Woolacombe 2000

Woolacombe, Devon, 20-22 October 2000

On the second weekend of a new academic year 40+ hardy souls ventured off into the unknown that is North Devon. They carried nothing with them but their excessively large Invaders and plenty of smeggy Kit. The Minibus journey seemed to go in a flash except for those in the Blue bus that spent 20 minutes trying to refit the Petrol cap. But eventually all of the buses arrived safely at the Scout hut in Braughnton. With in seconds of arrival Mikey B was stripped and left in the middle of the floor minus his trousers. That other serial victim of canoe club cruelty was already strung up the Flagpole.

This was no ordinary day as it was Karen’s and Paul’s birthday and so a cake was magiced out of the packet and distributed around the hungry masses. Unfortunately Paul’s housemates had been kind enough to give him in his words “a very large firework” that he and Aiden decided would be good to let of at 1 o’clock in the morning. This didn’t enamour us to either the neighbour who came to complain about the noise or the friendly Policeman who payed us a visit. Eventually, after a large amount of beer had been drunk and several human pyramids formed, people retired to their beds leaving a select band up until the wee small hours. It was odd therefore that this same small band were up first in the morning and trying to work out how exactly you cook for 50. This was managed and the food was suprisingley edible even if it took 3 hours to cook!

So then after the usual phaffing off we went to Woolacombe for some serious surfing. With the committee teaching whilst up to their waists in the surf the freshers and other new members got to try out the surf. As usual there was the odd swim on what were very nice big waves. Most suprising of which was our former president, Ben, who in mitigation was actually almost hit by some random paddler. Luckily for all concerned the large number of invaders in the water didn’t skewer any defenceless surfers, have to try harder next time. So after a few hours of playing in the surf off everyone trekked to the local coffee shop that also happened to serve beer to warm up a bit and then on back to the hut.

The absent trip organiser had been kind enough to suggest that we all might want to go in school boys and school girls uniform to the pub, the committee in drag. The current committee declined this offer but not so some of the older members. Some how Paul still doesn’t look very feminine even with a skirt lipstick and various other make up on. But before we got to go to the pub there was the small matter of food to be dealt with. The thought of cooking Chilli for 50 people is frightening enough but try doing it when the stove will suddenly light from one of he valves! After the chilli came the custard which Joel and Ben had a downing competition with (Ben easily defeated Joel who actually seemed worried that the custard was burning his throat).

So properly filled up and raring to go off we all went to the Pub and what a nice pub it was too having been gracious enough to lend us its rear room for he night complete with skittle alley. The landlord was even kind enough to go and find us a bottle of Tequila to commit suicide with. Though unfortunately one rather large fresher jumped off the table and put his head through the ceiling. A round of drinking games was started though it fell a bit flat as one end of the table was too drunk to think so just drank more. After the final orders had been called and it was time to go home there was a very inebriated member of he committee seen wearing a lab coat trying to work out how to get back into the scout hut, the answer is to pull not push. As the night went on various people drifted off to bed leaving another group of idiots to stay up until the wee small hours, though this time they found Toby’s video camera. Eventually they all departed and were not seen again until the breakfast was cooked on the Sunday. Joel and more culpable Chris failed this feat. They introduced the collected masses to barbecue flavoured baked beans, otherwise known as burnt.

Chris Vian

River Usk 1998

River Usk, Wales, November 1998

This trip started off like all other trips, a few people down the boathard when they should be, a lot of people arriving very late and one person turning up even later. But despite this there was very little faff and the bus got underway before seven.

A nice speedy drive ensured we were there before closing time. Arriving at the pub we discover the olds had all been there a lot longer than we had and had therefore had time to consume large amounts of alcohol, therefore making them all pissed.

Saturday morning was, once again, Faff free and we left for the river by half nine. Arriving at the river we unloaded the trailer and began to sort people out. After a lot of effort the last group were actually on the river by twelve.

Fun was had on the river. Karen was happy to lead her first ever bit of river, a few people swam. The biggest faff of the day has to go to Michelle. Whilst taking a little dip she managed to lose a shoe, chip a tooth and generally have a complete nightmare.

It was now time to head off to the tea shop then back to the hut for a superb chilli and that all important tequila round. At this point I won’t mention the custard. Then off to the pub to show the olds how it should really be done.

Sunday morning started off slightly slower, except for Jamie, Stu and Aidan who made it out of the door in record time to do a river before they paddled with the club.

It was another one of those days on the river where Karen Swam, Michelle showed us all the right line and Stu and Neil tried to show off but it all went wrong. Jamie came to Karen’s rescue once more but it all nearly went wrong. And Ed tried the same for Nicky, cool moves Ed but it was definately the wrong time to be doing them.

It was then that time to head home, so after the usual faff of kit loading we headed home. Again in super quick time despite sitting on the M4 for hours in a traffic jam. We made it home and it was still Sunday (only just though).

Another TOP weekend in my opinion, but then I am biased cause it was my trip.

Written by Neil on 11/11/98 Another trip by Slugs Cunning Enterprises

So just how did Michelle loose her shoe?

Michelle Claims: “The water was so powerful it got sucked of my foot!!”

We Say: “She didn’t do it up!!”

Woolacombe 1998

Woolacombe surf, Devon, February 1998

Another TOP trip to Woolacombe took place on 20 – 22nd February. The accommodation was a little different to usual, as the Braunton Scout Hut lost its roof in the storms.

Alternative accommodation was found in the Caen Street School in Braunton, SUPER LUXURY in comparison to the scout hut (if you don’t mind me saying). We had the run of the whole place, including all the classrooms, and the girls had two toilets each…..WOW (well there were only three of us). We also had use of unlimited amounts of bendy javelins, hoops, footballs, netballs….well you know, all the things kids play with at school. So we fitted in quite well.

River Dee tour 1997

River Dee tour, Wales, November 1997

As usual Affinity organised the Student Dee tour. It was held at Llangollen, North Wales over the weekend of the 15/16/17 November.

On both the Saturday and the Sunday we went off and paddled the Dee. We amazingly made it to the river in the morning (Yes that’s right even Kev got up before lunchtime!). The river had little water in it, In fact the river was over a foot lower than when we paddled it the year before. However a few great swims were still taken.

The one swim that springs to mind was the Duo which was being paddled by Jo and Mark. After much persuasion Jo decided that she wanted to paddled town falls. They made the first two drops then on the third disaster struck and the duo was upside down. Everybody watched as Jo swam out and grabbed hold of the boat making sure it stayed upside down. Mark however was still in the back desperately trying to roll the boat. Little did he know, Jo was hanging on the front for dear life preventing Mark from rolling. Finally out swam Mark!

Karen had a superb swim on Town falls on the Sunday. However there was no problem cause Jamie once more came to the rescue. As my memory recalls there was only one other swim the whole weekend, and that was by Nick on Serpents tail.

Written By Neil Hopkinson 14th December 1997

Perranporth 1997

Perranporth surf, Cornwall, October 1997

This was the first major trip of the term – we took two buses to Perranporth in Cornwall, filled with old members, new members and a couple of old gits.

This trip was superbly organised by the President (not that I’m biased or anything) and the buses were ready to leave by 6 p.m. Unfortunately, the first bus got a head start because it took Jamie an hour to drive back to Middle Street and get Kev out of the shower. In the rush to make it to the pub, their bus was photographed by a speed camera on one of the A roads (OK well it was probably someone going the other way – but the ‘Disco Bus’ sign will give the police a bit of a giggle). We arrived at the hut after the first bus to find Neil dribbling into his vodka, and generally being drunkenly obnoxious to everyone (so nothing new there then). Top tip, Neil – not only does Helen Dale date a gorilla, she also has a mean right hook.

We made it on to the surf in good time on the Saturday morning – Joe Lo gave another good lesson on surfing (and another good impression of a wave). The surf was pretty messy but also pretty big out the back, and the wind was strong (i.e. get in at one end of the beach and arrive at the other end a couple of minutes later). Lots of swimmers, including Mr Webb, whose deck-popping excuse is now quite familiar. Several SUCCers decided that canoeing was far too much effort and spent the day body-boarding and building sandcastles. Jo and Kev invested in his ‘n’ hers body boards and spent a blissful day in the surf together.

We were off the surf late in the afternoon, and Christine, Steve and some happy helpers went back to cook dinner while the rest disappered to the tea shop. Herbivore and real chili were followed by a ration of fruit cocktail (about 2 pieces per person) and yummy birthday cake. The washing up was done in record time by eager footie fans, and we were in the pub by 7.30 for the match.

I would report the score here, but I spent the second half on the floor of the pub and had to be taken home soon after. But we enjoyed the usual SUCC Saturday night frolics. Jamie celebrated his 22nd birthday in style by locking himself in the downstairs bathroom and chundering all over the floor. Abellone did one of her disappering acts, only to reappear later having been for a curry. Helen Ford did her bit for club relations by keeping our Cotswolds friends happy. Silly games were enjoyed by all, and the wreckage could still be seen in the morning.

Sunday dawned, and with it a slightly more sober Jamie, whose first task was to clean out his sick bowl so we could put our lunch into it to take to the beach! Ben decided that his wetsuit was just too cold and sandy, and stayed in the hut to do some work (?!?). Surf was better than on the Saturday, although some people still didn’t make it into a boat (Jo B ???). As usual, the sun came out and the wind dropped just as we were leaving.

Back at the boathard in freezing Southampton, someone had stupidly parked their car blocking the bus’s entrance to the boathard, so the trailer arrived back pulled in by all the bus’s passengers.

All in all, a good SUCC weekend – plenty of surf, alcohol, chundering (Jamie), tarting (mentioning no names) and good food ** (if I do say so myself).

** “Hmmm”, says Kev.