Ale together now
SATURDAY was a glorious day, as hot as you should be able to expect this far into June. The weather helped to raise money for the young people of the town as it encouraged people to turn out to sample the beers at the annual Soham Real Ale Festival on The
SATURDAY was a glorious day, as hot as you should be able to expect this far into June. The weather helped to raise money for the young people of the town as it encouraged people to turn out to sample the beers at the annual Soham Real Ale Festival on The Rec. The event, organised by the Soham Staploe Rotary Club, was to raise money for the guide and scout hut fund as well as incorporating an auction for Liam's CLIC Sargent fund-raising effort.
Ales on offer included such exotic-sounding brews as Beltane Braces, Osier Cutter, Hog Penny and Gobble. There was also a scrumpy cider available for those who didn't need to use their brains for the next week or so. Early estimates suggest that bar profits going to the fund will be around £1,500, while the scouts' own burger bar and crockery smash raised at least another £700.
It would have been rude not to sample some of the beers on offer so I did my duty as best I could. I did finish up with a can of soft drink, though; I'm obviously out of training!
The auction raised about £2500, with such exotic lots as an autographed Chelsea shirt and one of Jeffrey Archer's ties. All through the auction, Liam performed the duties of porter, holding the lots up to encourage bidders. Saturday was the first time I had met Liam in the flesh, and I was amazed that a chap who has had so many cards dealt from the bottom of the pack can keep smiling all the time, because that's exactly what he does. It makes you realise that all your own moans and groans don't amount to anything. Next time you see something with "Liam" attached to it stick your hand in your pocket a bit deeper, please.
Meanwhile, up at the Carpenters Arms, the annual Paul Martin Memorial Darts Match was coming to its climax. Paul died tragically 28 years ago and each year his friends remember him with a knock-out darts tournament staged over two Saturdays.
They could probably do it in one week, but when you have a good mate to remember the talking and laughing is as important as the doubles. This year's winner was Kevin Beeton who will, no doubt, tell you that he won easily. As long as he believes that, good luck to him.