It's been rather quiet on the table tennis front over the past few weeks since the club room closed on the 29 April. Quiet that is, apart from the sound of machinery as the old building was demolished and work has begun to prepare the site for the new! We watch and wait for developments.
In the meantime what to do? Well, some have of course continued to play table tennis. With regular meetings of members at Lydiate and at Anfield Sports & Community Centre. And of course, the social life of the club has continued to flourish. There was an informal social evening in the Marine Bar at the end of May, and this week, on Thursday, as part of the celebrations for the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, club members joined forces with Marine in the Community (MITC) to host two events for the local community. First, on the Thursday morning, club member Ray O'Leary led a 3 mile local walk in glorious sunshine bringing out highlights of the local area. It was only as they returned to Marine that the heavens opened! But all were able to scurry indoors to prepare for an afternoon tea and entertainment, celebrating D-Day.
The walk began at 11am after 1 minute's D-Day Remembrance silence. 25 friendly walkers chatted happily and made their way to the beach and along the sunny promenade at a nice gentle pace. One 90yr old walker, Dennis, described how anti-tank concrete pyramids used to line the beach and remained in-situ for many years along with the 'pillbox' gun bunkers. The route then continued to Beach Lawn to admire the former grand home of Joseph Bruce Ismay (owner of the White Star Shipping Company that launched the Titanic) where there was much conversation and opinion on stories surrounding his survival of the Titanic disaster. It was also noted that Captain Edward Smith, who went down with the Titanic, had lived a little further along the terrace.
The walk then headed back to Marine, still in full sunshine, arriving around 12:30 to find a further 20 or so people already enjoying welcome refreshments prepared by club volunteers. After tea, biscuits, and cake all were thoroughly entertained, by the 30 strong 'Sing Mersey Choir', with a selection of popular and war-time songs.
During the afternoon gathering, local historian, Jeff Dunn, talked about D-Day and the audience, including Dennis, contributed with their own anecdotes, stories and memories.
To enthusiastic applause, Graeme Gardiner, - the coordinator for MITC - thanked everyone for attending and taking part, and the day ended with a reminder that there will be another walk on 20 June, all welcome.
And here's a few pictures from the day.