On Tuesday 8th September Anne and I together with Joan and Dave travelled to Porthcawl to take part in a quiz in order to raise money for the newly formed branch of NCI. We thought we were a pretty brainy lot but ‘brainy’ is a relative term and when you reach our age reality forms a great part of your thinking. We had high hopes, our hopes were that high that we were fairly confident we wouldn’t come last. Anyway the High Tide Inn would be a nice cosy little place with nautical memorabilia, low lighting and lots of real ales at real pumps. It would be, perhaps, a little intimate gathering which, if Lady Luck smiled, amounted to about 50 people.

With the postcode duly entered into the SatNav we crawled through the homeward bound commuters watching minutes tick away, minutes which we had hoped would give us time for a bite to eat before the strictly 7.00pm kick off. Would they have fish on the menu, I wonder? Perhaps we should all have fish and chips, well didn’t Jeeves swear that it exercised the little grey cells, or was that Poirot. Oh, heck if I’m not clear on that how am I going to shine?

We are off the motorway now and on the road to Porthcawl and that very patient lady in the SatNav machine is coming into her own. “Take the first turn at the roundabout.” she says, and we do. In fact she soon had us in this rather large car park. A bit big for a small country pub I thought, but I had forgotten that Porthcawl is well known for being our own little Texas in Wales, a place where a great number of Elvis look-alikes gather for their annual shindig. Porthcawl does everything in a Big Way!

We find a door and walk in, go up to the bar and ask if we are in the right place for the quiz. “Yes” he says “go through that door to the ballroom.” So we did and after a few left and rights found ourselves in a huge room with about 14 double tables, each enough to accommodate 8 people. Isn’t it funny how you can have a perfectly clear concept of a place and yet be so completely wrong? But this is Porthcawl, everything’s big here, even the waves!

We order our food and it arrives within about ten minutes and I must say it is good, but, apart from the organisers, we seem to be the only ones there. Never mind, there is no time to worry about that, we had food to eat!

Seven o’clock nears and the rest of our team arrive, followed by more and even more enthusiastic quizzers. It seems that all the tables will be filled. Can you work it out? It would come to 112! Crikey! At Worms Head we struggle and still fail to get enough people to come to a Christmas party!

“Testing, testing, Welcome everybody and we have amongst us some really keen quizzers from Brecon U3A and Bridgend U3A, so we should have some very good scoring, we also have a team from Worms Head and a couple of local teams. You should all have a copy of the table quiz and you can fill in the answers during any free time you have. We will start in a few minutes.”

The table quiz consists of questions such as

7 S to a FPP
66 B of theB

and

Name these Pop Groups:-
The Hiking Siblings
Dreadful Trouble

We managed most of them but we were really stuck on 7 S to the FPP but luckily Audrey knew the answer – Seven sides to a fifty pence piece. How did she know that? Well now that she has retired from being Station Manager she does have a lot of time on her hands!

Liz came to the rescue with 66 B of the B – 66 Books of the Bible. How did she know that? She wouldn’t say, in fact, answer was there Nun!

The Hiking Siblings were the Walker Brothers but we were stuck on Dreadful Trouble and positively kicked ourselves on learning it was Dire Straits!

Papers were swapped with the next table for marking and our neighbours were slightly incorrect with 12 M of the J (12 members of the Jury) and had proposed 12 men of the Jury, clearly they hailed from the Jurassic period. They appealed to our better nature, seven of us quite rightly said no but Gentleman George the Gallant with his vast persuasive powers said we should allow it. How could we refuse, after all he is the Deputy Assistant Station Manager or something and he holds great power over all of us – not even Andy, our real Station Manager was prepared to argue against him!

The real quiz started and the most enjoyable was the music section where the question master played blasts from the past, or partially – he would mute the bit that contained the title. It was enjoyable because nostalgia, as they say, is a thing of the past and together we really carried a lot of the past. We were all, which is all the teams, enjoying it so much that when he played

If there’s anything that you want
If there’s anything I can do
Just call on me and I’ll send it along
With love ……………

The whole room was already in full song so that when he got to the muted bit we just carried on singing “from me to you!” and then burst into joyous laughter. Totally brilliant!

The raffle had many and varied prizes and our table had a winner in Liz who came back from the prize table with a bottle of bubbly. I’m sure she is, at this very moment, printing some invitation cards so that we can all help her consume it.

It was a great night and very enjoyable to be together socially, we didn’t come first but that didn’t matter and the whole evening raised over £800 for Porthcawl NCI’s funds. They hope to start in a few weeks and we send them our very best wishes.