Dave Goddard, on behalf of the Warrington Group, organised a most enjoyable evening with excellent food, a brilliant speaker, a comedian and lots of laughter. The main aim was to generate funds in support of St Rocco’s Hospice, coupled with having fun.
Dave opened the evening by introducing himself, welcoming the brethren and their guests and gave an overview of the evening and the charity to be supported by the event. He went on to introduce the group chairman Andy Barton and the master of ceremonies Peter Whalley.
Peter’s first job was to organise a ‘heads and tails’ bingo game, as the first fund raising item of the evening. This had everyone placing their hands on their heads or their tails and the flip of a coin decided whether you were in or out. Anyone being out sat down and the last one standing won a bar voucher for £20.
Chris Eyres said grace and the meal for over 50 was served, which consisted of sliced black pudding served in a puff pastry case with smoked bacon and mustard sauce, braised lamb shank with creamed potatoes and roasted vegetables, followed by sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce and ice cream. Chris returned thanks.
Peter introduced John Beresford as the first speaker. John’s long football history of many successes included playing for Portsmouth and Newcastle United. John was born in Sheffield and in his career played for Manchester City, Barnsley, Portsmouth, Newcastle United, Southampton and Birmingham City. He is most famous for his Newcastle United spell between 1992 and 1998. John went on to portray many memories of his long career. The room was very quiet whilst the past events were described, with lots of laughter following the punch lines. A few changing room and behind the scenes discussions were also included. The room seemed to be very interested to share John’s experiences. Very loud applause followed with much appreciation being demonstrated.
Peter thanked John for a very informative and humorous talk, saying that by the amount of applause he felt certain that everyone had enjoyed his talk very much.
A raffle then ensued which again raised funds for the charity. Two prizes were available, the second prize was a bottle of red wine with a first prize of a coffee maker, which was won by Austin Knight, which he kindly gave back to be auctioned later in the evening.
Following a natural break, Peter introduced Austin Knight, a comedian. After a very short time Austin had everyone in stiches, laughing along with him. He demonstrated a keen sense of humour converting everyday happenings into hilarious scenarios, coupled with very able skill to point out the funny side to almost any situation. His audience participation levels were excellent, with the ability to sense where to probe and where not to. Having also written for TV and radio, compiled scripts for Tommy Cooper, Les Dawson and many more he certainly had everyone thoroughly enjoying themselves.
Peter again on behalf of everyone present thanked Austin for his extremely funny and enjoyable performance. An auction then followed where several unique items were offered for sale. Overall the evening generated just over £2,000 for St Rocco’s Hospice.
Andy Barton closed the evening by thanking everyone for their attendance and generous support. He thanked all who helped to plan the evening, including Peter for being master of ceremonies, Dave for organising the event and special thanks went to John and Austin for their entertainment. He hoped all had an enjoyable and memorable evening and wished everyone a safe journey home.