Thursday, 29 July 2010

Day Trip To Whitby: The Mulling Throngs At The Pick Up

The pavement was heaving with men of varying ages, but mainly 60+. They had come out the back door of the vast Tyneside club and began boarding the four awaiting buses. It was 9am. They were in jovial mood and had already had a couple of pints to see them through to the proposed stop in a lay-by for a can and a stottie filled with ham and pease pudding, cheese savoury or pork and stuffing.

This was the club's annual day trip to Whitby. 200 of them going for an outing. It was a piece of history in the present as there are not many clubs left like this. Even though beer is £1-something a pint, the membership is dwindling. Maybe it is because of a shift in society's needs and aspirations, but the young are not joining.

The four drivers sat on the wall while the buses loaded up. One sneezed, just as a mother and pushchair was passing. She stopped and looking concerned said: "Aw, you shouldn't be out, pet, with that terrible cold. Get yous back to bed."

Standing beside my bus was one of the 'committee men' with a clipboard in his hand and he was loudly telling people:

"This is the young 'uns bus. Only for young 'uns."

"So what's a silly old c**t like you doing on it," was said by the anonymous voice down the back.

The committee man took out his displeasure on me and advised me not to repeat the same trick that happened on the last trip to the races where unbeknown to them the Police had sent the driver to a different coach park. Of course chaos ensued and the driver got the blame even though it wasn't his fault.

"I just got up," said one panting latecomer. "I just got up 5 minutes ago. Had to run a bit. But no worries - it is the same every year."

We were ready. The 200 cans of beer and lager were loaded. The 200 sandwiches were loaded. The 200 club members were loaded too.

"It's alright for you driver, but we've got to keep drinking all day."

Off we went.

No comments:

Post a Comment