25 March, 2015

Torquay Letter

from Neville Tetley, a.k.a. Tea Bags,
Association Travel Correspondent

2nd February 2015

Dear Katharine,

I have been instructed to inform you of my experiences at Torquay this year by Emeritus (the previous editor of Quo Vadis?) and endorsed by Jack who acts as a sociable secretary. As we have never met I feel I must let you know that my grammar is not always up to standard and I have difficulty in distinguishing between humour and seriousness which in some circles gives the impression that I am a bit dim. I have attended 31 AGMs, only missing two – a wedding & inclement weather. My first End-to-End was in 1979.

Mr Tetley at last year’s Torquay Weekend

Some 10 years ago I was asked to join the Committee. Actually, I was press-ganged into it by certain committee members who forced my arms behind my back giving me great pain until I pleaded for mercy and screamed the words, “Yes, I will, I give in.” This attack happened outside the Rougement room after an AGM and was seen by various people who cared less about my suffering. I would tell you their names but I dare not for fear of reprisals at the next AGM.

On arrival at reception, the computer had a glitch. The documents that I was given stated that I was a female (Mrs ?) and that I was in a double room. On reaching the room, I took the two key cards out of the envelope and duly inserted one in the key slot – red light. I turned over the key – red light. Eventually I decided to seek advice from my friends Liz & Jem, who after reading the instructions, told me that I was trying to get into Room 105 and not Room 103 which the keys fitted. Needless to say I was called what Del Trotter calls Rodney. A Senior Moment, of course.

At Friday dinner I was told by “Mr. Chair” to look after a young couple so I put on my refined Brummie accent and apprised them of the virtues of the Association. At the Saturday morning AGM’s “Other Business,” I said that I was finding difficulty in remembering peoples’ names and apologised to everyone for these annoying Senior Moments of mine, as the frequency was causing me concern. Imagine my surprise when, before I had finished speaking, everybody in the room (well, nearly everybody) shouted out words to the effect, “Oh! Don’t we all”. Phew, what a relief that I was not the only one.

Mr. Emeritus beckoned me to see Eddie Sedgemore’s prize for winning the previous QV? puzzle; about half a dozen of us were close behind but it all depends where a comma was placed - well something minuscule. This, I treated as a wind-up meaning, “How about that, then?” After pressing the light button to go up in the lift, a face appeared before me, we both smiled, said nothing, and the door closed. At home, whilst looking through QV? I see a photograph of, I think, the face I closed the lift doors on, so if it is yours John Blanchard, please accept my apology for my ignorance.

Finally, I discovered that I had made the biggest mistake of my life – when Adrian, our friendly tax collector, told me that I had not paid my subs for 2015 saying, “Ya ain’t gimme ya subs yet. No subs – no QV?, no nuffin, nor nowt else, zilch, zero”. I paid up pronto. I enjoy being a member of the Land’s End – John o’ Groats Association its members & friends and Quo Vadis? All these things make me – a very happy Tea Bag.

Yours Aye,
Neville Tetley a.k.a. Tea Bags

P.S. Now to relax listening to CDs of Xavier Cugat, Harry James, Percy Faith, Jimmy Dorsey, Gene Krupa, Woody Herman & Tommy Dorsey. If members do not recognise these names they are young, but if they do then they are getting on a bit.

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