It gives me great pleasure to write this blog as I get to tell you all about my funny little local.
It's called The Cheltenham Motor Club and it's renowned for its Real Ale. Personally Real Ale isn't my thing but they serve a reasonably priced pint of Stowford or Jack and coke, the locals are friendly and pretty much everyone knows your name (and business!!)... I feel genuinely welcomed and cared for in there and THAT is what a good local is all about.
Along with being the meeting place for motor enthusiasts and rally meetings alike you will also find super dedicated cycle enthusiasts that frequent the club regularly (mainly in lycra) as part of a lengthy ride stopping in at a number of Cotswold pubs along the way. But I feel I should probably point out that the sight is not for the faint hearted! Men in lycra, in my opinion, doesn't leave enough to the imagination!! ;)
Anyway, I digress... yes, the Motor Club, it can be found listed in the Good Beer Guides for the last I don't know how many years and this year to top it all, our lovely landlord Neil & his gorgeous wife George won the....
CAMRA National Club of the Year Award!!!!
[Can I hear a whoopidy-whoooooooop!?]
Nicely coinciding with this award was the Spring Mini Beer Festival and one of the aforementioned locals decided to order a surprise cake to celebrate the newly won, incredibly PRESTIGIOUS award.
It was just a simple cake, depicting the Cheltenham Motor Club logo and the name of the award, just a little something to mark the occasion...
While hand painting the logo and its crest I couldn't help but wonder what it was all about... so I Googled it and this is what I learnt...
...starting at the top, the pigeon sitting on a stripped
sphere represents the discovery of the spa water by a pigeon which made Cheltenham famous. (It was the Spa water not the pigeon that put Cheltenham on the map!)
Just in case anyone is wondering, Cheltenham Spa Water can be sampled at The Pittville Pump Rooms... beware... it's an acquired taste!
The two open books, either side of the cross represent education, particularly Pates Grammar School and Cheltenham College.
The cross represents religion.
The two pigeons represent the flock that gathered at the spa water spring.
The Oak tree at the bottom (this is my favourite bit) is there to represent the beautiful tree lined Promenade and streets that Cheltenham is known for.
And finally the towns motto - Salubritas et Eruditio meaning "Health and Education".
Who knew??! Good ol' Wikipedia!!
As it was a surprise the delivery was interesting. It went a little something like this...
Neil (pulling pints): "Hi Rach, what you got there?"
Rach: "It's a delivery for you."
Neil (knowing I make cakes): "Oh?"
Rach: "It is your birthday isn't it??"
Neil: "Errr....? No, my birthday isn't for months!"
(Poker face) Rach: "Oh?! Well it's definitely for you?!"
Neil (confused and pulling pints): "Ok, give me a sec..."
Neil was really touched by the cake and I got BIG hug from him, although he still didn't know who'd ordered it!
I couldn't make it to the festival that evening but I was assured at a later date that it was scoffed in no time at all!
Glad to have been of service! :)
Just as an after thought....
Previous winners of this prestigious award in chronological order are:
2005: Hastings Club, Lytham St Annes
2006: Dartford WMC
2007: Greetland Community & Sporting Association, Greetland, Halifax, Yorkshire
2008: Leyton Orient Supporters Club (Joint winners)
Appleton Thorn Village Hall, Cheshire
Appleton Thorn Village Hall, Cheshire
2009: Guiseley Factory Workers Club, West Yorkshire
2010: Rushden Historical Transport Society, Rushden, Northamptonshire
2011: Kinver Constitutional Club, Kinver, Staffordshire
2012: The Questors Grapevine Club
2013: Cheltenham Motor Club
If you are partial to a Real Ale then you can find out all about The Cheltenham Motor Club here.
(responsibly of course!)