Ashford AC 50th Anniversary Dinner Dance
Posted: 9th Apr 2015 by Andrea Bennett
Ashford Athletic Club (Est. 1965) celebrated its 50th Anniversary on Saturday 28th March, when around 140 guests gathered at The Carvery in Kennington for a Dinner and Presentation, followed by a Disco.
Members and athletes past and present enjoyed a fantastic evening, sharing stories and recalling or listening to events that have occurred over the 50 years of the Club’s existence. There were numerous nostalgic meetings and trips down memory lane throughout the evening, with many people seeing each other for the first time in years. A good number of young athletes attended who seemed to thoroughly enjoy listening to the memories and conversations they heard.
After an excellent meal, two of the Club’s coaches gave speeches about the Club’s history and its future. Derek Laws, the Club’s pole vault coach spoke passionately of the club’s recent history and the need for future development. Sprints and hurdles coach, Chas Robinson who was also enjoying a landmark year, having joined the Club 40 years ago, regaled those present with his personal memories of the early Club history (1975-1988) as well as giving a snapshot view of some of the many changes that have taken place during the existence of the Club.
A particularly special moment of the evening arrived when Ted Hawkins was presented with a Life Time Achievement award for 50 years of service to the club. Ted was one of the founder members of ACC and has tirelessly given his time and expertise to young athletes since 1965 and continues to do so today. Ted also paid tribute to Dave Fox who not to be outdone is celebrating his 49th year with Ashford AC.
Amongst the guests were Vera Goodman, widow of Bill Goodman. A stalwart of the Club, Bill was instrumental in the initial drive of the success of Ashford Athletic Club, in particular the Women’s team. Recently widowed, Muriel Seamon was at the same table with Vera. Her late husband, Derek, was another stalwart of the Club, being the Club’s starter and a high jump coach and lifetime president.
Also enjoying the evening were Don and Joyce Rose, parents of the talented middle distance runner, Julie Rose, who tragically died in an accident in the USA and whom Ashford AC’s home stadium is named in memory of. There were also many former club athletes enjoying themselves at the function who no longer compete but still had good memories of the Club.
The evening ended with guests taking to the dance floor into the early hours and raising their glasses to the next 50 years!