Following three successful years at The Bedford Lodge Hotel in Newmarket, this years EATEC Dinner Dance moved to The Bull Hotel in Long Melford. The change of venue was down to the new organising team of committee member Chris Webb and his fiancé Alice Wheeler. They had put in a lot of effort over the summer in raising awareness of the event and this resulted in over 80 members, families and friends arriving for an evening of good food, great music, and excellent company.
The evening began with drinks in the bar, before sitting down for the dinner portion of the evening. The usual toasts and formalities were attended to by President John ‘Smudge’ Smith, ex President Keith Honour, and Chariman Andrew Waling. A new feature as last years dinner was the auction, and such was its success that another was held this year. Prizes ranged from an afternoon painting the wheels of the Presidents Garrett (£80), to a handcrafted firebox style money box (£130), and 5 tubes of Peek Polish (£25).
With the auction over, it was time for the awards. This year the Fensom Trophy was awarded to Jennie Honour in recognition of her achievement driving her fathers Burrell ‘Margaret’ to the Great Dorset Steam Fair. Together with her copilot Danny Rundle they covered around 500 miles, traveling from Stansted, to Dorset, and then to Haddenham Steam Rally, on to the Bedfordshire Steam and Country Show, before finally returning home to Stansted. Danny was not forgotten when it came to awards, he received a 2017 AA Map of Great Britain so that the next time they are out on the road, he might avoid low bridges that the Burrell won’t fit under!
The evening continued with the band ‘Run for Cover’ entertaining the guests, accompanied for a couple of songs by club secretary Daphne Rumball on saxophone, before the raffle was drawn during the bands break. This year the raffle was held in aid of Soham First Responders, and the money raised will be donated in memory of late committee member Tony Brown.
This years dinner was a roaring success, and many ‘first timers’ have already voiced a definite intention to return next year. Chris and Alice are to be congratulated on running such a fun, enjoyable event, hopefully they’ll stay on for years to come!