Annual Dinner

Two months late I know but here it is…

Annual dinner can be the trip of the year for a lot of people, and I’m sure this year didn’t disappoint. We got climbing, we got novelty awards, we got shenanigans…but unfortunately this year we also got the epitome of shitty weather. Didn’t even know it was possible for it to rain in Portland :'(

After a very very early start (and a last minute trip to the petrol station that cut it pretty damn fine), we did our usual Tesco shop for all the essentials: food, drink and novelty bubble wands.

Crag of the day was Battleship. Featuring a little v-shaped valley with tall climbs on one side and smaller climbs on the other, it offered both a great place to start leading for the freshers, and some semblance of shelter from the horrendous winds for belayers.

Leading outdoors for the first time is a major achievement at the best of times, but in terrible wind and intermittent rain it was genuinely impressive; big well done to our ambitious freshers!

Shout-out to our courageous leader for some top quality teaching, hat courtesy of some over-enthusiastic designers. (the picture may not be serious but the sentiment is, cheers Tom!!)

For those of us on the ground at any point however, the cold and the wind were difficult to bear! Some of us took it fairly well, but others were less impressed with the conditions.

Although a few people may have been a little bit sulky at times, in general club spirit was as awesome as ever, and I also gotta give a mention to the awesome climbers who were top-roping. Gnarly routes were climbed, fears of heights were faced, and cheesy photos were taken.

And then, after stumbling our way out of the crag, we headed back to the hotel for the most exciting part of the trip. Sadly we only ended up with about an hour to get ready, and for those of us unlucky enough to be on the last bus, it was cold showers only 🙁 It may have been the last time we’re allowed to stay in the Heights, so I hope everyone enjoyed the nice rooms and courtyard and everything. With an influx of ex-bums and people who were just really bloody late, we went for a delightful(ish) dinner. Highlight of dinner time entertainment was a lovely speech from President Preston…I can’t say that the speech was quite as exciting as the strip tease but I’ll leave out the photos of that. Needless to say he did us proud and made his pits silky smooth in honour of tradition.

We managed to get one of the most memorable club photos ever….

(work it Frayynnn)

…and the annual awards for 2016-7 were also announced after dinner!

(In L-R order) the recipients were:
Steven Owen- Best Chunder
Ellie Paley & James Curran- Fuck-a-fresher
Sam Perry & Hannah Coombs- Cutiest Couple
Mark D’Souza- Mark D’Souza Award
Lewis Johnson- Midland Motivator
Camryn Williams- Most Improved
Maggie Georgiadi- Keeno
Poppy Walters- Captain Comms (you guyyys <3 <3 <3 ) The sad part is that within a matter of hours Sam lost his matching "cutiest couple" t-shirt, potentially making him an undeserving recipient of the award.

And as the night went on, more shenanigans. The crown and swords were a nice touch (thanks Harry), and on a similar note there was also the usual naked run, and you’re all bloody lucky I have standards re which pictures to post. The night was cut short as usual by our grumpy neighbours and hotel staff who are never very impressed to have customers under the age of 60. Back to Riviera next year chaps.

my personal favourite being this picture of people taking a selfie

…so it goes without saying that the following morning some of us were a bit worse for wear while getting ready to climb. While in previous years, the second day of annual has provided a great opportunity for hungover sunbathing…

….this year, the weather did not oblige.

Hammock weather? Not so much.

Despite these obvious disadvantages, a few of us did manage to get a little climbing in.

And a few of us even managed to have fun…

Some people got a bit too keen on the ballsy leading, with Hannah not quite finding time to clip for the second half of a huge climb, leading to a massive runout. Luckily, she hauled herself over the edge to find a slightly bemused Mike ready to lift her to safety by the belay loop. #notallheroswearcapes

All in all, we made the best of a windy and wet situation 😛

The trip home was largely uneventful, until a brief altercation between two minibuses that got a little close while passing at Heathrow. My bus was largely full of people napping, but I’m reliably informed that the girly bus (#teamdoreen was it?) were singing showtunes till the end. Here they are with their long suffering driver Townley.

Just look at the enthusiasm and team spirit on his face there.

A few more picture will be enclosed below, if yours wasn’t in and you wish it was let me know and I’ll stick it in! There were too many to go through them all. I hope everybody had a great trip, and I apologise again for the last post. Hopefully reliving it now will give you a welcome break from your exams. See y’all at leaders!! 😀