2011 Old Boys Weekend (Fri)
‘Anyone Fancy a Grape?’

Another amazing Old Boys this year. Admittedly the Old Boys turn out was a little disappointing, but the number of Students ‘recruited’ by Mr Chairman was phenomenal – the best for many years! Let’s hope this will continue to be the case for the next generation of Old Boy!

Take it away Mr Chairman……

Friday, 29th April pm

Friday saw yet another significant moment in our nations great history – the beginnings of Old Boys 2011.  Taking full advantage of the Bank Holiday, many of the boys were in Bangor early, leaving time for a kick around, a failed attempt at a round of golf, and a bit of food before the beginning of the festivities.  This rather simple task led to the first issue of the night – turned away with a cheer by the bar staff in the Menai (a decision costing the pub our business over the following three days, surely an expensive error), a trip to the pizza shop was on the cards already.
Pizza ingested and washed down by a quick drink in Paddy’s, it was on to the Belle Vue, where things were to get going for the mainstays.  Suited and booted, all managed to appear on time (a rare and impressive feat for Mr Malone, Mr Donnolly and Mr Small), and joined the table for a welcome, a tribute to our fallen, a number which has sadly increased over the past year, and the dishing out of fines for activities throughout the year just gone.  Such fines included wearing a dress to a wedding (Mr Hoppit’s argument that a kilt isn’t a dress was noted – it really is more of a skirt – but dismissed), not inviting Mr Chairman to your wedding despite his attending your stag (an unremorseful Mr Curtis), not showing up for four years (Mr Bergerac), climbing Snowdon in flip flops (Mr Malone and Mr Donnolly), and not climbing Snowdon in your flip flops (Mr Chairman and Mr Small).
The Old Stars joined us in the Belle Vue, and though their number was smaller than it has been previously, they remain as ready and willing – if not quite as capable – as the Old Boys when it comes to putting away a few beverages.
On leaving the Belle Vue, Mr Birch (a cocky copper with whom none of us remember studying or playing, but who had been quite keen in setting up a facebook event for the occasion) was encountered.  Fairly enough bemoaning our not having been in the Menai, his protests were quickly turned into yelps of pain as his boxers were removed and presented to Mr Chairman (who was to acquire many torn undergarments over the course of the weekend).  His protests largely ignored, The Old Boys moved on to Rascals, and down the hill towards the Octagon, quite an odd feeling for anything other than a Wednesday night (Mr CEO – Just doesn’t feel right to not hear about Time on the Friday night!!!).  The Octagon managements strange decision not to open the main area proved somewhat limiting, but none the less the Jaeger and other such silly things to ingest were flowing. An AU president was buttered up, one (or, if claims are to believed, two) was taken for the team, and we were off and running for 2011.

Saturday day

Saturday started slowly for most, the residents of the pink palace understandably more casual to rise than those needing to get to the Baytree restaurant by 9 for breakfast.  Failure to rise for breakfast led to Mr Chairman, Mr Bergerac and the soon to jib it and disappear Mr Lewis visiting Mike’s bites.  This would usually not merit mention in a review, but for an intriguing piece of mathematics from Mr Bergerac.  Short version: £1000 a week?  That’s (thinks)…£48,000 a year.  Such comments usually make their way into Mr Chairmans note book, and this was no exception.

By lunchtime t-shirts were collected and snugly making our not-quite-as-athletic-as-we-used-to-be frames look muscular once more, and it was time to get going.  Mr Hoppit, Mr Lewis, Mr Hill, Mr Curtis, Mr Le Quesne and Mr Chairman wandered down to Dickies boatyard with a few bottles to watch the current first team take on Beaumaris in a cup semi final, and duly get taken apart.  Just after half time, the decision to swap this high level football bonanza for the Welsh Premier league title decider at Farrar Road was taken, and as those of us there watched Bangor snatch the title, Mr Frankish, Mr Dunne and Mr Johnstone were busy getting a solid head start before the evenings goings on.

Saturday pm

Mr Owen and Mr Prosser (soon to be dubbed Mr Chief Executive Officer) joined us at the yellow pub, and after topping up on greasy food, off we went, with standard levels of incompetence being demonstrated in terms of games, drinking, and particularly keeping food and drink contained in the stomachs of many.  Refusing to accept the gift of general contribution, current student Mr Woodfine was sent to the toilet to finish his pint of lager, bitter, vinegar, mustard and bits his own underwear.  Video evidence confirms he was repeatedly sick before getting it within 2 feet of his mouth, and so an old boy was nominated to show him how it was done.  Up stepped Mr Frankish, assisted by an uncharacteristically compliant Mr Dunne, and polished it off easily.

It wasn’t long before Mr Giddings felt rather uncomfortable, and his inability to compose a rhyming toilet request was causing him serious issues.  The natural assumption that he needed to vomit was on this occasion inaccurate, as chuckling from one end of the table indicated something else was afoot.  It came to pass that this wouldn’t be Mr Giddings’ only trip to the lavatory that evening, as a large dose of laxative was taking effect.

Cock art, now a (worryingly) eagerly awaited event each year, made an early appearance this year due to the severe level of discomfort Mr Megson and Mr Williams were being caused.  This year’s reveal was indeed a sight…purple balls and a yellow member accompanied a sprig of grapes (though the orange segment was a sad casualty of the walk to the pub) neatly and not very appetisingly presented in a fruit bowl.  Needless to say, many an unsuspecting member of the Bangorian public were offered a fruity snack over the course of the evening, many accepting.  The grapes also provided useful sustenance for Mr Chairman, who (being a student) didn’t really care how close to the boys members the grapes had been – food is food after all.

After cock art and a few appalling rounds of 21, Mr Curtis demonstrated why todays’ youth are an ill educated bunch of idiots.  In a delightful deviation from the national curriculum, he had charged his pupils with making 30 Ivan Drago masks to tie in with our Russian theme.  These on, Rocky IV quotes flying, the Old Boys moved to Upper Bangor to continue the mayhem.  A top quality addition to our night, but as for the literacy and numeracy of Mr Curtis’ pupils, time will tell.

Rascals was the next stop, and the current footballers proved their worth with a rousing rendition of ‘There were … naked Old Boys in the pub”, a very welcome addition to the cannon of songs.  Naturally the song was turned round and the (allegedly gay, though I’m yet to see evidence of this) clientele of the bar were naturally delighted to be confronted with 25+ naked gentlemen.

On to the Fridd, where Mr Frankish, Mr Dunne and an obliterated Mr Johnstone had already got things going.  The free entry/discounted drinks wrist bands Mr Chairman had procured free of charge from a smitten AU president proved useful, and the carnage continued.  Dismal attempts at ‘the worm’, vast quantities of jaeger, standard levels of dreadful dancing and a stark realisation that without Main Bar, Saturday is rather difficult to get right later, it was time to descend the hill and find our way to bed.  On our leaving, said AU president – shocked at the realisation she wasn’t going to get inside Mr Chairmans trousers – attempted to recoup the £75 the wristbands should have cost.  Needless to say she was unsuccessful.

Sunday am

Sunday.  Match day.  It’s (supposedly) why we’re all there, but it is pretty much the last thing we want to do.  Never the less, to Treborth for 10.30, where the Old Stars (well, 6 of them) were waiting.  Four of them were to grace the match with their presence this year, and I would expect all four of them regretted their decision to participate on the annual debacle.  Trudging out to the pitch, solace was gained only from the fact that enough of the current lads had been out on it with us last night, and so tired, drunken legs were expected on both sides.

Kick off was delayed heavily thanks to Mr Jones, current 1st team manager, who in a decision befitting a man of his status and apparent education, brought two green kits.  Whilst the Old Boys are (for the most part) considerably fatter and hairier than their undergraduate counterparts, it was decided that this wasn’t difference enough – and that no human being should have to see Mr Curtis playing skins – and so we delayed kick off.

The game itself was relatively uneventful, Mr Donnolly missed at least three sitters (as usual), Mr Holden’s decision to play in plimsolls and no shin pads yielded expected results, Mr Edwards gave a welcome boost to the midfield, and a dummy was spat because a certain someone wasn’t starting.

The Old Boys took an early lead which they rarely looked like giving up, and despite some creative second half refereeing from Mr Dunne (who was trying to engineer a penalty shoot out), a hat-trick from Mr CEO and a penalty save by Mr Frankish (note – Mr Holden Jnr’s pen made Mr Chairmans effort in last years’ shoot out look like a rocket into the top corner) saw the Old Boys run out 4-3 winners.  MVP Mr CEO, making his full return to the Old Boys XI, scored what turned out to be the winning goal with a spectacular half volley from a long way out – making up for the plethora of chances to grab his third he had so far failed to take.  Assists for two of his goals came from one player, but since he’s not mentioned it even once since it has been assumed the player in question doesn’t want it brought up in the report.

Special mention goes to Mr Birch’s friend, who came on and after 15 minutes of non-contribution decided he was far too good to play with us and stomped off in a huff, never to be seen again.  Shame.

With all credit to Mr CEO’s third goal, match highlight was undoubtedly Scorch, who brought EVERYONE a bacon sandwich, as well as ketchup and brown sauce in coffee cups.  Second to this is Mr Hill, who if reports are correct got excited by the prospect of coffee and took a swig of ketchup.  Awesome!

Match over, trophy presented to captain for the day Mr Small, it was back for showers and then out and on it once more.

Meeting at the yellow pub for the customary food and attempts at putting away two or three pints of water before being made to drink any alcohol, the Old Boys watched Arsenal see off the Mancs, in what was no where near as exciting a game as Bangor City’s triumph the day previous.  Events of note here include Mr Le Quesne being sick at the sight of his first pint, Mr Chairman being absolutely useless at coinstack killer, Mr Hill actually avoiding his standard amount of stupid fines, and a very high volume of vile smelling excretions in the disabled toilet.  Mr Giddings, recovered from Saturdays’ laxative spiked pint, had that morning reached for a refreshing and hydrating bottle of orange juice.  Sadly for him, said bottle contained the remainder of the laxatives and his bowel issues continued on throughout the day!

Finally joined (approximately three hours late) by Mr Donnolly, Mr Small and Mr Malone – who were made to down a pitcher between them for their insolence – the games recommenced, but were sadly just as poorly executed as they had been the previous day.  Even after 5-10 years of coming back, there still seem to be people who don’t know the rules!  Also evident is the aging process, not being able to handle three day benders quite as well as they had previously taking its toll on several boys who’s nights ended here.

Rascals, more singing, more boxers (including those – again – of Mr Birch, who had spent all day warning boys not to wear any but neglecting to take off his own) and ‘fat frogs’ (apparently a mix of three different WKD flavours) later, it was time for the Belle Vue, and with it Father Abraham.  Delaying the start of one of our greatest traditions was the absence of students.  Asking where they had got to, Scorch informed Mr Chairman that they were playing pool inside.  An angry chairman went inside and returned with the black and cue balls.  Not anymore they’re not.  Realising that there was no getting away with it, out came the students and Father Abraham and his seven sons were celebrated.  Fines were dished out, and the very rugby-esque behaviour of pissing in peoples pints was quickly halted.  Worse attempts at the punch bag than last year were demonstrated by Mr Batley and Mr Hill, and every single one of us was put to shame by student Mr Middleman’s whopping great penis.

On leaving the Belle Vue, those of us still standing went on to Paddy’s for the karaoke, more alcohol fuelled nonsense, and as ever, a moving and passionate rendition of ‘Hero’ by Mr Small and Mr CEO.

As we left on Monday, most Old Boys felt a new found appreciation for the dilapidated shit holes that were Time, Main Bar and Jocks.  The focal points of our student days, and homes of many of our fondest memories of our times in Bangor are no more, and the complexion of both the university and the city is changing.  Bangor is a quieter place than it once was, students appear to actually do some work, and I didn’t see a rugby player all weekend (not that I’m complaining about the last one).

Something that remains however is the welcome that we received from our student counterparts.  Lacking for a couple of years, a genuine warmth and respect came from the current crop of players, and Old Boys weekend is once more an important date in the student social calendar.  Thanks go out to Mr Jones, Mr Holden and Mr Batley for spreading the word over the past year, and to all of the current boys for joining us this time out.  I look forward to welcoming you as Old Boys in 2012.

Until next year, Chairman Schlong