April 2019

April Meeting: AGM

24 members attended the 48th AGM.  The committee thank Gerald for once again taking the minutes.  The accounts and all other matters were duly proposed, seconded and unanimously approved. We thank Peter Seach for auditing the accounts and for agreeing to do so yet again for another year. 

Sadly, after many years, Les Bates is stepping down from the committee. Over the years he has diligently served as secretary, chairman and recently competitions secretary.  Les says that he is going to miss being a committee member, so let’s hope it is only going to be a sabbatical and that he will be back on the committee again before too long.

Unfortunately, we still have the vacant post of competitions secretary which we unsuccessfully attempted to fill at the AGM. Geoff, our chairman, has kindly volunteered to help out with the competitions as often as he can for one year.

The 2019-20 Committee comprises:

Chairman: Geoff Rishman; Secretary: Cathy Rishman;

Treasurer: Chris Powis; Competitions Secretary: vacant; Committee Members: Les Maskrey and Philip Bisson.

AGM 2019 Competition Awards

WoE Cup (most points in WoE competitions): 1st Les Maskrey (77 points), 2nd Tom Rix (66 points), 3rd Cathy Rishman (63 points), 4th Bob Dye (58 points)

Moffat Cup (most points in all other competitions): 1st Tom Rix (91 points), 2nd Cathy Rishman (57 points), 3rd Les Maskrey (48 points), 4th Bob Dye (43 points)

West Kent Cup (biggest increase in Moffat points): 1st Les Bates (+12 points), 2nd Geoff Rishman (+3 points), 2nd Bert Scott (+3 points), 2nd Chris Powis (+3 points)

Master Brewer Tankard (most points for beer competitions – for 2018/19 only open show classes, plus a bitter beer competition): 1st Geoff Rishman (23 points), 2nd Les Bates (14 points)

Wine Of The Evening Raffle

1st Bob Dye, 2nd Geoff Rishman, 3rd Tom Rix


Competition results:

Dry White: 1st Tom Rix, 2nd Bob Dye, 3rd Cathy Rishman

Dry Red: 1st Tom Rix, 2nd Cathy Rishman, 3rd Bob Dye

Sweet White: 1st Cathy Rishman, 2nd Cathy Rishman, 3rd Les Maskrey

Sweet Red: 1st Les Maskrey, 2nd Cathy Rishman, 3rd Tom Rix

Judges: Les Bates and Bert Scott


Thursday 2 May is the Chairman’s Evening which will be a talk with tastings on a few of Geoff’s favourite wines. Geoff says it is going to be an unconventional tasting evening where we will be breaking away from the tradition of 3 whites, followed by 3 reds.


Quarterly:  Dry white

WoE (dry and sweet classes)


I have chosen a seasonal recipe this month from an old Good Housekeeping cookbook.


Hot Cross Buns

Makes 12


1 lb strong plain flour         ½ teasp ground cinnamon

1 level teasp dried yeast     ½ teasp grated nutmeg

1 level teasp caster sugar   2 oz caster sugar

   for yeast                         2 oz butter, melted & cooled, but not firm

¼ pt milk                           1 egg, beaten     

¼ pt water, less 4 tbsp        4 oz currants

1 level teasp salt                1-2 oz mixed peel

½ level teasp mixed spice   

For the glaze

2 tbsp milk                          1½ oz caster sugar     

2 tbsp water

Flour a baking sheet.

Place 4 oz of the flour in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast and 1 level teasp sugar. Warm the milk and water to about 110̊F, add to the flour and mix well. Set aside in a warm place until frothy – approx. 40 mins. Sift together the remaining 12 oz flour, salt, spices, add the sugar. Stir the butter and egg into the frothy yeast mixture, add the spiced flour and fruit and mix together. The dough should be fairly soft. Turn it onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise at room temperature until doubled in size – approx. 2 hrs. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead again.

Divide the dough into 12 pieces and shape into buns. Arrange well apart on the floured baking sheet. Cover with cling film and allow to rise for approx. 45 mins.

Make quick slashes with a very sharp knife, just cutting the surface of the dough, to make a cross. Bake at 190̊C, mark 5 for 15-20 mins. Brush the hot buns twice with glaze, then leave to cool.

Plenty of time needs to be allowed for the successful making of hot cross buns. The rising periods must not be rushed. However these buns do freeze well.



Sir Ian Botham the Winemaker – Episode Two

Last month Jan gave me a copy of an article from Waitrose Weekend on Ian Botham’s winemaking venture. Tonbridge Waitrose stock four of these wines, two Chardonnays: The Botham All-Rounder, 12.5%, 2018, £7.99; The Botham 76 Series, 13%, 2017, £10.99 and two Cabernet Sauvignons: The Botham All-Rounder, 13.5%, 2017, £7.99; The Botham 80 Series, 14.5%, 2016, £10.99. Last week the committee meeting was held at our house and this seemed an appropriate occasion to put these wines to the test. Although the committee found all four wines to be most acceptable, the Botham All-Rounder was generally felt to be the preferable of the two Chardonnays, while the Botham 80 Series Cabernet Sauvignon was the “all out” favourite of the evening.


Mobiles banned from Sam Smith’s Pubs

Daily Telegraph: Three years ago to this month Geoff complained in the newsletter about the irritating use by customers of electronic equipment in pubs. Well, it looks like there are other likeminded people around as the Samuel Smith pub chain has become the first in the UK to ban mobile phones in an attempt to encourage face-to-face interaction.

Anyone wishing to use a mobile phone, whether to make a call or check for messages has to go outside with the smokers. The use of laptops, tablets and other electronic devices are also banned. Apparently, Mr Smith, the 73-year old proprietor, is believed to regularly go into his pubs incognito to check his staff are enforcing the rules. He wants his customers to maintain the art of pub conversation and keep standards that would make the original Samuel Smith proud when he founded the brewery in 1758.

In 2018 Frankie & Benny’s was the first chain restaurant to ban mobile phones at the dinner table.

A decline in Pubs with an All-Day Licence

Daily Mail: The number of pubs, bars and clubs with a 24-hour licence has fallen from 919 in 2013 to 742 in 2018 – a 19% decline, according to research by the commercial law firm EMW. This decline is largely caused by young adults drinking less and opting to stay in with takeaways while watching Netflix.  In 2015 29% of 16 to 24-year olds described themselves as non-drinkers, which is a significant increase on 18% in 2005. Another factor in the demise of 24-hour opening establishments is the rise in running costs, such as staffing and business rates. The potential extra revenue from staying open 24 hours is insufficient for these businesses to become sustainable operations. Furthermore, the low real wage growth had dampened consumer spending. 

The 24-hour licence was introduced in 2005 in an attempt to create a relaxed approach to alcohol and “continental café style of drinking culture”.

(Article kindly supplied by Bob Dye)

“Beer before wine and you’ll feel fine, wine before beer and you’ll feel queer”

Daily Mail: This adage has been refuted in a recent study at Cambridge University and Witten/Herdecke University in Germany. Not surprisingly it was found that it is the amount of alcohol consumed and not the drinking order that affects the hangover severity.

(Article kindly supplied by Bob Dye)


It’s a Winner!

I had a pleasant surprise at the North Tonbridge Horticultural Society Spring Show, as my beer bread came 3rd in the homemade bread competition. This is a really easy bread to make, with a preparation time of less than 10 minutes – see February newsletter.

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13.03 | 12:56

anyone interested in 4x 50 litre wine carboys. I stopped making wine about 15 years ago. open to offers.

16.01 | 20:27

Same you only allow 160 caricatures on your site I would like to wright more !!!

16.01 | 15:40

Thank you for your kind comments. You are more than welcome to join us at one of our meetings - the first Thursday of each month.

16.01 | 15:26

Hi There I have just come across your website ...and very impressed, you seem to be a well organised club with monthly events and good membership BRAVO

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