Guildford Hockey Club Est. 1912

Grand Ball exceeds namesake

 2nd Nov 2013

Months of planning came to fruition when the guests arrived at 6.30pm on Saturday 2 November for Guildford Hockey Club's Grand Ball 2013. It was what can only be described as the GHC social event of the year, perhaps of the decade.

Doors opened to a candlelit champagne reception where the lovely girls of the Under 16 team were helping with coat check and making sure everyone's glass was topped up at regular intervals.




Guests were ushered into the Hall where 21 beautifully appointed tables, bar, DJ, dance floor and band were anxiously awaiting. Candelabras and balloons added to the atmosphere and sent the message that this was going to be a seriously good event.


In their seats for what needed to be military-inspired timings in order to get through all of what was planned (thanks Jenno!), the guests were off to a roaring game of Heads and Tails. A fiver to join in, everyone happily coughed up in order to have a chance of going home with the winnings...


As the first course arrived, guests settled into their dinner conversation and important matters like choice of wines for the evening. Special mention must be made to the members of the Men's 1st XI team who served the starters and main courses and who then cleared up the plates afterwards. Brilliant job - a warm meal delivered to each guest by fine-looking young men in tuxedos! If the hockey doesn't work out, guys, there is another calling...


Plates cleared away and it was time for some mental stimulation from our two guest speakers. We were privileged to have Lord John Monks whose link to hockey, he explained, is recent in that the company for whom he is now Trustee Director (NOW:Pensions) sponsors GB and England Hockey Men's teams as well as the Men's Domestic League. Lord Monks has had a long successful career working in trade union matters and rising to be elected to General Secretary of the TUC and the of the European Trade Union Congress. And what wasn't on his CV was his ability to spice his speech with some very entertaining quips. We hope that he enjoyed the evening as much as we enjoyed having him there.


Simon Mason then entertained us with stories from his life and his broad and deep experience in the hockey world. His stories from the Men's 1st XI gave us some light-hearted insight into the season with his references to the '80s and the newest (ie oldest) team member now playing. You had to be there to appreciate all of what Simon shared with us but what we can share with you is his important toast at the end of his speech ...'To the Future!'


Onto their feet, a female party-goer from each table was invited onto the dance floor - no, not for a dance but for a game of skill and speed (well, maybe more like luck). Hard to believe how competitive a bunch of hockey players and hockey mums can get with a wind-up toy car in their hands! Then again, for a magnum of Champagne, perhaps they had good reason...


Jenno demonstrating his best speed driving technique...


I think Jane wants the Magnum ...



and the winner is...


This really got people up and moving and in the mood for the wonderfully prepared and presented Live and Silent Auctions. Jenno did a superb job of auctioning, keeping the bidding going (up and up) and keeping smiles on faces all around with his humour and wit. A massive thanks to the prize donors and to all who bid and won prizes. It is heart-warming to see that people enjoyed this part of the evening; in addition to entertainment it brings benefit to the Club. We hope those who won their bids will enjoy their prizes.


Raffle prizes were also handed out on the night before the music really started going with the sounds of the Band and DJ. The dance floor was always full and it was much fun to see how people's personalities come out with their favourite songs (I am pretty sure Relphy aspires to be in a band, so convincing was his air guitar and air drums).




While the dance floor at one end of the hall was in constant use, so was the bar at the other end. An ambitious evening to start at 6.30pm and go til 2.30am. Everyone rose to the occasion and a good time was had by all!









For a little behind the scenes look...


It's not so easy to roll a table in when it is bigger than you are...


The right number of tables...


The right number of chairs for each table...


The right number of forks, spoons, knives...


The napkins needed to be folded just so...


The dry ice needed testing...




Waitress pre-game briefing...


All systems go...



We won't show you the clear-up party though they probably worked harder and had the less glamorous job to do. A beer for whoever puts the best caption on this one, though...


All joking aside, this Ball happened in the shape and form that it did thanks to the ideas, talents and hard work of many people and a few in particular. Jenno gave gracious and generous thanks on the night to the main characters and it is now the Club's turn to say a huge thank you to him for making the Ball what it was. He took overall responsibility for making it happen and did a fantastic job of working not only the overall plan and direction but much of the detail as well. How many ways can one say 'well done?' Jenno, you deserve them all!






GHC Logo full colour final

Thank you to our Partners