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How Woodcoombe began

Sittingbourne, a market town dealing in livestock, fruit and vegetables.

Builders Taylor Woodrow purchased land in the early sixties in order to build affordable housing surrounded by countryside for young couples many from London.

Taylor Woodrow first developed Fulston Manor and then started developing land off of George Street in the Murston Road area mainly in 1964.

The new estate comprised of WOODberry Drive, COOMBE Drive,  the lower odd numbers in Lansdown Road and Keswick Avenue as illustrated in this 1964 map.

The new residents were surrounded by a Chicken Farm, an orchard and a pig farm, plus a railway line which many of them used to commute to London.

It was on one of these commuter trains that Woodcoombe Football Club  was discussed and became a reality.

The name of course was easily and speedily arrived at.

The story goes that a few men inhabitants of the small estate - first started kicking a ball around over the "Rec", (Rectory Road Park) they then started playing friendlies often against Fulston Manor in September of 1964  and it cost 2/6d (12.1/2p)  to join.

In 1965/66 they joined the Sittingbourne & Sheppey League Division II.

The team comprising of Ray Oddy (the Cat), Barrie Warman, Lawrence Butcher, Pat Smith, John Rees (the Welsh Wizard), Mike Smith, John Roberts, Lawrie Vanlint, Jim Monahan and Alan Prime amongst others.

History - All (please separate year pages for history by year)

Woodcoombe Football Club however did not just comprise of a group of men who wanted to play football; many had wives and children who looked to the club to provide social activities for their families. In 1965  the Club's first Annual Dinner took place at the Bull Public House in the High Street. 'Pop' Clark,  Team Manager, was there to present the raffle prize of a fold up picnic table, and the wind up record player pushed out the music of the sixties. The wine waiter had 'Rusty'  coloured hair, he decided to join the club having moved into Woodberry Drive in October  1964 ; so enters another character who over the years will play a major part in the development of the Club.
Christmas  1965 saw the first Woodcoombe  ' Father Christmas ' out on Christmas morning, I am sure that over the years many a Woodcoombe child looked on Ray Oddy  as the real Santa, the part was created for him!

In 1966  the active members organised the first Children's outing to Minnis Bay.
During 1964,65  and 66 Ray Oddy  was Chairman, a post he held for seven years, Barrie Warman  was the Clubs first Secretary he was replaced by  Mike Smith  in 1966 and Lawrence Butcher was Treasurer until  1967 . The first Annual General Meeting was held at the Prince of Wales Public House on Friday 6 May 1966 , when the first football selection committee of James Monaghan, Peter Wyeth and Patrick Smith was formed. However by 25 November 1966  due to the resignation of James Monaghan, Rusty Burgin and team captains were added to the selection committee.

1967  was a very active year for the Club, on the 7 April the first  Social Committee was formed with  Lawrence Butcher  as secretary and the committee was made up of Rusty Burgin, M. Kenshaw, and John Day . Brian Hubbard became the first Assistant to the Secretary and it was also agreed that year to have three football teams following the interest shown, and the team' s success in their first season when they were Runners-up in the League.
The football season started in  1967  with the first team playing on a Saturday in the Sittingbourne and Sheppey league, now in Division I, with  John Rees  as their Captain, the second Saturday team was in Division III of the Rochester & District League with  Dave Buckingham  as their first Captain. The Sunday Team with Ray Friday  as their captain were playing in the Medway Sunday League in Division III.
There were countless rules about who could play and when, as the Club was very strict that members had to live on the estate. There were constant changes in how the teams were selected as the Club began to find its feet. A circular had been put through alll the doors on the estate inviting everyone to join in the Club's activities. It is interesting that at this time, on the 7th April  1967  the Club' s funds stood at £21.l0s.8d. (£21.54p)  It is also interesting to see that the Club presented its first trophy of recognition to John Rees  and at this time Peter Wyeth  was taking on many tasks in order to arrange the many and enjoyable social activities that took place. (part quote from the Chairman 's A.G.M Report 3rd May 1968).
The wives were always active raising money for the various Club activities, with coffee mornings and jumble sales, bring and buy and anything they could think of. In July  1967  the first Make Bake and Grow Show was held in the garage of Pat Smith's  house at 14 Coombe Drive. Ray Oddy attempted to make a Cherry cake but got it slightly wrong when out of the oven came a pink cake. No record shows whether he won first prize.
The fund raising activities of the Club in the first three years were such that the subscriptions remained low In 1965  they were ten shillings (50p) plus 2/6d (12.1/2p)  match fee. In May  1968  they had risen to £1 and match fees were 3/- (15p) .

In 1968  the committee agreed to apply to the Rochchester and District League for admittance of the 1st Saturday team to replace the 2nd Saturday team with the latter dropping two divisions, It is at the beginning of 1969  that we begin to see the Club opening its "doors" to players from off the estate; a minimal number had only been allowed in the previous year.

By 1969  the Club was growing by leaps and bounds with three football teams and an active social calendar. At the  A.G.M.  held at Murston School Hall on the 12 June 1969 Ray Oddy was re-elected Chairman,  Peter McCarey  General Secretary, Rusty Burgin  Assistant Secretary, and  Peter Wyeth  Social Secretary. There was a vote between Eddie Pilgrim  and Colin Gunn  for the position of Treasurer, which Colin  won; however Eddie was elected on to the social committee . Lawrie Vanlint  was elected Press Secretary, and a newsletter was discussed.
Looking at the first years of  Woodcoombe  we may wonder how a Club with no base kept going. A Club with a great heart was born and kept going because of the enthusiasm and determination of its members; some members showing shining personalities and great leadership abilities, to date we have met some well known members even on today' s standing. Members such as  Ray Oddy, John Rees, Peter Wyeth, Rusty Burgin, Colin Gunn, Eddie Pilgrim set examples for other members to follow, and they still do.
In  1969  the Club was busy expanding and the  Social Committee with  Peter Wyeth as its Secretary showed a balance of £80 in the social account, a lot of money in those days. Ray Oddy was still in the Chair and  Peter McCarey  General Secretary, his assistant was Rusty Burgin and the Treasurer was Colin Gunn . There were two Saturday teams and a Sunday football team, a large majority of the membership still lived in Woodberry Drive, Coombe Drive, Lansdown Road, and Keswick Avenue. In September the first set of Club Rules were agreed.
Geoff Marriott  recalls that in September 1969 the Club borrowed Woodstock's cricket gear( thanks to  Peter Wyeth ) to play a friendly Cricket Match against the Blue Circle team, this was the first time that the Club Members had "tea" in the  A.P.C.M. Clubhouse, now of course our Clubhouse.  Apart from  Geoff, Dick Shrubsall  played for Blue Circle, and Peter Wyeth, Rod Croucher and Brian Bootes  were some of the Woodcoombe  players. From this game Woodcoombe Cricket Club was evolved.

In 1970  the Club erected a notice board at the end of Coombe/Woodberry Drive and In  1971  the first 5 a-side Football Teams were organised by Bruce Anderson.  The Club entered three teams in a Sittingbourne competition and two in a Teynham competition.
Unfortunately the Club records for  1970  are missing but undoubtedly many social events took place at this time the Christmas dance for example took place at Bowater's Gillingham where the first  Miss Woodcoombe  was selected, there was a bonfire party, there were also raffles for Wembley tickets. The fund raising " Instant Jackpot" which had been used for obvious reasons was added to in 1971  with the first Grand Christmas Draw. (This draw actually made a profit of £35.) } It was also in 1971  that the Club took out its first Public Liability Insurance costing £5, this was for Bonfire night. A visit to "Showboat" by members at the end of 1971  and a Children's outing, showing the continued versatility of the membership.
Junior Football  was first discussed in March 1971 , and also that year a Dinner & Dance was held in Gillingham at a cost of thirty bob (£1.50) , there was also a theatre trip to see "No Sex Please We're British". A trip to London and Heathrow took place at a cost of five bob (25p) per person.

An interesting development in April 1972  was that Woodcoombe Football Club discussed the possibility of making a loan of £15 to the Cricket Section as a gift, it was at this time that it was noted by Football that Cricket intended opening it's own Bank Account, there was of course much discussion but agreement was reached that the section would hold an account at the National Westminster Bank like Football, with the Treasurer of Football being one of the three signatories. This led to an amendment of Club Rules to cover sections of the Club.
In 1972  the Sportsman of the Year was  Micky Scott , and at this point in the Club's history it was agreed that a new cup be purchased and presented by the Chairman to a member for services to the Club rather than for sporting ability, this was called The Burgin Cup.  It was at this time that Brian Bartlett was asked to purchase replicas of Cups and deal with the necessary engraving which he is still doing in the year 2005 .
On 8th August 1972  it was agreed that each committee member would deliver circulars and correspondence etc. to an allocated area, it was also agreed at that meeting that  Ken Austin would attempt to organize a Junior Football team for member's children.  Peter Wyeth and  Rusty Burgin  agreed to assist with training the youngsters on Saturday mornings. Other matters discussed at that meeting were bonfire night, Father Christmas for Christmas morning, the erection of the Club's Christmas tree in  Dave Barrow's  garden,with the cost of lighting to be found by the club, the Christmas Dance, football and cricket and the lack of support for the trip to the Beer Festival. All monthly committee meetings were long and with very diverse topics to discuss. A couple of meetings later the Christmas Panto outing was also discussed and booked. It is noted that later in the year there was a special meeting for the Christmas Dance. To be a committee member of Woodcoombe at this time meant total devotion to the Club.

On the 18 May 1973  at the Annual General Meeting  the Chairman Rusty Burgin  expressed disappointment at the Football season results and congratulated the  Cricket Section  for completing a highly successful season. The Club was also congratulated as a whole by the Chairman for completing what he termed  "its most successful year".  The committee at this time like those in the past was a very strong one comprising of Rusty Burgin  - Chairman, Ken Austin  General - Secretary, Colin Gunn - Treasurer, Bruce Anderson  - Football Secretary,  Brian Bootes - Cricket Secretary, with committee members  Michael Lidstone, Ray Oddy, Peter Wyeth, and Brian Bartlett.
The A.G.M.  of 1973  was a very important milestone in the history of the Club an amendment to the Club Rules was put forward by the committee based on a proposal received from  Colin Gunn  and seconded by Peter Wyeth , this stated:  "The Structure of the Club to be revised to bring existing sections into unison and to cater for future sections to have representation on a  Main Committee "  . New Rules were presented to the meeting and agreed.
The basis of the amendments was that the Club changed it' s name from  Woodcoombe Football Club to Woodcoombe Sports & Social Club ,  by doing this all sections were given equal status and new sections could be formed. In fact the volleyball section was then officially formed, and efforts were made to form a table tennis section.
The structure of the  " Main Club" Committee  then changed with elected members plus a representative from each section. With the football section committee dealing with football, the cricket section with cricket and volleyball with volleyball etc, this lightened the long agendas of previous committee meetings and was therefore all round much more productive. It also involved more Club members in the decision making as to where their own sport would be going.
In  1973  the Cricket Section  saw their introduction to League Cricket on a Saturday, they played 29 matches, winning 9, drawing 4 and losing 16 but as Keith Drury the Secretary reported the weather had been glorious and they had all enjoyed themselves. The section ran a very profitable 100 Club and had a very healthy bank balance. The successful committee comprised of  Dave Barrows  Chairman, Steve Harrison  - Treasurer, Keith Drury - Secretary, Colin Swift - Club Captain, Les Cousins , and  Alan Appleby . The team had done well in the Doug Wood Cup.
In November 1973  the "Antao Cup" was presented to the Club and the committee agreed that this would be presented to the Club Personality of the year at the next Dinner Dance - the winner that first year was  Marion Gunn  - also at that time the Club was looking at participation in the Sittingbourne Carnival and the local " It 's A Knock-Out ".  It was also the first year that the Club sent Christmas Cards to all of its Members.
The Volleyball Section represented Sittingbourne in the Annual Festival of Sport with  Colin Gunn  as the organizer. An attempt by Coombe Ladies Netball team to join the Club failed, and also in  1973  the formation of the Junior Football Section was a welcome addition to the Club.
Another landmark for 1973 was the purchase of a Gestetner duplicator and the production of a periodical newsletter thanks to Editors  Brian Bartlett and Dave Barrows . As you have read 1973/74  was a landmark year in the history of the Club, it was the year that Woodcoombe Sports and Social Club was born with all of it's sections joining under that banner.
A Club Badge had been introduced; Membership Cards and the production of the Newsletter, and Jock Weir became our first Honorary Member. Serious thought was given to acquiring our own premises and approaches were made to various local farmers and landowners to donate or sell a plot of land to the club for use as a sports ground facility, a pursuit that would continue for many years.
Football had reasonable success with the Saturday 1st X1 playing in the Rochester League Division 2 and finishing in the top half, they did reach the final of the Sittingbourne Charity Cup ( Peter Sheaf  played in every match during that season). The 2nd X1 played in Rochester Division 6 but never really heard the starting pistol, the Sunday X1 finished in the top half of the Medway Sunday League.
Football had seen its largest membership ever and great encouragement was seen with the number of youngster wishing to join the section, which boded well for the future. Football also saw the highest number of injuries ever,  Rusty Burgin  and Bob Miller both broke legs,  Stuart Withal ,  Dave Barrows and  Bryan King  also received hospital treatment; committee thoughts then turned to insurance cover, which is no surprise.
Many footballers of course played cricket and as the season ended the 6th and 7th July saw yet another new venture a weekend away playing cricket at Bexhill/Hastings and at Rolvenden.
In the meantime the Main Club Committee were arranging a Dinner Dance at the Coniston Hotel with The National 4 Band at a cost of £2.50 per head, £1.25 for those wishing to only attend the dance, such was the interest that 350 tickets were printed.
There was also a Games Evening arranged by Colin Gunn against the London Fire Brigade, there was a coach trip to a 'Carry On'  in London, and  Peter Wyeth was busy organising a disco at the Labour Hall, Park Road. Unfortunately the disco didn't turn up and Ken Austin  came to the rescue with his 'gramaphone' and many thought a few too many Max Bygraves records!!

The 1974  committee was not one to sit back as arrangements were made for the Club's entry in the Sittingbourne Carnival, theme of course being sports and social activities; other members were arranging the sports day at the Hollow (Murston Primary School sports field) whilst others had their minds on the bonfire evening , which was held at the A.P.C.M. site. There were discos, women's coffee evenings, tuesday nights to play volleyball at the Rowena Sports Centre - no time at all to get bored, and Dave Barrows  was writing a newsletter every six weeks to keep up with the information for members. Father Christmas was once again out visiting member's children on Christmas morning, sack in hand.
The committee comprised of  Rusty Burgin , Chairman, Ken Austin  Secretary, Colin Gunn Treasurer,  Brian Bartlett, Ray Oddy, Les Cousins, Fred Garwood, Dave Barrows, Mick Lidstone  Membership, Lawrie Vanlint - what an active committee they were. By the end of 1974 Colin  was able to report £200 in the bank and 450 tickets had been sold for the Christmas Raffle.

1975  Started with 80 members off to see the ' Aladdin Ice Show  'at Wembley followed by 77 members going to a show in Drury Lane. A social evening was held at the fire station and a Stag Night held at Kemsley Concert Hall. A point of interest is that on 17 March the committee agreed to no longer send flowers to new mothers but Boots or Mother care vouchers to the value of £2.
On 10th May the first function known as "The Annual Presentation Dinner and Dance" took place. Tickets cost £3 or £2.75 for members; there were also tickets for the dance only. Everything was well organised down to the table seating plan and placement cards. The guests were Mr and Mrs Jock Weir.
It was no surprise that at the Annual General Meeting the same committee was elected with the addition of Peter Wyeth  and Roy Jackson , but to spread the work it was agreed that certain members take on specific tasks:  Bruce Anderson  became the Newsletter Editor, Roy Jackson the Publicity Officer, the booking of Social Events fell to Ray Oddy  and the promotion of the Junior Members wishing to play football went to Brian Bartlett . It was once again agreed that Mick Lidstone  looked after membership.
The successful 100 Club run by cricket for fund raising was amalgamated with the volleyball fund raising and became the 1000 Club to be run by the Main Club. In December Ron Smith  was pleased to report 330 members in this fund raising effort.
In the three months from May the Club sought to lease land from Doubleday at Hempstead Lane, Bapchild and Blackett's farm. Members were always on the look out for land to rent or buy.
Brian Bartlett's Under 14 team won their first match 10-0 in the Swale League, but it transpired that unfortunately the team was not registered leading to a fine of £6, yes maybe not quite the start  Brian  wanted but showing their absolute faith the committee agreed to foot a bill for £40 for kit for the youngsters, money well invested.
Records show that the Christmas Draw made a profit of £47.53, the Christmas parties an expected loss of £105.17, but the kids enjoyed themselves and so did the parents, the bonfire made a loss of £1.75 and the November dance a profit of £60.78. Add to this Father Christmas house calls and the continued representation of the Club on the football pitch, once again another hectic year came to a close. 1975  was the year Jock Weir presented the Rose Bowl to the Club, it was agreed this would be held by the Chairman and engraved with his name, such is the perseverance of the holders of this office that up to (2004) only four names appear on it.
In 1975    the   Football    team   represented   Sittingbourne   at   the Festival  of  Sport, and  to  celebrate  10  years  in  the  League  a  football match  was  played  between  the   Rusty  Burgin committee team  and  the   Ray  Oddy  1965   team.  Also  in  1975   a  long association  with  the  Peter  Elligate  Entertainment  Agency  began.

In 1976   the  Club  continued  its  many  social  functions  which  were well  supported.  Investigations  into  land  at  Woodstock  Road,  Tonge  Road, the  use  of  the  Conservative  Club  and  an  approach  to  the  A.P.C.M.  were negative  plus  46  circulars  were  sent  out  and  only  5  replies  received.
On 16  February  it  was  agreed  by  the  committee  that  the  100  Club  run by Les  Cousins   for  Cricket  and  Volleyball  would become  the  1000  Club  to  be  run  by  the  Main  Club,  Ron  Smith  then  took  overall  control  of  the  organisation  of  the  new  Club,  with the  help  of  Keith  Drury . The  Club  collected  money from  it's  members  each  month  and  several  prizes  were  drawn,  profit would  then  go  into  the  Club's  funds.  The  1000  Club  collectors  usually collected  from  their  own  road  and  maybe  adjoining  roads.
At the  A.G.M.  held  on  21  May  1976   at  Murston  Welfare  Hall,  amendments were  passed  to  Rule  6  and  extra  committee  members  were  elected.  The committee  saw  several  changes  and  comprised    Chairman:   Rusty  Burgin , General  Secretary:  Colin  Gunn , Treasurer:  Bruce Anderson : Vice  Chairman:  Ray  Oddy ,   Membership Secretary:     Keith  Baldock ,    1000  Club  Secretary:  Ron  Smith ,    Brian  Sherwood,  Brian  Roalf,   Football:   Eddie  Pilgrim,    Cricket: Max  Batchelor , Volleyball:  Fred  Garwood
The youth  were  represented  with  three  teams  U.12, U. 14  and  U.15,  at  first Ron  Smith helped  Brian  Bartlett and Dave  Burrows was  there  to  help.  In  September at  the  Junior  Festival  of  Sport  the  5 a-side  team  came  third.
At the  presentation  dinner  the   Club  Personality  Award   was  once  again  presented  to Marion Gunn and Dave  Burrows  received  the  Burgin Cup   which  is  the  Chairman's  Award.
In April   Steve  Harrison and  Keith  Drury resigned  as  the  Clubs'  Cricket  Captains  due  to  work  commitments and  were  replaced  by   Roy  Jackson and  Ken  Austin . On  29  October  Roy became  the overall  Club  Captain  and  a  new  Chairman  Mark  Whitwood was elected,  Secretary:  Ken  Austin,     Team  Secretary   Eddie  Pilgrim , and  Treasurer  once  again  Mrs.  Whitwood . Dave Barrows was  the  Club's  Cricketer  of  the  Year.
In September  the  Club  suffered  a  great  loss  when   Ron  Smith unexpectedly died,  a  Memorial  Trophy  was  presented  to  Sittingbourne  5 a-side  league by  the  Club  in  Ron's  memory.    Eve  Smith ,  Ron's  wife,  said  she would  like  to  take  over  the  1000  Club  which  she  eventually  did.
In November  a  proposal  by  Keith  Baldock seconded    Eddie  Pilgrim saw  the  Club  open  it's  first deposit  account  with  Nat.  West  Bank  with  a  £500   deposit.  At  the  same time  Keith as Membership  Secretary  reported  142  full  members.
Over the  year  knew  names  had  appeared  some  of  whom  would  eventually  become officers  of  the  Club,  namely  Keith  Baldock,  Brian  Sherwood ,  and   Peter  Scales who  was  the  volleyball  rep.  agreed   at the  meeting  on  4  October  to  become  the  minutes  taker.   Also  on  13 September  it  is  shown  that  another  future  officer  joined  the  Club  when Sandra  Tapp moved  into  Coombe  Drive.

The early  months  of  any  year  are  usually  cold  and  dismal  so   1977  started  with  a  Men's  Stag  Night  and  a  Ladies  Hen  Night.  The   cricket  section   were  trying  to  hatch  a  deal  with  Swale  Borough Council  whereby  a  licence  for  the  Rectory  Playing  field  for  364  days at  £10  would  develop,  the  Council  to  cut  the  outfield  and  the  Club to  look  after  the  wicket,  but  unfortunately  when  the  Council  came  back with  an  offer  it  was  a  definite  “No  No”,  still  efforts  in  all  directions continued  and  the  A.P.C.M.  at  this  stage  were  also  considering  our request  for  land.
On 26  April   1977  information  was  reported  to  be  on  it's  way  from the  London  Gardener's  Society  to  enable  the  formation  of  a  Horticultural Section,  with  all  the  houses  having  gardens  on  the  estate  this  first step  would  eventually  lead  to  the  formation  of  the  Gardening  Section  several  years  later.
A Charity  Football  match  was  held  on  8  May  at  Sittingbourne  Football ground  to  the  rear  of  the  High  Street  (this  ground  became  the  market and  then  Sainsbury's  Supermarket),  the  aim  of  the  match  was  to  raise funds  for  Ron  Smith's widow  Eve.   There  was  a  special committee  of  referees  formed  by  Richard  Shrubshall   and  Rusty Burgin,  Colin  Gunn and  Ray  Oddy joined this  committee.   It  was  Colin's task  to  deal  with  the  distribution  of  3,000  programmes at  a  cost  of  25p  for  adults  and  10p  for  children,  Radio  Kent  and the  East  Kent  Gazette  helped  with  advertising  and  John  Roberts donated  £10  which  was  used  to  purchase  the  match  ball.  The  guests were  looked  after  by  Jock  Weir ,  and  Pam  Turner and   Gladys  Day    were  on  hand  for  “tea  making”.   Noted  is  a  plea  from Colin  Gunn for  volunteers  to  man  the  turnstiles! Also  a  committee  proposal  “That  the  Club  buys  a  maximum  of  two bottles  of  champagne  for  football  players  and  officials”   was  agreed. The  very  successful  event  raised  £276.49  for   Eve  Smith and entertained  many  of  the  townspeople  as well as  Club  Members.
The Woodcoombe  Team was  represented  by  the  following  squad:
GOALKEEPERS: Ray, THE  CAT  Oddy , John  Hartridge , FLASHY  DRESSER  ON AND  OFF  THE  FIELD,  and  Special  Guest  Alan  Hogkinson , ex England  &  Sheffield  United.
MIDFIELD: Dave  Barrows ,  DEFT  TOUCH  WAS  UNCONFIRMED  BY  WIFE, Peter ‘WILL  OF  THE  WISP' Wyeth,  Brian BartlettT  FAMED  DEFENDER,  ALAS  ALL  RECORDS  OF  THIS  DESTROYED  IN  THE  1914-1918 WAR, and  Special  Guest  Gerry  Summers the Gillingham  Manager  and  Ex  West  Bromwich  Albion  star.
REFEREE: “Bionic  Dick”  Robert  Shrubsall supported  by  Linesmen  Alan  Truss and  Dave Baker,  proven  fact  that  none  of  these  three  really  knew  the  rules.
When Brian  Bartlett took  his  first  Youth  Team  onto  the playing  field  in  1975   he  could  not  have  foreseen  how  things would  develop  for  the  young  footballers  in  the  Club,   Ron  Smith  and   Dave  Barrows and  other  parents  were  a  great  help to  him  and  at  the  end  of  the  1976/77   season  the  U.12,  U.14 and  U.16  teams  had  all  done  very  well  in  their  leagues,  the  U.12 team  had  pulled  off  the  double  and  Brian  must  have  been  the  proudest man  around!  To  celebrate  the  success  story  2  tickets  were  purchased for  the  Cup  Final  and  all  the  boys'  names  were  put  in  a  hat,  the winner  was   Peter  Richardson .
On 3  May  1977   the  Youth  Section  was  properly  formed  in  that  it had  a  committee  to  run  it  instead  of  the  overworked  Brian  Bartlett and  his  managers.  The  committee  was:  Chairman  Rusty  Burgin,  Secretary  Tony  Rees,   Treasurer  Brian  Bartlett,   plus  M. Phillips,  I. Denman,  R.  Clarke,  G.  Ratton  and   J.  Williams . The  committee's  first  aim  was  to  encourage  the  parents  to  join  the Club  and  their  other  main  intention  was  to  ensure  that  all  the  boys got  to  play,  they  introduced  a  membership  fee  of  20p  if  parents  were members  and  50p  if  the  boys'  parents  were  not  Club  Members.
The Club's  Dinner  and  Dance  that  year  saw  142  members  at  the  dinner  and about  300  attending  the  dance,  the  guests  were  Jock  Weir  and Mr.  Wilson  from  the  Kent  Playing  Fields  Association.  The  cost  was  £1.25 for  the  dance  only  and  this  is  what  members  who  paid  £3.50  for  dinner enjoyed:
Asparagus Soup
Roast Beef  and  Yorkshire  Pudding
Roast and  Creamed  Potatoes
Braised carrots  and  peas
Peach Melba
Cheese and  Biscuits
The Club  Personality  was  Bill  Stephens.
The Chairman's  Award,  Burgin  Cup  was  presented  to  Eddie  Pilgrim.
At the  A.G.M.  in  May  1977   something  happened  which  would  not  be allowed  to  happen  in  future  years  when  all  three  officers  of  the  Club stood  down  and  3  new  officers  elected,  they  were:  Chairman   Eddie Pilgrim,   General  Secretary   Keith  Baldock     Treasurer  Peter Scales. Ray  Oddy   returned  as  Vice Chairman,  and  Rodney  Clark   Membership  Secretary,  plus  of  course a  representative  from  each  section .
The first  thing  the  new  committee  did  was  to  write  to  the  A.P.C.M.,  Strutt &  Parker,  Sterling  Homes  and  R.  Neames  stating  that  although  there had  been  a  committee  change  the  Club  was  still  very  interested  in finding  property.
The second  thing  that  happened  was  that  the  Chairman   Eddie  Pilgrim asked  for  clarification  as  to  how  profits  from  the  sections  was used.  The  Rule  Book  under  Rule  28H  “Profit  or  Surplus  of  a  Section was  discussed,  this  reads:  “This  will  be  retained  by  the  Main  Club Treasurer  for  preferential  use  within  the  Section,  but  will  be  reviewed annually  by  the   Main  Club Committee,   who  may decide  to  cut  down  or  stop  for  the  time  being  the  grant  or  grants from  the  Main  Club  funds.   The  Main Club Committee   may  also  decide  to  reduce  the  amount  held  by  any  Section”.    Keith Baldock  asked  if  Rule  Books  should  be  issued  to  all members  and  it  was  agreed  that  this  would  depend  on  cost.
On 7  July  the  new  Treasurer   Peter  Scales issued  guidelines to  Sections  on  how  funds,  budgets  and  accounts  should  be  kept.  The Receipts  and  Payments  Account  first  appeared  at  Main  Club  Committee meetings  and  the  same  format  has  remained  in  existence  ever  since.
The new  committee  also  decided  to  put  on  suspension  the  Volleyball  Section as  it  had  been  dormant  for  12  months,  and  the  1000  Club  would  be canvassed  on  the  newsletter,  it  stood  at  205  but  had  been  330,  this was  to  drop  to  157  by  December.  They  were  also  concerned  about  sportsman representing  the  Club  who  were  not  Club  Members,  and  it  was  agreed under  Club  Rules  12  and  14  that  the  committee  should  introduce  pro-tem the  following  rule:  “That  only  Club  Members  who  have  paid  their  Main Club  Membership  fee   and  Section  fee  to  which  they  may  belong,  can  vote  at  the  Club's  A.G.M.  E.G.M.  or  the  Section's  A.G.M.  or  E.G.M.”
The cricketers  lost  by  7  runs  in  the  final  of  the  Evening  League  to  Stevadors and  the  U.16  Cricketers  acquitted  themselves  well  in  a  tournament  at Faversham.   All  the  Members  were  enjoying  social  events,  Chicken  & Chip  disco  then  a  Sight-seeing  trip  to  London  by  53  of  them,  followed by  44  members  going  to  Margate  at  a  cost  of  £2.75  including  transport supper  and  show,  a  Car  Rally  organised  by   Peter  Scales   and   Roy  Jackson,   at  the  cost  of  50p  per  car,  there  was  an  inter-club tournament  in  November  with  a  social  evening,  and  December  the  now customary  Children's  party,  dance  and  Santa  House  Calls  on  Christmas day.

1978   saw  lots  of  trips  out  including  three  trips  to  France  one  being  for Ladies  only,  on  this  particular  trip  there  was  a  very  overloaded  boat on  the  way  back  so  the  ladies  were  sitting  on  the  floor  in  the  aisles, they  thought  they  had  lost  4  of  their  group  but  it  turned  out  they had  gone  home  on  an  earlier  boat  and  not  told  anyone,  still  on  that particular  trip  no  shoes  got  lost!
There was  a  trip  to  the  Rhonda  Valley  by  the  footballers,  a  coach  trip to  Woburn  Safari  Park  for  the  children,  a  summer  show  at  Margate, a  successful  car  rally  and  a  Beer  Race.
The beer  race  was  held  on  19  July  and  started  and  ended  at  the  APCM when  a  pint  had  to  be  drunk,  at  the  other  EIGHT  pubs  en  route  only half  a  pint  was  necessary,  the  race  took  the  men,  of  course,  to  the Prince  of  Wales,  The  Wheatsheaf,  The  Ship,  The  George,  The  Golden  Eagle, The  Globe  and  Engine  and  to  The  New  Inn,  all  finishers  were  considered winners!
On the  sports  side   Cricket   had  an  enjoyable season,  Dave  Mosse   was  Cricketer  of  the  Year.  Football  seemed to  suffer  problems  with  it's  members  and  there  were  some  disputes which  eventually  led  to  the  dropping  of  one  of  the  teams  from  the Rochester  and  District  League  which  left  the  Club  with  a  squad  of about  18  players  who  were  all  given  the  opportunity  to  play.  Youth continued  to  flourish  with  the  Under  14  team  managed  by   Dave  Matthews bringing  home  the  silverware  again  and  not  losing  a  league  match.   Eve  Smith   and   Pat  Bartlett started  running  a  girl's netball  team  which  was  a  new  venture.
At the   Annual  General  Meeting   on  the  9  May  at  Murston Welfare  Hall  there  were  a  lot  of  Rule  Changes,  and  the  elections  plus the  elections  within  the  sections  resulted  in  the  following  committee: Chairman   Eddie  Pilgrim, General  Secretary  Keith Baldock,   Treasurer  Peter  Scales ,  Vice  Chairman  Brain  Roalf,  plus  Ray  Oddy,  Tony  Rees,  Roy  Jackson,  Ernie  Pope,  Mike  Beney,  Eve Smith   and  Malcolm  Phillips   who  in  December  was  replaced  by Sandra  Tapp.
There were  several  discos  but  the  one  on  7  October  at  Lansdown  School  was a  bit  different  when  the  Club  decided  to  run  it's  own  bar.   Colin Gunn loaned  the  Club  50  pint  sized  glasses  and  6   optics,  Keith  Baldock loaned  50  pint  size  glasses and  after  discussion  and  investigations  on  the  hiring  of  other  glasses it  was  decided  that  the  club  buy  another  120.  Ray  Oddy  did query  why  the Club  had  purchased  so  much  alcohol  but  the  Treasurer  Peter  Scales was  unconcerned.  The  disco  was  a  great success  and  Mr  Dyble  the  Headmaster  was  very  happy,  so  a  further  similar disco  was  held  on  30  December  but  this  one  was  an  “all  inclusive” at  a  cost  of  £2.50!!
The Annual  Dinner  and  Dance  took  place  in  May  with  a  decline  in  the  number attending  the  dinner  but  the  dance  was  still  well  supported.   The  Club  Personality  of  the  Year   was    John  Rees and  the  Burgin Cup  was  presented  by  the  Chairman  Eddie  Pilgrim to   Keith  Baldock .
A Supper  Dance  was  held  on  24  November  with  the  Hi  Fi  Band  and  the Christmas  celebrations  continued  with  the  Childrens'  Christmas  party,   Mrs  W  Stevens again  providing  wonderful  cakes, and  on  Christmas  morning  two  Santas  set  forth  with  the  gifts  for  the children.
The planned  Interclub  Tournament  had  to  be  cancelled  as  no  facility  could be  found  to  hold  it,  highlighting  the  lack  of  the  Club's  own  Clubhouse, although  the  hunt  for  land  had  continued  all  year  with  members  exploring all  avenues.
At the  end  of  December  1978   the  Club  had  £1,114.21  in  the  bank, 135  members  and  4  honorary  and  the  1000  Club  stood  at  150  shares.

1979 was  once  again  full  of  social  activities  there  was  some  progress  with the  land,  the  Gardening  Section  was formed,  and  at  the  end  of  the  year  a  conflict  between  some  of  the sections  and  the  Main  Club  Committee,  this  showed that  disagreements  could  happen,  and  did,  which  is  really  a  healthy sign  as  the  members  were  always  determined  to  work  things  out  for the  good  of  the  Club  as  a  whole.
The “all  inclusive”  discos  in  March,  July  and  October  at  £3.50  continued to  be  a  success  and  the  Main  Committee  ran  a  bar  for  the  Cricket Section  and  also  for  Sittingbourne  Swimming  Club.  There  was a  stag  trip  to  France  a  coach  trip  for  the  children  to  Heathrow  Airport and  then  on  to  Windsor  Castle,  50  members  had  a  great  time  when  they went  to  see  Rod  Hull  and  Emu  at  Margate,  and  the  Car  Rally at  £1  per  car  once  again  took  place  in  September  thanks  to  Peter  and  Maggie  Scales.    At  the  last  minute  Stevie Lock  entered  a  Woodcoombe  team  in  the  Beer Race  in  aid  of  the  Christmas  Lights  which  had  been  organised  by  Colin  Gunn  and  the  A.P.C.M.
The Presentation  Dance  came  under  criticism  as  the  presentation  part  was too  long  with  all  the  sections  involved  in  presenting  trophies  as  well as  the  Main  Club  trophies.  The  Burgin  Cup  was  presented  by  the  Chairman  to:  Peter  Scales and  the  Club  Personality  of  the  Year  was Bob  Parry.  A  new  trophy  for  Lady  of  the  Year  was  presented  to  the  Club  by  Wendy  Roberts  and was  won  by  Margaret  Scales.
It is  interesting  to  see  what  Committee  members  at  the  time  were  expected to  do,  and  following  requests  for  this  information  the  General  Secretary, Keith  Baldock,  in  his  A.G.M.  report  set  the  information  out:  “He or  She  is  expected  to  attend  possibly  twelve  meetings  a  year  where decisions  effecting  the  Club  as  a  whole  are  taken,  help  where  necessary at  dances  and  discos,  look  after  the  interests  of  approximately  20 members  i.e.  deliver  newsletters,  sell  tickets  for  functions  etc.,  listen to  praise  and  criticism,  so  helping  us  to  correct  mistakes  we  may make.  A  Section  Representative  apart  from  being  involved  with  the  section and  it's  committee,  has  the  added  responsibility  of  giving  a  monthly report  to  the  Main  Club  Committee  on  how  his or  her  section  is  fairing.”
At the  A.G.M.  Messrs  Pilgrim,  Baldock  and  Scales   were  re-elected  as  Club  Officers,  Mrs  Sylvia  Baldock  became  1000  Club  Secretary  and  others  elected  were  Mike  Beney, Bob  Parry,  Brian  Roalf,  Mike  Ingram  and  Sandra  Tapp.   Membership stood  at  146  plus  4  honorary,  there  was  £1,525.21  in  the  bank  and the  1000  Club  stood  at  124  shares,  this  was  very  low.  Once  again Rule  Changes  were  made,  these  had  been  discussed  at  great  length  by the  Committee  prior  to  the  Annual  General  Meeting.
On 26  June  1979  Eddie  Pilgrim  at  a  committee meeting  with  the  section  representatives  present  said  that  he  felt  it was  the  right  time  to  approach  the  Council  with  reference  to  the  leasing of  Rectory  Playing  Fields  or  Murston  Playing  Fields;  it  was  agreed to  act  on  Murston  Playing  Fields  and  the  General  Secretary  Keith Baldock    wrote  to  Swale  District  Council  with  copies to  our  Councillors  and  Roger  Moate  MP.   Approaches  were  also  made  to Messrs  Doubleday,  Boucher,  Gasgoine  and  Jennings.   On  29  August  there was  informal  meeting  between  the  Club's  Officers  Councillors  and  the Chief  Executive  of  Swale  Borough  Council  which  resulted  in  the  possible agreement  to  a  lease  if  the  legal  problems  could  be  overcome.  A  glimmer of  hope?
The Youth  Section  continued  to  flourish  with  the  U.16  team  winning  the Cup  final  and  finishing  the  season  top  of  the  league,  the  U.14  team finished  runners-up  and  the  U.12  team  were  high  up  in  the  league  table; the  girls  had  done  well  with  their  netball  and  learnt  a  lot  and  Pat Bartlett  and  Eve  Smith  hoped  to  take  them  into  a  league in  1980.  The  U.14  and  U.16  teams  were  also  off  to  Wales  for  friendlies.  Keith  Baldock  and  Eddie  Pilgrim  started  taking the  U.10  youngsters  over  the  park  on  a  Sunday  morning,  although  nothing to  do  with  the  youth  section  at  the  time,  they  were  given  a  grant to  buy  armbands  so  the  youngsters  could  distinguish  who  was  playing for  which  team.
Cricket reported  how  impressed  they  had  been  with  the  performances  of  Roy Horne  and  Brian  Eustace  with  bat  and  ball,  they  had  introduced younger  players  and  had  found  a  fine  wicket  keeper  in  the  form  of Shaun  Burgin  and  a  prospective  future  captain in  Paul  Jackson.  The  section  continued  to  enjoy  all  it's  activities. Cricketer  of  the  year  was  Michael  Hawkins.  
The Gardening  Section  was  formed  on  2  September  1979  with  19  members,  Ray  Oddy  was  Chairman,  Monica  Baker  Secretary,  and  Dave  Ristow  Treasurer.
The Minutes  of  the  Main  Club  Committee  meeting  on  the  19  November  show some  conflicts  within  the  Club.  The  Football  Section  representative  during the  1978/79  season  had  been  Glen  Byrne  but no  messages  were  passed  on  to  him  after  the  start  of  the  1979/80 season  as  notification  was  given  to  Bob  Murphy,  consequently  a representative  did  not  attend  any  meetings  after  March  and  a  letter from  the  Main  Club  Chairman  Eddie  Pilgrim  to  the Chairman  of  the  Football  Section  Ernie Pope  was  sent  in  November.  In  his  apologetic  reply  Ernie Pope  questioned  whether  95%  of  the  members  of  the  Football Section  were  not  members  of  the  Main  Club  and  the  General  Secretary was  asked  for  a  list  of  names,  John  Rees  the  Treasurer of  the  Football  Section,  attended  the meeting  in  December  to  clarify  the  situation.
Also at the meeting  the  Cricket  Section's  request  for  a  fund  raising  disco in  March  1980  was  turned  down  by  the  Main  Committee  under  Rule 29,  and  the  General  Secretary  wrote  to  all  the  Sections  on  the  27 November  pointing  out  that  Social  Functions  of  the  Club  shall  remain the  sole  responsibility  of  the  Main  Club  Committee as  laid  down  in  Club  Rules,  on  request  consideration  would  be  given by  the  committee  to  one  social  function  a year  for  fund  raising  or as  a  Presentation  Evening,  efforts  being  made  to  avoid  the  chosen  date with  Main  Club  functions.  
On the 12 December  a  conflict  between  the  Main  Club  Committee and  the  sections  on  social  events  was  discussed  at  great  length.  A proposal  by  Peter  Scales seconded  Eve  Smith to  hold  an  E.G.M. were  agreed,  the  Chairman  Eddie  Pilgrim had  stated  that  he  could  see  the  problems  the  Sections  had  with fund  raising  but  it  was  the  duty  of  the  Main  Club Committee  to  run  the  Club  for  the  membership  as  a  whole  and  re-iterated Rule  29.   However,  after  the   meeting   Sandra  Tapp  wrote to  the  Chairman  pointing  out  that  four  Club  Rules  were  being  questioned and  the  committee  was  not  fulfilling  it's  function,  in  January  1980 the  E.G.M.  was  unanimously  deferred,  and  the  officers  of  the  sections were  invited  to  discuss  with  the  Main  Club  committee  methods  of  fund raising,  this  meeting  took  place  on  13  February  1980.
1979  saw  the  search  for  land  continue.  In   May  the  Club's  Officers  Eddie Pilgrim,  Keith  Baldock  and  Peter  Scales    had  an on  site  meeting  with  E. Brown  and  two  officers  from  the  Council's  Technical Department  re:  Rectory  Playing  Fields  Pavilion.  It  was  learned  that only  £2,700  was  available  for  repairs  and  this  was  not  enough,  an outline  for  a  new  pavilion  was  represented  costing  between  £20,000  and £30,000,  the  Council  officials  thoughts  were  that  such  a  plan  would take  2  to  3  years  if  ever,  but  the  plans  would  be  presented  to  the full  council.
In December  1979  the  Club's  membership  stood  at  147,  there  was  £1,258.73p in  the  bank  and  since  May  the  1000  Club,  the  main  Club  fund  raiser had  increased  it's  shares  from  124  to  147. The  Christmas  Dance  at  £2 per  head  including  Chicken  and  Chips  supper  was  supported  by  200 members and  their  friends  and  was  very  successful.

1980  showed  a  hint  of  the  Welsh  with  visitors  from  Wattstown  in  the  Rhondda Valley  coming  to  Sittingbourne  and  for  a  change  being  beaten  by  the Seniors,  whilst  the  Under  14  and  Under  16  Juniors  spent  a  weekend in  Wales  which  all  the  boys  enjoyed  tremendously.
The Youth  Section   had  an  excellent  1979/80   season.  The  U. 16, U.14 and  U.12  teams  played  in  Swale  Sunday  League,  the  U.16  team  were  runners-up, the  U.12's  third  but  won  the  Sportsmanship  Award,  whilst  the  U.15  team finished  runners-up  in  the  Medway  League,  the  section  also  had  it's fair  share  of  success  in  5 a-side.   The  section  also  became  affiliated to  the  Sittingbourne  Youth  Council,  and  the  new  Ken  Day  Award  was presented  to  David  Twyning   for  his  services  to  the  Club  over the  years.   Eddie  Pilgrim   thanked   Steve  Tapp  for his  help  training  the  Under  10  players.
The Football  Section   saw  a  rise  in  fortunes  fielding  not  one  but  2 sides  in  the  Rochester  and  District  Saturday  League,  one  finishing  third.  The  section  also  represented  Sittingbourne  when  the  Sittingbourne  Twinning Association  invited  the  Club  to  play  a  Senior  and  Under  18  match  against teams  from  Zuidschote,  Belguim.   The  Under  18  team  despite  playing  together for  the  first  time  won  10-0!!!!!    Eddie  Pilgrim became a  member  of  the  Management  Committee  of  the  Twinning  Association,  but due  to  high  travel  costs  it  was  unlikely  that  return  matches  would be  played  until  the  following  year  when  the  Association  agreed  to  a subsidy. 
The year  was  once  again  crammed  full  with  social  activities.  Youth  Section put  on  a  very  successful  Valentine's  Disco,  all  inclusive  discos  took place  in  March,  July  and  September,  the  General  Secretary  organised a  summer  coach  outing  to  Butlinland  at  Bognor  Regis  costing  £4.50  for adults  and  £4  for  children.   Gardening  went  off  to  the  Chelsea  Flower Show  for  the  first  time  and  in  August  the   Make,  Bake  and  Grow  Show   took  place,  Pete   and   Maggie  Scales organised  the  Car  Rally  and  it  fell  to   Sandra  Tapp to  persuade  Marion  Gunn to  help her  organise  a  Beano  to  Southend  for  the  women,  they  left  at  2 p.m. and  were  due  back  at  1 a.m.  (Shoe  got  lost  this  time!)
The Club  Presentation  Dinner/Dance  in  May  was  very  well  supported  with  an excellent  turnout.  The  Club  Awards  went  to:   Tony  Rees,   Member of  the  Year,  Lorraine  Ingram received  the  Ladies  Wendy  Roberts Trophy ,   and  the   Chairman's  Award   was  presented  to   Peter  Wyeth. The Cricket  Section   held  their  Presentation  in  October  and  the  main award  went  to   Paul  Jackson.    At  the  Christmas  Dance  a  record 230  tickets  were  sold  and  everyone  agreed  it  was  a  really  good  “party”.
The pursuit  for  Land  continued  and  the  Club  Committee  sat  waiting  quietly in  anticipation  for  the  Land  Act  to  be  passed  which  would  unblock the  red  tape  with  regard  to  Murston  Playing  Field;  when  it  was  passed in  December   Peter  Scales wrote  post  haste  to  the Council.
At the  Annual  General  Meeting,  Eddie  Pilgrim,  Keith  Baldock   and  Peter Scales were  re-elected  as  officers,  Sandra  Tapp became  the  1000  Club  Secretary,   Mike  Beney,  Gordon  Broughton  and  Bob  Parry were  elected  as  General  Committee  Members and  the  committee  co-opted  on  George  Gibson   as  the  fourth  General Committee  Member.   Prior  to  being  elected  as  1000  Secretary  Sandra Tapp   told  the  committee  that  if  she  was  elected  she  would  walk her  feet  off  and  visit  all  the  members,  seems  her  walking  paid  off as  at  the  end  of  May  there  were  141  shares  in  the  1000  Club  and by  the  end  of  September  215,  she  also  had  three  new  collectors   Wendy  Bryant,  Tricia  Shepherd   and  Guy  Standing,   old  faithful collectors  Janet  Pilgrim  and   Marion  Gunn   were  also  there to  help.
In September  the  General  Secretary  asked  the  committee  for  some  help,  membership rose  from  146  plus  4  honorary  (150)  in  May   1979   to  218  plus 8  honorary  (226)  in  May  1980 ,  a  33%  rise,   Keith  Baldock said  that  he  spent  a  lot  of  time  organising  Social  functions and  would  like  to  see  the  return  of  a  Membership  Secretary  the  following year.  Sandra  Tapp   said  that  she  would  take  the  Minutes  and  her and   Eddie  Pilgrim said  they  would  help with  the  newsletter.
Returning to  the  Annual  General  Meeting  in   1980   the  Chairman  Eddie Pilgrim referred  to  major  financial  problems, the  cost  of  pitches  had  risen  by  50%  and  the   price  of  kit  escalated, the  Main  Committee  was  trying  to  help  as  much  as  possible  but  also trying  to  keep  the  costs  of  social  functions  to  a  minimum  thus  giving good  value  for  money.  The  Chairman  said  he  could  see  problems  if  match fees  rose  again  leading  to  a  loss  of  sports  members  and  likewise  if the  cost  of  social  functions  rose  in  order  to  help  sport  we  could see  the  loss  of  social  members,  it  was  the  old  “chicken  and  egg” situation;  consequently  he  asked  the  Section  Committees  to  liase  closely with  the   Main  Club  Committee .     
There was  an  underlying  current  all  year  as  with  the  previous  year  with regard  to  financing  of  the  sports  sections  in  the  club  and  the  options on  fund  raising.  On  10  September  1980   the  Club's  Treasurer  Peter Scales put  forward  a  discussion  document  “Proposals  to Revise  the  Financial  Administration  of  the  Club”  as  the  Sections  were finding  difficulty  in  self  finance  and  finding  ways  of  raising  funds, leaving  sections  with  a  need  to  seek  to  run  social  functions  which are  the  responsibility  of  the  Main  Club  Committee.  Peter  pointed  out that  even  where  social  functions  had  been  permitted  this  had  frequently led  to  disagreements  and  frictions  between  the  members.   He  pointed out  that  the  consequences  can  be  seen  as  a  gradual  disintegration  of the  Club  and  the  non-achievement  of  its  prime  objectives  as  a  Sports and  Social  Club.   Options  were  to  centralise  finance  or  form  a  social section   to  organise  social  activities,  the  “them  and  us”  situation between  sections  and  the  Main  Club  had  to  be  eliminated.
At a  meeting  on  10  November  attended  by   Main  Club Committee  Members  and  all  Committee  Members  of  the  Sections  a  solution was  sort.   The  Proposal  to  Revise  the  Financial  Administration  of  the Club  was  dropped  and   Peter  Scales agreed it  would  be  difficult  to  implement  a  budget  with  demands  from  sections being  throughout  the  year,  there  were  however  four  ideas  put  forward:
1. A  contingency  fund  to  be  set  up  using  profits  from  the 1000  Club.
2. As  all  the  equipment  was  the  property  of  the  “Club”  and purchases  on  sections  was  a  financial  burden  it  was  suggested  to  keep the  sections  financially  solvent  some  or  all  of  the  equipment  be  purchased from  Main  Club  funds.
3. Sections  should  be  encouraged  to  bring  to  Main  Club  any unforeseen  bills  such  as  fines.
4. Joint  meetings  of  all  the  committees  should  take  place more  often.
As earlier mentioned  over  230  tickets  were  sold  for  the  Christmas  Dance a  signal  that  all  the  membership  were  trying  to  pull  hard  together to  solve  the  differences.  Two  Santas  set  off  again  on  Christmas  morning due  to  the  high  demand  and  the  Childrens'  Christmas  party  was  well attended  and  a  great  success.  Before  1980   came  to  an  end  the Video  Section  was  formed  by  20  Club  Members  with  the  Club's  Officers agreeing  to  run  the  section  with  the  assistance  of  Barrie  Tapp as  the  section's  purchaser.
There have  been  many  facts  and  figures  so  far  in  the  Club's  History  and little  said  about  the  Club's  inspirers.  When  Sandra  Tapp joined  the  committee  2  years  previously  like  other  members  she joined  for  the  social  activities  and  because  her  children  could  join the  Youth  Section.  It  was  not  until  after  long  discussions  with  Eddie Pilgrim,  Keith  Baldock  and  Peter  Scales   the  Clubs'  Officers  that she  realised  the  dream  of  many  members  to  have  their  own  ground  and Clubhouse  was  just  a  dream  and  many  members  were  just  happy  with  the way  things  were,  however  the  three  Club  Officers  were  not  dreamers but  believers.  Yes  there  were  “dreamers”  and  “believers”  and  it  was the  “believers”  who  would  make  it  happen.
Sandra Tapp sat  at   Main  Club Committee   meetings  alongside  passed  Club  Officers   who  had  moved  into  the  Sections,  because  of  their  interests,  and  were helping  to  develop  the  Sections,  there  were  some  extremely  strong  personalities all  “believers”  that  we  would  gain  our  own  Clubhouse  and  land  and like  the  current  officers  they  would  make  it  happen.  Much  credit  for the  development  of  the  Club  has  to  go  to  Rusty  Burgin,  Colin  Gunn, Ray  Oddy,  Peter  Scales,  Eddie  Pilgrim,  Keith  Baldock  and  Brian  Bartlett. Their  enthusiasm  was  like  an  infectious  disease  ready  to  pass  on.

1981-1982 was  dominated  by  negotiations  with  Swale  Borough  Council  for  the leasing  of  Murston  Playing  Field  and  with  Blue  Circle  Industries  for a  management  contract  for  the  A.P.C.M. Clubhouse,  but  in   1981   the  Club  did  not  achieve  any  of  its  goals  in  this  direction  but  did gain  considerably  by  it's  name  and  reputation  being  placed  prominently to  the  fore.
The many  social  events  continued  throughout  the  year  with  Youth  Section staging  the  Valentine's  Dance,  there  was  a  Children's  outing  and  Christmas Panto,  plus  their  Christmas  Party  and  Santa's  visit  on  Christmas  Day, an  event  always  looked  forward  to  by  RAY  ODDY   and  his  elves, there  were  discos  and  a  visit  to  the  'Generation  Game'   and  a Car  Rally  organised  by  BOB  PARRY.
The  Football  Section  Awards  were  made  at  the  Club's  Dinner  and  Dance and  did  go  on  for  a  while,  but  nevertheless  were  enjoyed  by  over 200  people  paying  £3.50 .  The  Main  Club  Awards  were  presented  by  Cllr.  Brian  Austin,  (an  ally  gained  with  reference to  Murston  Playing  Fields),  JOHN REES  received  the  Chairman's Award,   the  Member  of  the  Year   was  RAY ODDY , and  the   Lady  of  the  Year   was  SYLVIA  BALDOCK.
In his   Annual  General  Meeting   Report  in  May  1981   Peter Scales   the  Club  Treasurer  reported  Membership  as  202,  that the  1000  Club  had  raised  £637  net  over  budget  by  nearly  £200,  Function Profits  had  risen  to  £496  and  the  sale  of  paper  had  raised  £58.  The value  of  the  Club  was  £2,750  an  increase  of  £620  due,  as  Peter  reported, to  the  substantial  increase  in  the  1000  Club  and  the  sale  of  waste paper;  furthermore  the  sums  earned  in  profits  from  functions  due  to a  continuing  high  level  of  support  from  members,  also  there  had  been no  necessity  to  finance  the  sections'  activities.  The  Main  Committee had  also  purchased  a  complete  new  football  kit  prior  to  the  Zuidschote matches.
Sandra Tapp ,  the  1000  Club  Secretary,  thanked  Maggie Scales,  Sylvia Baldock, Janet Pilgrim,  Wendy Bryant,  Trisha Shepherd  and   Janet Standing  for  helping  find  the  86  new  members  and  losing  only  17  during  the past  year.
The Youth  Section  had  a  new  Chairman  in  Colin Gunn   after  Rusty Burgin resigned  and  Tony Rees was  still  there  as  Secretary  and Brian Bartlett   as  Treasurer.  Although  no  silverware  had  been  won the  section  had  3  teams,  Under  16,  Under  15  and  Under  13  and  they played  in  the  Medway  City  Boy's  League,  they  also  entered  the  Holborough Cup  and  four  5 a-side  teams.
Sylvia Baldock reported  that  the   Gardening  Section  had  grown  from  “A  seed  to  a  sapling”,  a  Lawnraker and  Cultivator  were  purchased  for  Members  to  hire,  and  during   1980/81   the  Section  Members  had  visited  Wisley  and  ran  another  Make, Bake  and  Grow  Show ,  there  had  also  been  a  Children's  Flower  Growing Competition  and  a  best  garden  competition.
Whilst Ken Halliday   in  his  AGM  report  for   Cricket Section   just  begged  for  better  weather  for  his  two  teams, Bob Murphy  of   Football   reported that  the  Saturday  representation  had  gone  down  from  two  teams  to  one and  hadn't  done  too  well  as  they  had  been  so  unsettled.  Shaun Burgin's  Sunday  team  however  was  a  different  kettle  of  fish  finishing  high  up the  table.  The  Football  season  closed  with  a  visit  to  the  Rhonda  where draws  with  Wattstown  and  Cosmo  were  achieved,  thanks  to  John Rees  the   organising  “Wizard”.
At the   Annual  General  Meeting   a  new  Rule  was  introduced by  Mike Ingram  stating  that  the  Chairman  would  serve  for  3  years, in  fact  all  the  officers  would  then  serve  for  3  years  with  only  one officer  changing  each  year.   A  good  new  rule  which  ensured  continuality.
Keith Baldock the  retiring  General  Secretary  had  pointed  out at  Committee  Meetings  that  the  General  Secretary's  post  covering  Membership, Social  Functions,  Newsletter,  Minutes,  correspondence  and  representing the  Club  had  now  become  a  pretty  full  time  job;  this  had  been  taken on  by  the  outgoing  committee  and  two  new  secretaries  were  appointed to  assist  the  new  General  Secretary,  they  were  a  Membership Secretary   and  an   Editor  for  the  newsletter. The  new  committee  comprised  of  Eddie Pilgrim ,  Chairman,  George Gibson ,  General  Secretary,  Peter Scales   Treasurer,  Gordon BroughtonN  Membership  Secretary,  although  this  post  was  eventually  taken  over  by Brian Sherwood ,  Sandra Tapp   Editor,  Tricia Shepherd   1000 Club  Secretary,  and  the  General  Committee  Members  were:  Keith Baldock, Mike Beney,  Brian Sherwood,  Guy Standing   and   Wendy Parkes
On December  4  the  Members  enjoyed  their  Christmas  Dance  and  looked  forward to  1982  very  hopeful  that  a  lease  on  the  land  at  Murston  Playing Fields  would  come  to  fruition the  following  year.

1982  showed  an  increase  in  Membership  at  the  Annual  General Meeting   in  May  there  were  257  Full  Members  and  7  Honorary  and £1,524.88  in  the  bank.  The  usual  Club  Functions  continued  throughout the  year  plus  Gardening   had  been  to the  Chelsea  Flower  Show  and  Kew  Gardens,  there  was  an  Easter  Panto as  well  as  the  Christmas  Panto,  there  was  also  a  pretty  unsuccessful Sports  Day  where  prizes  of  £1  Gift  Vouchers  were  given.  TONY  REES  had  organised  a  trip  to  Wembley  for  the  youngsters  in  the  Youth  Section and  there  was  a  Treasure  Hunt  and  a  trip  to  Chessington  Zoo.
The task  of  sorting  out  the  newsletter  delivery  rounds  now  fell  to  Brian Sherwood   the  Membership  Secretary  as  it  was  still  part  of a  Committee  Member's  job  to  deliver  the  newsletters,  and  on  7  June Eddie Pilgrim the  Chairman  made  the  decision  that  all  Main Club  committee   meetings  would  be  held  on  the  first  Monday  of  the month.
At the  Presentation  Dinner  and  Dance  apart  from  the  Main Club  Awards   the  Football  and  Youth  Sections  also  did  their  presentations, which  made  the  presentation  ceremony  a  bit  l o n g !  The reciprocants were :  Rusty Burgin ,  Chairman's  Award ,  Brian Bartlett Member  of  the  Year ,  and  SANDRA TAPP  Lady  of  the  Year.
The committee  elected  in  May  were  Eddie Pilgrim   his  sixth  year  as Chairman ,  Peter Scales   Treasurer,  George Gibson   General  Secretary, Brian SherwoodD,   Membership  Secretary ,  Margarey Parry  Editor, 1000  Club  Secretary   Tricia Shepherd ,  and  General  Committee  Members Ray Oddy,  Pat Bartlett,  Bob Parry,  Marion Gunn    and  welcome  to  what was  going  to  become  a  very  familiar  face  Terry Wellard .  Throughout  the  year  the  Sections  were  basically  represented  by  Rusty Burgin , Cricket,  Colin Gunn  Youth,  Brian Bartlett ,  Football, Ray Oddy   Gardening,  Keith Baldock   Video.
1982  will  be  remembered  for  all  the  negotiations  which  went  on  all  year through  for  both  Murston  Playing  Fields  and  the  Blue  Circle  A.P.C.M. Clubhouse.  The  A.P.C.M. negotiations  had  led  the   Main  Club  Committee   to  appoint  a  steering  committee  on  30  December 1981   comprising  of    Eddie Pilgrim,  Peter Scales,  George Gibson and  Keith Baldock,  the  four of  them  co-opted  on  as  per  their brief  Rusty Burgin,  Roy Jackson  and  Gerry Calver .  Club  rules had  been  sent  to  Blue  Circle  and  the  Solicitor  employed,  the  original 4  had  discussed  the  “Heads  of  Agreement”  with  Blue  Circle  but  by  5 July  B.C.I.  dropped  out  saying  they  were  entering  negotiations  with a  Leisure  Company.
In the  meantime  negotiations  were  still  on  the  table  with  Swale  Borough  Council  for  the  Lease  of  MURSTON  PLAYING  FIELDS . On  22  February  the  Chairman  pointed  out  the  Notice  in  the  East  Kent Gazette  that  the  proposed  take  over  by  Woodcoombe  of  Murston  Playing Fields  had  passed  through  a  full  Council  meeting.  On  17  May  a  letter from  Swale  Borough  Council  stated  that  they  were  still  awaiting  confirmation from  the  Department  of  the  Environment  for  the  go-ahead  on  a  35  year Lease.  Rusty Burgin  asked  for  a  steering  committee  to  be  formed and  Keith Baldock  asked  for  two  sets  of  plans  relating  to  whether we  gained  the  A.P.C.M.  or  not,  but  as  said  above  the  A.P.C.M.  fell through.  Ray Oddy   was  appointed  to  Chair  the  steering  committee with  2  members  from  each  section,  although  this  did  change.  A  draft Lease  was  received  by  our  Solicitors  at  the  beginning  of  July  and an  Extra-Ordinary  General  Meeting  on  the  26  July  gave  the  committee the  go-ahead  to  pursue  the  Lease.
There was  a  buzz  of  activity  with  enquiries  on  the  purchase  of  a  line  marking machine  and  wood  for  goal  posts,  and  against  the  advice  of  the  Solicitor it  was  agreed  to  go  ahead  with  the  Lease  even  though  the  swings  and slides  were  in  the  way  of  the  second  pitch,  this  however  was  taken up  by  the  Solicitor.  After  much  discussion  the  Committee  also  rubber stamped  a  proposal:  “To  authorise  main  officers  to  allocate  monies  towards Murston  Playiing  Fields  to  a  value  of  £700,  this  to  exclude  payment of  lease  and  legal  fees”.   The  mad  rush  moved  on  when  Eddie Pilgrim  sent  Keith Baldock  down  to  the  Council  offices  to  move  our  teams over  to  Murston  Playing  Fields  and  other  teams  off  of  the  field,  the Council  Officer  was  not  impressed  but  with  Keith  he  sat  and  made  the alterations.
The Land  Committee  became  an  important  asset  to  the  Club,  Ray Oddy chaired with  Peter Scales,  Brian Bartlett,  CHarlie Yardley,  Reg Friar,  Colin Gunn, George Gibson and  Rusty Burgin   they  were  forever  meeting.  An example  of  the  knock  on  effect  to  the  Club  was  when  Sittingbourne Argyle  Football  team  joined  Woodcoombe  “en  mass”  and  became  the  Club's Sunday  team.
On 6  September  1982   it  was  agreed  by  the  Main Club  Committee   to  go  ahead  and  sign  the  Lease  even  though  permission to  move  the  swings  had  not  yet  been  given,  prior  to  the  6 th the  Solicitor  had  asked  for  the  names  of  four  Trustees  and  the  General Secretary  had  given  the  names  of  the  three  Club  Officers  and  the  Chairman of  the  steering  Committee.  The  four  Trustees  are:  Eddie P;igrim,  George Gibson,  Peter Scales  and  Ray Oddy,  and  the  Lease  was  duly signed  by  them  on  16 th   November  1982.    
On 15  September   1982   the  Management  Committee  drew  up  Terms  of  Reference for  the  committee  to  work  under:
1. The  arrangements necessary  to  maintain  and  manage  the  field  and  accommodation. 
2. The  arrangements for,  and  the  estimated  costs  of,  establishing  the  field  as  a  playing surface,  to  include  as  a  minimum  two  football  pitches  and  a  cricket square,  phased  if  necessary.
3. Future development  of  the  field  in  terms  of  facilities  and  accommodation.
To give  an  example  of  the  work  undertaken  by  members  on  6  September  Ray Oddy  reported  to  the   Main  Committee   “That the  football  pitch  was  now  marked  out,  and  that  the  goal  posts  and line  marking  machine  purchased.  Stone  clearing  work  had  also  taken  place and  work  had  started  on  the  cricket  square.  The  changing  rooms  in the  A.P.C.M.  Clubhouse  were  now  ready  for  use”.  It  had  been  agreed that  our  Members  could  utilise  the  changing  rooms  but  this  entailed our  Club  Members  becoming  members  of  the  A.P.C.M.  at  a  cost  of  £5 per  annum. 
When 1982  came  to  a  close  there  were  a  lot  of  very  busy  members,  Brian Bartlett   found  his  second  home  working  on  the  field  whenever  he could,  isn't  it  great  that  some  years  later  we  were  actually  able to  make  him  Groundsman  and  PAY  him!  (22 years  on  it  is  still  hard to  get  him  off  of  the  playing  field.)

At the  end  of  1982   the  Club  had  217  paid  members  and  8  honorary, by  January   1983  membership  had  risen  to  252,  and  the  1000  Club still  pulled  in  money  with  196  shareholders.  The  Club  was  looking  to raise  money  for  the  ground  and  also  looking  at  re-naming  it.
In February  1983  our  Sunday  Football  team  was  second  in  the  League  and the  Saturday  team  half  way  up  the  League,  Cricket  showed  a  full  cricket fixture  list  for  the  coming  season.    Orange  peel  left  on  the  field and  bolts  going  missing  for  the  goalposts  were  the  minor  problems  the Land  Committee  found  itself  dealing  with.  The  Land  Committee  requested £90 to  purchase  600   hawthorn  bushes,  a  cheap  way  to  form  a  good  hedge. Suggestions  for  the  new  name  for  the  playing  field  were:  Griffin  Park,  Coombe  Park,  Oldchurch  Park  and  The  Coombe  and  it  was  decided  to ballot  the  membership,  but  in  March  it  was  decided  to  leave  the  name until  the  A.G.M.
Members of  the  Land  Committee  had  salvaged  old  fencing  from  Crommers  Road  and looked  to  members  to  help  plant  bushes  on  9  April,  629  were  planted. The  Main  Club  Committee  were  looking  at  all  aspects  of  insurance,  and it  was  agreed  to  buy  a  special  lawn  mower  costing  £400  for  the  cricket square.  The  Club  committees  worked  long  hard  hours  and  it  is  noted that  the  meeting  on  11  April  had  to  continue  on  18  April  as  there was  so  much  to  discuss  especially  with  the  Annual  General  Meeting  due.
In May  1983  Dave Matthews'  Sunday  football  team  was  reported  to  have won  their  Cup  Final  7-0  and  also  the  Sheppey  League  Cup  Final,  they were  also  runners-up  in  their  League;  great  improvements  also  with  the Saturday  side.  Youth  Section  also  reported  Woodcoombe '81  had  finished runners  up  in  their  league  and  Woodcoombe  Colts  runners-up  in  the  5 a-side  competition.  The  Youth  Section  also  had  a  new  committee  with Eddie  Pilgrim   Chairman,  Tony  Rees   Secretary,  Colin  Gunn Treasurer,  and  other  members  were:  Paddy  and  Rose  Hines,  Eve Smith,  Ivor  Lewer,  Len  Bateman,  Chris  Lancaster  and  Tony  Hill.
In May  1983  it  was  also  reported  that  the  Council  would  help  with  the moving  of  the  swings  and  also  with  the  laying  of  a  concrete  base for  a  garage.  COLIN  GUNN  attended  a  Council  meeting  in  July when  an  unknown  Councillor  commented  favourable  on  the  work  the  Club was  doing  on  the  land  which  led  to  the  consideration  of  limiting  the garage  to  a  ten  year  lease  being  defeated.  The  laying  of  the  concrete base  for  the  garage  and  the  movement  of  the  swings  and  slides  started in  July.
The Club's  Presentation  Buffet/Dance  took  place  in  May  when  the  Chairman's Award  was  presented  to  Brian Sherwood ,  Member  of  the  Year  was Colin Gunn  and  the  Wendy  Robert's  Cup   for  Lady  of  the Year  was  presented  to  Margaret ScalesS.
Eddie Pilgrim  had  been  the  Club's  Chairman  for  6  years  and  in  1983  he chose  to  go  back  to  the  Youth  Section  and  was  elected  as  their  Chairman, he  did  not  stand  for  re-election  as  Club  Chairman.   Rusty Burgin and  Eddie Pilgrim  both  seemed  to  have  had  a  “love  affair” with  helping  run  the  Youth  Section  over  the  years  and  devoted  many hours  to  promoting  it.  It  is  no  surprise  that  Rusty  then  came  back to  take  over  the  reigns  of  Main  Club  Chairman  as  this  role  is  where both  men  excelled.
At the  Annual  General  Meeting  in  May  1983  the  committee  was  elected  in the  knowledge  that  they  would  continue  the  difficult  task  of  forwarding the  Land  and  raising  the  necessary  “cash”  to  keep  everything  running smoothly,  this  all  done  in  conjunction  with  the  Land  Committee;  the Land  Committee  remained  forthright  and  determined  in  their  tasks,  and the  Main  Club  Committee  had  to  be  a  strong  one.  The  committee  elected was:  Rusty Burgin,  Chairman,  George Gibson  General  Secretary, Peter Scales  Treasurer,  Brian Sherwood  Membership  Secretary, Sandra Tapp  returned  as  Editor,  1000  Club  Secretary  Pat Bartlett, General  Committee  Members  were:  Ray Oddy,  Terry Wellard,  Bob Parry, Richard Baker   and  David Sansom who  was  co-opted  on  to  replace Eve Smith.  On 9 May  just  prior  to  the  Club's end of  financial  year there  was  £753.89  in  the  bank  and  Membership  stood  at  254  including 8  honorary  members.
Some Rule  Amendments  were  made  at  the  Annual  General  Meeting  but  a  new rule  was  also  added  and  adopted  which  stated:  “Club  members  cannot be  elected  into  officership  of  main  club  unless  they  have  been  a  full club  member  for  one  year.  Officers  being  defined  as:  Chairman,  General Secretary  and  Treasurer.”
In June  the  Badminton  Section  with  Bob Parry  in  the  driving  seat was  formed  with  the  blessing  of  K.C.C.  who  agreed  we  could  use  Lansdown School  twice  a  week.  The  committee  officers  were:  Bob Parry , Chairman, Margaret Parry  Secretary,  and  Jackie Sherwood   Treasurer.
A Jumble  Sale  was  held  in  July  which  raised  £90,  and  the  Land  Draw was  made  at  a  barbeque,  a  lot  of  effort  to  sell  tickets  was  made by  committee  members  and  the  profit  was  £130  plus  £36  on  the  actual barbeque;  obviously  the  Club  was  trying  to  raise  as  much  money  as possible.
In July  Gardening  Section  once  again  held  a  Make Bake  and  Grow  Show   and  Cliff Clements  reported  that  the event  had  attracted  182  entries.
Sandra Tapp   was  busy  organising  a  sponsored  walk  for  18  September.  The walk  started  from  under  the  new  Woodcoombe  Sports  and  Social  Club  sign on  the  edge  of  the  field  in  the  car  park,  a  sign  lovingly  designed by  Terry Harper , and  went  up  to  Brenley  Corner.  Colin Gunn,  Bill Tingey  and  Keith Baldock  followed  the  walkers  by  car  serving up  drinks  and  sandwiches  as  required.  The  walkers  were:  Pat Bartlett, Marion Gunn,  Tina Tingey,  Sandra Tapp,  Tony Rees,  George Gibson,  Eddie Pilgrim, Rose Hines,  Chris Oddy,  Kerry Gunn,  Val Slater,  T.  Jewiss,  Richard Baker, Ron  and Vera Miller,  Cliff Clements.   They  raised  £393.40  which went  into  the  Building  Fund.
The Building  Fund   was  boosted  when   Chris  Newbold   brought  a  brick and  Maggie Scales  and   Sandra Tapp  donated  another  £30  buying 30  bricks  between  them.  Pat Bartlett raised  £11.05  by  saving  crisp packets  and  £11  by  running  a  Christmas  catalogue,  the  Bring  and  Buy  at  Sandra's  house  raised  £7.20. 
The October  disco  raised  £165.64  and  the  Christmas  Dance  £116.03,  other Christmas  activities  i.e.  Childrens'  party  and  Santa  visits  on  Christmas day  also  happened  as  usual,  but  the  Committee's  aim  was  to  run  everything at  a  profit.
In December  Ray Oddy  met  Councillors  with  regard  to  our  responsibilities regarding  the  swings,  also  in  December  the  Land  Committee  purchased gang  mowers  for  a  bargain  price  of  £130  as  Blox Knox  was  going  into liquidation,  the  Main  Club  Committee  authorised  the  Land  Committee  to spend  another  £500  if  they  could  do  a  bulk  buy  in  relation  to  this liquidation.
In December  1983  Richard Baker  a  Club  Member  and  our  friendly  Architect had  an  informal  meeting  with  Swale  Borough  Council  with  regard to  outline  planning  permission  for  a  Clubhouse  on  Murston  Park , the  Chairman  reported  that  it  was  hoped  to  submit  full  drawings  by our  next  Annual  General  Meeting  in  May.  A  very  positive  way  to  end   1983
1984  was  once  again  a  very  busy  year  for  the  Club  which  celebrated  its 20 th   year  in  September.  Planning  Permission  for  the  erection of  a  Clubhouse  parallel  with  the  road  in  3  phases  was  sought  and submitted  to  the  Council  in  April.
At the  end  of  the  Club's  financial  year   in  May  membership  stood  at  241 plus  11  honorary.  A  new  cup  was  presented  to  the  Club  by  Councillor   Brian  Austen   which  would  be  called  the  Murston  Cup  and  would  be awarded  by  the  Main  Committee  in  conjunction  with  the  Land  Committee, the  first  recipient  of  the  cup  was  Colin Gunn .  The  presentation dinner  had  steak  on  the  menu  and  Jock  Weir  was  invited  as  guest  speaker. The  Club's  other  main  awards  were  presented  to  Pat Bartlett   Lady of  the  Year,  Peter Scales Member  of  the  Year  and  the  Chairman's Award  was  presented  to  Brian Bartlett .
At the  Annual  General  Meeting  Rule  Changes  were  made  whereby  Associate Membership  of  the  Club  was  granted  to  spouses  and  children  of  full members.  Honorary  membership  was  granted  to  the  retired  and  would  also be  granted  to  members  for  services  to  the  Club  at  the  discretion  of the  Main  Club  Committee.  
At the  Annual  General  Meeting  the  Chairman  Rusty Burgin thanked  Peter Scales  who  would  not  be  standing  as  Treasurer  again  and  also  Maggie Scales  for  their  great  input  into  the  Club.  The  new  committee  comprised: Rusty Burgin - Chairman,  George Gibson -  General  Secretary,  Colin Gunn -Treasurer,  Brian Sherwood - Membership  Secretary,  Sandra Tapp -  Editor, Pat Bartlett - 1000  Club  Secretary,  Terry Wellard,  Guy Standing,  Ray Oddy  and  Peter Wyeth   General  Committee  Members;  throughout  the  year the  sections  were  usually  represented  by  Cliff Clements  Gardening, Len Bateman   Youth,  Keith Baldock   Video,  Bob Parry   Badminton, Brian Bartlett   Football  with  Guy Standing   also  representing Cricket.  This  was  a  very  pro-active  committee  and  at  its  first  meeting Ray Oddy  was  once  again  elected  to  Chair  the  Land  Committee.
The Youth  Section  was  extremely  successful  during  the  year,  they  visited Wembley  and  Hendon  and  four  teams  were  entered  into  the  Swale  Economic League.  £100  was  raised  at  a  jumble  sale  and  City   Windows  came  forward with  £289  sponsorship  which  was  used  to  purchase  a  set  of  kit.  Len Bateman reported  to  the  committee  that  the  Tote  evening  raised  £50 and  the  section  had  hired  the  hall  at  the  Sports  Centre  for  5  a-side but  had  to  work  out  a  rota  as  40  youngsters  turned  up,  all  the  efforts proved  successful  as  by  the  end  of  the  year   Len Bateman reported that  Club  teams  were  top  of  all  the  5  a-side  leagues  and  also  3 football  teams  were  in  the  Swale  League  Cup  semi  finals
The Youth  Section  was  invited  to  participate  in  the  Canary  Cup,  an  International tournament  run  by  Norwich  City  involving  a  weekend  at  Great  Yarmouth. The  Under  15  team  went  and  did  quite  well!   The  Section  also  entered pairs  in  a  competition  at  the  sports  centre  and  took  first  place  in all  age  groups  and  won  both  the  boy's  and  girl's  awards  for  endeavour.
In the Football  Section   the  very  successful Sunday  side  under  Dave Matthews joined  the  Medway  League  and  the Saturday  side  was  promoted  to  Division  3;  3  Club  Members  played  in the  Swale  Rep.  Team  which  won  the  Kent  Youth  Games  6 a-side  competition. On  Friday  4  June  the  visiting  Welsh  footballers  shared  in  the  delights of  the  Stag  Night  with  other  Club  Members!
Video and  Badminton  seemed  to  go  into  a  “lull”  through  the  year  just  ticking over,  and  although  not  as  well  supported   in  previous  years  the  Gardening  Section's   Make  Bake  and  Grow  Show was  still  a  success  and  members  enjoyed  their  monthly  meetings.  The cricket  section  enjoyed  their  new  cricket  square,  had  a  good  season and  helped  over  the  ground.  Cliff Clements   came  into  his  own as  a  mechanic  and  helped  keep  the  tractor  in  good  order.
On 2  July  Sittingbourne  Ladies  Hockey  Team  showed  an  interest  in  joining the  Club  en  mass  and  were  invited  to  a  Land  Committee  meeting,  several meetings  took  place  with  them  throughout  the  year;  eventually  this  would come  to  nothing.
Members enjoyed  many functions throughout  the  year  including  a  “small”  and  a “big”  Car  Rally  organised  by  Bob Parry , but  the  main  emphasis was on  the 20th  Anniversary celebrations on 9th September. The programme was as follows:
2.30 – 3.30     Youth Football Match organiser  Eddie Pilgrim  Ladies v Men Match organised by  Pat Bartlett, Sandra Tapp,  Keith Baldock, and  Brian Sherwood.  (Memories of  Ladies being carried around the field by men in wellies trying to kick a ball spring to mind!)
4.20 The  Chairman  Rusty Burgin  invited the first Club Chairman  Ray Oddy  to unveil the  Woodcoombe sign at  Murston Park.
4.30 – 6.00     Old v.  New  Football  Match,  Brian Bartlett organising the new and  Rusty Burgin  the old.
6.30 Buffet in the APCM plus DISCO and barbecue
Needless to  say  the  day  was  a  great  success  and  there  were  a  lot  of  dirty knees  around  including  ladies  knees!  Video,  Badminton  and  Gardening  also played  their  part  by  organising  stalls  alongside  the  pitch  with  Darts, Tombola,  Books  and  Bric  a  Brac.
In August  the  Club  was  offered  an  interest  free  loan  of  £1000  by  the Council  repayable  over  3  years,  at  the  same  time  a  bill  for  £139  was received  for  grass  cutting.  On  November  5th   under  the  terms of  the  Lease  the  swings  were  finally  erected  after  their  move.  .  The Club  was  also  looking  at  a  quote  of  £750  for  fencing  and  the  mowers would  have  to  be  serviced,  the  Land  Committee  were  also  planning  to lay  a  base  for  cricket  nets. 
There was  a  lot  of  discussion  that  day  August  6   1984   on  money  and the  Treasurer  Colin Gunn  proposed  a  Land  Fund  be  set  up,  this was  seconded  by  Bob Parry  and  was  passed  unanimously.  Colin  suggested  £1,000  be  transferred  from  the  savings  account  into  the  new fund  and  immediately  Bob Parry  handed  over  £20  donation  from  Badminton to  boost  the  kitty.  The  Council  also  requested  full  detailed  drawings in  order  to  get  Outline  Planning  Permission  for  the  Clubhouse.  There was  so  much  going  on  that  the  committee  meeting  had  to  be  reconvened on  another  day.
200 Club  Badges  went  on  sale  at  £5  for  a  dozen  or  50p  each,  Colin Gunn   had  organised  this  at  a  cost  of  £74.57.
In November  there  was  a  Barn  Dance  and  Jumble  Sale  all  to  raise  funds followed  by  another  Stag  Night .  Len Bateman   organised  a  Youth Disco  and  Una Burgin  the  Children's'  Christmas  Party,  there  was a  Christmas  Dance  at  Kemsley  costing  £4  including  buffet,  and  once again  Santa  was  out  delivering  presents  on  Christmas  morning.
On 29  November  news  came  that  the  Council  had  approved  phases  1  and  2 of  the  Clubhouse  building  with  phase  3  to  be  discussed  at  a  future date.  At  the  same  time  rumours  that  the  APCM   may  be  on  offer  again prompted  the  committee  to  write  to  Blue  Circle,  a  promising  end  to   1984 .
1985   started  at  a  considerable  pace  and  the  pace  never  stopped;  the  dedication of  the  Main  Club  Committee,  the  Land  Committee  and  the  Building  Fund Committee  with  backing  from  the  Sections  is  something  the  Club   should always  remember  and  treasure.
In February  1985  an  Extra-ordinary  Annual  General  Meeting  was  held  and the  membership  agreed  the  scheme  to  build  the  Clubhouse  on  Murston Park,  they  also  agreed  to  appoint  a  Building  Fund  Committee  who's  aim would  be  to  raise  £10,000  in  six  months.  The  Chairman  of  the  Committee was  Ray Oddy with  Sandra  Tapp,  Marion Gunn  and  Tony Rees  joining  him,  this  committee  swiftly  added  Colin  Gunn
he Fund  Raising  Committee  set  about  their  task  and  amongst  the  events organised  were  15,000  Draw  Tickets  for  5  televisions,  750  letters  of appeal  were  sent  out  or  delivered  by  hand,  there  were  discussions  on a  Boot  Fair,  there  was  Wine  and  Wisdom,  a  Microwave  demonstration, a  Linen  Party,  a  sale  of  artificial  flowers,  a  stall  at  the  Town Fete  selling  Draw  Tickets,  a  5  a-side  competition  in  the  schedule, a  Christmas  Jamboree  and  a  half  marathon.  No time for the committee to get bored!    In  his  report  to  the  Annual  General  Meeting  in  May  Ray Oddy  thanked  his  SUPERB  Committee  then  25%  towards  their  £10,000 target.
At the  Annual  General  Meeting  Ray Oddy also  reported  for  the  Land Committee  that  Murston  Park  had  new  fences,  nicely  cut  grass,  swings back  up.  He  thanked  Colin Gunn,  Brian Barttlett,  Brian Sherwood,  Jeff Kempster,  Rusty Burgin,  Bill Tingey,  Peter Scales  and Peter Wyeth for  all  their  help  over  the  ground.  What  a  lot  of  letters  Peter Scales   must  have  written,  how  busy  was  Ray Oddy  chairing the  Land  and  Fund  Raising  Committees.
In her  report  as  Editor  of  the  Newsletter  Sandra Tapp thought  that the  past  year  must  have  been  a  record  for  the  number  of  newsletters, Youngsters  of  the  Month  had  gone  down  well  and  there  was  also  a  Story Competition.  She  thanked  all  the  Main  Club  Committee  who  still  went from  door  to  door  delivering  newsletters.  Brian Sherwood the Membership Secretary reported Membership as 229.
The Youth  Section  continued  to  shine  and  thanks  for  their  achievements  in 1984/5   went  to  Len Bateman,  Eddie Pilgrim,  Chris Lancaster,  Ivor Lewer  and   Cyril Smith.  The  Football  Section  Chairman  Brian Bartlett also  reported  at  the  Annual  General  Meeting  in  May  that the  Saturday  side  won  the  Sittingbourne  and  Milton  Charity  Cup  and were  runners-up  in  the  Rochester  &  District  League,  whilst  the  Sunday side  managed  by  Dave Matthews  won  their  division  of  the  Medway Sunday  League  by  a  street,  and  highlighted  the  section's  season  by winning  the  Kent  Junior  Trophy  for  the  first  time  in  the  Club's  history.
It had  been  agreed  at  Committee  meetings  that  the  Main  Club  Committee was  too  large  especially  taking  into  account  the  Sections'  representatives, consequently  the  Main  Club  Committee  wanted  to  introduce  a  Sections' Committee  with  a  Chairman  who  would  report  back  to  the  Main  Club  Committee. At the A.G.M.  a  Rule  Amendment  was  passed  which  stated  that  the  committee would  comprise  of  the  three  officers:  Chairman,  General  Secretary  and Treasurer  plus  nine  other  members.  Any  Assistant  Secretaries  that  the Main  Club  Committee  deems  as  currently  necessary  to  be  appointed  at the  A.G.M.  from the other 9 members.  This was agreed at the A.G.M.  and  not only  would  an  Assistant  Secretary  Sections  be  appointed  but  an  Assistant Secretary  Land  and  an  Assistant  Secretary  Social.
When Maggie Scales,  Marion Gunn and  Una Burgin  suggested  to  SandraTapp that  she  stood  as  General  Secretary  as  George Gibson   would be  standing  down  she  had  not  considered  it,  there  had  never  been  a lady  officer  in  the  Club's  history,  but  at  the  A.G.M.  Colin Gunn and   George Gibson proposed  her  and  she  was  elected.
The new  committee  was  all  elected  unopposed,   Chairman:  Rusty Burgin,  General Secretary:  Sandra Tapp,  Treasurer:  Colin Gunn,  Assistant  Secretary Membership:  Tony Cuthbert,   Assistant  Secretary  Social:  Ray Oddy, Assistant  Secretary  Sections:  Brian Sherwood,  Assistant  Secretary Land:  Peter,   General  Committee  Members:  Peter Wyeth,  Len Bateman, Cliff Clements,  Tony Rees,  Shaun Burgin.
The audited  accounts  on  28  May  1985   showed  the  Club  with  a  net balance  of  £3,711.31.  Sections  had  donated  £650  to  the  Building  Fund and  there  had  been  a  grant  from  Shell  of  £200.  David Burgin and Chris Oddy  walked  from  Maidstone  and  raised  £37.30.  A  massive £400.19  had  been  raised  at  a  Hen  Night  and  amongst  the  many  other activities  was  a  Sale  of  Gnomes  which  raised  £3.  There  were  222  members which  raised  £444  and  the  1000  Club  had  raised  £565.
At the  Club's  Presentation  Dance  the  Club's  Awards  went  to:  Member  of the  Year  Sandra Tapp,   The  Wendy  Robert's  Ladies  Award  to  Jackie Sherwood,  The  Murston  Park  Shield  to  Cliff Clements  and  The Chairman's  Award  to  Ray Oddy .
The Land  Secretary,  Peter Scales   had  an  enormous  task  as  the  Club relied  on  him  to  write  so  many  letters,  he  always  went  about  his tasks  extremely  professionally,  letters  such  as  writing  for  Permission under  the  Lease  to  have  a  bar  in  the  proposed  new  Clubhouse,  applying for  detailed  planning  permission,  he  applied  for  sports  grants,  Application for  Building  Bye  Laws  and  Regulations.  Peter attended  meetings and  followed  through  on  all  the  aspects  relating  to  the  land  and  proposed clubhouse  throughout  the  year.  As  the  Land  Secretary  Peter   had a  dual  task,  firstly  the  Planning  side  and  secondly  the  practical  side, with  regard  to  the  practical  side  he  asked  Brian Bartlett  to continue  as  fixtures  manager.
In November  it  was  agreed  to  appoint  a  Groundsman  who  would  start  work in  1986 ,  and who  could  do  day-to-day  jobs  and  to  be  on-the-spot, as  it  was  agreed  that  the  goodwill  of  members  had  been  replied  on too  long.  The  groundsman  would  be  paid  £20  per  week  and  a  trial  period of  one  year  was  agreed.  Jeff Kemster was appointed.
On 30  December  1985   an  “on Site”  meeting  was  held  on  Murston  Park by  the  Land  Management  Sub-Committee:  Rusty Burgin,  Colin Gunn,  Peter Wyeth,  Shaun Burgin  and  Peter Scales and  it  was  agreed  amongst other  things  to  turf  450  sq.  yds which would cost about £300?
Throughout the  year  discussions  continued  with  Sittingbourne  Ladies  Hockey  team about  joining  as  a  Section  and  they  agreed  to  put  in  about  £250  to create  a  hockey  pitch  and  to  form  a  new  section.  They even sent a representative to the Sections' Meetings.
The new  Sections'  Committee  meetings  took  place  the  third  Monday  in  the month  and  information  was  relayed  back  and  forth  by  the  Section  Secretary Brian Sherwood between  this  committee  and  the  Main  Club  Committee. The  sections  were   Football,  Cricket,  Badminton,  Gardening,  Youth,  Video, with  Golf  and  Hockey  added  and  each  section  had  a  representative,  Brian Bartlett  also  attended  as  Fixtures  Secretary.
On 19  August   1985   19  replies  had  been  received  from  Members  interested in  starting  a  Golf  Section  and  10  names  were  duly  put  forward,  a proposal  by  Tony Cuthbert seconded  Peter Wyeth  “That  the  formation of  a  Woodcoombe  Golf  Society  be  agreed”  was  passed  unanimously.   The golfers  duly  set  off  on  their  first  competition  on  3  October  at  Sittingbourne Golf  Club. The  Section's  Officers  were:  Fred Taylor Chairman,  Barrie Tapp  Secretary  and  Fred Grover  Treasurer.
The Club's  social  diary  remained  as  full  as  ever  to  the  end  of  the  year, there  was  a  Linen  Party,  Cricket  Day,  Youth  Disco  at  the  Town  Hall, Grand  Draw,  Boot  Fair,  Car  Rally,  Disco,  Horse  Race  Evening,  Jumble Sale,  Christmas  Family  Disco,  Children's  Christmas  party  and  at  the beginning  of  July   Cliff Clements  put  forward  the  idea  of  staging  a half  marathon  event  to  be  run  on  6  April   1985 .  Cliff  went along  to  several  half  marathons  and  also  took  advice  from Steve Steer of  Sittingbourne  Striders.
On 7  October  a  committee  to  deal  with  the  half  marathon  had  taken  shape and  were  in  full  flow,  the  committee  comprised  to  Cliff Clements, Steve Steer ,  Sandra Tapp,  Colin Gunn  and  Ray Oddy.  Letters had gone out to various firms for sponsorship, St.  John's  Ambulance  and  car parking  were  organised,  1000  leaflets  had  gone  out  at  other  races. Harpers  the  jewellers  had  donated  a  Veteran's  Cup,  there  was  a  donation from  Eden  Park  Nurseries,  Val  Smith  offered  £50  to  pay  for  all  the orange  which  would  be  on  offer  at  the  eventual  six  watering  stations, the  Timing  System  and  P.A.  System  were   in  the  pipeline,  sample  medals had  arrived,  Inta  Sun  had  given  us  first  prizes  of  £200  Holiday  Vouchers and  we  were  having  a  meeting  with  the  East  Kent  Gazette. 
Over the  next  few  months  £50  petrol  to  the  first   Sittingbourne  runner  to cross  the  finishing  line  was  donated  by  Swale  Motors,  and  Swale  Motors agreed  to  provide  a  car  for  the  clock..  Adverts appeared in running magazines, a C.B.  system across the course was being organised
Our very  first  Christmas  Jamboree  Produced  and  Directed  by  Rose Hines  ably  assisted  by  Una Burgin ,  costumes  by  the  aforementioned   Lights,  Colin Gunn Props,  and  Bill Tingey with  his  clipboard, nobody  moved  without  Bill's  say  so!  Out  front  Mark Baldock  stood  with  a  very  large  video  camera,  modern  for  the  day.  Rose  and Una  had  spent  6  months  and  towards  the  end  three  nights  a  week rehearsing  the  caste,  and  also  Sunday  mornings  with  the  very  young children.
Front  Line  were  the  resident  group  to  the  right  of  the  stage  comprising Nick Gunn, Alan ( chop ) Lambert,  Tony Gamball,  Steve Austin  and  Craig Winter,   Chop  acted  as  M.C.  and also as M.C.  in  the  Audience participation  of  the  Mr  &  Mrs  Quiz   assisted  by  Deborah Burgin.
The show  opened  with  The  Rosettes,  all  girls  in  their  mid  teens,  Rachel Smith,  Kerry Gunn,  Sue Tapp,  Pea Mount,  Catrina  Snell,  Julie Mapp,  Natalie Smith, Nina Smith,  Marie Smith  (not related) and  Jodie Harcup who  unfortunately  could  not  dance  as  she  broke  her  arm.  What  a sensation  they  were,  they  appeared  several  times  during  the  show  but brought  the  house  down  with  their  final  number  the  Can  Can.
The Choristers  comprised  of  18  young  singers  between  the  age  of  4  and 13  singing  Christmas  carols,  after  Feed  the  World  was  sung  by  the Rosettes  and  Front  Line  the  Choristers  returned  to  sing  the  Christmas Alphabet,  with  her  long  blond  hair  4  year  old  Jadfe Bryant  was a  little  show  stopper  when  she  turned  round  holding  the  letter  H, the  youngsters  all  put  their  heart  and  sole  into  the  occasion. The Delinquents  sang  Two  Little  Boys,  and  we  were  treated  to  Eddie Pilgrim  the comedian,  signs  kept  coming  on  behind  him  with  the  words   “Applaud” and  “Laugh”  and  they  tried  to  wheel  him  in  with a large fishing  hook, ( still  don't  get  the  joke  about  the  “Dog  on  the  Escalator”).
The Great  Raymondo  Ray Oddy  in  disguise  sang  “If  I  Were  A  Rich  Man” and  Tina Tingey  did  Lily  Marlene.   Cliff Clements sang  Leaning on  a  Lamppost  until  Trish Shepherd wondered  by.  Wendy Bryant  and  Sandra Tapp  sang  Sisters  and  a  saucy  ditty  “Good  Girl”,  Kenina did  D Train.
The Silhouettes: Una Burgin,  Delcey Rees,  Wendy Bryant,  Tina Tingey  and  Marion Gunn  led a sing song. Nice to see them in front of the curtain!
The committee  did  “If  I  were  not  Upon  the  Stage”  which  was  very  funny, first  on  was  Tony Rees dressed  as  a  Fireman  bucket  in  hand  singing his  ditty,  next  on  Cliff Clements   as  a  sweep  with  broom  in  hand, followed  by  Rusty Burgin who  wanted  to  be  a  Football  Referee, clad  in  black  uniform  and  bouncing  a  ball,  then  came  Brian Bartlett  who  with  spade  in  hand  wanted  to  be  a  Groundsman,  John Rees  followed dressed  in  Welsh  Rugby  Supporters  gear  and  carrying  a  very  large  Leak, when  he  started  singing  “Come  on  Wales”  this  sparked  re-action  from the  “Groundsman”.  Then  on  came  Ray Oddy,  the  fairy  of  your  dreams offering  3  wishes  with  wand  in  hand.  Sandra Tapp came  on  last as  a  Gym  Teacher  doing  exercises  which  of  course  all  the  others  joined in  knee  bending  and  all!  What  a  noise  they  made  all  trying  to  “sing” their  own  bit  at  the  same  time.
Rose Hines   was  elected  Lady  of  the  Year  the  following  May  and  she certainly  earned  it.
During  1985  several  approaches  to  Blue  Circle  with  reference  to  the  A.P.C.M. Clubhouse  had  drawn  a  blank  but  on  9  December  the  Chairman  Rusty Burgin  called  a  special  committee  meeting  when  a  reply  was  received from  Wards.  A  set  of  the  following  papers  was  put  in front  of  each committee  member:
Copy of reply from Wards
A statement of estimated running costs of the A.P.C.M.  prepared by the Club's Officers and this was explain
A draft reply to
Blue Circle
The draft  reply  was  discussed  at  length,  it  was  recognised  that,  although the  letter  was  in  the  form  of  an  offer,  as  requested  by  BCI  there would  be  no  commitment  at  this  stage,  only  agreement  to  negotiate.
The committee  unanimously  agreed  that  the  terms  set  out  were  acceptable and  that  the  letter  should  be  sent  to  BCI.   A  reply  was  received and  the  Club's  Officers  Rusty Burgin,  Sandra Tapp,  Colin Gunn  and Peter Scales (Land  Secretary)  met  and  on  Christmas  Eve  1985  sent  a  letter  agreeing  to  BCI's  terms.  At  the  same  time  the  plans for  the  building  of  the  Clubhouse  on  Murston  Park  proceeded  as  approval of  the  drawings  lasted  for  7  years.
Christmas   1985   for  the  Club  was  one  to  be  celebrated,  it  looked  like  a lot  of  hard  work  and  enthusiasm  would  reap  reward  in  1986 !

January  1986  started  with  an  air  of  expectancy  awaiting  a  reply  from  Blue  Circle, the  Club  had  a  busy  year  ahead  with  many  social  events  arranged,  a half  marathon,  Christmas  Jamboree  and  a  5-a-side  competition  all  to raise  money  for  our  Clubhouse  be  it  the  one  we  would  build  on  Murston Park  or  now  on  a  more  positive  note  the  A.P.C.M.  Clubhouse.  The  Building Fund  stood  at  £4,715  with  the  Jamboree  having  raised  £212  and  the Christmas  Dance  £169.
On 7  February  a  letter  was  received  from  Blue  Circle  agreeing  to  the 10  year  Lease;  the  Clubs'  Officers  Rusty Burgin,  Sandra Tapp,  Colin Gunn  and  Peter Scales the  Land  Secretary  met  and  drew  up  a list  of  questions  for  the  Main  Club  Committee  to  go  through  to  cover most  aspects  on  the  negotiations.  On  18  February  these  are  the  points which  were  discussed  and  agreed:
1. Membership stood  at  284  plus  15  honorary  and  membership  would  be  frozen.
2. Existing Members of the A.P.C.M.  would be invited to join Woodcoombe.
3. The Rugby  team  had  also  wanted  to  Lease  the  Clubhouse  and  it  was  agreed that  for  the  time  being  they  would  not  be  invited  to  join  our  Club.
4 Existing bookings at the club would be honoured
5. A Planning  Committee  would  be  set  up  and  the  Officers  recommended:  Rusty Burgin  would  be  the  Chairman plus:  Peter Scales,  Colin,Gunn, Peter Wyeth,  Len Bateman,  Ray Oddy.
6. Blue Circle to be asked for information on Breweries
7. An Extra-Ordinary  General  Meeting  of  the  Members  be  called  and  a  letter sent  from  the  Chairman  with  an  update  and  letting  them  know  that  an E.G.M.  would happen.
8.    Trustees were discussed
9. Agreed the  Improvement  and  Development  of  the  Clubhouse  to  go  to  the  Planning Committee.
10. Also  agreed  Colin Gunn to  approach  the  bank  and  also  check  the  Fire  Regulations,  Peter Wyeth  to  look  at  Licences,  Peter Scales  to  write  to  our  Solicitor and  Peter  also  to  write  to  B.C.I.  offering £1,000 for the two snooker tables.  Also  agreed  that  we  take  on  our  own  staff  and  as  it  stood the  Lease  would  start  on  1  June  1986  at  £10,000  per  annum,  we  would ask  for  the  first  six  months  free  to  get  us  started.
On the  10  April  a  very  important  meeting  was  held  at  Blue  Circle  House in  Snodland  with  Rusty Burgin,  Sandra Tapp,  Colin Gunn  and   Peter Scales  representing  the  Club  with  three  B.C.I.  Officials.  There  was discussion  on  equipment  and  furniture,  rental  payments,  maintenance  standards, Licences,  fruit  machines  and  snooker  tables  (too  expensive  for  us  to buy  as  they  wanted  £5,000),  they  discussed  stock  taking,  running  costs, current  membership,  utilities  and    improvements,  they  also  agreed  a handover  date  of  2  June  1986 .
On 14  April  the  OFFICERS  reported  back  to  the  Main  Club  Committee who  went  through  everything  with a  fine  toothcomb,  and  Peter Scales reported  that  our  “guestimation”  figures  were  basically  on  target and  we  would  break  even  taking  into  account  the  first  years  rent  of £10,000  although  this  had  been  negotiated  to  £5,000  for  the  first  year taking  the  first  free  six  months  into  account.
The Main  Club  Committee  had  appointed  a  Bar  Sub-Committee,  (Planning  Committee) as  already  mentioned,    yes  a  lot  of  committees  but  all  necessary  with so  much  going  on.  This  committee's  task  was  to  discuss  staffing,  opening hours  and  to  appoint  a  BAR  MANAGER .  The  General  Secretary Sandra Tapp   wrote  to  the  Membership  on  29  March  inviting  applications from  the  Membership.  It  was  agreed  that  Rusty Burgin,  Peter Scales and  Brian Sherwood  who  was  independent  of  any  of  the  sub committees  would  do  the  interviewing.
Of course  whilst  all  this  was  going  on  life  elsewhere  in  the  Club  was bustling  too.  There  was  a  Valentine's  Disco  on  14  February  a  Youth Disco  on  22  February,  A  Hen  Night  on  24  March  which  Marion Gunn and  Sandra Tapp absolutely  worked  their  socks  off  and  the  tickets were  all  sold  in  no  time  at  all,  enough  money  was  raised  to  purchase the  80  chairs  on  sale  by  the  Fox  &  Goose  at  £5  each.
On 21  March  a  Horse  Racing  Evening  with  eight  teams  was  held,  on  the 12  April  there  was  a  50's  &  60's  disco  organised  by  the  Cricket Section,  and  on  the  15 th   June  a  Treasure  Hunt  -  the  Social Committee  were  in  full  flow  and  also  had  the  Presentation  Dinner  to organise.
The Presentation  Dinner  and  Dance  took  place  at  the  Town  Hall  on  9  May dancing  to  the  Bronx  Band  and  the  Club's  Awards  were  presented  to: Marion Gunn Member  of  the  Year,  Rose Hines Lady  of the  Year,  Sandra Tapp Chairman's  Award,  and  the  Murston  Park  Shield was  awarded  jointly  to  Colin Gunn and  Brian Bartlett.
On 28   April  the  Land  Management  Sub  Committee  Brian Bartlett, Colin Gunn, Peter Wyeth,  Shaun Burgin,  Ray Oddy  and  Peter Scales   the  Committee's Chairman,  reported  that  all  mowers  had  been  overhauled,  light  roller purchased,  the  broken  window  in  the  garage  was  boarded  up,  fencing repaired,  15  concrete  bollards  had  been  made  to  go  around  the  corner car  park  and  2  concrete  benches  had  been  purchased  for  £15.  Discussion took  place  on  repairs  to  the  ground  around  the  goalmouths  and  application of  weed killer  on  the  whole  field.  Topsoil,  ballast  and  turf  were  ordered, and  it  had  been  agreed  by  the  Main  Club  Committee  that  the  management of  the  changing  rooms  in  the  A.P.C.M.  would come under this committee. This  committee  met  once  a  month  but  the  upkeep  of  Murston  Park  was obviously  very  important  and  was  continuous;  with  everything  going  on regarding  the  Lease  of  the  A.P.C.M.  this  committee  just  got  on  with the  important  tasks  entrusted  to  them.
On 4  February  Rusty Burgin and  Sandra Tapp  attended  a  meeting of  Sittingbourne  Ladies  Hockey  Club  now  our  Hockey  Section  when  it transpired  that  they  were  worried  that  the  hockey  pitch  would  not  be ready  for  next  season,  Rusty  assured  them  that  everything  was on  schedule  for  the  pitch  and  the  Club  had  already  spent  £630  including their  donation  of  £250.  Sandra  and  Rusty were  told  that some  of  the  members  would  not  be  renewing  their  membership  with  Woodcoombe so  there  was  concern  for  the  section.  It  was  agreed  that  the  hockey players  hold  an  Extra-Ordinary  General  Meeting  and  get  back  to  us, at  the  E.G.M.  the  hockey  team  withdrew  from  the  Club  and  therefore the  section  no  longer  existed.  On  14  April  the  hockey  team  sent  Woodcoombe a  cheque  for  £150  towards  the  money  spent  on  Murston  Park.
This was  not  the  only  section  lost  to  the  Club  that  year,  in  June  Keith Baldock  the  Chairman  of  the  Video  Section  attended  the  Main  Club Committee  to  explain  that  due  to  rising  costs  the  section  could  not go  on  without  a  huge  cash  injection  which  would  not  be  asked  for, at  their  Annual  General  Meeting  the  section  had  therefore  agreed  to fold.  The  section  passed  over  £147.17  which  was  in  their  bank  account after  selling  off  old  videos  to  members.
On 23  April  an  Extra-Ordinary  General  Meeting  was  held  where  new  Rules were  accepted  giving  a  new  management  structure  and  the  Chairman  Rusty Burgin   was  able  to  answer  questions  about  the  proposed  leasing  of the  A.P.C.M.   The  position  of   Bar  Manager was  also  filled when  following  interviews  with  Charlie Harrington,  John Hook  and Colin Gunn,  it  was  announced  that  Colin Gunn  was  the  successful candidate.
At the  Annual  General  Meeting  in  May  the  following  were  elected:  Chairman, Rusty Burgin,  General  Secretary  Sandra Tapp,  Treasurer  Peter Scales,  replacing  Colin Gunn,  Membership  Secretary  Tony Cuthbert, Sections  Secretary  Brian Sherwood,  Social  Secretary  Ray Oddy, Bar  Secretary  Peter Wyeth,  Land  Secretary  Brian Bartlett, General  Committee  Members:  en Bateman, Bill Tingey,  Shaun Burgin and Cliff Hogan. Jock Weir chaired  the  meeting  as  Rusty Burbin was  sick  and  he  expressed  great  pleasure  at  the  Club's  progress. A  vote  of  thanks  went  to  Colin Gunn for  all  his  hard  work,  and thanks  went  to  Barrie Tapp and  Tim Byrne  for  once  again auditing  the  books – professionals  would  be  used  in  future.
There was  going  to  be  a  new  form  for  members  to  complete  which  covered all  members  of  the  family  and  would  show  the  category  of  a  member. Membership was agreed as £6 with nil for juniors.
There was  a  lot  of  buzz  and  excitement  around  the  Club  during  May  and  a lot  of  anticipation  as  to  when  it  would  all  happen.  On  10  June  Peter Scales  went  to  see  the  Club's  four  TRUSTEES  they  were the  four  people  who  had  signed  the  Lease  on  Murston  Park  on  behalf of  the  Club  and  they  were  about  to  sign  the  Lease  with  Blue  Circle for  the  A.P.C.M.  Clubhouse,  they  are:  Eddie Pilgrim,  George Gibson, Peter Scales  and  Ray Oddy.  Also at a  meeting  that  day  discussion took  place  on  Gaming  Licence  Application,  Insurance,  Health  and  Safety and  the  fact  that  the  Fire  Officer  was  now  satisfied  that  the  fire appliances  were  working.  The  committee  certainly  got  a  quart  from  a pint  with  all  the  things  they  had  to  do.
Amongst the  other  things  the  Main  Club  Committee  discussed  were  terms  of  reference for  the  Bar  Committee,  the  Land  Committee  and  the  Social  Committee. It  was  agreed  that  the  Assistant  Secretary  Chair  the  meetings  plus one  other  Main  Club  Committee Member and  3  other  members.  The  Land  Committee became  responsible  for  the  Changing  Rooms,  the  Bar  Committee  responsible for  the  activities  in  the  bar,  and also for the appointment of  Bar  Staff.
The Signed  Lease  was  finally  agreed  on  23  June  1986  and  we  also  went before  the  Magistrates  for  Application  for  a  Club  Licence.  On  the  24 th June  the  stock  takers  went  in  ours  was  Roy Jackson ,  a  price agreed  and  there  we  were  our  first  day  up  and  running.  £100  was  spent on  food  and  drink  to  wet  the  Club's  head,  after  22  years  with  no base  here  we  were  celebrating  and  toasting  WOODCOOMBE'S NEW  CLUBHOUSE  AND  NEW  HOME.
So what was this Clubhouse building like?  Firstly  it  was  conveniently  across the  road  to  our  playing  field  Murston  Park  and  secondly  it  had  potential for  expansion  and  maybe  one  day  purchase.
It had  changing  rooms,  a  hall  with  no  bar,  the  rear  windows  overlooked land  at  the  back  and  the  hall  was  next  to  the  kitchen,  from  the kitchen  window  you  could  see  the  overgrown  bowling  green  and  land. Opposite the kitchen in the hallway were the toilets.  The  games  room/bar  also overlooked  the  bowling  green  and  the  other  side  of  the  window  is  where the  new  lounge  with  small  stage  now  stands.  The  bar  was  small  and back  to  back  with  the  kitchen,  and  the  snooker  tables  were  in  the same  position  as  in  2004 .  There  was  no  entrance  lobby  as  Members used  the  main  door  situated  in  the  centre  of  the  front  of  the  building. The  walled  car  park  was  there  but  no  parking  down  the  side  and  no gates,  also  no  tennis  court  went  with  the  land.
In June  Colin Gunn  and  SandraTapp  went  to  see  Mr  Earl  at the  Nat.  West  Bank  to  ask  for  a  loan  of  £5,000,  just  in  case  we needed  it.  At  one  point  during  the  discussion  Colin kicked  Sandra's foot  under  the  table,  think  he  must  have  thought  she  was  about to  put  that  foot  “in  it”.  As  a  result  of  the  meeting  a  loan  was agreed  but  the  bank  wanted  Guarantors  for  the  money.  It  is  well  known that  when  they  came  out  of  the  bank  Colin  said  to  Sandra  “time  to  put  your  money  where  your  mouth  is”.
On 11  July  at  a  meeting  at  Sandra's  house  the  following  five  people put  pen  to  paper  and  acted  as  GUARANTORS  for  the  Club to  the  tune  of  £1,000  each.  They  were:  Sandra Tapp,  Colin Gunn,  Ray Oddy,  Eddie Pilgrim  and  Tony Cuthbert.   There  were  of  course others  who  would  have  done  the  same,  but  this  shows  the  confidence these  five  had  not  only  in  themselves,  that  they  would  make  it  all work  out,  but  the  great  confidence  they  all  had  in  each  other's  abilities. In  effect  the  GUARANTORS  were  putting  their  own  necks  on the  line!
There were  of  course  lots  of  jobs  to  do  around  the  Clubhouse  including  washing walls  and  what  a  wonderful  member  we  had  in  Marion Gunn who  set about  making  curtains  for  the  hall,  lounge,  games  room  and  finally the  stage.
Just to  give  an  idea  of  the  things  going  on,  still  at  pace,  up  until the  end  of  the  year,  there  were  new  pumps  fitted  behind  the  bar, ice  making  machine  installed,  lager  offer  from  Whitbread  taken  up,  we were  looking  at  smoke  extractors,  a  new  tape  player  for  the  music in  the  bar  was  purchased,  Charlie Barker  worked  hard  keeping  the snooker  tables  in  order  and  Cheryl Oddy came  by  three  second-hand table  tennis  tables.  A new cooker was purchased, glasses   and an Electronic Dart Scorer.
Obviously the  Club  was  looking  to  save  as  much  money  as  possible  and  on  7th July  the  General  Secretary  wrote  to  MR  THOMAS  at  Swale  Borough  Council asking  for  a  rent  reduction  on  Murston  Park,  in  November  he  came  back with  a  3  year  reduction  the  rent  being  halved  to  £300  per  annum.
On 6  July  the  Football  Section  hosted  a  Senior  5  a-side  competition  which attracted  40  teams,  the  main  organisers  were :  Barrie Tapp,  Dave Matthews and  Fred Grover  and  Barrie  had  invited  any  boys  over 13  in  the  Club  who  would  like  to  be  ball  boys  to  get  in  touch. The event brought £500 into the Club!
5 a-side  was  a  sport  the  Club  excelled  at  and  the  following  players represented  South  East  England  against  teams  like  Scotland  and  Northern Ireland  at  Luton  on  5/6 July:  Richard Lusted,  Daren Hines,  Wayne Lewer, John Hancock  and  John Kaye.   The  Under  16  team  won  the  National Association  of  Youth  Clubs  Great  Britain  Trophy.
During 1986   the  Club  also  took  on  two  major  events  to  raise  money for  the  Club.  They were the half marathon and a second Christmas Jamboree. A  lot  of  planning  for  the  half  marathon  took  place  in  1985  but these  continued  at  pace  as  the  race  was  run  on  Sunday  April  6 th .
In March  the  Club  was  devastated   to  learn  of  the  death  of  Cliff Clements   whilst  out  running,  Cliff left  wife  Sylvia and  daughters Alison and  Sarah .  Sittingbourne  Lights  donated  a  CLIFF CLEMENTS  MEMORIAL  TROPHY to be presented to  the  first  Woodcoombe runner  to  finish.
In true  Woodcoombe  tradition  the  half  marathon  committee  picked  itself  up and  got  on  with  the  arrangements.  Sandra Tapp,  Marion and  Colin Gunn  spent  many  mornings  together  planning,  Marion made  armbands for  the  marshals  and  jackets  and  did  many  of  the  posters  to  go  around the  course,  Colin, amongst  other  things,  prepared  the  Runners' pack  which  contained  all  the  information  the  runners  could  need.  and Sandra  never  left  the  typewriter  and  issued  the  running numbers and packs as the entries  came  in  with  help  from  daughter Sue Tapp  and  husband  Barrie Tapp -  there  was  a  great  deal  to  do.  The  running numbers  were  issued  according  to  sex,  age  and  speed,  for  example  the Over  Forties   i.e.  Veterans, had numbers in the 400 range for easy identification. Maybe  one  of  the  funniest  things  was  collecting  the  cones  from  the Town  Hall  to  go  down  the  A249,  not  many  per  car!  Putting  up  the Start  and  Finish  flags  fell  to  Colin   these  had  to  be  placed perfectly  so  that  the  distance  was  an  exact  ½  Marathon.
In March  Sandra Tapp   sent  out  letters  to  all  the  volunteers  who would  be  marshalling  the  course  to  tell  them  where  they  would  be  positioned on  the  course  and  the  approximate  time  the  runners  would  pass,  a  car would  follow  the  tail  enders  and  the  marshals  would  be  told  when  their task  was  completed.  A  full  briefing  of  the  120  marshals,  69  on  the course  was  held  on  April  2 nd   so  that  the  marshals  could get  an  overall  impression  of  what  would  occur,  they  also  heard  a  few words  from  Chief  Inspector  Coltham.  They  were  each  sent  a  marked  map to  show  them  where  they  would  be  standing.
Also briefed  were  the  early  risers  who  would  drive  round  the  course  putting up  the  direction  signs  on  the  lampposts.  The  team  at  the  Clubhouse included  timekeepers  in  case  anything  went  wrong  with  the  clock,  once again  Bill Tingey  was  holding  a  clip  board  as  he  was  in  charge of  this  department,  his  crew  included  all  Main  Club  Committee  Members and  their  wives  not  otherwise  engaged,  holding  stop  watches.  Keith Baldock was responsible for the C.B.  system  and  Maggie Scales  and Jackie Sherwood  the  canteen .  Brian Bartlett also  had  a clip  board  as  he  was  to  navigate  the  lead  car  around  the  course. Brian Sherwood was  responsible   for  getting  runners  over  to  the funnel  system,  Sandra Tapp  was  in  the  hall  collating  the  finishing order  and  Colin Gunn  was  everywhere  else!    Chairman  Rusty Burgin  looked  after  the  guests  including  The  Mayor  and  Counsellors.  In  her newsletter  in  March  to  the  members  Sandra wrote  the  following:
“ The long  awaited  day  the  Club's  half  marathon  will  soon  be  here  and  let's hope  it  will  be  as  prestigious  for  Sittingbourne  as  I  am  sure  it will  be  for  the  Club.  The race will be started at Murston Park at 10 a.m.  by  The Mayor  with  Miss  Sittingbourne  in  attendance,  and  the  race  will  take between  1hr 10mins  and  2.5  hours  to  complete,  presentations  will  be made  at  12.00 noon.  If  you  come  down  to  the  Park  leave  your  car  as there  will  be  Police  No  Waiting  Signs.  Here  seems  a  good  place  to thank  Sittingbourne  Police  and  Swale  Borough  Council  for  their  fantastic co-operation.
 FUN  CASTLE,  CANTEEN,  BAR,  and  Murston  Scouts  manning  our  Baggage   Tents. There is a P.A.  System  over  which  you  can  hear  the  progress  of  the race  thanks  to  the  wonder  of  C.B.s.  A  funnel  system  with  a  computer is  used  at  the  Finish,  and  Swale  Motors  are  providing  a  car  to  carry our  double  sided  clock.  Prizes:  £100  Holiday  Vouchers  for  first  man and  woman,  ticket  for  2  plus  car  to  Holland  from  Olau  second  place, Veteran's  Cup  from  Harpers,  £50  petrol  for  first  Sittingbourne  runner from  Swale  Motors  and  the  Cliff  Clements  Memorial  Cup   donated by  the  Christmas  Lights  committee  for  the  first  Woodcoombe  runner. 
There will  be  20  specials  on  the  course   plus  2  police  cars  and  2  police motor  cyclists  and  St.  John's  Ambulance,  our  thanks  to  them,  also  65 of  our  own  Marshals,  three  Junior  Football  teams  on  the  drinks  stations plus  the  “Rosettes”  our  girls,  on  another.  There  will  also  be  6  C.B. cars  and  our  thanks  to  Swale  Breakers  for  their  help.
The route  is  as  follows:  Murston  Park,  Dolphin  Road,  Castle  Rd.,  Eurolink Way,  Crown  Quay,  St.  Michaels  Rd.,  passed  the  station  and  under  bridge to  Mill  Way  roundabout,  Church  St., Chalkwell  Rd., A.2,  Staplehurst  Rd., Windmill  Rd.  Laxton  Way  (Drinks  Station),  Vicarage  Rd,  North  St., Grovehurst Rd., Bramblefield  Lane,  Sheppey  Way,  Key  St  A.2,  Sandford  Rd.,  Gadby Rd.,  Staplehurst  Rd., back  to  Chalkwell  roundabout,  Millway  Roundabout, station,  St.  Michael's  Rd., East  St.,  Harold  Rd., Thomas Rds., Woodberry Drive  (Drinks  Station),  Keswick  and  Vincent,  back  to  A.2  down  to  Hempstead Lane  and  passing  Duck  Pond,  Tong  Rd.,  Oak  Rd.,  Broom  Rd,  Portland Ave.,  Tong  Rd.,  Church  Rd.,  Murston  Park.
Runners to  watch  for:  Woodcoombe  Teams  chasing  Courage's  Prize:  Team  A:  131 Tim BryneE,  132  Mark Clements,  133  Neil Matthews,  134  Clive Rossiter  - Team  K  312  Peter Wyeth,  313  Steve Hammond,  362  Robert Bartlett, 372  Shaun Burgin.   Watch  out  for  teams  E – H  the  Fox  &  Goose -  Dave Cogger  309,  Bob Grover  371,  Peter Hearne  428  (running  for Hospital),  Sue Lambert  also  running  for  the  hospital,  and  Graham Ware all  Woodcoombe.  All  our  runners  need  sponsorship  and  I  will be  pleased  to  take  offers  of  sponsorship  for  them,  the  money  raised will  go  to  the  Clubhouse.  No. 45 is Lynn Hughes ex-world record holder at 40 miles.  Other  runners  of  interest  locally  and  are  very  fast  are: Martyn  Underwood  No. 5  from  Bapchild,  No. 30  William  Keevil  from  Cheshire, No. 10  Paul  Constable  from  Rainham,  Tony  Ervin  No. 18  from  Sheerness, and  Dave  Deevoy  from  Periwinkle  Close No.28.  Annie Briggs No. 17 is the fastest recorded lady.  There are 35 ladies.  I  hope  this  list  helps  you enjoy  the  race  even  more.  SPONSERS!  I  forgot  No. 151  Steve steer a  member  of  our  ½  Marathon  Committee!
The race  was  won  by  Anthony  Irwin  in  a  time  of  with  Martin Underdown  second,  he  was  also  the  first  local  runner,  the first  lady  was  Susan  Martin  in  and  the  first  Veteran  Lynn Hughes  in  Our  own  Committee  Member  P eter Wyeth proudly carried  off  THE  CLIFF  CLEMENTS  MEMORIAL  TROPHY  for  the first  Woodcoombe  runner,  and  Medway  Veteran's  won  the  team  award.  Our own teams finished in 6th and 7th places.
After the  race  the  Club  received  many  letters  of  congratulations,  one  was from  Matt  Davitt  of  Cambridge  Harriers  and  read:
“Having just  completed  my  seventh  ½  Marathon  of  1986  I  must  congratulate  you and  your  team  on  a  very  well  organised  event  also  on  the  excellent quality  of  finishers  medal."
Points: Well Policed – Well Marshalled – Drinks Stations, just right!  And  an  excellent course  (Don't  change  it,  please)  -  security  for  our  belongings – splendid (A  thing  bigger  events  don't  ever  consider)  and  most  of  all  how  pleasant and  helpful  everyone  was.  Unfortunately  the  day  was  cold  but  it  won't be  like  that  every  year.  Once again thank you for a most enjoyable day.
P.S. I  was  a  Scottish  International  Long  Distance  Athlete  until  last  year when  I  had  to  have  a  heart-pace-maker   implant  and  am  just  getting back  to  a  sort  of  fitness,  and  am  also  pleased  to  say  that  I  did a  personal  best  on  Sunday,  on  the  races  I've  done  after  my  transplant.”
After the  successful  race  a  Race  Results  Sheet  had  to  be  compiled  using the  numbers  and  times,  Keith Baldock  offered  to  help  on  this  one and  did  it  on  his  computer.  Unfortunately  Keith  was  not  around  the following  years  to  do  this  which  would  leave   Sandra  and  Colin   the  extensive  job  of  doing  it  manually. In  September  the  ½  Marathon Committee  started  meeting  again  joined  by  A lison Clements  and  planning  for  1987   started.
The second  big  event  which  the  Club  staged  again  was  THE  CHRISTMAS JAMBOREE,  Rose Hines started  rehearsing  the  cast  on  a  Tuesday evening  in  July  and  once  again  with  Una Burgin her  assistant  what a  production  they  put  on  over  three  nights.
Rose was  the  Master  of  Ceremonies  this  time  and  introduced  Matt Vinyl  and  the  Emulsions   who  did  various  musical  turns  throughout the  show,  she  also  called  on  Terry Barton to  help  out  throughout the  show  with  his  guitar  and  he  did  a  routine  on  his  own.  Gary Maslin  introduced  the  ROSETTES ,  the  same  line  up  as  last year  who  did  the  12  Days  of  Christmas  using  the  large  cards  to  get audience  participation.  Diane Yardley's Family tap-danced  as  the  Cockney Tappers  and  Pea Mount did  a  Christmas  monologue.
“The Flanagan's” were a big hit with Terry Wellard,John Rees, Albert Stubberfield and Terry Harper dressed  to  look the  part  and  singing the  part!  The  Puppeteers  was  also  an  act  with  a  difference, two  puppeteers working  two  human  puppets:  Jo Pilgrim, Kara Sweeney,  Heidi Stonecliff  and  Emma Hawkins.   In the middle  of  the  show  there  was  an  emergency  when Peter Scales   was rushed down  the  hall  on  a  stretcher  onto  the stage, we then witnessed an operation in shadow  behind a curtain, very  good, a  large  saw  was  used  and  bits  came  out  of  the  body,  at  the  end surgeon  Wendy Bryant appeared  with  a  healed  Peter Scales!
We were  entertained  by  the angelic  voices  of  Lorraine  and  Michelle,  and  charmed  by  the  little  ones  doing  their  nativity  scene,  then  on came  the  very  serious  comedy  duo  of  Curry  and  Champagne,  Ray Oddy  and  Tina Tingey  with  “Goodness  Gracious  Me” ,  say no more!
The Silhouettes  had  a  new  line-up  from  last  year  with  Chris Thorne,  Kath Jaques,  Wendy Bryant,  Una Burgin and  Sandra Tapp singing  well  known oldies;  and  once  again  the  ROSETTES  did  several  dances  including the  finally  “Can  Can”,   again  a  sensation.
“Play Your  Cards  Right” for  audience  participation  was  excellent with  Brian Bartlett  doing  an  excellent  “Brucey”  assisted  by  Deborah Burgin.  The  cards  were  brilliant  and  as  good  as  those  on  the  telly and  were  drawn  by  Richard Shepherd.
Behind the  scenes  Brian Sherwood  was  on  the  lights  and  David Burgin   co-ordinated  the  opening  and  closing  of  the  curtains,  Stage  Manager at  the  back,  nothing  moved  without  his  say  so,  was  Bill Tingey  (must have  been  born  with  that  clipboard),  and  Colin Gunn  Trouble-shooter. What  a  wonderful  job  Rose Hines   and  Una Burgin   did.
December was  very  busy  in  the  Club,  our  first  Christmas,  there  was  a  Christmas Bazaar,    130  children  attended  the  Christmas  party  and  Santa  did  house calls  on  Christmas  morning,  there  was  a  Christmas  Eve  disco  and  Boxing Day  lunchtime  disco  and  all  the  tickets  for  New  Year's  Eve  were  sold.
At year  end  the  Club  had  457  Full  Members,  17  Honorary  and  54  O.A.P.s and  the  Club  was  showing  a  profit  of  £6,895.01,  a  very  healthy  way to  close  the  year,  and  what  a  year  1986  was!!!

1987  as a whole looks like a continuous race with so many things started and completed and so many Members involved. On 23 October 1986 Blue Circle had agreed to the improvements we wished to make and the Main Club committee  displayed the plans for the new bar on the notice board.  On 2 February the plans for the alterations were submitted for Planning  and Building Regulations permission.
Clive Mason  was to build the new bar which would be where the old corridor was that led from the entrance hall to the snooker room, so we are talking here removal of wall. On 6 April the Chairman Rusty Burgin at a Main Club Committee meeting said that the bar cost would be £16,000 not including grill which was then estimated at £2,500.  £750 was needed for grills on windows and doors in the Clubroom and locks in the lounge, all for insurance purposes.  He went on that modification to security alarms would cost £800/£1,000, and the grill on the hall door suggested as an alternative to locks on windows would cost £150.  The overall costs of improvements now stood in the region of £20,000
On 4 May the last Main Club Committee meeting prior to the Annual General Meeting, the Treasurer Peter Scales tried to simplify his report prepared for the A.G.M.   Peter  said that after a payment to the builder of £4,500  we had a balance of £14,176.63.  Peter  explained that during the year a profit of 42% had been made on bar sales due to the discounts being larger than anticipated, about £2,000.
Peter went on to explain his Forward Projections which were based on the current year with 5% allowed for cost increases.  Under Clubhouse improvements an allowance had been made for what we had already agreed to spend.  Under improvements the following had been allowed: £16,000 new bar, £1,000 windows and door, £2,500 alarm, electric and plumbing, £1,000 curtains, £1,500 decorating.  As regards the changing room improvements it was also agreed to allow £5,000: the total in reserve at the end of the current year would then be £17,000.  Peter explained that in effect the profits made last year would cover the cost of the improvements in the Clubhouse, and that the changing rooms would be paid for out of next years profits.
At the Annual General Meeting Rules were changed whereby Juniors were classed as Under 18 and not 16.  Tony Cuthbert's  Membership Report showed a total of 1,604 Members in all.  The new Main Club Committee elected was:  Rusty Burgin Chairman, Sandra Tapp General Secretary, Peter Scales Treasurer, Tony Cuthbert Membership Secretary, and the following Assistant Secretaries elected:  Bar Peter Wyeth , Land Brian Bartlett, Social Ray Oddy, Section's Secretary Brian Sherwood,   Editor Richard Shepherd,  General Committee Members:  Terry Wellard,  Len Bateman, Bill Tingey.  This was to change during the year when Len Bateman took over as Social Secretary and Fred Grover was co-opted on as a General Committee Member.
In May the Presentation Dinner/Cabaret was held with a singer, comedian and JOHN KITNEY the magician.  To mark the occasion of our first Dinner in our own Clubhouse for £12 we ate the following with wine included:
Rusty Burgin was honoured to welcome the Membership and asked  Jock Weir  to present the Club's Awards.  The Member of the Year was Tony Cuthbert , The Lady of the Year was Janet Pilgrim , the Murston Shield was presented to Brian Roalf  and the Chairman's Award to Peter Scales.
The half marathon took place at the beginning of April on a similar format as in the previous year.  Amongst the donations were two £75 vouchers from Burtons for the winning lady and man, one donated by Burtons and one by Woodcoombe, the Whitbread Team trophy, £10 Sava Centre Voucher for the second lady and the Cliff Clements Memorial Trophy for the first Woodcoombe runner.
Steve Steer  re-walked  the route to get the accurate Start and Finish Lines.  Richard Shepherd  was responsible for all the new signs, and Alison Clements  received all the runners entries and issued the numbers.  Keith Baldock put forward a programme for the results which could also be adapted for membership if required, with BillTingey making a large contribution to the work. In her Annual General Meeting Report Race Organiser  Sandra Tapp also thanked husband Barrie Tapp for all his help.  Marion  and Colin Gunn were once again there to help with loads of enthusiasm.
Youngsters Nick Gunn and Mark Baldcock   were out at 6 a.m. on Race morning helping to monkey up lampposts hanging up signs.  Roger Ford  told of his marshalling point on Staplehurst Bridge where he became a human wall trying to get the runners off of the road and onto the path over the hump back bridge. A well known lady Club Member forgot to put her alarm on and arrived an hour late;  the C.B. driver ahead of the runners had to stop and “man” a corner until help arrived!  Many of the Marshals returned to the Clubhouse with signs taken down from the lampposts, which was great for those due to drive round taking them down later on.
Although the ½ Marathon never made the Club much money it did a lot to promote itself, and the race was known by the runners as the Sittingbourne ½ Marathon .
Throughout the year the Social Committee Bill and Tina Tingey, Maggie Scales, Una Burgin, Paul Ryder with help from Marion  and  Colin Gunn were firstly Chaired by Ray Oddy then Len Bateman.  They organised a Cockney Evening, an “Um Par” evening, Hen Night, Inter Club Horseracing Evening, Treasure Hunt followed by a Bar-B-Q, a Club Night, a Sports Quiz, organised by Peter Wyeth, Children's Christmas Party, Santa House Calls on Christmas Day, and Eclipse Disco were entertaining in the Club on Christmas Eve., Boxing Day Lunchtime, New Year's Eve and New Year's Lunchtime, all of these family discos were very well supported.  From August onwards there was live music every last Saturday of the month.
To save clashes with Section events and meetings Ray Oddy  requested that a list of what was going on during the month be pinned on the notice board, it was that hectic . 
The Club was obviously very busy with functions, many meetings by the various committees, and improvements going on all around, so on 3 August 1987 Rusty Burgin  again summarised the position at a Main Committee Meeting with an Itinerary to complete improvements.  The bar was completed at the end of July at a cost of just over £16,000, and the Back Bar would cost £1,700.  The Entrance Porch was near completion, and Monday Night Games were improving the flooring around the Dart Board.  New Lights were going up in the lounge, and artex and imitation beam effect in the lounge and games room.  The existing Entrance Hall was to be emulsion and solid doors put into the hall.  There would be a P.A. System in the hall task to Brian Sherwood and a new stereo purchased for the bar task to  Brian Bartlett ,  there would also be a Fireplace built in the bar area.
The Bar Committee were responsible for what went on in the Clubroom, not only prices and in July ordered new gaming machines and a larger pool table for matches, more glasses and a new beer-cooler unit.  Andy Glazier also drew up a new Code of Conduct and children under 14 were not allowed on the tables unless accompanied by an adult.  The Bar Committee comprised of Peter Wyeth, Chairman, Colin Gunn Bar Manager, Andy Glazier, Albert Stubberfield, Bob Warren and  Charlie Yardley , they worked very hard all year.
Throughout the year the Section Secretary Brian Sherwood took back and forth to the Main Club Committee suggestions from the Section Reps, and throughout the year also Brian Bartlett  with representatives from the Sections continued to manage and upkeep Murston Park .  In November Brian  was giving a damage report after a major storm (the 1987 Hurrican),  it had caused a rather large peice of the roof of the club, at the rear of the games room to be torn off. It was also confirmed by the Main Club Committee that it was Brian who had the final word on whether a match was off or not and not the Referee. 
The Football Section again held a very successful 5 a side competition, 39 entries and we won! A new Sunday team was added to the existing Saturday and Sunday teams, an Under 18 team was also started to be managed by Paddy Hines and a Junior Colts team, yes headache for Brian Bartlett the Fixtures Secretary.  Brian pointed out that there were only 33 Sundays in the season and there could be as many as 80 games!  The Youth Section did well with the Under 14 and Under 15 teams  reaching Cup Finals and  the  Under 16  5 a-side team retained the League trophy.
The Badminton Section donated an engraved bell to be used in the new bar, and whilst the Fishing Section were looking for new members Gardening was doing well, and their Make Bake and Grow Show was a great success.  The Golf Society held various competitions and went out 5 times for the day and “Player of the Year for Cricket was Paul Collison
In August and September the Changing Rooms were virtually to plastering and Tony Rees  was putting in new heating and a hot water system for the new showers, Charlie Yardley was in with his paintbrush and £400 was spent on external plastering and pebble dashing, the footballers were pleased.  £300 was allocated to Brian Bartlett to tidy up the land to the rear, and the Club paid Tommy George £300 for new furniture which was a lot cheaper than the asking price, and a new bar was going in the hall.
Richard Shepherd, the newsletter Editor asked the Membership if they would still like their newsletters delivered and received 50 “yes please” replies, other members would collect them from the Clubhouse.
The old cry of “You always get a bat with Woodcoombe” did not apply throughout the season and the Cricket Team won more matches than for many a year.  Brian Bartlett and  Brian Roalf worked hard preparing the square and pitches.
During the year Tricia Shepherd gave up her position of Deputy Bar Manager and  Judy Page  took this over .   Also we saw Richard Shepherd ordering new Club Jumpers with our Club Emblem on, which he designed with Colin Gunn, and it was also agreed that the money raised by Terry Wellard with the numerous raffles he did would go to Indoor Games .
An event which everyone looked forward to namely the third “Christmas Jamboree” took place at the beginning of December, it was once again produced by Rose Hines with side kick Una Burgin, a lot of design work was done by Richard Shepherd and Terry Barton helped a lot on the music side.  Bill Tingey was Stage Director, oh dear Clipboard again for Bill, must be part of your arm by now.  The dress rehearsal was a bit of a nightmare when Brian Sherwood the soundman had trouble with his switch!
Brian Bartlett did a great job as Master of Ceremonies and also did “Play Your Cards Right”  assisted by Deborah Burgin.  With the help of  Brian “Little Emma” picked out the winning programme number.  The audience saw the ROSETTES dancing , THE CHILDREN OF WOODCOOMBE  singing, a serious Ray Oddy singing “Send in the Clowns”,  Gary Masling showing stocking tops, Wendy Bryant and  Sandra Tapp singing “For We're a Couple of Swells”, Jo Pilgrim, Kara Sweeney and Heidi Stonecliff doing a tribute to Charlie Chaplin, “Odds and Stubs” ( Ray Oddy and Albie Stubberfield ) singing strolling and heard the beautiful voices of  Michelle and  Lorraine
Eddie Pilgrim, Andy Newman, Glen Wassell and Trevor Shepherd showed us how not to be “So Macho”,  and Flo and Beth took off Playschool ,  Pea Mount treated us to a “Laura Bunniford”  interview, and then the ROSETTES did a “Grease” tribute with Tina Tingey and  Ray Oddy doing John Travolta and Olivier Newton John's “Better Shape Up”.   The performance ended on a high note with four of the Rosettes:  Lyn Hines, Sue Tapp, Rachel Smith and Julie Matt were joined by Eddie Pilgrim, Glen Wassell and Andy Newman for the Can Can , the men did really well although their timing was occasionally out!!!
The year ended on a high except for the news that Sandra Tapp would have to find a new route for the ½ Marathon as the police objected to us using the A.249 again as part of the route; but that apart with 607 Full Members the total membership stood at 1,847; also the  Golf Society  welcomed their new Chairman Chris Oddy.

1988 started as a continuation of 1987, a hover and two new coat stands, new Back Bar for the hall, kitchen units being fitted and the kitchen and toilets were re-decorated, money for curtains for the lounge was allocated and everything was going well, then just to put a dampers on things the Boiler room was under water thankfully Rusty Burgin, Brian Barlett and  Colin Gunn were there to pump it out.  A new heating system for the Club suddenly jumped up the priority list.
Tribute should be paid to Rusty Burgin, BRrian Bartlett and  Colin Gunn for all the things they put right in the Club saving many pound notes, nothing was too much trouble and when Colin took his Bar Manager's hat off his Member's hat was still found to be underneath, where the drains were concerned nobody came up smelling of roses!!!
Members enjoyed quizzes on the 18 March and 20 May thanks to  Len Bateman  and there was regular monthly entertainment in the bar, a Tote Race Evening was held and a Fashion Show.  The Pool team felt honoured when the League asked them to host the Pool League Competition in May especially when Colin Gunn negotiated a £350 sponsorship for the competition from Fremlins. 
The Social Committee  during the year was made up of Bill Couchman, (the first Social Secretary who was replaced by Len Bateman in November,)  the committee comprised of Maggie Scales, Marion Gunn, Una Burgin, Len Bateman, Pat Bartlett, Paul Ryder, Judy Page and   Joe Stringer. Marion Gunn had headaches with arranging a float for the carnival it had a Sports and Social Theme, there was not a lot of help forthcoming from the sections but she plugged away and made a good job of her task.
The Presentation Dinner was held on 7 May and Glen Byrne helped out with the printing of the Menus.  Len Bateman really pulled the cat out of the bag when he got England Cricketer DEREK UNDERWOOD to present the awards to:  Una Burgin Lady of the Year,  Member of the Year John Rees, The Murston Shield was presented to Jeff Kemster and the Chairman's Award went to someone who was always in the background helping out Brian Sherwood.
On the 18 th May the INDOOR GAMES SECTION was formed, the committee was elected on 21 June and comprised of John Rees Chairman, Sandra Tapp Secretary, Jackie Sherwood Treasurer and there was a good representation of all the indoor games.
The Annual General Meeting saw some change of faces on the Main Club Committee,  the General Secretary Sandra Tapp had told the Chairman Rusty Burgin that she would be unable to stand for re-election as with the ½ Marathon as well to look after Woodcoombe had become a full time job, however Rusty did persuade Sandra to continue with the ½ Marathon, just like he persuaded Len Bateman to take over as Social Secretary later in the year. 
Rusty Burgin and his powers of persuasion is just a skill he has, many a time at meetings over the years he would say to the Committee, “leave it with me I'll have a word”, and bingo it all happened; subtle management skills!  Committee Members would often disagree with him but he held no grudges especially if the good of Woodcoombe was coming from the other person, in 1985 he gave his Chairman's award to Ray Oddy even though the two of them seemed to disagree continuously.  The words “Madam Secretary” could also be said in different tones!
In her last General Secretary's Report Sandra Tapp explained that the 1000 Club had now given way to the “Tote”.  She went on to remind the membership that our Lease on the Clubhouse ran out in 8 years and urged conserving our income with a view to purchasing the Clubhouse in 3 years when the rent would inevitably go up, she felt negotiations along this line should be on the drawing board within 18 months. She added that it had been a privilege to serve as General Secretary for the past three years when all her goals had been achieved.
In his report Peter Wyeth the Chairman of the Bar Committee thanked the Bar Committee for the tremendous amount of work put in.  The committee was:  Colin Gunn, Terry Wellard, Albert Stubberfield, Andy Glazier and  Bob Warren.  Throughout the year we had seen the following staff making the purchase of a drink more enjoyable:  Deputy Manager Judy Page, plus Barry Clark, George Baker, Tricia Shepherd, Marie Piper, Barbara Green, Sara Poultney, Pam Patterson, Ginny Redbond and Alan Melloy.  Peter also thanked Helen Phillips and Judy Page for keeping the Clubhouse spick and span.
A healthy and detailed Treasurer's Report was received from Peter Scales and reports were received from Tony Cuthbert, Membership, Brian Bartlett Land, Brian Sherwood Sections, Len Bateman Social, Barrie Tapp Golf, Dave Matthews Football , Brian Sherwood Cricket, Jackie Sherwood Gardening, Janet Pilgrim Badminton, Eddie Pilgrim Youth.  Tony's Membership Report showed: 644 Full Members, 580 spouses, 70 O.A.P., 15 Honorary and 648 Under 18's, a total of 1957 Members. Membership was kept at £6 and agreed £10 for new Members. 
The Chairman thanked Gardening for the two benches outside the lounge door and thanked the many people who had put themselves out to practically meet all our targets, Rusty Burgin added that he hoped the next two years would be quieter ones with no major improvements planned.
The new Committee was  Rusty Burgin Chairman, Brian Sherwood General Secretary, Peter Scales Treasurer, Tony Cuthbert Membership, Peter Wyeth  Bar, Brian Bartlett Land, Andy Glazier Sections, Bill Couchman Social, R. Williams Editor, Albert Stubberfield, Terry Wellard and Colin Gunn General Committee Members.
A significant alteration was made to the comings and goings of the Members on the day of the Annual General Meeting when the new porch entrance was opened – no longer would the old entry door be used.
The Welsh Football team came for a visit in June and the Club purchased a new typewriter. Football received a loan which turned into a grant of £250 for kit, unfortunately their 5 a-side competition had to be cancelled due to the bad weather, this weather also effected the flat roof over the lounge and this was repaired.
A new Bar Committee also took up it's roll in June in the form of Peter Wyeth , Terry Wellard, Colin Gunn (Bar Manager) Roger Ford, Barry Clark, Nick Graham, Chris Oddy and Alan Melloy
At September's Committee Meeting Peter Scales reported takings rising as were expenses on such items as tarmacing  the  area around the swings and  repairs on the Dennis Mower.  On 22 September the first discussions on purchasing the Club took  place at the Committee Meeting  Peter  said that we were not yet in a financial position where we could, but he would write to Blue Circle when the painting was finished.  The Committee agreed to go for Building Regulations on Phases 1 and 2 on the site earmarked for the erection of a Clubhouse on Murston Park, this to be a two storey building. 
Meanwhile the Cricket Season had finished and once again Paul Collison was voted “Player of the Year”.
The last quarter of the year there was a Barn Dance, Quiz Night, Club Evenings and 30 Members went to see the Wogan Show.  Out on the field the garage was broken into and the hedge trimmer stolen and it was agreed at Brian Barlett's suggestion that pitches booked outside of Murston Park would be paid for out of Main Club funds.   On the move were the Badminton Section who left Lansdown School and headed across to Rowena Sports Centre.
In the Clubhouse a fixed partition was erected for darts with initiatives from Indoor Games and Colin Gunn and Bill Couchman and Terry Wellard agreed to run a tote,  Bill would also purchase a Bingo Machine.  Due to the draft around the fireplace Rusty Burgin said he would look into laying a suitable gas supply for a Gas Fire.
On 5 December Peter Scales had a bit of a shock when he received the Solicitor's bill for the Lease of the Clubhouse, yes it did take it's time in arriving and was for £700,  but this did not put the dampers on the Casino Night run by Colin Gunn (won lots of beer, wish it had been money), nor on the Christmas Dance, Childrens' Christmas Party and Santa House Calls which once again inspired RAY ODDY.   Christmas and New Year were once again celebrated in true Woodcoombe style.

1989 started really badly for the Club when we approached Blue Circle with a view to the possible purchase of the Clubhouse or an extension of the Lease to bring it in line with the Lease on Murston Park . A meeting was held and the outcome was that Blue Circle would not extend our lease past 1991 and the question of purchasing was completely out of the question.
On 29 January the General Secretary Brian Sherwood wrote to Mr. Thomas at Swale Borough Council, who had always been supportive of the Club, to explain the position and ask if we built on Murston Park could the sale of intoxicating liquor be agreed to as under the Lease this was not allowed without the consent of Swale Borough Council, obviously the sale of liquor would be an essential to raise the funds for the ongoing upkeep of a new Clubhouse.
In his reply on 3 February Mr. Thomas thought there would be no problem as long as the activities of sport on the field took place, but as granted planning permission was for sports facilities he thought we would need planning permission for a sports and social club.
On 6 February the Main Club Committee appointed a sub-committee to deal with the building on Murston Park they were:  Rusty Burgin, Brian Sherwood, Peter Scales, Colin Gunn and  Brian BartlettT.   The new Clubhouse would be two floors with changing rooms and bar and upstairs would have a balcony area.  It was agreed in principle to use Colin Gunn's plans and it was anticipated that drawings could be submitted by October and work would start in March/April 1990.
In the meantime, although a little glum, life went on in the Clubhouse and it was agreed in January to have a gas supply to the fireplace in the lounge and also provision of a multipoint water heater in the kitchen, this would cost £800 and be done by Tony Rees.   It was also agreed to make a grant to Football of £500 for new kit for the Saturday and Senior Sunday sides.
The Section Secretary Ray Tyler found himself busy taking information back and forth to the Section Committee which usually comprised of Mike Clarkor Dave Matthews Football, Ken Newman Youth, Ron Miller, Janet  or Eddie Pilgrim Badminton, Brian Sherwood Cricket, Andy Glazier Indoor Games, Janet Pilgrim Gardening and BRIAN Bartlett Land. The Section Committees continued to run their own sections and were continuously informed as to the position on the Clubhouse.
In April the Club raised a whooping £401 for Comic Relief and the Main Club Committee agreed on a Ving Card (1060) entry system, this meant the door could always be locked to outsiders with each member having a “key”. The keys had the Member's name and number on the back and were written in black for a member, red for an associate member and green for an honorary member or O.A.P.
The Members once again joined in the fun of assisting with the ½ Marathon , a massive task once again undertaken by Sandra Tapp, Steve Steer, Richard Baker, Alison Clements , Marion  and Colin Gunn.   Once again there were 120 Marshals on the course with St. Johns Ambulance, the Scouts, C.B. personnel and the police assisting.  The Runners'Pack had a map showing all the sponsors names which Colin updated as Sandra reigned them in, unfortunately with no computerised system to do the results it meant Colin and Sandra spending a week compiling the results sheet. 
The race was won by Stephen Almond in a time of 1.11.44, he received £75 Argos Vouchers donated by B.C.I., second was Martyn Rouse who's prize was a Tribune Telephone donated by  B.T., David Horton in third place received a sports bag donated by Hubbard & Houghton and the first local runner Stephen Girolami Dinner for Two donated by La Cometa Restaurant.  The CLIFF CLEMENTS MEMORIAL TROPHY for the first Woodcoombe runner went to Martyn Sedge his time was an excellent 1.21.19 .
The winning lady in a time of 1.22.26 was Susan Martin who received £75 Argos Voucher donated by WOODCOOMBE SPORTS & SOCIAL CLUB second was Mary Sanderson who received £20 Dorothy Perkins Vouchers donated by Crispins , and the third lady Wendy McLlan like the third man received a sports bag.  The first local lady was Carol Hadlow receiving £10 D & A Vouchers and £10 Sava Centre Vouchers and the SANDRA TAPP TROPHY for the first Woodcoombe lady went to JEANNIE MILBURN in a great time of 1.50.51.
In true Woodcoombe style the ladies of the Club danced the evening away, Tricia Croucher (then Shepherd) was joining in especially with the high kicks – two hours later it was into labour and the ½ Marathon baby Amey Croucher was born.  (We helped you John ) .
To put the ½ Marathon together took six months of organisation with advertising, looking for sponsors, checking route, putting the necessary together for the day, ordering such things as the clock, medals and ribbons, and doing the Runners' Pack.  This particular ½ Marathon was the fourth the Club had organised and unfortunately the last, it did a great deal for our standing in the community and we had gained a lot of “brownie points” from Swale Borough Council, no harm there.
In May the Youth Section had their presentation and PHIL PARKES of West Ham did the honours.  It was also the Main Club's Presentation Dinner/Dance and the Club Awards were made to:  Member of the Year Terry Wellard, Lady of the Year Marion Gunn, Murston Park Shield jointly to Charlie Barker and Tony Newman, the Chairman's Award went to Dave Matthews,  and a Special Award was presented to Sandra Tapp by Jock Weir for her efforts in organising the ½ Marathon over the past 4 years.
At the Annual General Meeting the Chairman Rusty Burgin explained that as it stood at the moment with Blue Circle not intending extending our Lease or allowing us an option to buy the Clubhouse, we would start building on Murston Park when our drawings had been passed, we already had planning permission to build but were now intending building a two storey building; the plans were on display for everyone to see.  The Chairman also explained that there was no major work to be done on the present Clubhouse, curtains were up, external work completed and a new gas fire in the lounge.  It was agreed that renewal of membership stayed at £6 and £12 for new Members.
The Main Club committee was elected and the interest shown by the Members is demonstrated in the fact that 15 stood for election as General Committee Members.  Rusty Burgin was re-elected as Chairman, Brian Sherwood as General Secretary, Peter Scales Treasurer, Sandra Tapp Membership Secretary (back again as a favour to Rusty) , Ken Newman Editor, Ray Tyler Sections, Brian Bartlett Land , Peter Wyeth Bar, Andy Glazier moved over to Social, and the following were elected as General Committee Members: Terry wellard, Colin Gunn  and  Geoff Marriott
In July the Main Club Committee agreed to allow the coaching of the Youth Cricket team to go ahead at the back of the Club and the Cricket Section supplied nets, later in the year it was also agreed that Youth Football could train at the back of the Club.  Indoor Games also donated £400 for a new pool table which would cost £500, and outside the changing rooms a new “boot scraper” was installed, the Club also received a donation from Roger Holden of new football nets and out on the park the slide was dismantled as it was unsafe.
1989  was the 25 th Anniversary of the Club and the Main Club Committee agreed in July to honour Ray Oddy  and John Rees with Honorary Life Membership.
The completion of another cricket season saw another Burgin follow in family tradition when Shaun Burgin  receive  the “Player of the Year” Award.
The Social Committee comprised of Len Bateman, Marion Gunn, Pat Bartlett, Judy Page, Maggie Scales, Tim Phillips, Mick  George,   and  Janet Pilgrim , what a busy committee they were!  There was a full programme of music nights which were actually fortnightly from January to April, they organised a  Sports Day in August with 3 legged and sack races and a father and son race, great success, there was a Fun Bouncer and barbeque all day.  They also organised a trip to a Greyhound Meeting, a Hen Night with “sausages and chips” and all the normal Christmas Events – Children's Party, Discos over Christmas  and Santa House Calls on Christmas Day, oh dear a bike with no name on.     
Their main task was to organise the 25 th Anniversary celebrations in September. During the week of the 14 th September there was a Disco plus the Searchers costing £11 per ticket including a buffet, Eclipse Disco another night, a Music Night with Duo, a Quiz Night, a Fancy Dress Night which was judged by Tony Cuthbert and SIMON from Whitbread, the winner received a bottle of champagne.  Cricket  did their bit and there was an amazing Football match where the old played the new.
On the 6 th November at the Main Club Committee meeting the Chairman Rusty Burgin surprised the committee members when he said he was going to resign. He said he was not taking this decision lightly and had given it a lot of thought. He felt that his interest and attitude were not right to carry the club on into the next 2 years which were probably the most important in the Club's history. He felt that now was the time to take this decision so that a new Chairman could be bedded into the job as soon as possible.  He added that his personal feeling was that the decisions made concerning the new clubhouse project were to ambitious and not right for the Club.
At the committee meeting on 20 th November it was agreed that Brian Sherwood continue as Acting Chairman until January, but if  Rusty had not reconsidered his position by then an Extra-Ordinary General Meeting be called and a new Chairman appointed. The committee were not about to give up on such a long standing Chairman.
In December the correspondence between the General Secretary Brian Sherwood and the Council suddenly increased with the presentation of our plans for the Clubhouse on Murston Park being discussed by various Council committees.  On 20 th December  1989  one such letter from the Director of Leisure Services read:
“The matter of moving the clubhouse onto the Council's playing field was discussed at Management Team because of the various departments likely involvement – planning, legal, estates and leisure.  Management Team felt that your request to use the land should be held back to see whether or not the owners future thoughts on the use of your present site might be made more clear.
Surprisingly your planning application still went ahead, and from talking subsequently to the Chairman of the Leisure Services Committee it seemed that there was some debate over land tenure, and other non-planning, related matters.  I  have to say that I was not aware that your application was going before Members at this time.
The matter is due to go to Leisure Services on the 17 th January with an officer recommendation that the necessary permission  be given.  Naturally as soon as Members have discussed the issue we will come back to you.”
Another letter received the day before from the Director of Legal Services confirmed that a meeting of Council Members and Officers would be held on site to discuss our application on the 3 January 1990, and inviting some of the members of the Woodcoombe committee to also attend.
1989  therefore ended on a positive note but with a question mark seeming to appear between the lines as so many Council departments seemed involved. We seemed to have a lot of red tape to look forward to!

1990  had a good start in that Rusty Burgin returned as Chairman, and a bad start when the Swale Borough Council's Development Control Sub-Committee rejected our revised plans for a two storey building on Murston Park ; it should be remembered that in 1985 the Club had obtained Planning Permission for changing facilities and a small club room.  Peter Scales wrote to Blue Circle on 22 January pointing out that Council Members were not convinced that Blue Circle would not renew our Lease, this left the Club three alternatives:
(1) submit plans for Building Regs . Approval in respect of the 1985 consent and start work on the foundations as consent expired on 19 February 1990, thereby we would preserve this position.
(2) Appeal against the Council's refusal to the Club's revised plans.
(3) Seek further clarification of B.C.I's intentions regarding this and other sites.
Needless to say as the 1985  approval was going to run out on 19 February the Club started work on the foundations for the smaller Clubhouse as we never wanted to “miss the boat”.  We had a bit of bad press because we started work but Councellors Brian Austin  and  Dick Calvert were there to defend us.  At a meeting with Council members on 14 March confirmation was given that we would only go up to damp proof level for the time being.  In June the General Secretary Brian Sherwood asked the Council if we would be able to sell alcohol in our new Clubhouse on Murston Park in order to “fund” it.
On 23 January the Club received a letter from Blue Circle in which they stated no commitment of a Lease could be given after  1991  and there was no intention to sell. 
On 26 th June a letter was received from David Thomas, Director of Leisure Services a supporter of the Club that he had heard from Blue Circle and they were reconsidering their arrangements with us:  “Hopefully there will be a solution available which will allow BCI to allay the club's understandable concerns over the present uncertainties”.  What should not be lost here is that the Council and BCI had a lot of other negotiations on the go and we were one of the pawns who might turn into a Queen. Clubhouse plus alternative land for a pitch?
It was in September that the Club was being asked by Blue Circle after discussions with the Council if we were interested in purchasing and a great deal of work was done on the “sums” by Peter Scales.  The Council were obviously negotiating with Blue Circle and if we could not afford the going price then other factors could come into account.  (All politics!)
Peter Scales and the committee were doing their homework in exploring ways to raise money by loans from Swale Borough Council, Whitbread and the National Westminster Bank, obviously the more the Council loaned us the better as the rate of repayment would be lower. Mr. Thomas and the Leisure Service Committee were in favour of supporting us and rightly deserved our thanks for their efforts.
In December contracts were exchanged for the purchase of the Clubhouse to be completed on 30 November 1991 at a cost of £260,000. This was well below what we felt Blue Circle wanted – in excess of £400,000 - and we had been given indications that anything under £250,000 would be unacceptable.   1990  therefore was a year of negotiations for the Clubhouse and  1991  would be raising the money, we looked like we would have 40% of it and the rest would be raised by looking for grants and loans.
Back in the Clubhouse in February Brian Bartlett found himself in trouble with the weather when a storm bought down fences and the changing room door was damaged, he also had overflow problems and a leaking radiator in the changing rooms  Colin Gunn  was there to lend a hand; then just as he was recovering from those problems the tractor had a puncture!
On the entertainment side the Bar Committee organised a Brewery Visit and the Social Committee had arranged music nights for six months, a Quiz Night, a Race Night, a very successful Hen Night and a disastrous Stag Night as not many of the men went!  There was also a coach trip to London and a float was put in the carnival at the end of June with a cockney theme.  After the carnival in the bar jellied eels, pie and mash, cockles and whelks were there to be enjoyed.
In April the Club won 20 barrels of beer from the brewery and with the Bar Committee's recommendation it was decided to sell the beer and buy a microwave with the profits. The Bar Committee also invited a member of the Indoor Games Committee to join them and suggested the Indoor Games purchased cue safes which would be put up in the games room, this was all sorted out later in the year.
In May the Main Committee agreed to pay for nets for Junior and Senior cricket, the Youth went to Wembley to see one of the Schoolboys' Internationals, Table Tennis coaching started on a Wednesday in the hall and Indoor Bowls on a Tuesday.  Indoor Games replaced the snooker equipment and Monday Night Games was struggling to get a team together.  In July Gardening held it's annual Make, Bake and Grow Show which was a great success.         
In June Marion and  Colin Gunn went off on annual leave and it was son Nick Gunn who took over the steering wheel behind the bar, and what a good job he did!  The Bar Committee Peter Wyeth, Roger Ford, Nick Graham, John Page, Colin Woodwood, Terry Wellard and  Colin Gunn were chuffed when our bar came second in the BEST KEPT BAR COMPETITION in the whole of Kent .
The Welsh arrived to play football once again organised by John Rees on 29 June and what a busy weekend that was with a football match on the morning of the 30 th and a cricket match in the afternoon, followed on the 1 July by the Football Section 5 a-side tournament which once again received a great deal of support with teams entered from all over Swale and beyond.  Yes, Murston Park was a busy place and Brian Bartlett  found himself fighting the weather again this time too dry and with a hosepipe band on, however he had permission from the Council to water the cricket square but still had side wards looks from the neighbours.  The excessive rain and the drought in 1990 is no doubt a year  Brian will remember more than most.
The Annual General Meeting in May saw some Main Committee changes with Andy Glazier and Sandra Tapp standing down.  The new committee was Rusty Burgin Chairman, Brian Sherwood General Secretary, Peter Scales Treasurer, Geof Merriott Membership Secretary , Peter Wyeth Assistant Secretary Bar, Ray Tayler Assistant Secretary Sections, Alan Rose Assistant Secretary Social, Brian Bartlett Assistant Secretary Land, Ken Newman Assistant Secretary Editor, plus three General Committee Members selected from the fifteen who stood, they were Colin Gunn, Terry Wellard  and  Colin Newnham.
At the A.G.M. Peter Scales produced his usual comprehensive report and answered questions, the Club's profit for the year was around £37,000.  Sandra Tapp  the Membership Secretary in her Annual Report stated Membership as 641 Full Members, 1146 spouses and children, 64 Senior Citizens, 10 Honorary Members and three Honorary Life Members namely Jock Weir, John Rees  and Ray Oddy 
There were two interesting Rule Amendments one being that Members could only propose or second a new member on three occasions, and the other that “Honorary Life Members shall be at the unanimous discretion of the Main Club Committee, decided at a meeting when all Main Club Committee Members are in attendance”.
At the A.G.M. Janet Pilgrim reported that the Badminton Section were still playing at the Rowena Sports Centre on a Monday, and the Youth Section report by Eddie Pilgrim was a proud one with the Under 13 team winning the League Cup and in the Maidstone League the Under 16 team finished Runners Up having lost only two games all season.
T he Gardening Section  suffered a great loss when their Chairman Mick Hunt  died, and at their A.G.M. Maggie Scales was elected the new Chairperson.
Cricket reported a good season with some first class victories matched by some second class collapses,  Ernie Pope was quick to praise Brian Lane on his century against Bow Rovers but wondered why he did not do it more regularly.
Sandra Tapp Secretary of Indoor Games reported that Indoor Bowls suffered a set back when the Bowls developed legs and walked, a lot of small purchases had been made but the most satisfying purchase was a contribution of £400 towards the cost of the new pool table.  Sandra could not praise Terry Wellard enough for his fund raising efforts especially with his “famous” Bus Stops.
In August the Social Committee organised a Sports Day and in September they  entered two teams in a Rounders Competition at Bowaters , unfortunately rain stopped play ( Brian must have been around), but it turned out on count back that our Team 2 were level with Barclays Bank so we shared the trophy.
September heard Fred Grover a long standing Member of the Football Section requesting a loudhailer for use outside, necessary when organising the 5– a-side which Fred had been instrumental in for three years;  Dave Matthews reported on this competition that our lads losed on a penalty shoot out.  Dave , the Chairman of Football, also reported that the Saturday and Sunday sides finished mid table 1989/90 season with some good results.
In October it was agreed to look for a second hand cooker as the replacement hob was going to cost £150, and the gas fire in the lounge was still not working properly, one consolation after the extreme weathers of the year Brian Bartlett had done his “Rain Dance” and reported that it had rained and the Park looked much better.
Terry Wellard was busy organising Inter Club Indoor Games competition and we agreed to the use of the hall for Aerobics on a Monday evening.  
The Social Committee drew the year to an end with it's first Bingo Night on 17 th November, a visit to Petticoat Lane for the bargains on 2 December, the Childrens ' party on the 8 th , and just to be different a Soul & Motown Disco on the 15 th , Father Christmas house calls on Christmas Day with Ray Oddy in his usual disguise.  Christmas and New Year was celebrated in true Woodcoombe tradition with streamers flying everywhere and loud bangs as the poppers were pulled.  The end of a positive and productive year.

1991 was once again a notable year in the Club's history when on 29 November we completed the purchase of the Clubhouse.  Much credit should be given to the Club's Officers Rusty Burgin,  Peter Scales and Brian Sherwood who's efforts made this purchase possible.
After the Christmas festivities a special presentation was made to Ray Oddy for the 25 years he had donned his Father Christmas outfit on Christmas morning.
At the Main Club Committee meeting on 7 January Rusty Burgin reported that since the previous meeting the Trustees and Main Club Officers had met the Club's Solicitors and subsequently Contracts were exchanged for the purchase of the Clubhouse before the deadline.  Peter Scales, Treasurer, confirmed that after payment of the £30,000 deposit on Exchange of Contracts there was still money in the ban Membership stood at 640 and it was agreed that in future new applicants would be vetted, this eventually happened on the first Monday of the month. From big purchase to small it was also agreed to buy a new coat hanger!  
The Social Committee Alan Rose, Micky George, Chris Keen, Tim Phillips, Len Bateman,  Janet Pilgrim, Marion Gunn, Sharon Drake and Judy Page  which changed in May when Sue  Ledger , Pauline Saunders, Trish Shepherd, Tina Tingey and Gareth Moore   replaced  Micky George, Tim Phillips and  Len Bateman, organised many activities throughout the year including weekly meat raffle, music Nights and Bingo once a month, 3 Karaoke evenings, Dog Racing at  Dumpton Park, a Beetle Drive, Wine and Wisdom, a Children's visit to South Coast World, the Presentation Dinner and a Star Cabaret with MIKE READ bringing the house down.  At the end of June a Disney Themed float was entered in the Carnival and received a Highly Commended.  The Youth Section's Under 13  received a 1 st place.
In his report at the Annual General Meeting the Chairman of the Bar Committee Peter Wyeth wrote:  “The attempt by Members to drink the Bar dry has failed yet again but it has resulted in record bar takings.”  He thanked Colin Gunn, Judy Page  and Nick Gunn who covered Colin when he was off sick;  with Colin sick and holiday cover a large number had offered to help behind the bar they were:  Marion Gunn, Tricia Shepherd, Maryanne Seager, Alison Williams, Sheila Russell,
Barbara Green, Teresa Glazier, Jannine Moore, Colin Hayes, Alan Rose, Lisa  Coomber   and Shaun Clements, also the Hall Bar worked really efficiently with Barry and  Leslie Clark   and Eddie and Janet Pilgrim running a well oiled ship.
In November Peter Wyeth was delighted to report that the Club had won first prize  in The Best Bar Competition and Peter passed on particular thanks to Judy Page for all her efforts.
At the meetings in March and April the Main Club Committee agreed no more 18 th Birthday parties, and that a Winners Board for the Golf Section could be put up in the Games Room, it was also agreed that the Youth Section could hold a 5-a-side competition on 16 th June.  Brian Bartlett reported that the Dressing Rooms had been painted and the shower area retiled.  He also said that there would be a new Club Award namely the Jeff  Kempster Award.
In April problems with the boiler room filling with water caused a lot of headaches as there was a burst central heating pipe under the floorboards in the Hall Bar, it was agreed to ask Tony Rees   for  a quote for a new Central Heating System. The committee, keen to consolidate the Club's funds agreed to paint white lines for parking in the Car Park and also agreed on a three point plan of necessary work:
(a) Central Heating – the quote of £8,152 was agreed in May.
(b) Redecorate the Games Room, this would cost £210 for the end wall or £896 for the whole room.
(c) Carpet in the Games Room.
At the Annual General Meeting in May the Chairman Rusty Burgin began by expressing sadness at the deaths of Jock Weir and Jeff Kempster.
Rusty went on to tell how he had attended a Council meeting on 28 April with General Secretary Brian Sherwood and after 1½  hours the Council gave permission to Blue Circle to develop the parcel of land known as “ Happy Valley ”.
Geoff Marriot reported Membership at 648 full Members a total of 1701 in all.  Brian Bartlett the Land Secretary took the opportunity to thank Groundsman   Archey Huntley for all his efforts with a special thanks to Brian Roalf and Colin Gunn.   At the Committee meeting in May Brian had reported that the security cage for the garage was completed and that some concrete posts around the car park area had been removed and replaced with lockable posts, this would allow easier access to the ground. At the A.G.M. Rusty Burgin thanked Brian Bartlett   for  all the considerable efforts he had personally put in at Murston Park .
The committee elected at the Annual General Meeting was:  Rusty Burgin Chairman, Brian Sherwood General Secretary, Peter Scales Treasurer, Bar Secretary saw a new man in the job Terry Wellard, the Assistant Secretary Land was once again Brian Bartlett and  the Social Secretary Alan Rose,  Sections Secretary Ray Tyler, Editor Ken Newman, Geoff Marriott Membership Secretary and the General Committee Members elected were:  Colin Gunn, Colin Newnham and  Shaun Burgin.
The reports from the Section Secretaries showed general happy progress all round although Janet Pilgrim's Badminton was struggling with a lack of numbers.  Eddie Pilgrim reported an excellent season for the Youth Section with the Under 13 team winning the League Cup, the Under 14 team runners-up in the league.  The Under 16 team played in the Maidstone League and despite losing only 2 games all season finished runners-up. 
Still on Football the Secretary of the Football Section Dave Matthews reported that  the Woodcoombe Sunday side lifted the Sheppey Charity Cup winning by 4 – 1, Dave thanked all the Members in the Club who turned out to support the team.  The Sunday Social team had finished fourth in the League and unfortunately there was no Saturday team to report on.
The cricketers had played 23 matches, winning 8 and Secretary Steve Taylor congratulated Peter Sheaff, Shaun and  David Burgin, rivalry with the last two, on their bowling, and Dave Mosse scored 114 not out.  Cliff Hogan broke the Club record with five catches in one match!  The Player of the Year Award was won by Peter Sheaff.
Ray Oddy's Gardening Report was amusing as at their Annual General Meeting Maggie Scales was informed that she would be staying as Chairperson for another year and Pat Barlett    moved her hand at the wrong moment and landed up as Secretary.  With Reg  Rich not there he had no chance and was naturally re-elected as Treasurer. Gardening Members had one speaker who transported them to the Windward Islands to learn about bananas, they enjoyed trips to Sheffield Park preceded by lunch at Matfield and a guided tour around Canterbury followed by cream tea at Chestfield.  They held a Car Rally, a Quiz and a Beetle Drive ,  talked “Favourite Recipes”, dried flower arrangements and their Make, Bake and Grow Show was a great success.
Barrie Tapp   wrote about the Golf Days out including a 2 day trip to Ashdown Forest with 20 Members carting clubs, the successful players were as follows:
Winner                          Runner-up
Mizpa Trophy                                         F Taylor             P.Caulfield
Chestfield Match Play                              C Keen                         S Burgin & B.Tapp
Jock Weir Trophy                                               D.Mosse C.Oddy
Woodcoombe Shield                               B.Pitts                         A. Wellard
Murston Shield                                       S.Burgin B.Tapp
Team Prize – Chairman's Team
Overall Individuals                                 S.Burgin B.Tapp
Meanwhile “Indoors”, Sandra Tapp reported on the Indoor Games Section that it was self supporting distributing funds where needed, the Section covered Monday Night Games, snooker, pool, ladies and men's darts teams, 6 table tennis teams and Indoor Bowls run by John Taylor.  Sandra   thanked  Chairman John Rees Treasurer Jackie Sherwood and Colin Woodcock the Section's representative on the Bar Committee.
The well supported Presentation Dinner saw the Club's Main Awards presented to:  Alan Rose Member of the Year, Jackie Sherwood Lady of the Year, the Chairman's Award went to Marion Gunn and the Murston Park Shield to Brian Bartlett.
In June the new Bar Committee was formed with Terry Wellard in the Chair, the committee was John Page, Nick Graham, Paul Ryder, Colin Woodcock, Colin Gunn,Colin Newnham, Shaun Burgin and   Roger Ford.
The Youth Section 5 a-side competition was a great success with teams coming from as far a-field as Dover .  The Section decided to enter four teams plus an U.18 in the Leagues the coming season and also the now Over 18 side would go into the Sheppey League.
In July the Main Club Committee agreed to replace the posts to protect the cricket square and also agreed to spend £3,000 in the lounge on an Air filtration system.
Negotiations for the purchase of the Clubhouse were of course on going and Peter Scales  and Brian Sherwood  in the form of letter writing did a lot of work.  Obviously we had to raise the money to buy the Clubhouse and in September Peter Scales, the Club Treasurer, explained that he had written off for loans and if the Club was successful in obtaining an interest free loan from Swale Borough Council of £80,000, a loan from the Brewery of £70,000 the club would therefore put up the balance of £80,000 meeting the £260,000 taking into account the deposit of £30,000 already paid.  He explained that an overdraft from the bank might be needed to cover the V.A.T. so money could be tight. 
In October  Peter told the committee that the completion date was set for 29 November and overdraft facilities with the National Westminster Bank arranged, this was in case the loans were late.  Peter also pointed out that it was necessary to organise Insurance cover on the Clubhouse.  A Resolution was made by the Main Club Committee at its meeting on 7 October regarding the loans:
(a) £70,000 from the Whitbread Beer Company repayable over seven years
(b) Up to £80,000 from Swale Borough Council over 10 years. (This was eventually given to us interest free)
(c) Any remaining balance from the National Westminster Bank over 10 years.
The committee also affirmed that the four Trustees who signed for the Lease of Murston Park would act on behalf of the Club.  The four Trustees are:  Peter Scales, Eddie Pilgrim, George Gibson and Ray Oddy  At  an Extraordinary General Meeting the Rule 35©  regarding the Trustees was added to.
I am sure you will find it interesting to see how the Completion Statement was compiled.
Purchase Price 260,000.00
V.A.T. @ 17.5%               45,500.00
Stamp Duty     3,055.00
Land Registry Fee        350.00
Fee to Local Authority for Searches                                                               39.30
Fee to Land Registry for map index search       6.00
Land Charges Registry Fee        12.00
Fee for company search incl. Vat           29.38
Telephone, copying etc. incl. Vat           41.13
Whitbread's Legal fee incl. Vat              575.75
Fee to bank for telegraphic transfer           15.00
Deposit Paid                                          30,000
Mortgage Swale B.C. 80,000
Mortgage Whitbread                               70,000 180,000.00
Balance Due           £129,623.56
The Completion Account would be subject to alteration depending upon the legal costs of Swale Borough Council and Whitbread.  An adjustment would also have to be made in connection with a refund of the rent.
On the 11 November the Chairman Rusty Burgin told the Main Club Committee that the loan from Swale Borough Council would be interest free, thanks to David Thomas, and the Club Treasurer Peter Scales told the committee that the Club had enough money in reserve to meet its part of the purchase price.
On 19 th November writing to National Westminster Bank the Treasurer Peter and General Secretary Brian Sherwood requested the transfer of  £230,000 to our Solicitor. Peter also implemented insurance cover for £350,000.                                                            
On 2 December Rusty Burgin officially reported to the Main Club Committee that the completion for the purchase of the Clubhouse had taken place, he said his report this month was perhaps one of the most pleasing, from a personal point of view, he had ever given.  There would be a buffet celebration for many involved on the 14 December.
At this meeting it was also agreed to make David Thomas of Swale Borough Council Amenities an Honorary Associate Member; and the other significant item agreed was:  “that visiting teams and their supporters should not be required to sign in as Rule 13 applied”.
All the normal festive activities such as Children's Christmas party, Disco on 11th December and one at lunchtime on Boxing Day;  as usual the Club was packed on Christmas Eve when there were plenty of feet on the dance floor.
The Christmas celebrations in 1991  were of course very special with us AT LAST  being “under our own roof”.

1992 would be a year of conserving and rebuilding our financial reserves as quantified  in the Chairman's Report at the Annual General Meeting in May.  Rusty Burgin stated: “The incoming committee would have to be careful in respect of spending to rebuild its depleted reserves.  This did not mean totally curbed, as there would be a need for expenditure on the maintenance front both outside the within the Club itself.” 
The Treasurer Peter Scales drew attention to the expenditure already earmarked i.e. replacement of the central heating system, soil movement at Murston Park and the latest work of re-surfacing the car park.  Moving onto the Balance Sheet he said that the money paid for the Club was now our biggest asset.  He drew attention to the amount of loans outstanding and re-iterated that careful spending would be necessary over the coming months.
The committee who were charged with these tasks was duly elected:  Chairman Rusty Burgin, General Secretary Brian Sherwood,  Treasurer Peter Scales, Membership Secretary Geoff Marriott Bar Secretary Terry Wellard, Land Secretary Brian Bartlett, Social Secretary Alan Rose   Sections Secretary Colin Gunn, General Committee Members: John Page, Neil Matthews,  Roger  Holden and  Chris Keen.  Brian Bartlett and  Neil Matthews  would share the Editor's job .    It was also agreed at the Annual General Meeting that Renewal of Membership would cost £6 and for new Members £12.
The underlying theme for the year is therefore set, but at the same time the Social Committee led by Alan Rose set about raising cash for the Children's Play area and a thermometer showing progress would be placed in the hallway.  In September the fund had reached £3,650 and in December as the target of £5,000 was neared Rusty Burgin asked a firm who specialised in play equipment to draw up plans to a projected budget of £5,000.
Alan Rose led an extremely active committee comprising of: Marion Gunn, Janet Pilgrim,  Mary-anne Seager, Gary Whitehead, Jackie White, Trisha Shepherd, Sharon  Drake, Doreen Arnold, Sue Ledger, Alison Marriott, Pauline Saunders, Tina Tingey,Judy Page,  Garth Moore and Micky  George.  All these Members helped the Club with the organisation of many events.
The events through the year comprised of many Music Nights, a Hen Night, a weekend away, Bingo, Easter Treasure Hunt, sponsored walk for the children's play area, waste paper collecting also for the play area, meat raffles, karaoke, quiz night, Halloween Night, Cockney Night, Wine & Wisdom, Bat & Trap, a Day at the Derby, and in August a Fun Day.  In his A.G.M. report in May Alan Rose paid tribute to his committee even though the year was not half way through, with special thanks   to Chris Keen Chef at all the Bar-b-Q's,  Geoff Marriott for the special way he called the Bingo, and   to Brian Bartlett for all his help with waste paper.
The Social Committee also organised the Presentation Dinner where an entertainer “entertained” and there was a live band.  Members enjoyed the following meal:
Prawn & Cucumber Salad
Minestrone Soup
Beef Carboniere/Turkey Fricassee & vegetables
Cherry Pie
Coffee, Cheese & Biscuits
The Club's Main Awards were presented to:  Member of the Nick Graham, Lady of the Year Sue Ledger, Murston Park Shield Chris Keen, and the Chairman's Award was presented to Maggie Scales
Cricket had a season of mixed fortunes and another Burgin was named “Cricketer of the Year”, David Burgin.  Gardening held its Annual Make, Bake and Grow Show and enjoyed speakers and demonstrations, trips and a Beatle Drive and the Members also went out for a meal together.  Football seemed to suffer disappointments but Dave Matthews, the Football Section Secretary was encouraged to see the number of youngsters coming through from the Youth Section and two Over 18 teams were entered in the 1992 season.
The Bar committee's Secretary Terry Wellard reported successes with the Tote and summer Knock Out Competitions; the overall winner was Colin Newnham. At the Annual General Meeting Terry also sadly reported the deaths of Nellie Moss and Stan Read
Membership Secretary Geoff Marriott reported Membership at the Annual General Meeting at 598 Full Members and a total of 1,749 in all, he thanked Alan Rose, Sandra Tapp, Adaam Bulley and  Keith Baldock   for  their help, Keith for computerising the membership list.  In December Geoff reported that there were 532 Full Members.
The Golf Committee saw some changes the committee comprised of:  Fred Taylor  Chairman ,  Colin Gunn Secretary, Brian Roalf Treasurer, Terry Saunders Captain and Chris Keen Vice Captain.  The Secretary reported at the Annual General Meeting of the Main Club that the Section now had 49 Members.  The 2 day Chairman v. Captain's Cup at Dale Hill Golf Club saw the Chairman's team eventual winners, the overall individual winner was Brian Roalf  and Chris Keen won the Mizpah Trophy.  The Golfers' Award went to Barrie Tapp and  Andy Wellard.  Matches at Deangate, Upchurch, Cray Valley and two at Chestfield took place during the year.
Indoor Games continued to be self organising with teams in Monday Night Games, snooker, pool, men's and ladies darts teams, table tennis and indoor bowls.  In her Indoor Games Report to the Annual General Meeting Sandra Tapp thanked Andy Glazier for organising several competitions and Terry Wellard for all his fund raising efforts, she also thanked Treasurer Jackie Sherwood and Chairman John Rees for the masterful way he controlled the meetings.  In June the section made a donation to the Children's Playground Fund, also in June Sue Ledger won the League's Singles Darts Competition for ladies and Colin Newnham and  Nick Graham won the League's Doubles competition for the men.
The Youth Section held a 5 a-side competition in July and their U.14 team won the cup in May.  July saw a new Youth committee with Alan Bond Chairman, Eddie Pilgrim Secretary and Ken Newman Treasurer plus the Managers for each team.  Badminton went on despite a fall in numbers but a massive effort from Janet Pilgrim.
Throughout the year the Main Club Committee were involved with the general running of the Club.  In February Treasurer Peter Scales reported that after the VAT refund the Club was now back in credit.  Brian Bartlett reported on a watery month with a leak on the water supply on the field and flooding in part of the dressing room all fixed, but now the lights not working and half the showers on strike too.  It was agreed to re-surface the car park and put in a drop kerb, the original quote was £4,700 but as extra work was carried out this went up to £5,600.  In March Peter  Scales said that this increase in cost exposed weaknesses in the control of expenditure which he felt needed tightening up to avoid future occurrences.  The following was agreed by the committee:
(1) That no expenditure may be incurred or committed unless authorised specifically by the Committee or by the Treasurer, or under arrangements agreed by them.
(2) That any item of new expenditure of £500 or above shall be subject to competitive quotation or tender unless the Committee decides otherwise.         
(3) That tenders and quotations shall be subject to the following procedure:
based on an agreed specification;
controlled by an individual Committee Member in each case, being either one of the three Officers or authorised specifically for the purpose:
sought only from agreed contractors or supplies:
opened at a stated time in the presence of the “controlling Member” and one other Committee Member:
any variations shall be agreed by the Committee or by the controlling Member acting on its behalf:
invoices for payment to be properly documented and agreed by the Treasurer .
(4) That Committee Members shall be allowed to tender or quote for work but shall not be allowed to participate in any discussions on the subject concerned, nor be allowed to vote on any decision relating to the same subject.
At other meetings it was agreed to buy fire doors for the hall, these were fitted in September, the reported leak in the roof was repaired by Colin Gunn, the Club started a “star” raffle.  The committee agreed that a Charity Football match in aid of the Air Ambulance could be held and a paint line marker was purchased. A new Dennis Mower was purchased and news came through that Eddie Pilgrim was voted Secretary of the Year by the League.
In June a letter from Swale Borough Council was received regarding the possible usage of 6.5 acres of land adjacent to Murston Park .  In September it was agreed that the Lease would cover this land and we could take it over by September 1994.
At other meetings it was agreed new notices on Murston Park ”No Golfing, No Horse riding” were needed, and notices to stop Members taking drinks into the hall from the Lounge Bar.  More repairs were made in the dressing rooms and new tills purchased also  some of the furniture in the games room was recovered.  A quote for £880 for decorating the Games Room was implemented but  to save money Colin Gunn, Chris Keen, Roger Holden, Terry Wellard and  Geoff Marriott decided to decorate the Function Room  themselves.
It was with sadness that Rusty Burgin told us of the death of Tony Cuthbert, not only was Tony Membership Secretary for several years but he was also one of the Guarantors when we gained the Lease on the Clubhouse in 1992. In November we were also saddened to hear of the death of Ken Trueman  a keen member who enjoyed both golf and table tennis.
In December  we were burgled twice and the losses endured plus the cost of a new alarm system amounted to £6,000.
The Christmas season was as usual a happy one with the Children's party and all the family  entertainment which the Social Committee successfully organised and the New Year was seen in in traditional Woodcoombe style. 
The aim in  1992  was to conserve funds and build up our reserves and apart from the big spend on the necessary alarm system the Club's aim was achieved.

In 1993 the Club's aims would be to develop plans for the Children's Play area and to find a use for the extra 6.5 acres of land added to the Lease at Murston Park .
At the Main Club Committee meeting in March the sub committee for the Children's Play area Rusty Burgin, Alan Rose and Brian Sherwood put forward an idea to the committee that the project be moved from outside to in for security reasons and for all year round use.  R usty Burgin had drawn some sketches of an extension and the committee agreed to adopt these ideas.
At the Annual General Meeting in May the Chairman explained that a major re-think had taken place and thoughts turned to building an extension primarily to house a playroom/games area for the children, but the committee had looked at a longer term plan to include an extension to the lounge and games area and to include extra toilets .
In June the Architect was instructed to prepare drawings for the granting of full building regulations after outline planning permission was granted on the 20 th May. In August we awaited a structural engineers report and some clarification on drainage.  An Application for a grant of £130,000 put together by the Club's Officers went to The Foundation for Sports and A 934 rts in December for the proposed building and renovation work; this had the support of David  Thomas of Swale Borough Council. 
In February the main club committee drew up some likely costs to get the tennis courts and bowling green in order with the idea of approaching the “Sports Aid Foundation”.  quotes went to the council of £23,500 for two tennis courts plus £3,600 for floodlighting and the bowling green estimate was £35,000. 
The Fishing section was formed in February and their first event was held at deal on 19 th March.
In the meantime the social committee under the chairmanship of A lan Rose continued with its drive to raise funds to equip the children's room.  In September A lan reported that the fund stood at £8,300.  May Bank Holiday activities raised £740 and august bank holiday £817, a boot fair £184 but this was just three of the activities.  A donation from George Moss in memory of his wife Nellie  was very thankfully accepted.
The Social Committee throughout the year organised a Valentine's Night with Karaoke and Disco, Music Nights in the bar, a Hen Night, Wine & Wisdom, Easter Egg Hunt and Bonnet Parade, a Horse Racing Night where the horses were pulled down the hall, the Club's Dinner/Dance, music in the bar on Carnival Night, the Children's Christmas Party followed by a Disco for the older children, New Year's Eve Disco and Boxing Day lunchtime disco with Eclipse.
The members of the Social Committee were:  Alan Rose, Janet Pilgrim, Marion Gunn, Mary-Anne Seager, Gary Whitehead, Jackie and Mally White, Tricia Shepherd, Sharon Drake, Doreen Arnold, Sue Ledger, Alison Marriott, Pauline Saunders, Barbara Green, Terry Wellard and George Moss.
To add to these events the Sections were also doing their own thing. Table Tennis entered some novice players found   within the Club into a handicap competition and Bob O'Rawe was really proud when they walked off with several trophies.
The Golf Society enjoyed seven outings and the annual Society Championship, based on the results at all the venues throughout the year, was won by Chris Keen. Janet Pilgrim Secretary of Badminton reported to the Annual General Meeting that although they only had 10 members they still played at Rowena Sports Centre on a Monday night.
David Burgin bowled 200 overs during the Cricket Season and was once again “Player of the Year”, and Trevor Smith had his moments with the bat.  The Officers for the Cricket section were Trevor Smith Chairman, Brian Bartlett and Steve Taylor Treasurer.  In the meantime the Gardening Section had their greatest number of entries in the Make, Bake and Grow Show and had various speakers and outings throughout the year culminating in their Christmas Party/Beatle Drive.
John Rees had been Chairman of the Indoor Games Section since its formation on 18 May 1988 and after 4 years he decided a new face was due; Sandra  Tapp and Jackie Sherwood who had sat on either side of John then welcomed their new Chairman Andy Glazier.  In her report to the Annual General Meeting Sandra reported that meetings had been attended by Terry Wellard the main fund raiser, Bob O'Rawe Table Tennis and also the Section's representative on the Section's Committee, Fred Cornelius pool, Nick Graham pool and quiz, Ray Oddy Quiz and Monday Night Games and our representative on the Bar Committee, Una Burgin and Janet Pilgrim Ladies Darts, Barry Clark Men's Darts and John Taylor Indoor Bowls.
At the Annual General Meeting in May Dave Matthews the Football Section Secretary reported that both senior teams would finish in the top four and the Social side won the midweek 5 a-side league at the Rowena Sports Centre.  He thanked Archie Huntley and Brian Bartlett for “continuing to prepare one of the best playing surfaces in Kent”  Eddie Pilgrim Secretary of the Youth Section reported that the eight teams had done well, four sides getting to semi finals of cups, one to the final and the U.16 team won their league.  Both Sheppey League teams won the “Sportsman's Trophy” for their Division.  Trevor Shepherd became the new Chairman of the Section.
The Bar Committee had a busy year apart from doing what their name implies, they were running the Tote and organising the Summer Knock-Out Competition the overall winner being Wayne East.  Through the suggestion box the committee had implemented new up to date Jackpot Machines, Sky Television, trial extended opening Sunday lunchtime to 3 p.m., and they put forward the private function drinks rule which was passed at the Annual General Meeting.  The committee comprised of:  Terry Wellard, Colin Gunn, Nick Graham, Colin Newnham who was replaced by Roger  Ford in June and Paul Rider.
At the Annual General Meeting in May which was mainly dominated by the proposed extension, the Chairman reported:  “Negotiations have been concluded for the Club to take over an additional 6.5 acres of land; this has been achieved at a considerable discount to the rent the Club was originally paying.  Seeding has taken place and it is hoped that the actual take over would be later in the year”.   Swale Borough Council had planted some 1500 trees around the perimeter.  In February an amended Lease had been signed by the Club's Trustees.  Due to Archie Huntley's health Brian Bartlett became our Groundsman with Brian Roalf helping.
Rules Changes were made to Rule 10 (i) Members can not be elected into officership unless they have served as a committee member for at least one year;  and (iii) At no time can employees of the Club be elected into officership.  The Membership also agreed that renewal of membership would stay at £6 and for new members £18.
Geoff Marriott reported Membership at 1,597 in total including 619 Full Members, he thanked Brian and Paul Sherwood, Alan Rose and Adam Bulley for their help with the massive task the Membership Secretary has.
The new committee elected at the Annual General Meeting was:  Rusty Burgin Chairman, Brian Sherwood General Secretary, Peter Scales Treasurer, Land Secretary, Brian Bartlett, Social Alan Rose, Sections Colin Gunn, Membership Geoff Marriott, Bar Terry Wellard, Editor Roger Holden, General Committee Members:  John Page, Steve Drake, Neil Matthews.  John Page to  be the committee's representative on the Bar Committee.
The interior of the Club suffered when water came through at the south end of the Games Room, in the light of this Colin Gunn was given the authority to carry out emergency repairs for electrical and plumbing faults to the sum of £200. It was agreed in April to carpet the games room up to a line adjacent to the entrance door at a cost of £3,062.56.
At the Club's Presentation Dinner the Club's Awards were presented by George Moss to Member of the Year Paul Rider, Lady of the Year Judie Page, Murston Park Shield  Bob O'Rawe, and the Chairman's Award went to Peter Scales.
In July it was agreed to make the wall to the left of the Club safe at a cost of £650, we asked for quotes for outside furniture and agreed to purchase a new glass washer.  Two mountain bikes a prize from the brewery were raffled in aid of the Play Area, and Brian Bartlett purchased a hedge trimmer and Hayter Mower at a sale.
Throughout the year we had three lots of unwelcome visitors causing extra work for both Colin Gunn and Brian Bartlett.
Out on the park the two Brian's – Bartlett and Roalf did their usual magic with the land.  In June Brian Bartlett expressed concern about the length of the grass in the new parcel of land which needed cutting and weeding.  A meeting with Swale Borough Council took place and we took over the new land on 1 August. Brian recommended that we did not do anything for a year.  In November the possibility of levelling the back field was under consideration and Brian reported that all the hedges had been trimmed.
Due to free promotions from the brewery it was agreed prior to Christmas to treat our O.A.P's to a 25p discount on their drinks on Thursday, Friday and Saturday lunchtimes by way of a Christmas treat.  The Christmas festivities organised by the Social Committee were very successful.

1994 Happy 30 th Birthday, from the early years of ambition to the later years of achievement the Club now looked forward to it's physical development.
At the Main Club Committee meeting on 10 January 1994 a Resolution was made by the committee:
(1) That in order to help finance the proposed extension of the Clubhouse to provide a Children's room and new toilets, the loan from The Whitbread Beer Company be increased to £58,000 repayable over 5.5 years by foregoing discount at the rate of £33 per barrel.
(2) That the loan be taken in the name of the four Trustees:  Peter Scales, Eddie Pilgrim, Ray Oddy and George Gibson.
At this Main Club Committee meeting the Treasurer Peter Scales said he thought the terms were favourable and an optimistic Chairman, Rusty Burgin told the committee that the builder would be starting the extension to house the Children's Play room on 24 January.  All would not be plain sailing when a cess pit was uncovered by the builders and additional work was required to reinforce the area involving trial bores and piling in order to obtain building regulations approval this would cost an extra £14,000 - £20,000. In addition estimates for variations in respect of the toilets and fire doors could mean an extra cost of £16,000.  The Club was facing additional costs of around £30,000 and this just to complete phase 1.
Would the Club's committee and Members be put off, no of course not?  On the 9 th May the Chairman reported that the foundations were in and building was up to roof level in the Children's Room.  The Treasurer said that the money was available to complete the building but the actual fitting out may have to wait.
In the meantime the parcel of additional land was officially handed over to the Club and life went on inside the Club itself.  The Monday Night Games team were League Champions, we had new snooker table covers and a new dartboard, spending around the Club was being done to the minimum.
At the Annual General Meeting the Club decided on the committee's recommendation to do away with the post of Section's Secretary and to have a fourth General Committee Member.  Alan Rose had been an extremely successful Social Secretary and under his leadership raised a lot of money for the Children's Play Room; the Chairman expressed his thanks to Alan.  The Committee elected was:  Chairman Rusty Burgin, General Secretary Brian Sherwood, Treasurer Peter Scales, Bar Secretary Terry Wellard Land Brian Bartlett, Social Secretary Barbara Green, Editor Neil Matthews, Membership Secretary Geoff Marriott, General Committee Members: Colin Gunn, Alan Rose, later replaced by Richard Beard, John Page  and Wayne East.  Renewal fees were set at £8 renewal and £20 for new members, Junior Members remained at nil.
In his Land Report Brian Bartlett said that all was going well despite the two wheel invasion of motor bikes, this was added to by horses and golfers during the year, and Brian was pleased with the added security to the sheds. He thanked Brian Roalf and Archie Huntley for all their great work.  Throughout the year it was agreed that the new parcel of land would become a temporary football pitch, Brian was then looking for prices for equipment to cut grass on this extra land and in August asked for £300 for goalposts, nets, corner flags etc.  In October Brian was reporting that matches were now being played on football pitch number 2, that work was completed on the cricket table and boundary hedges were cut.
In his Membership Report Geoff Marriott reported 629 Full Members including 48 O.A.P.s and 11 Honorary Members.  In total membership stood at 1,602.
Ellen Matson, Secretary, reported  on a very successful year for the Gardening Section, whilst Janet Pilgrim reported still only 10 members and unfortunately 1994 saw the end of the Section.  The Golf Section had many exciting days out and the Society Championship was shared between Colin Newnham and Paul Newman. 
John Hook retired as Captain of the Cricket Team and was replaced by David Burgin assisted by Glen Couchman.  David Burgin was voted Player of the Year for the third year in a row!
The Youth Section with officers Trevor Shepherd, Eddie Pilgrim and Ken Newman oversaw six teams the U.16 team finishing 3 rd in the Medway League and with U.13, U.14 and U.15 teams in the Swale League, there were also two teams in the Sheppey League, with football as a whole this could be considered a year of consolidation. Bob O'Rawe on the other hand reported that the handicapped table tennis team from 1993 had been entered into the 5 th Division and he was delighted when they won it.  There were also teams in the 2 nd , 3 rd and 4 th Division.
Alan Rose on his retirement as Social Secretary reported that they had raised a massive £10,200 so far towards the Children's Play Room, he thanked his committee for all their hard work:  Barbara Green would take over from Alan as Social Secretary with Tina Cairns joining the existing committee.
The new Bar Committee consisted of Terry Wellard, John Page the Main  Club Committee Representative, Nick Graham, Paul Ryder Micky George and Bar Manager Colin Gunn plus a non voting representative from Indoor Games.
The Presentation Evening was very successful and the main club awards were presented to:  Member of the Year George Moss, Lady of the Year Janet Pilgrim, Murston Park Shield Terry Harper and the Chairman's Award went to Bill Tingey.
In August Alan Rose resigned and some problems arose when Brian Sherwood was unable to attend meetings, his shoes were filled by Terry Wellard but it did mean one meeting in October being cancelled due to lack of a forum.  It was also in August that Swale Borough Council agreed to increase our loan to £80,000 interest free over 10 years, and a grant of £18,000 was received from the Sports Foundation solely for developing the tennis courts.
The Social Committee put on numerous functions throughout the year including a trip to Dumpton Park , a Hen Night, Bank Holiday events, Disney on Ice, bingo, music in the bar, boot fairs, and on 22 nd October there was a Cockney Night with sea food on the menu!  To celebrate the Club's 30 th Birthday in September the Children's Room, affectionately known as Nellie's Room, was opened and equipment supplied.
The 30 th birthday was celebrated when The Tommy Atkins Wartime Band entertained members in wartime uniform, and the many that had made the effort to dress up were rewarded with ration books to take to the bar and get cheaper drinks, the donation of barrels from Whitbread therefore being used wisely!  This dance was most memorable for all those who attended. A fantastic evening was had by all the privates and captains for the night and didn't the girls look good!
In November a group of volunteers led by George Moss got together to paint the Children's Room and hallway and carpet went down.  It was agreed to proceed with the extension of the cellar by converting existing toilets and the south end wall of the Clubhouse was treated with “Themabond Wall Guard” to correct the water seepage. It was also agreed that in November 1995  we would have a fireworks night; Colin  Newnham was to head a team of 20 stewards.
During the year an Editor's box was put into the Entrance Lobby and work started on the Officer's Board .  This beautiful piece of work in wood with three panels showing the past officers of the Club since  1994  was made by Terry Harper and would be erected above the archway between the Games Room and Lounge.
Ray Oddy with “Red Gown and White Beard” appeared at the Children's Christmas party and with help from Paul Glover, Taffy Williams, and George Moss did his usual Christmas Day visits.  The adults and older children enjoyed all the Christmas activities put on for them including Christmas Eve disco and Boxing Day disco.  The Club looked extra special as the request from Marion Gunn to buy new decorations had been agreed.
1994 had seen the first extension to the Clubhouse, but this had not been without obstacles, the uncovering of the cess pit may have set us back financially, but morale was still high and plans for the future positive!

In 1995 the whole country would be celebrating the 50 th Anniversary of the ending of  World War 2 and to enjoy these celebrations where's the best place to be, in the Clubhouse of course!
The VE party on 8 th May was organised in the style of a Street Party for the children and each child received a souvenir coin, 170 children turned up in fancy dress and prizes were given to the most imaginative; there was a lot of noise and excitement.  In the evening there was a barbeque disco for the adults. Needless to say a lot of hard work went into this by the Social Committee.
On 19 th August VJ Day Celebrations were celebrated  once again in Fancy Dress with a sing along in the lounge with Ken Wood.
1995 was generally a year of consolidation for the Club and it would not be until August that a new general push was made for further improvements.  In the meantime the Club proceeded “business as usual”.
In January Indoor Games donated £300 towards a pool table, and it was agreed pitch fees be paid at the end of the season.  Later in the year it was agreed that pitch fees for 1995/1996 would remain at £5.  February brought a surprise when it came to light that Whitbread had made a mistake with our invoices and a refund of around £780 would be coming our way in one form or another.  The Tote was bringing in £95 per week and the Youth Section offered to help clear up the Tennis Court area.  Colin Gunn's request for the installation of piping beneath the floor of the hallway for the new Calor Gas System when refurbishment of the toilet/cellar starts, was agreed.
When Colin Gunn was off sick in March son Nick Gunn again stepped into his shoes, but Colin returned with the idea of a survey of Members asking them their expectations from the Club, he even brought along a draft questionnaire. This questionnaire went out with the Renewal Membership Form and would be analysed later in the year showing from 230 returns that we were going in the right direction.
Indoor Games were discussing Indoor Bowls in March, whilst outside Swale Borough Council agreed to put the new play equipment on the bottom corner of the new plot of land, this was opened on 25 July.
At the beginning of May a canopy over the rear entrance was up and a small chimney put in the roof of the barbeque to help get rid of the smoke.  Also out back the cricket nets were repaired and up ready for practise to commence.
At the Annual General Meeting the Chairman Rusty Burgin offered many congratulations to the U.18 Football Team who had just pulled off the double.  He also said “How pleasing to hear Councillor  Austen speak about the excellent standard and condition of Murston Park .
The Treasurer Peter Scales reported that the Club had spent £87,000 on improvements and £6,000 was set aside for new equipment.  Geoff Marriott reported Membership as  541 Full Members, 54 O.A.Ps . and 11 Honorary Members.
A new Rule was passed which would mean that each Club Officer would be appointed for a term of three years and would be up for re-elected on a rotating basis. It was agreed that the elected Chairman would hold the position from this Annual General Meeting for 3 years, the Treasurer for 2 years and the General Secretary for 1 year.  It was also agreed that Membership Renewal would be £10 and for new Members £20.
The new committee would drop the appointment of an Assistant Secretary Bar and replace this with Assistant Secretary Minutes Taker.  The elected committee was: Rusty Burgin Chairman, Terry Wellard General Secretary, Peter Scales Treasurer, Mark Ingram Membership Secretary, Brian Sherwood Assistant Secretary Minutes, Brian Bartlett Land, Paul Ryder Social, Neil Matthews Editor, and the four General Committee Members elected were:  Colin Gunn, John Page, Richard Beard, and Mally White.  When Mark Ingram had to resign due to personal reasons in August the Membership Secretary's post was taken over by Colin Gunn and Garth Moore co-opted onto the committee.
Under Section Reports Bob O'Rawe reported that Table Tennis had won the 3 rd Division; Judy Page reported that Gardening had been to the Faversham Brewery, spent a day at Pinetum in Bedgebury followed by a tea at a herb nursery, and a visit to a local nursery.  The new Chairman of Gardening was Archie Huntely and the Treasurer Jane Elliott.
Eddie Pilgrim Secretary of the Youth Section was over the moon to report that the Under 18 team pulled off the double by winning the 1 st Division and the League Cup.  The Colts finished half way up the league and the U.11, U.15 and U.16 teams had joined the U.18 team in the Medway City Boys League.  Dave Matthews the Football Section Secretary amusingly reported that the Woodcoombe Social side and Woodcoombe had met each other in the Kent Cup and it took a replay for the Social side led by Richard Beard to reach the quarter final, but alas!  Cricket in the meantime had a below average season.
Terry Wellard in his Bar Report to the Annual General Meeting thanked Colin Newnham for the new bar stools, all the Bar Staff and cleaners, a special thanks to Nick Graham and Colin Newnham the “Tote Team”, and to Nick Graham and Paul Rider organisers of the Summer Knockout which was won by Brian Dungey .  When Terry Wellard was appointed Chairman of the Bar Committee in July, yet another roll for him, Nick and Paul, Roger Ford and Paul Verrill  became the new Bar Committee.
At the Club's Presentation Dinner Members enjoyed “Prawn Cocktail, Roast Beef and vegetables, Apple Pie and Custard followed by Coffee and Mint”, then presentations were made to:  Member of the Year Mark Ingram, Lady of the Year Marion Gunn, Murston Park Shield E. Huntley, and the Chairman's Award was presented to Brian Roalf .
Golf had a very enjoyable year with Lee Fisher  winner  of the “Mike Savage Memorial Trophy”, winner of the “ Woodcoombe Shield ” winner of the “Society Championship”  for the year and voted “Golfer's Golfer ”, some achievement.  John Hancock won the “ Mizpah Tropy ”, Alan Blundy the “Captain's Prize”, Mally White the “Whitbread Challenge Trophy”, Fred Taylor the “Jock Weir Trophy” and Chris Keen was the winner of the “Murston Park Cup”. Brian Bartlett was voted the “Committee's Golfer of the Year”  and Terry Saunders awarded the “Chairman's Putter”  for the year. 
Colin Newnham as Captain and Bill Tingey as Vice Captain led the golfers out onto the courses at Faversham, Lamberhurst , Ashford, Walmer and Kingsdown and Chestfield plus 3 days at Coltesmore Country Club.  In July a Board showing the Golf Society winner of the “Woodcoombe Shield”  was put up in the Games Room. To celebrate the 10 th Anniversary of the Society Chairman of 10 years Fred Taylor  was honoured with Life Membership of the Society.
The Social Committee had a new committee in July under the Chairmanship of Paul Ryder  what a hard working committee they were.  Marion Gunn, Trish Shepherd, Jan Pilgrim, Jackie and Mally White, Terry Wellard, George Moss, Judy Page and Doreen Arnold.
Apart from the “War” celebrations the Social Committee organised an outing to Drusillas Park for the children, many music nights in the bar and bingo once a month, Bank Holiday Fun Days, a Hen night, Karaoke, a wonderful Fireworks Spectacular costing £1,000 with Colin Newnham organising the marshals, and a Quiz Evening “Whine and Not a Lotta Wisdom”. Janet Pilgrim's team came out winners of the Quiz,  with 94 points out of 125, yes must have been the wine, although maybe Judy Page's team  could have sampled a bit more of the wine than Janet's team  as they landed up with the booby prize of onions to give them something to cry about – don't think so!
On 7 August the Club's Officers met representatives from Swale Borough Council to discuss a grant from the National Lottery Foundations.  Rusty Burgin reported to the committee “The package was to restore the bowling green and tennis courts plus finishing the extension.  The original offer of £18,000 from The Foundation of Sports and Arts was still on the table and Swale Borough Council was prepared to match it: the rest to be met by grants.”  The Architect was instructed to re-draw plans incorporating alterations brought in by the Council.
In November after a meeting with the Council the Club applied for planning permission. Estimates for the tennis courts, bowling green , car parking area and extension had been obtained by the Council and we were looking at over £177,000.  It was hoped to get 65% from the Lottery and the rest would come from the Club and the Council would match the grant on offer from the Foundation for Sport & Arts.
Judy Page a very valued member of staff gave her notice in in August and Lynn Morrison replaced her as Deputy Bar Manager in October. 
In October the Football section were in crisis when the Senior Sunday side ceased and the Youth Section were asked to take over all the football within the Club.
The last quarter of the year saw Brian Bartlett purchase a walking sprayer and the line marker was repaired.  A lot of work had been done by the goundsmen for the start of the football season and across the road the Park looked great, behind the Clubhouse they had done a fine job too.
The committee were planning work in the kitchen including blocking up the window and putting in an extractor fan,  a new store behind the bar, new tables for the hall, the clubroom needed re-decorating and they wanted to fit canopies over the end doors, and there were still problems with the south wall in the games room it was agreed to block up the windows.  In November there was a major problem with coolers in the cellar which were deteriorating due to age, the estimate on this one was over £3,600 but it had to be done.
The year ended when Brian Bartlett went shopping for a CCTV system for the Children's Room, it was agreed the Majorettes could use the hall for practice when available as  it was in use most nights, and just in time for Christmas new bar stools were purchased.
All the normal and expected celebrations for Christmas were organised “Apollo Roadshow ” Disco in the bar on the 9 th December, “Knight Mixer” Disco in the hall on Christmas Eve, and “Apollo Roadshow ” Disco in the hall on Boxing Day not forgetting Santa house calls on the children on Christmas morning. New Years Eve celebrations were for Members only when “Knight Mixer” once again took to the stage in the hall.

1996 started well with a cheque from Whitbread for £2,066 for reaching the barrelage target for 1995.  The Club started to collect waste paper again and Indoor Bowls was making a mark. In March Terry Wellard was appointed the Club's promoter to accommodate the Club's registration under the “Lotteries & Amusements Act 1976” and Colin Gunn and Peter Scales  were appointed to clarify returns. We also applied to the National Lottery Sports Fund for a grant aid but the application was incorrect, so applied again in May for a grant of £115,000.
In the first months of the year the Club had visits from Swale Sports Council and the Kent Playing Fields Association, and we decided to install bollards on the lower field to stop parking.  A lock was installed between the hall and the lounge which could be opened with the Member's door key and last years Knock Out Competition was finally resolved with Paul Rider the winner.
At the Annual General Meeting the committee remained the same with the exception of  Colin Gunn becoming Membership Secretary and two new General Committee Members Geoff Marriott and Barry Clark , there would be no Assistant Secretary Bar.  Membership fees also remained the same.
Reports from the Sections to the Annual General Meeting showed Cricket had an average season, but on the opening game Shaun Burgin scored 106 out of the sides total of 120.  Judy Page Gardening Secretary was joined by Chris Taylor as the new Treasurer, and Archie Huntley remained as Chairman.  The Gardeners visited organic gardens at Yalding and Faversham's Brogdale Farm apart from enjoying their monthly meetings.  Table Tennis entered 7 teams in the league and they all did well.
The Football Section had amalgamated with the Youth Section and there was only one senior side.  Eddie Pilgrim Secretary reported youngsters made up U.11, U.12, U.16 and U.18 teams all doing quite well but the U.12 team reached the final of the Consolation Cup and were runners up in their league.  Indoor Games donated £200 to Cricket and Football in November and at that meeting Trevor Shepherd, Football Chairman, who had been co-opted onto the Main Club Committee, said their £200 would be used to pay for a crossbar;  like Cricket they expressed thanks to Indoor Games.
The Groundsmen continued to do a grand job at Murston Park and Brian Bartlett purchased a tractor, gang mower, a spreader and shrubs to landscape around the new storage container.  In July Brian reported that the “weed man” had been all over the park, and in September there was trouble with a wasps' nest.
Meanwhile in the Bar Colin Gunn had the cooler system repaired and was looking for a new ice machine.  It was agreed that Trish Shepherd and Lynn Rose would share the Assistant Bar Manager's job and an offer from Courages was turned down in view of the losses we would incur from Whitbread.
The Club's Presentation Dinner Cabaret in May with Maggie Langdon was most successful and the Club's Awards were presented to:  Member of the Year Mally White, Lady of the Year Jackie White – a family occasion, Murston Park Shield Richard Beard  and the Chairman's Award went to Peter Scales.
The Social Committee under the Chairmanship of Paul Ryder was unchanged from 1995 so Paul led a strong team.  They organised a Burns Night ( haggus , neeps and clouty pudding), 8 music nights in the bar and regular bingo nights, a Valentines Weekend, Karaoke. On May Bank Holiday they organised Bat & Trap, a Barbeque and disco, then there was another Karaoke Night, a Quiz Night, a Hen Night, Summer Day trip to Drusilla's Park following the previous year's success, a Horse Racing Night, Mackays Fashion Show, a Barn Dance, and a Booze Cruise to France.  On August Bank Holiday there was more Karaoke music and barbeque, and the Halloween Night Disco was followed a few days later by the well organised Firework Display which was followed a week later with a Barn Dance!
Great credit to the Social Committee who in December also organised the Childrens ' Christmas Party, discos for Members on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day lunchtime and Santa visits on Christmas morning thanks to Ray Oddy , Mark Hope and John  Revell .   The New Year celebrations were limited to Members only.
In the last quarter of the year we heard from the Lottery who wanted some clarifications on certain points.  The windows in the south wall of the Games Room were finally blocked up and a canopy fitted to the door at a cost of £2,413.
It was a blow when we learned that David Thomas had resigned from the Council, what a great help he had been to the Club over the years.  Another resignation due to work commitments came from Editor Neil Matthews.
The year ended with us still waiting to hear if THE  grant would be forthcoming but what a very sociable year it had been.

1997 started off with such optimism but this was dashed on 3 rd March when the Lottery turned down our grant application, time for the Members to dig down deep, time for their elected committee to show great character especially when the Chairman Rusty Burgin was just recovering from heart surgery.  The committee that the Members would rely on was the same all year:  Rusty Burgin Chairman, Terry Wellard General Secretary, Peter Scales Treasurer, Brian Bartlett Land, Colin Gunn Membership, Paul Ryder Social, John Page Editor, and General Committee Members:  Trevor Shepherd, Mally White, Richard Beard, Geoff Marriott and Barry Clark.
The Fishing Section was first formed in March 1993 but never took off, so on 15 th January 1997 it was good to see them start again as Woodcoombe Sea Angling Society under the Chairmanship of D.Cairns, Secretary M.White, Treasurer H.Coomber, with committee:  K.Overy, J. Croucher, S. Russell, I. Sage, M. Houghting and J. Hancock.
In January Ellie Hanslow joined the Bar Staff, Indoor Games donated £100 to the Golf Society, the Millennium Account stood at £300 and on the down side due to the snow we had a burst pipe in the garage.  On February 19 th there was a WAKE night and anyone appearing dressed entirely in black could purchase AK at half price; also in February the Children's room benefited from a new T.V. but the cricket square and fencing was damaged and the shed door broken.
In March Lee Fisher was named overall winner of the Knock Out competition with Una Burgin only one point behind.  In order to get our security level to Level 1 we had a visit from our Friendly Fire Officer for advise, we needed to update the emergency lights including the bulk heads which would cost £450 but the report showed we would need to spend approximately £2,000 the following year.  It was also in March that Trevor Shepherd was given permission for the Under 10 team to use the bowling green for training.
Rusty Burgin was back to Chair the committee meeting on 7 th April and the committee discussed four issues to take to the Annual General Meeting.
1. Complete structure of lounge extension
2. Commence clearance of tennis court area
3. Outstanding work in and around the Club
4. Bowling Green
The Club had to take up the offer of the £18,000 grant for the tennis courts by June so this was actioned.  The every day running of the Club of course went on Brian Bartlett reported that the changing room light was repaired, shower heads de-scaled and the car park lines repainted.  An oven was purchased for the kitchen and side storage units installed.
At the Annual General Meeting Rusty Burgin told the membership that work on the extension and tennis courts would hopefully start in July, and Peter Scales' bottom line showed £60,000 would be in the kitty by the end of the year. Membership Renewal would stay at £10 and it would cost £25 for a new member. Colin Gunn's Membership Report showed 569 Full Members, 73 Retired and 12 Honorary i.e. 654 voting Members and 1680 in total.
Andy Glazier Indoor Games Chairman reported that the Men's A Darts team had won the League and the Monday Night Games team had won the Monday Night Inter-Games games League AND Cup! Judy Page reported a great year for the Gardening Section with amongst other things speakers on “Cards with flowers”, and “Growing your own Food”. 
The 1997 Golf Society Champion was Alan Blundy and the Society enjoyed a 3 day tour in Eastbourne , the overall winner was John Revell  and in all seven outings were enjoyed by the golfers.  Their Captain was Bill Tingey and Vice Captain Ron Goodwin. Mally White reported enjoyable times for the fishermen whilst Cricket wanted more players.  Eddie Pilgrim reported on Football after the incorporation of Senior and Junior Football.  The U.11 and U.13 teams did well finishing mid league and the U.12 team were runners up in their league.  Both the Social and Sports sides acquitted themselves well.
The Presentation Dinner/Dance saw Members dancing to “Nite Talk” and the following were presented with the Club's main awards:  Member of the Year Judy Page, Lady of the Year Pauline Shepherd, Murston Park Shield Barry Clark, and the Chairman's Award went to Fred Taylor.
Football re-elected Trevor Shepherd as their Chairman, Eddie Pilgrim Secretary and Ken Newman Treasurer.  Indoor Games also re-elected Andy Glazier Chairman, Bob O'Rawe Secretary and Terry Wellard Treasurer.
At the Youth Presentation the U.11 Player of the Year was Michael Lees, Players Player Daniel Baldock and Sportsman of the Year Daniel Austin.  The U.12's Player of the Year and Players Player was Jamie Duchesne, Sportsman of the Year David Haggarty and Parents Player Shaun Smith.  The U.13's Player of the Year was Danny Needham, Manager's Player and Player's Player Chris Steele and Sportsman of the Year John Page.  Chris Russell manager of the U.11 team won the Ken Day Award .
In July Colin Gunn broke his wrist but along came Nick Gunn to help out the ladies and clean the pipes.  Brian Bartlett purchased a Hedge cutter, and his now longstanding problem with motorcyclist would not be resolved until October when the Council decided to restrict the access.
The Sports Foundation came back to us requesting three quotes for the tennis courts and it would take the rest of the year to get a third quote.  The match of £18,000 from the Council was not forthcoming but on the 28 th October a letter was received which appeared to show a change of heart and the possibility of a re-allocation of the £18,000.  Peter Scales replied to them with the information they had requested. 
In August to complete both the extension and the tennis courts the Club was looking at a bill of about £56,000 to complete both projects; there was £47,000 in the reserve leaving us £9,000 to find, however the Club's projected profit was £15,000 so we could have an extension but no furnishings but they would come.
The committee decided to change the roof tiles on the lounge extension to save money and accepted a quote of £32,663, work started on 29 th September.  In November the roof was on and internals started, negotiations then took place with the plumber for heating and there was a list for electrics, there was also work on outstanding items appertaining to the Fire Regulations.  The cost of putting heating in the lounge was approximately £4,000 but this included a new builder and convectors.  It should be recognised that many items were discussed by the committee to get the cheapest price as the extension went up.
Throughout the year of course another committee was hard at work with amazing results, the Social Committee, Chaired by Paul Ryder his committee comprised of Marion Gunn, Trish Shepherd, Judy Page, Jackie and Mally White, George Moss, Doreen Arnold and Sue Clarke was invited to join them in the summer. 
There was Bingo in the bar each month and regular music nights also in the bar.  Burns Night was celebrated with a “Piping in the Haggis” disco, and St. Valentine's Day was also celebrated with music. A tombola evening raised £370 for the Mayoress' Charity, and there was a Hen Night including sausage & chips for only £10! At Easter there was music in the bar, an Easter Egg Hunt and a Bonnet Parade, the winner for the best bonnet was Kimberly Arnold wearing a creation by Sandy Hillier and Tina Tingey.   May Bank Holiday Karaoke was on offer and then a Barbeque and of course the bouncy castle.
The Club opened all day for the F.A. Cup Final, which was followed by bingo.  Spring Bank Holiday there was music in the bar with Marc Scott on the Saturday and a disco on the Sunday, the following week being Bank Holiday again the barbeque was lit and the bouncy castle bounced on.  This was repeated August Bank Holiday but Bat & Trap added to the activities. There was a children's outing to Margate , Charisma Cabaret and also in August a disco.  At the end of August a Mini Sports Day with barbeque and disco, then sadly a wet Firework Night.
Trish Shepherd and John Croucher got married and lots of Members celebrated with them.
The arrangements for the Christmas social activities included a Christmas Party in fancy dress, Christmas Eve and Boxing Day Discos, Father Christmas house calls on Christmas morning, and finally the New Years Eve “Do”!!  All through Christmas Members looked at a partition put up between the bar and the new extension and looked forward to its removal.  What a year it had been!
At the first Main Club Committee meeting in January 1998 the Chairman welcomed the committee with a big smile, the whole committee was still beaming with the progress made on the extension.
At this meeting, as at all meetings, Action Points were discussed and one of these was Action Point 1 known as AP1 9/95,  which was to review fire alarm regulations prior to renewal in June 1998 and it was agreed the necessary funds were there. There can be as many as 12 Action Points or more carried forward from meeting to meeting until they are discharged.  These Points can be on the agenda for a long time or just whilst the committee is for example investigating prices.  Action Points show the date they were instigated and usually begin with the words:  Repair, investigate, re-examine, and obtain costs etc., so the Committee always has a list of on-going work to look at. In January the committee also “actioned” heating and electrics in the extension.
In the first quarter of the year the side windows on the south wall of the games room were blocked up and it was agreed to spend £1,500 on the fire doors in the extension, also the drains were tested and extraction filter equipment purchased. The patio would cost £1,300, and in May it was agreed to spend £3,000 on curtains for the extension and games room, this included rail tracks and fitting.  In all Peter Scales told the committee that £66,000 had been spent on the extension project including carpets and the patio.  Headly Barney kindly made new cue safes.
After asking the Members it was agreed that the Quiet Room which was non-smoking would be restricted to children over the age of 14, and those between the ages of 14-16 years had to be accompanied by an adult.  Next door in the new office/meeting room the décor was completed.
The Tennis Court Project was running in parallel with the finalisation of the extension. Swale Borough Council's original grant for the Bowls was transferred by them to the tennis courts but we had to spend the money by mid March, we also had the grant for £18,000 from The Foundation of Sports and Arts, so we had to get a move on.  In February the committee accepted the tender from Baylis as they would add optional extras such as polyurethane paint and higher fencing, they would also include provision of cricket practice nets and the initial regrading of surrounding areas to facilitate landscaping at a future date.  Our groundsmen were out there clearing trees etc. and the project was completed in April, and officially opened by the Mayor on 11 July with other Council officers present and members of the Sports Foundation.
At the  Annual General Meeting the committee elected was:  Chairman Rusty Burgin, General Secretary Terry Wellard, Treasurer Peter Scales, Land Secretary Brian Bartlett, Membership Colin Gunn, Social Paul Ryder, Editor John Page, and the five General Committee Members Trisha Shepherd, Mally White, Richard Beard, Geoff Marriott and Barry Clark.  Membership stayed at £10 renewal and £25 for new Members.
Membership Stood at 545 plus 79 retired and 15 Honorary, 639 voting Members with a total in all of 1,685.  The Chairman in his report said that the club had received various outside compliments on the good housekeeping of Murston Park . A new Rule was passed “No Member may propose or second more than three persons for full membership and their associates to club membership in one year”.
Eddie Pilgrim Youth/Football Secretary reported that 3 coachfuls of boys had gone to Charlton and the U.10, U.11, U.13 and U.14 teams like the Senior Sport and Social sides had a good season but no silverware.  In September the U.10 team entered the Swallows 6 a-side competition.  Ross Kavanagh scored all six goals en route to the final where Gary Newman the wonder goalie saved two goals in a penalty shoot out resulting in the team lifting the cup.  Other Members of the team were Stuart Lawson, James Brincat, Samuel Mulligan and James Payne.
Jennie Phillips took over as the Secretary of Gardening and she reported success at the Make Bake and Grow Show, several speakers, an outing to Sheffield Park , a quiz night and Beatle Drive , which she won!
The Golf Section again enjoyed a very successful year with Captain Lee Fisher both the Society Champion and Golfer of the Year .  The Committee's Golfer was Ron Goodwin and the Chairman's Putter  went to John Revell.  Terry Saunders won The Mike Savage Memorial Trophy, Ron Goodwin The Mizpah Trophy, Lee Fisher Captain's Prize, Steve Revell Woodcoombe Shield, Kevin Gambell The Whitbread Challenge Trophy, John Revell The Jock Weir Trophy, Mick George Murston Park Cup and Paul Rider The Snowflake Cup.
In March Andy Glazier reported that Monday Night Games had won the League and won the Island Cup for the most table games won.
The Dinner/Dance in May was a complete sell out and the Club's Main Awards were presented to:  Rusty Burgin  Member  of the Year, Mandy Feavor Lady of the Year, Kevin Overy Murston Park Shield, and the Chairman's Award went to Paul Ryder.
In June due to personal reasons Brian Roalf our Assistant Groundsman had to leave,  Brian was an all round Member of the Club and very active for many years and the Club would miss all his efforts. 
The Groundsmen Brian Bartlett and Archie Huntley were busy all year as usual with preparation of pitches and the cricket square, they not only looked after Murston Park but the back of the clubhouse including the area around the new tennis courts.  The gang mowers and tractor were serviced, land watering equipment was purchased and in use and the two sheds were painted, the hedge cutter had to be serviced and at the start of the football season they had trouble with painting the white lines around the pitches due to the weather.
Honorary Membership was granted to Peter Wyeth, Eddie Pilgrim and Rusty Burgin in June, and also at this time the Club's Registration Certificate for 5 years was granted on 8 June, and the Club's final Fire Safety Certificate received.  The Treasurer reported that he had allowed £15,000 for the purchase of furniture for the extension.
Around the Club the same officers were elected by the Youth/Football Section:  Trevor Shepherd, Eddie Pilgrim and Ken Newman, and the Indoor Games Committee also re-elected their officers:  Andy Galzier, Bob O'Rawe and Terry Wellard.  The Bar Committee Chaired by Terry Wellard had the same committee:  John Page, Paul Ryder, Roger Ford and Nick Graham. The Golf Society, late in the year, re-elected Fred Taylor as their Chairman, Brian Bartlett Secretary, John Revell Treasurer  and Lee Fisher Captain.
Due to the costs it was decided to cancel the Firework Display this year and the committee also changed to Telewest from Sky to save money.  A collection was made for the Air Ambulance of £395 which the Club made up to £500 and we also gave permission for a 5 a-side competition in aid of the Air Ambulance.  Mandy Feaver was made a Senior Member of the Bar Staff covering the Manager and Deputy Managers. To celebrate the Millennium a special committee was formed consisting of Terry Wellard, John Page, Geoff Marriott and Paul Ryder.
In November Peter Scales the Treasurer reported a refund from the Gas Board of £1,000 due to the changeover, and it was agreed to spend approximately £19,000 on 50 “Easy Go” chairs, bench seating and tables for the new lounge; the existing furniture was moved into the quiet room.
In December Michael Rose and Daren White entered the National Pool Competition and did well, they thanked Andy Glazier for all his help.
Throughout the year the Fishing Section grew and flourished and were regularly out on the water; with 50 Senior Members and 12 Juniors they had to close their Membership list.  In December they became fully paid Members of the National Federation of Sea Anglers. The Nellie and George Moss Trophy winner was Don Cairns.
The Social Committee under the Chairmanship of  Paul Ryder had it's usual hectic year, thanks went to Mally White, Steve Russell, Doreen Arnold, Jackie White, George Moss, Terry Wellard Trish Shepherd, Sue Clark, Geoff Marriott and a special thanks from Paul  to Marion Gunn who was always there and to Colin Gunn for printing the “What's On” social calendar.
Socially the Members enjoyed regular monthly Bingo, Music in the Bar on St. Valentine's Night, a Hen Night, Quiz Night and the Easter Weekend in April saw live music in the bar, an Egg Hunt won by Christopher Mills who found 147 eggs!  The Easter Bonnet Parade was won by Stacey Pearce.
The first Bank Holiday in May Rob Jay a saxophonist entertained in the bar, there was a disco the next day and a Bar-be-q plus Bat and Trap and bouncy castle the next day; the social committee stuck to the same format for the second Bank Holiday. In June there was a disco after the Carnival and in July Maggie Langden a comedienne entertained in the bar.  There was a Summer Day Out to Thorpe Park , and on the August Bank Holiday there was a disco one day, a bar-be-q with Bat and Trap and bouncy castle of course on the next day followed by another disco. In August there was also music in the bar with Rob Jay.  Lots of summer entertainment for all to enjoy!
At the end of October there was a Halloween Night and a week later Garry Hall a vocalist and guitarist sang and played in the lounge.  The Christmas period was manic for the Social Committee with a party for children aged 2-5 years and disco for the older 6-14 years.  The older Members enjoyed a Christmas Eve Disco, Boxing Day Disco and the Members only New Year's Eve party.  Father Christmas was of course out on his sleigh on Christmas morning delivering parcels to the children.
In 1997  the Members celebrated Christmas with a partition between them and the new extension, in 1998  not only did they enjoy the two new lounges but they had lovely new furniture to sit on and up to!

1999 was a relatively quiet year after the previous two with the general upkeep around the Clubhouse and on Murston Park the order of the day. The committee looked at it's own needs, and those needs of staff, who used the office and purchased new filing cabinets and a new superior photo copier which all the sections would be able to use.
Youngsters Kerry Clark and Lisa White represented England against Germany in the European Finals of the National Baton Twirling Competition and Darren White was playing for the Kent Pool League, so the youngsters were doing well. In the Youth/Football Section Chris Russell took over as Chairman.
At the Annual General Meeting the Chairman Rusty Burgin enlarged on the future plans made by the committee in the first four months of the year. He reported to the membership that the aim of the committee was to smarten up the front elevation of the Clubhouse with new windows and front porch, drawings were on display. The plan was also to do a conversion in the old toilets with the “Ladies” to be both for women and men, and the “Gents” to become an Invalid toilet and the remaining area providing extra space for enlarging the bar cellar.  He said that work would be phased over two years, however due to a hold up over Building Regulations work never got started in 1999 but it was all there on the drawing board.
Peter Scales the Treasurer reported that the major improvements and equipment had cost the Club £67,500. Colin Gunn the Membership Secretary showed Membership as 1658 in all categories, and the Land Secretary Brian Bartlett reported that due to motorcycle problems a kissing-gate and farm gate had been erected as a deterrent. Brian received praise for the condition of Murston Park and the three football pitches had stood up to the rigours of a hectic season, he thanked Archie Huntley for his major contribution to the work.
The Main Club Committee saw some changes and were as follows:  Rusty Burgin Chairman, Terry Wellard General Secretary, Peter Scales Treasurer, Brian Bartlett Land, Colin Gunn Membership, the return of an old face as Editor Sandra Baldock nee Tapp , and with no volunteer to take over as Social Secretary six General Committee Members were elected:  Trevor Shepherd, Mally White, Barry Clark, John Page, John Croucher and Andy Glazier.  At the first meeting of the committee Trevor Shepherd agreed to take on the role of Social Secretary.
Golf had had a good season and one of the outings was a 3-day trip to Botley Park Golf and Country Club.  The winners of the silverware were:  Adrian Jones The Snowflake Cup, Peter Coomber The Mike Savage Memorial Trophy, Dave Hancock Captain's Prize, John Hancock Woodcoombe Shield, Peter Ryder Whitbread Challenge Trophy, Andy Poppy Jock Weir Trophy, and John Revell Murston Park Cup.
At the Annual General Meeting Jennie Phillips Secretary of the Gardening Section, now 20 years old, reported on a successful Make, Bake and Grow Show and quite a few speakers, these included Alistair Jacks speaking on the North Down's Diary in Bobbing and how they processed their cheese, and a Monet evening with a video showing how his famous garden in Giverny is looked after.
All was going well with the Indoor Games Section and the 5 th Table Tennis team had won Division 4.  The winner of the Indoor Games competition overall was Paul Ryder.  The U.10 and U.11 Football teams reached cup semi finals and were runners up in their leagues. U.10 George Edmonds scored loads of goals! The Senior Social side had got through to two cup semi finals but alas no triumphs. The Fishing Section Secretary Graham Whitehead stated that they were running competitions monthly varying from beach to pier with over 30 members turning out.
Prior to the Annual General Meeting Paul Ryder and his Social Committee had organised 4 bingo sessions, music in the bar on 3 occasions, and karaoke on St. Valentine's Day.  It also fell to them to organise the very successful Presentation Dinner/Dance with a singer and comedian.  At the dinner the Club's Main Awards were presented to:  Member of the Year Don Cairns , Sheila Russell Lady of the Year , The Murston Park Shield  went to Fred Cornelius, The Chairman's Award to Terry Wellard, Geoff Kempster Award to Richard Beard.
In the summer our Groundsmen started putting in gates and fencing which would enclose the Clubhouse and it's grounds, Brian Bartlett also started looking at the possibility of adapting the side of the Clubhouse into a car park.  We decided to ask for a grant for gates and fences around Murston Park , this was mainly instigated due to loose horses becoming a major problem.
Colin Gunn had a meeting with the “cellar man” so he could work out how to cause the least interruption when the alterations were made.  Meanwhile the Bar Committee Terry Wellard, Roger Ford, Nick Graham, Eddie Pilgrim and Peter Wyeth came to the Main Club Committee with their “New Terms of Reference for the Bar Committee” which were approved.
Trevor Shepherd's Social committee never had a dull moment; they were busy with monthly bingo and music in the bar.  There was a Hen Night, Nosh & Knowledge, Fancy Dress for Halloween and a day out to Drucilla's . On Bank Holidays there were bar-b- ques , discos and bouncy castles. They also arranged a Children's Christmas party for the 2-5 year olds and a karaoke for 6-14 years, a Karaoke evening on the 19 th December in the bar, Christmas Eve and Boxing Day Discos and Father Christmas house calls Christmas day.
We also purchased a wide screen television and new Trophy Cabinets, a new bottle cooler was installed and Indoor Games purchased a new table tennis table.  We lent out our 5 a-side goal posts for the “Down Syndrone ” Children's event.
The ladies in the Club had a good year:
· Jean Huntley “super gardener”  and sweet pea specialist won Best in Show at Faversham and 1 st and 2 nd at Detling .
· Jackie White  went fishing with the Fishing Section and beat 24 men with a catch of Black Bream, this gained her the News of the World “ Silstar Beach caster” Award.
· Pauline Saunders caught an eel weighing 11lbs. 12 ozs .
· Pat Bartlett scored 180 playing darts against the Snooker Club
· Kim Richards was credited with the highest check out of 117 in the winter darts league.
· June Ford, Ellen Matson, Tina Tingey and Jan Pilgrim out of 30 teams reached the final of the Ladies Darts Rose bowl competition.
· The Ladies Darts A Team finished runners-up in the league.
The Millennium Committee were of course busy throughout the year making arrangements for the “ big night”.  On New Year's Eve it was agreed to have an “All Inclusive Drinks Party” costing £20 for adults, £10 O.A.P.s , £5 for children aged 12-18 years and £3 for children 3-11 years.  .  The tickets went on sale in September and sales were stopped on December 14 th to allow for proper organisation. The Millennium collection bottle fund sponsored the champagne and the cost of the motif on glasses; each adult received a special Millennium glass with their first drink which they were able to keep.  There were also freebees for the children.  The Clubhouse was open at 7 p.m. and at midnight Members welcomed not just a New Year but also a new century; celebrations continued until 2 a.m.
The Millennium evening was a great success and many letters of praise were received for the way it was organised, there were requests for All Inclusive evenings again. It should be appreciated that a lot of hard work went into organising this event by Colin and  Marion Gunn, Terry Wellard, John Page, Geoff Marriott and Paul Ryder members of the special Millennium committee. Thanks went to the bar staff who did four hour shifts to man the bar.

2000 demonstrates the Club's wishes to help other organisations, yes we had done a lot in the past including the bottles and charity tins on the bar but in 2000 we:
· Raised £530 on a charity night on behalf of St. Bartholomew Children.
· Kim Richards organised the Rose Bowl competition for Ladies Darts
£300 was raised for the Air Ambulance.
· The pool league held their presentation in our hall
· The American Weekend at Central Park was assisted with the provision of our football pitches.
· A Police Exhibition was held at Murston Park .
Brian Bartlett  our groundsman was experiencing lots of problems with loose horses and contacted Swale Borough Council, Kent County Council and the R.S.P.C.A.  He blocked off possible entrances with chains and gates and although initially  successful  the horses kept on coming and were still a problem in December.
The building project to improve the frontage with new windows and doors was completed in April, and during the first months of the year the Club purchased a new sound system with individual controls to designated areas, the old system went into the hall.  We purchased a new mower and two of the old ones went for a walk and did not return! The tennis courts opened in April and new seating for them purchased. In March following a meeting of the Health and Safety Committee new signs were displayed.
At the Annual General Meeting in May the Chairman Rusty Burgin said that the building work would take up to two years to complete as “we do not intend to go in the red.” He added “the work will start inside with refurbishment of the old toilets enabling the bar cellar to be extended; also the hall bar will be re-fitted. The Treasurer Peter Scales explained that expenditure had been £3,000 more than income, which was part compensated for by transferring £2,000 from the Building Reserve.  The Whitbread loan had been paid off and the outstanding loan from Swale Borough Council amounted to £22,500.  He went on “The budget for the improvement work is £25,000 half of which has been spend.  The general reserve of £10,000 needs to be kept as a working balance.  Rumours that the Club was for sale were totally dismissed by the Chairman.
Peter Scales said that he could only act as Treasurer for one year if re-elected, which he was; also re-elected were Chairman Rusty Burgin, General Secretary Terry Wellard, Membership Colin Gunn, Land Brian Bartlett, Editor Sandra Baldock .  The new Social Secretary was Sheila Russell, Bar Secretary Roger Ford and General Committee Members:   John Page, Andy Glazier, Barry Clark and Trevor Shepherd.
Membership was 548 Full Members, 16 Honorary, 83 Retired and 941 Associate Members, 1588 in all.  The General Secretary in his report had urged only those who wanted to work hard stand for the committee.  In his Bar Report he said that Mandy Feavor would take over as Deputy Bar Manager when Lynne Rose leaves.  He added that Paul Ryder was once again the overall indoor games champion. Sandra Baldock reported her History writing was up to 1973.
Trevor Shepherd thanked his hard working Social Committee:  Jackie White, Sandy Hiller, Marion Gunn, Sheila Russell, Pauline Shepherd, Les Mills, Clive Stone, George Moss and Christmas helpers Ray Oddy and Adrian Oliver, also Mally White and Steve Russell the Bar-B-Q duo, Roger Ford Bingo Caller Supreme!
Gardening reported a visit to the County Gardens at Teynham , a walk around Conyer and a Bar-B-Q, visit to Jean Tallboys garden in Hollingbourne at which great cakes were eaten.  The gardeners also went to Hampton Court Flower Show and to Wisley Gardens , they had a quiz, beetle drive and went out for a meal.
Andy Glazier reported that Indoor Games had gone well with Michael Rose and Darren White playing pool for the Kent Under 18 side helping to retain the National Youth Title, Darren just missed out on an England place.  Cricket, well we had no team but it was hoped to still have friendlies this year.  John Russell Secretary of the Fishing Section reported 10 competitions held between May 1999 and May 2000 with an average attendance of 27 Members. He congratulated Jackie White and Pauline Saunders on their achievements.
The golfers as usual had a good season and the trophies won as follows:
Snowflake Cup Ron Goodwin   Mizpar Trophy                       Steve Russell
Captain's Prize  Dave Hancock     Woodcoombe Shield Kevin Gambell
Whitbread Trophy Alan Blundy Murston Park Cup                Terry Saunders
Mike Savage Memorial Trophy       Brian Bartlett
Chris Russell Football/Youth Secretary reported that the U.10 team in their first season in the league won the 2 nd Division.  The U.12 team were cup semi finalists and won Fulston Zebras 5 a-side competition. The U.14 team were runners up in Division 2 and the U.15 team reached the semi finals in the cup.  The U.11 team finished in the top six whilst the senior sides both finished half way up the table.
Throughout the year the Social Secretaries Trevor Shepherd and Sheila Russell with the aid of their committees organised music nights and bingo monthly.  There was a Race Evening in January won by the “Eight Balls Pool Team”, music on St. Valentine's Day and Nosh & Knowledge with question master Ray Oddy in April  At Easter there was the customary Egg Hunt with “Spin the Wheel” in the bar and a disco on May Day.
The Presentation Dinner/Dance with Kudos and Alan Reed a comedian was the entertainment although we had a magician doing tricks at the table.  Councillor Brian Austin  presented the awards to:
Club Personality                                              Roger Ford
Lady of the Year Pauline Shepherd
The Murston Park Shield Nick Graham
Geoff Kempster Memorial Trophy      Sue Russell
Chairman's Award                                           Una Burgin
Social activities continued with a Fun Day at the end of May, this earned each section £100.  There was a Boot Fare and the children were taken on an outing to Butlins at Bognor Regis.  On August Bank Holiday Members played Bat'n'trap enjoyed a Bar-b- que and the children played on the bouncy castle.  The Ladies enjoyed a Hen Night in October and there was Fancy Dress 60's and 70's style in November; a couple of weeks later pit your wits at the music quiz.
In the Main Committee room a decision was made to fix three steel shutters to the doors at the back of the Clubhouse following three break ins, then when the burglars came in through the window security bars were put in the playroom and toilets.
In August the building work in the hall bar and new toilets were completed, with added cellar space the Club started stocking Real Ale with “London Pride” going down a treat.  George Moss became an Honorary Member and for the first time we appeared in the Yellow Pages.
In September there was a letter from Swale Borough Council concerning our cost input to remedy the problem with trees at Murston Park , this we queried, we did not however query their proposal to delete the play area and car parking from the Lease.  We also gained permission to site a second metal storage container on the park.
Brian Bartlett got the go ahead to purchase a new roller but he still had problems with horses and footballer's losing keys to the changing rooms, the footballers did however paint the changing rooms.  Woodstock Table Tennis teams also joined the Club in block.
The Christmas festivities started on 2 December with the Children's Party and Karaoki . Our retired Members were also able to enjoy the discounted drinks for them at lunchtimes. There was Karaoki on the 17 th at lunchtime, a disco in the bar on Christmas Eve, and a disco on Boxing Day. Tom Austin in the shape of Father Christmas did Christmas morning house calls.
On New Years Eve, after the success of the Millennium party, there was an All Inclusive Drinks disco costing £20, £10 to senior citizens, £5 children 11-17 and £3 3-10 years.  It was a great success.
In the last few months of the year the committee discussed how they would replace Peter Scales our Treasurer of 22 years in all, and also Maggie Scales in the club every Tuesday doing the wages, what wonderful dedicated Members. In May, glimpsing in to the future, John Page would become the Treasurer with Accountant Kim Richards employed to help.  It was also the last Christmas Rusty Burgin would be our Chairman after 25 years service in that post in all, another very stalwart Member who would be missed.  He was replaced in May by Trevor Shepherd.

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