The Lord's Taverners Christmas Lunch
Bayfield to the rescue
The sell-out crowd of Taverners and guests were nearly subjected to a Chris Cowdrey speech, as we lost a speaker with just hours to go. Many were looking forward to hearing the controversial UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, at the Grosvenor House but he was forced to pull out with a bad back. So now my presidential skills were put to the test.
I called my good friend, England rugby international Martin Bayfield, who announced that he was unavailable. However, he agreed that on reflection a day out Christmas shopping with his wife was not actually an attractive alternative. Not only did he speak for us, but he was terrific. Phew!
Barry Cryer was our comedian and, as always, his dry sense of humour was the perfect end to the day. He told me that he had first told one of today’s stories in 1921 and it hadn’t got a laugh then! What a great supporter he has been to the Tavs.
There was further amusement as Ian Irving was called up to draw the raffle. He is incapable of drawing a name out of the hat without making a funny quip – and he was funny.
There were some other highlights. Our chief executive, Paul Robin, kindly had a blazer made for me as a gift. It was beautifully made in Taverners colours, but sadly he had underestimated my new size and it was six sizes too small. It was like a waistcoat and I haven’t lived it down with hundreds of Taverners since. If one more Taverner asks me how my blazer is…!
In between the hilarity there was an opportunity for me to display on screen the charity’s remarkable achievements in 2013. It always shocks members how much we really do and amazes our guests. It was one of my main wishes when I became president that we should tell the world more about what we do and it seems to have been received warmly.
It was lovely speaking to 13-year-old Esperanza Merry who, with our help, was able to play wheelchair tennis. After five months she is already in the world junior top 10 and she hopes to become a Paralympic gold medallist at Rio in 2016.
A few too many beers with Chris Tarrant afterwards and all in all it had been a pretty good day. Thank you for your support as always, and to our main sponsor Sky Sports.
To view photos of the event click here.
Original event details:
To be held at Grosvenor House, AJW Marriott Hotel, Park Lane, London W1
Nigel Farage, Leader of the UK Independence Party and Guest Comedian: Barry Cryer
Lunch: 12.30pm PROMPT
Ticket Price: Members: £110 per person* Associates & Non Members: £130 per person**
To include a three course lunch with half a bottle of wine
*Hosts will be asked to provide the Member's name and membership number to qualify for the Members' rate.
**The Non Members' rate applies to every guest within the booking who is NOT a Full Member of The Lord's Tavereners.
For more information please call the Events department on 020 7821 2828 or email us.
View more events in Other