Royal Chelsea Pensioners

Wednesday 23rd July loomed sunny and warm with a frenzy of activies early in the morning at the RAFA club, Waterloo Square. We were all getting prepared to give our friends a right 'royal' welcome.

Once the ballroom had been prepared for lunch, ensuring that Lynn, our caterer, had everything in the kitchen well in hand, we finally relaxed with cool drinks on the balcony eyes peeled for the pensioners' coach which had been slightly delayed due to unforseen circumstances .

Before we could have too many relaxing drinks, the coach appeared and our visitors alighted from their coach in their familiar red coats, and what a pleasure it always is to welcome such a colourful bunch of men.

Photographs were taken by the local press, with lots of hand shaking for the men, and the welcoming committee of RAFA ladies were treated to lots of cuddles.

The bar was the next port of call on the pretence that 'it was so hot in the coach ' and drinks were needed to quench their thirst, was quickly filled with racous laughter.

We finally managed to settle them down to a lunch of steak pie,new potatoes and peas, followed by trifle. Lynn had done us proud. We had to make sure the pensioners eat sufficiently to stop their run of wins over RAFA over the previous three years.

Three o'clock arrived and we were all poised on the green ready for the off. Vistor's mat and away we went. The pensioners proved they were the better team to start of with but with RAFA giving as good as they got, amidst much heckling and bantering from both sides, RAFA slowly edged forward depriving the pensioners of a win for this year.

Once again , at the end of the match, the bar proved a welcome sight, drinks were bought, and we were all very glad to get settled and sat in the ballroom for what looked to be an appetising buffet, and which it proved to be. Speeches were made, gifts exchanged, and goodbyes were said with promises from the pensioners that on our return visit to them next year the 'status quo' of a win to them was on the cards for 2009.