprising myself, Michelle, Mark, James, Kasia, Andy and Brian (their second trip up Snowdon in as many days) headed off up the Watkin path - sadly without Scott and Kevin who beat a hasty retreat in the direction of gritstone when they felt rain in the carpark!
It being Remembrance Day we paused at 11:00 alongside the waterfalls to observe two minutes silence.
Both parties made it back in one piece just before dark and after various stops for Bara Brith and teas headed back to all points East. In all it was an excellent weekend, much enjoyed by those who attended. We'll be at a different mountain hotel next year on the 8th November 2008. I am on the happy task of testing establishments' fare so make a date - I'd like to see sixty nine others of you along with me, let's make it even better - watch this space for venue details.
November 10th - KMC Annual Dinner 2007 - KMC
This year's annual dinner will be held at:
Royal Goat Hotel
Friday B+B - £35
Saturday B+B - £30
Gala Dinner - £20
From 9pm for drinks in resident's lounge.
09:00 for Castell Cidwm.
Arrive, scrub up and have a drink!
08:00 - Speeches and club toast.
08:30 - Nosh.
09:30 - After dinner entertainments.
11:30 - Non-diners to leave.
12:45 - Last orders at bar.
01:30 - Bar closes.
WALK 1 - 10:00 for Snowdon via Watkin Path.
WALK 2 - 10:00 for Copper Mine/Fishermans trail.
Prices are based on two sharing and must be booked and pre-paid via the KMC committee.
Some may wish to escape Manchester (or elsewhere for those outside the M60) early on Friday and take advantage of the excellent offer on accommodation for the night (meals available in the bar). This will put them on the spot for a foray to the nearby Castell Cidwm for some historic cragging (Dwm or Glwm anyone?) alternatively a gentle day discovering dragon's lairs or Arthurian lore may suit some. [or some Chimney sweeping?]
On the night itself our guest speaker is yet to be revealed, but preparations for a traditional KMC evening entertainment have begun. Anyone with a thespian bent would do well to contact Chris Thicket or Katie Horgan with suggestions or offers! Negotiations have also begun with several "award winning" breweries for a special KMC brew or blend (the sticking point is bespoke labels for bottles so if anyone knows anyone who can do that kind of thing?).
Due to the hotel not wishing to upset local residents Andy has agreed on behalf of the club that non-residents will leave by 11:30pm. This will allow us to have the bar open much later for reminiscence or two over a pint or three. Really with the excellent price we have negotiated for the night I hope as many people as possible will opt to stay at the hotel itself and do the thing properly.
Sunday breakfast could give way to a gentle exploration of Craig Llan direct from the hotel, there is a pleasant trail up past the Sygun copper mines which returns down through the old (soon to be re-opened) railway tunnels (bring a headtorch) and back along the "fisherman's trail" to the tourist tick of Gelert's grave. A leader for this wonderful walk is sought - please contact Dave Bish or Heather.
The alternative stiffer plod is Snowdon via the Watkin path (again you can start from the hotel) - surprising new views and ridges for those used to being on the pass side of the hill. Naturally some will opt for a crag - something with a more modern feel or will it be Cwm Silyn?
The Chef at the Goat hotel has promised us a four course meal selection, we can incorporate some final requests from anyone who finds the spread arrayed below too limited (Vegan option suggestions anyone?) but for the time being the four course menu is as follows:
Homemade Veg Broth
Oven baked Brie in filo Pastry with cranberry sauce
Roast Lamb shank in Garlic and redcurrant sauce.
Half Roast Chicken with trimmings.
Grilled Fillet of Plaice in creamy sauce.
Savoury filled pancake glazed with goats cheese.
All the above will be with spuds and seasonal veg of the day.
Fruit cobbler and cream
Chocolate terrine and fruit coulis
Ice cream trio
Coffee and mints.
So once the final menu is agreed I will be taking orders of who would like what to ensure smooth service on the night. So far no-one has suggested taking orders for breakfast on the Sunday but if last year at the ODG was anything to go by it might not be a bad idea!