Grantham & District 307 attend Euro 80 Weekend in Belgium

It’s the year of our Lord 2012 and the Danes, Norwegians, Finns, Dutch and Germans had invaded the small town of Lokeren in Belgium.

The Town’s Mayor sought the Chairman of Lokeren 80 Round Table to raise an army to defend the people of Lokeren.

Chairman Wim rallied his troops but the numbers did not match the advancing armies coming from all directions.

Alas, the call went out and Grantham & District 307 raised an army of crusaders to march on Lokeren with their fair maidens to help defend the historic city.

Crusader Tablers John Whaler and Gordon Cannon along with 40plus members Howard Matthews and David Slater and Andrew Black, assisted by their maidens travelled by Eurostar to reach the battlefield mid Friday afternoon.

The Friday night saw a get together party for everyone along with two ‘bucking bulls’ for each nation to compete against. The Finns beat the Danes, the English beat the Germans but the Norwegians beat everyone.

The following morning the ladies were whisked off to Antwerp for a day’s sightseeing and shopping, whilst the boys were joined by the Dutch Tablers for a morning of beer and food tasting and exchanging of greetings, pennants and badges.

The ‘Battle of the Nations’ continued in the afternoon at an indoor karting centre with the Norwegians once again taking the top spot with a joint effort with the Belgium’s. Grantham game a respectable 8th out of 15.

The Saturday evening event was a grand affair at Gravensteen Castle in Ghent with everyone wearing their medieval costumes. The castle only opens twice a year and Euro 80 Weekend Tablers were very honoured to be able to grace the venue along with a display of owl and birds of prey flying. The event continued in the grand hall with the banquet and other entertainment of jugglers and a medieval band.

Numerous toasts were made by Past Belgium National President Robby Bocklandt from Lokeren followed by a fencing challenge between Lokeren Table Chairman Wim and his 41 club Chairman counterpart. The boys from Norway and Denmark then stripped off to their latex underwear to further humiliate Lokeren Chairman Wim, but what goes on tour stays on tour!!

To the amusement of onlookers and town folk, the medieval band than lead a procession of all guests out of the castle and through Ghent town centre. After dodging the trams they arrived at a watering hole where further drinks and nibbles were served until the early hours.

The third and final day of the Euro 80 weekend saw everyone meet for brunch on the Sunday morning and final farewells. The Lokeren Ship had been resurrected by Lokeren for the first time in 18 years and presented to IRO Tabler John Whaler to be brought back to the merry lands of England for Grantham & District 307.

This was a memorable weekend of International Tabling Fellowship enjoyed and highly recommended by all those who attended. Our twin Table of Lokeren hosted a marvellous event and welcomed us all in to their homes with warmed and friendship.

Yours in Table

John Whaler
International Relations Officer (IRO)
Grantham & District 307

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