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Event Reports 2017


The Ukuladeez – Wednesday 6 December




The Ukuladeez Grace the Clubhouse

I was amazed as the Clubhouse filled up on the evening of the 6th December! According to Facebook I was the only one ‘going’ to this event.

By 8.00 pm the place was absolutely packed. A sell-out.. Some had pre-booked and some had just turned up on the night. Plus a few who didn’t eat and up to 7 in the band the place was buzzing. It was fabulous, great atmosphere.

However the evening got off to a slightly less than optimum start as in true Spinal Tap tradition the band turned up late, at different times and then left again separately, several of them couldn’t find the venue, then when they left couldn’t find their way back. There were instruments and various bits of equipment missing. Quote of the night was ‘you wouldn’t happen to have a 4.5mm microphone cable, with a 35mm jack at one end and 3 pin XLR Female connector at the other, kicking around here anywhere?’ Funnily Enough. No!

It was Chaos. The cajon player was absent without leave. There seemed to be precious little in the way of a ‘sound check’. It didn’t bode well.

In the blurb on the internet The Ukuladeez are described as making ‘their own style of ‘folk’ music with an emphasis on rich layered harmony and storytelling; fables and humorous satires, personal anecdotes, ethereal laments.’ But don’t be fooled by the dresses and the unfeasibly small guitars. It is easy to be lulled into a false sense of security by the ‘sweet’ ‘rich layered harmonies’ and that ‘humour’. But as George Orwell famously said ‘Every joke is a Tiny Revolution’. Things were not as they first appeared (or sounded). With their keen sense of social conscience with particular prominence being given to gender stereotyping and the objectification of women this was a band with something to say. And they certainly didn’t spare anyone’s blushes.

After a slightly shaky start bought about by a tiresomely overenthusiastic and protracted introduction by the Commodore they were immediately back on track and performed their 2 sets faultlessly to an attentive and appreciative audience. In spite of the ‘no sound check’ method of preparation, these consummate performance artists, generated a perfect sound with crystal clear vocals. The band struck up an immediate rapport with the audience and in true ‘folk’ tradition there was much banter as well as explanation between the songs At least two encores were demanded. Depending on the method of calculation.

Their debut album released in 2014, The Awesome Adventures of the Girls with the Tiny Guitars, has now sold out in CD format but is still available to download with the follow up EP, Cosmic Tea Party, still available on CD as well as through all the usual sources to download. There is even merchandise! A black hoody with the Cosmic Tea Party logo on the back which is ‘fleece lined’ – I’m tempted.

Thank you very much to Vanessa Mahy for getting the Clubhouse looking gloriously festive and as always pulling out all the stops on the food and hospitality side of life.

But special thanks to Jules Schaefer for being the conduit between the Club and The Ukuladeez, if the law career doesn’t pan out as expected you can always fall back on being an impresario.

Commodore David Aslett


Laying Up Supper – Saturday 25 November


The traditional end of season ‘Laying Up Supper’ was enjoyed by some 25 members.

Thanks are due to Vanessa, Matt & Ellie for looking after everybody so well.


Annual Dinner & Dance – Saturday 28 October


In the presence of His Excellency the Lieutenant – Governor Vice Admiral Sir Ian Fergus Corder KBE CB & Lady Corder.



The Dinner, Dance and Prizegiving went off without a hitch.

It was great that His Excellency and Lady Corder were there with His Excellency proposing the Loyal Toast and presenting the Governor’s Cup and Lady Corder presenting the remainder of the trophies.

Thank you very much again to Vanessa Mahy for organising the whole thing ably assisted by the Flag Officers and Committee, the balloons were particularly admired, but the whole thing of getting people together, paid up, the work involved in the menu cards, a great job, well done. Thanks to David Raines for a superb job as Master of Ceremonies and Julia Schaefer for a fantastic performance presenting the prizes.

There were 113 people in attendance which I believe is the highest number for many years. The Rocquettes Hotel was a great venue and the management and staff were brilliant. By the way, His Excellency was very complimentary about the food. Next year?

Commodore David Aslett


Jazz on a Summer’s Night – Wednesday 28 June



The second in this year’s trilogy of Jazz nights. It was absolutely packed in the Clubhouse.

We had sold 30 tickets or so but had sort of over looked the fact that it was summer opening and that visitors are here as well. It was great to see so many in and I apologise for referring to a crew of Belgian sailors as being from France. What a Mistake to Make!

But the Jazz provided, once again, by the excellent “Dave Parfitt and the Good Vibrations”, and the Social more than made up for my faute par.

Thanks very much to John Frankland for making it all happen, to Vanessa Mahy for the food and bar, and to Matt Knowles for also manning the bar.

Commodore David Aslett


Visit of Yacht Club de St Brieuc A.N.L. – 2 to 4 June



Report on the visit of the Yacht Club Pays de St Brieuc (ANL) 2-4 June 2017

We had a plan, then we revised the plan and then we revised the plan yet again and all went well – remarkably! Everyone pulled together and made the weekend a great weekend.  This is how the weekend visit of our old friends from the port of Légué could be summed up.

Luckily most of the boats from Le Légué arrived early on Thursday and Friday with18 people in all.  The forecast for Monday, their date of departure, was dire with a force 8-9 southerly wind predicted. So all plans had to be changed.

It all started with our much loved meat draw on Friday night with two members of the ANL winning meat. The evening was a time for catching up with people we have not seen for over a year and making new acquaintances with some of the Les Briochins (people who come from St Brieuc) who had not been to Guernsey before. The whole evening was given a salty sea dog atmosphere by John Squires who played sea shanties on his accordion and 100 year old concertina.

Saturday morning the sponsors, led by the Vice Commodore, gathered to officially greet the boats and crews on E pontoon in the Victoria Marina. Four ex commodores were actively involved in the week-end.  Each boat was given a bottle of Patois (donated by Randalls), milk, butter and cheese (donated by the States Dairy) a Guernsey Gâche (donated by the Commodore) and a discount voucher from Seaquest Marine. One bottle was opened and shared before we left the pontoon. There were a couple of bleary faces as at least one crew member hadn’t reached his bunk until past 2 am – I understand that a bottle of rum was involved!  The ANL decided that they would leave after breakfast on Sunday. As a consequence we brought the planned Sunday lunch to Saturday evening.

Ten walkers met with Michelle and Mark Parnwell, Adrian Lay, and Carolyn Stoaling at 14.30 to walk to Fermain Bay to watch the end of the Fermain sailing race. Six others were taken by mini bus and all enjoyed a lazy sunny afternoon on the beach. Many of the French crews had been to Guernsey several times before but none had been to Fermain.

La Grande Soirée – Our friends were welcomed into the Club with a touch of the Caribbean, in the form of a glass of tasty, potent, rum punch prepared by Anne-Marie Mitchison.  John Squires played his accordion while people settled and food was served.  The main courses were Bean Jar (Stuart), Chicken a la Frankland (Alison), and Scallop Casserole (Carol Guille). Desserts, Trifle and Gâche Melée (Carolyn Stoaling), Strawberry Flan (Denise Lay), Cheese (Dave Le Jean). After eating there were short speeches from David Raines (Vice Commodore) and Christian Lamy with an exchange of gifts, a beautiful book covering the extensive cruising ground of Brittany, a dozen bottles of Viognier, and six bottles of Paimpol Cider for us and a commemorative  shield and a Railway poster of Fermain Bay printed on metal for them.

We all sang some favourite Sea Shanties accompanied by John Squires, who was followed by David Herschel and his newly formed band Hedge Veg on their second ever public performance.  They received a rapturous welcome – better than the welcome for their first performance which was on a Sunday evening at a residential home when someone was heard to say “Oh no, does that mean we’ll miss Songs of Praise?” The band played much of their own music, wittily written by Dave Herschel and including songs about a Scarecrow femme fatale, ‘The Snip’, and Donald Trump (lots of material there!).

As the French sailors were leaving after breakfast we were left with a problem, what to do about the Sunday evening farewell drinks as lots of people had volunteered canapés?  It was agreed amongst the sponsors that we should invite as many RCIYC members as wanted to come to the United Club to eat the canapés and drink the French wine and cider and out of date beer. So Phil sent out an e-mail in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Seven o’clock, bright and bleary Stuart, Phil and Julie were at the Club heating up the oven to produce a large number of bacon butties (Brigitte Lamy found great difficulty translating ‘buttie’!). Soon after the ovens were at temperature, Vanessa arrived along with Sarah, Andy and Carolyn Stoaling, Matt and the Vice Commodore, soon followed by David Le Jean and Johann and Diana Walton and her daughter. Our guests clearly enjoyed bacon butties, our bacon is very different to anything found in France, along with mustard, tomato sauce and a dab of HP brown sauce. Matt (Rear Commodore) provided the fruit juice.

Following emotional good-byes, cold hotdogs were given out to sustain hungry French sailors en route home.   One crew was very grateful to Andy Stoaling for supplying them with a new fan belt for their engine, and due to the lack of wind on Sunday it would have been needed.

Later that day we had a hugely successful drinks party with some excellent canapés at the United Club. Forty five people attended and enjoyed good company and wonderful views from the United Club window.  Thank you to Enzo Diacono for enabling it to happen.

Overall we managed to rescue the event from the jaws of disaster and turned it into another memorable weekend spent with our old friends from Le Légué.

Although long lists are dull I just want to show how many Club members were involved with this enjoyable event.

Thanks go to: –

Commodore Dave Aslett

Vice Commodore David Raines

Rear Commodore Matt Knowles

Hon Secretary Vanessa Mahy

Phil Ball – Event Photographer

Julie Ball

Johann Etasse

Jenny Etasse

David Le Jean

Adrian Lay

Denise Lay

David Mitchison

Anne Marie Mitchison

John Frankland

Alison Frankland

Andy Stoaling

Carolyn Stoaling

Diana Walton

Kate Walton

Nancy Dudley-Smith

Sarah Crisp

Stuart Crisp

Carol Guille

Roland Guille

Michelle Parnwell

Mark Parnwell

Terry Jenkinson

Enzo Diacono

John Squires

Hedge Veg

The States Dairy

Randalls Brewery

Seaquest Marine

The United Club

and if I have missed anyone please accept my apologies.

Stuart Crisp

(Stuart has rather glossed over the huge effort made by both himself and Sarah which resulted in the weekend being such a success – Editor)


Liberation Day – Tuesday 9 May


30 members enjoyed a traditional Guernsey lunch with a truly excellent Bean Jar followed by an equally enjoyable Gâche Melée.

Other members popped in for a drink creating a lively atmosphere in the Club.

Thanks are due to Vanessa for the arrangements and for decorating the Club so well.


Fitting Out Supper – Saturday 1 April




Some 25 members enjoyed each others company and an excellent Supper provided by Cafe Delice.

Thanks are due to Vanessa for the arrangements which included beautifully laid tables and an Easter Egg raffle with the proceeds going to Club funds. Thanks are also due to the Commodore for providing the Port!

A thoroughly enjoyable evening.


Jazz Night – Thursday 2 March


A busy night in the Club when members were entertained by Dave Parfitt’s ‘Good Vibrations’.

Thanks are due to John Frankland for arranging the entertainment, to Alison Frankland & Julie Ball for their contribution to the ‘nibbles’, and, as ever, to Vanessa for all her efforts.

A very enjoyable evening.


Dinner, Dance & Prizegiving – Saturday 4 February


78 Members & Guests enjoyed the evening with music by Les Blondettes.


Ladies’ Day – Sunday 1 January



Ladies’ Day gives the Commodore the opportunity to host our ladies for an hour or so.

The Commodore had the pleasure of hosting some 15 ladies who joined him for a glass or two of fizz.