Derby Euro Twinning Weekend

Departure Breakfast for the German and Dutch guests

Derby Merlin celebrated 40 years with a Charter dinner and Euro Twinning weekend in October. 5 German and 5 Dutch “98” tablers were hosted by tablers and shown the city attractions during their stay. After clay pigeon shooting and a brewery visit the Dutch went home to freshen up in preparation for the Saturday nightlife. Meanwhile, the Germans stayed in town and went on the big wheel, to see Derby at its best … in the dark. By this time their capacity for beer was failing them. So into Wetherspoons and a shot of Jägermeister, (70 Proof made from herbs & spices), dropped into Red Bull to create the Jägerbomb. This kept them going until 3:45 am! Only John “Mad Dog” Manley was able to match their dancing skills. Fortunately for us he was not dressed in skin tight Lederhosen, so the females of Derby had no reason to approach him.

Derby Merlin’s President Steve Workman summarises the weekend in a letter:

Dear Members of DMRT 998.

It has taken me several days to recover from the excesses of the weekend, which definitely include sleep deprivation. As I sit here de-toxing in my Oval Office looking out on the Derbyshire landscape I feel very happy to be associated with Derby Merlin Round Table. I was lucky to witness much of went on over the weekend. If you were there, well done and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. If you didn’t I hope you’ll have an opportunity to experience the best of Round Table in the near future.

The 39th Anniversary Dinner of the Inaugural Meeting of Derby Merlin 998 was a great success and I hope that the 40th Charter Celebrations, hosted by incoming Chairman John Lawrence, will also be a night to remember.

George Loydall, John Kilshaw (Future Nat Pres) & Ralph Willis (Chairman DMRT)

You should feel very proud of your current Chairman who worked tirelessly to provide an evening that broke the mould for this type of event. All the comments I received from the other Tables represented were very positive and enthusiastic. I’ve been to plenty of crap Charters where the Comedians have been awful, indeed some have given up and on one occasion he made a swift exit before he was introduced! Such were Ralph’s efforts over the weekend that he eventually fell asleep in the Old Bell on Sadler gate at sometime after 2:00 am on Sunday morning – he had failed to take the required dosage of Jägerbombs and we failed to notice he was missing.

Menu for 40th Charter Dinner

Will Ingleby must be congratulated, firstly for managing to keep some control over Ralph, and then for getting 100 Guests to support us on Friday evening. He also persuaded his only Sisters to dance for us. Claire the Pianist was also very popular as was the Tea Mug. All for £28, which is little more than we paid ten years ago. Also, to get us singing before the meal, sneaking in the National Anthem, Mr. Ingleby had us all marching to his beat. The 8 minute and 31 second slide-show was tremendous, (created by Ralph and The Who), and no matter what you think it has officially got a British Board of Film Classification of 12A My Daughters only comment was “you are all married men”. Don’t forget that JP has photos/evidence of Friday night available to all.

Will Ingleby with Burlesque Dancers at Charter Dinner

I must mention that a 41 Club Member, (a Tabler from a time when everything was better), thought that the evening was “okay” There is a warm bottle of beer/lager for the first person to correctly identify this former active Tabler.

As you are no doubt aware Ralph is now cleaning up and has already made plans to recover our Regalia, all of which was swagged, despite all the security measures that he and Will had put in place. I too thought things would be safe under a dining chair! Please try to support him as he travels the East Midlands, starting this Thursday at Swadlincote. He did manage to salvage some of the gifts presented to him, so if you fancy some schnapps, raw garlic sausage and soon to be out of date Dutch cheese, make sure you’re booked into the next couple of meetings.

Regardless of your best efforts on Friday night, our International Guests failed to get lost in Town; I believe they all got home by 3:00 am. However, they were all ready for Clay Pigeon shooting early on Saturday morning. Table owes a big thank you to Joe Beale and the Team of friends he assembled that allowed over 20 blokes with hangovers to shoot aimlessly into the air. It was a great morning and our Guests even managed to sample bacon, white bread and HP sauce. They know Britain will be the main team to beat at the 2012 Olympics.

Another hero of the weekend was our International Officer, John “Mad Dog” Manley. As we drove to the next event at the Derby Brewing Company, our demented canine was sadly looking at his car keys, locked in his car! Meanwhile, at the Brewery the beer that we claim to love was not quite appreciated by the continental pallet. Our Guests requested a relaxing seat in the sunshine and a Coffee. After a lot of effort we failed to think of any of the numerous Riverside Cafes in Derby so we took them to The Broadway. By then Mrs Manley had helped her husband to retrieve his car keys and he joined us.

We had tea at the Brewery Tap and then some felt the need to go home and freshen up, and maybe have a little nap. The German stayed in town and went on the big wheel, to see Derby at its best … in the dark. By this time their capacity for beer was failing them. So into the Standing Order and a shot of Jägermeister, (70 Proof made from herbs & spices), dropped into Red Bull to create the Jägerbomb. This kept them going until 3:45 am! Only Mad Dog was able to match their dancing skills. Fortunately for us he was not dressed in skin tight Lederhosen, so the females of Derby had no reason to approach him.

Other venues welcomed us, such as the Dolphin. The Germans sneaked into the Blue Note while the rest of us wandered into Shakespeare’s. Is this a ‘Gay Bar’, or did we just help to turn it into one? We spent a long time in Friar Gate where the ambiance of the evening was enhanced by a Dwarf and then a Police Sniffer Dog. Apparently late night Burgers in Derby are not recommended by the over 40’s.

Let’s also take the opportunity to thank Andy James for his contribution to the weekend even though he does not appear on the list of Members of any of the Derby Merlin Clubs, apart from the list of former Chairmen. He is anticipating a full refund of his subscription and may take the Charter Committee to the Small Claims Court in order to rectify the damage to his feelings. While on the topic of lists we all know that Maät Bailey changed the spelling of his Christian name by Deed Poll nearly three years ago, at a cost of £33.00, so that he would remain at the top of any alphabetical list of Merlin members. His name was spelt correctly on the menu yet he was still listed second. His name and alpha position are also incorrect in the current Programme & Directory. You must eliminate these mistakes to avoid further financial claims.

Ralph amazingly managed to catch the last Bus out of Derby and arrived home as his Guest fell out of a Taxi. The pair of them only had four hours snuggled together in the bathroom before meeting at the Georgian House. We should thank Mark Haspel for organising a healthy fried Breakfast, but we won’t give thanks to him as we didn’t last the whole weekend without mentioning World War II.

During the presentations, after breakfast, one of the Dutch mentioned that “you just cannot stop the Germans” to which Mark reminded everyone that “We did”! We might like to think that he got away with it, but some of our European pals speak and understand the English language better than we do. This veiled reference to a dispute that took place nearly seventy years ago was spotted by the Dutch, but they waited for 45 minutes, until they were on the A50, before they had a good laugh about it.

Gentlemen you deserve great credit for the contribution of time and effort over a long, tiring but extremely enjoyable weekend. I hope you feel that you have made new friends. Please also thank your Partners for their part in hosting Guests and supporting you.

The party animals from Bayreuth 98, northern Bavaria, have offered to host the next EuroMeeting, perhaps in the autumn of 2010. I do hope that Derby Merlin 998 will take the opportunity to enjoy their hospitality and I believe you can get there via a day/night stopover in Amsterdam!!

I must go now and complete my profile on Linkedin, where my industry is currently displayed as Nanotechnology.

Yours in Table

President 2009~2010

And finally, Derby Merlin had extensive local press coverage – for all the right reasons! – as part of their 40th celebrations. Click on the image to see a full size version that you should be able to read ok.

Article in Derby Telegraph celebrating 40 years and charitable contributions

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