Black?, White?, Both? - The 2006 BARC SEC Dinner Dance.
It was a special evening. Because… so many people turned up. Tickets went like hot cakes and although my target was 150 we exceeded that and still had to turn people away. The final number was 155, including our special guests representing Dunlop, T&R Magazine, Quaife Engineering, Chris Knott Insurance and Jim Bamber the cartoonist. There were many, many more people all worthy of a mention but I don’t want to turn this report into a Golden Globe appreciation farce.
I had bought a dress earlier in the year, which was stunning. It was in black and white, so when it became clear in September that no one had quite got around to the idea of the annual bash I volunteered and used my dress as inspiration to set the theme.
I wanted to see if people could use their imaginations but at the same time I had to make it easy. Most chaps have a dinner suit, white shirt, and black tie, while most women have the favoured little black dress. I also wanted to try and highlight that clarity is always written down, “in black & white”. I was surreptitiously trying to refer to race meeting final instructions or The Blue Book. Still, it was amazing how many phoned and asked what I meant; clearly I am too cryptic for some.
The interpretations were in the end fantastic. John Busby broke with tradition and wore a white jacket, black shirt and tie; he looked stunning. Gordon Streeter and Paul Goddard, dressed as the Blues Brothers complete with shades and black hats with white bands. The women looked fantastic and one even wore a white evening dress. She said she felt out of place, like she was dressed as a bride, I didn’t think so; she looked great, well done Sharon!
My day started at about 10.30am when Rod and I loaded up the van with “stuff” with which to adorn the room. When we got there the Stirling Suite looked bland and more like a café than a posh evening venue. The tables were laid with our chequered cloth and the glasses had white napkins in them. It didn’t look right. The chairs had seen better days, so at Mandy’s suggestion we covered them with black seat covers. MSV usually use for their Christmas events. Strangely this was what I had in mind in the first place but did not think to mention it to the event liaison person, Karyn. A bit of juggling with napkins and it was decided that flimsy black paper ones and higher quality white napkins would be placed in each glass. This gave the effect of a black and white tulip. Perfect!
Andy Ratcliffe, wife Audrey and their friend Mary turned up around about 12pm. I was so glad to see them as there seemed to be so much to do. Mary helped putting the racing flags, supplied by Mike Hibbins (BRSCC), on the railings; Audrey and Andy did whatever it was they were doing. And Rod spent most of the morning running around Kent trying to find bits we needed to finish off our display, a manikin, blue tack, that sort of thing, as well as finding parts to help fix the lift which was out of order. Apparently some clot had split wine in it the previous evening and it had stopped working. Not much fun for us having to lug very heavy boxes of suspension springs (table decorations) up three floors, not to mention the engine crane (to hold the Paddock Plan or table plan). It didn’t help, either, because we had Steve Weatherly coming to one of his first ever awards evening with BARC SEC, he definitely needed to lift, it had to be fixed!
At 3.45pm I was ushered out of the building for a well earnt massage leaving the troops to it. Crikey what were they up to, did they know what to do, what would happen if I wasn’t there to keep an eye on things????
Hell, what do I care, they can manage, and manage they did!
Rod collected me at 7pm and as I entered the room I could not have been more proud. It was stunning, the team had put my vision together perfectly, and the guests commented all evening about how fantastic it looked.
The meal was a five-course affair as follows:
OR Veggie option