In the words of Mike Pinckard the Leyland Group of Freemasons Vice Chairman, ‘It was a superb evening and one which had been well organised’. Mike went on to say …
The evening started out with everyone meeting in the car park at Wellington Park, Leyland. There were quite a few ladies going on the trip along with several non-masonic friends of the Leyland members. The ages ranged from late teens to pensioners (and then Neil Ward!). Everyone was getting along brilliantly with some making new friends throughout the night.
We all piled onto the coach and got settled in for the trip over to Gorton, Manchester where the Belle Vue Greyhound stadium is located: Rumour has it that Mike Pinckard actually fell asleep and snored most of the way there – he claimed it had nothing to do with Vic Parker’s company who sat in the seat beside him!
Raffle tickets were available on the trip out to raise money for the Leyland Lights and everyone bought generously – with their eye on the first prize of a bottle of whiskey!
We arrived at Belle Vue, agreed the time to be back at the coach and went inside and found our places at the bar to claim our free drinks! A pint followed by chips, a pie or a burger, set us up for an exciting evening of racing.
There were 13 races altogether and John Anderson set the bar high immediately with a very nice win on the first race. Des Hatton and Dick Griffiths and their wives were busy studying the racing form of the dogs before having a flutter in the second and third races.
It was Jeff Lucas’s first ever visit to the races and he decided he would just back number 4 dog in each race! It worked very nicely for him too with some good wins throughout the night. He was so disappointed when his chosen dog was pipped to the post on the last race that he screwed his betting slip up and threw it away. He quickly searched for it though when we reminded him he’d backed it ‘each way’!! Luckily he found it, went to redeem it and found he’d won £12 for second place!!!
Craig Statters organised a pool bet of £2 each for the last race and the consensus was to put it all on dog number 4, much to Jeff’s glee. However, I’m sure dog number 4 was still not past the post by the time we went home, so no big win there!
A lesson was learnt by Chris Hughes too: Don’t go to the dog races in just a T shirt! The poor lad was freezing and got no sympathy from his Mum at all!! Liz claims she had gone along for the evening’s entertainment and NOT to keep an eye on her son as was first thought!!
Everyone seemed to have a great night and the atmosphere was very nice and genial. Mike Knowles’ friend commented that it had been a great idea and that she had really enjoyed herself. She hoped we could do it again.
Another of the ladies mentioned that she’d expected it to be a bit rowdy with swearing but how pleasantly surprised she had been that the spectators on the terraces were so friendly.
The raffle was drawn on the coach coming home and the winner was Chris Hughes – maybe it was with irony that he won the bottle of whisky to keep him warm. It raised £65 which was superb.
Thanks must go to John Anderson and his partner Elaine for organising the trip. Very well done!
Here’s to the next one although, when everyone spreads the news about how good the night was, we might need a double decker bus for the next trip!!