Covid-19 Update from the Rear Commodore

Posted: 23/9/2020

Further Update from Rear Commodore.  

It is some weeks since my last update to members and with the summer now over I thought it would be appropriate to issue a further informative update.  It turned out my timing was perfect as we have just had a plethora of announcements from Government about the restrictions and protocols surrounding the Coronavirus situation. This has meant that we have had to reassess what facilities we can offer to members and what additional precautions we have to put in place to protect the health of both members and staff.

As it happens over the past week we had already been carefully considering our position going forward over the next few months leading up to Christmas, traditionally a very busy period for us socially.  It was felt important to try and maximise the use members are able to make of their Club while at the same time adhering strictly to the government restrictions and protocols, and any guidelines that help to preserve the health and safety of everyone.  Large gatherings are obviously going to be impossible, but within social distancing requirements, an increased number of special smaller events should be possible.  However, with the inevitable restriction on the total number allowed to attend it would be important for members to book early to avoid potential disappointment.

Most of the public attention this week has been focussed on the increased restrictions on our ability to meet others socially in our homes but so far as the Club is concerned the one major change is to allow the opening of bars to customers without the accompanying need to be dining.  However this is subject to very strict conditions which will apply to all visiting the Club – including diners – and for the benefit of members I set these out below in an Appendix.  Please take special note of points 3, 5, 6 and 7 which all mark departures from the current protocols.

The ability to allow members to come to the Club to enjoy a drink with friends is, of course, welcome news but members must appreciate that with the restrictions on numbers it may be impossible to admit them when they arrive at the Club in the situation where it has already reached its full capacity limit set by the restrictions.  Unfortunately, it is just impractical in all the circumstances to consider a scheme for pre-booking a table for drinking and this has to be operated on a first-come-first-served basis. This may cause disappointment at times but the Club has to be practical in running things in the current demanding situation.

I would like to mention that the caterers have expressed their appreciation for the support that the Officers, General Committee, and members have given them to date in the difficult circumstances prevailing, and for the efforts being made to promote the use of the Club.  It is hoped that this will continue over the coming months, and to that end, for the benefit of members I set out below details of what is proposed.

Opening Hours – As of lunchtime on Wednesday 23rd September the Club will nearly be back to full opening hours.  The only exception is Thursday lunchtime and this will be kept under review.

Saturday Brunch – This has proved popular with members and has been well supported by them.  It will continue to operate.

Mid-Week Meal Offer – This again has been well supported by members and will continue until at least December.

Sunday Carvery – In order to create greater choice and variety for Sunday dining it has been decided to hold two Sunday Carveries a month on the second and fourth Sundays and the traditional 2 or 3 course meal or A la Carte menu on the other Sundays.

Take-Away Service – Our caterers operate a takeaway service at another venue they run which has proved useful for members shielding who do not want to attend the Club.  On a trial basis from the beginning of October, the daily menu will be offered as a take-away option (Call & Collect) at a 10% discount off the menu price. Please call 02891465002 if you wish to avail of this service.

Rugby Menu – With bars now allowed to open (but subject to strict conditions that at all times must be observed by members) it is hoped to allow the Back Bar and Gloucester Room to be used for viewing matches by limited numbers of members.  The caterer has agreed to provide a limited snack type of menu for such occasions.

Themed Evenings and Seasonal Dining – Our normal large functions naturally cannot be held but we are able to hold smaller dining evenings.  Subject to limiting numbers to meet Coronavirus restrictions, a number of special events are planned such as a Polish Night, an Indian Night, a Gourmet Night, Candlelight Dinners, and Christmas Dinners.  Please keep looking at TellTales for further information on these events.

Christmas Day – As from 1st October, it will be possible to book for Christmas Day lunch.  There may have to be a few changes to meet the special conditions such as imposing dining times at 15-minute intervals and serving over multiple rooms to maximise the number of places available so that as few as possible members will be disappointed.  Menu and further details will appear in TellTales soon.

December Booking Overflow – As the current requirements of social distancing restrict the number of persons that can be accommodated at any one time in the Club and with December being a very busy period with members holding private dining events, a major decision has been taken.  If a member wishes to hold a dinner but the Club is already fully booked for his chosen date, the caterer has kindly agreed to specially open on a Monday or a Tuesday in order that they may still be able to hold their event on an alternative day. 

I trust the members will understand that the Club is doing all it can to operate as near normality as possible while at the same time safeguarding their health and safety and that of our staff.  Our Club’s future is at stake and we must tread a fine line to continue to operate successfully and meet our members’ needs.  In the meantime please try and take advantage of the facilities being provided by the Club and above all keep safe.

Maurice R Butler,

Rear Commodore.

APPENDIX.

Mandatory Requirements for Hospitality Venues.

  1. Each room within the Club must clearly display the maximum number who can be accommodated in line with social distancing requirements.
  2. Members and guests are required to use the hand sanitisation stations which will be available throughout the Club.
  3. The Club must collect customer details to assist with the Test, Trace, Protect contact tracing programme. Please cooperate with the staff on this.
  4. All service will be table service. Customers must remain seated once on the premises, apart from using the facilities.
  5. There will be NO standing and NO service at the bar.
  6. Face coverings must be worn to enter and leave the Club and for movement inside. They are not required once seated. Please ensure you bring a mask with you.
  7. A maximum of 6 people from any number of households can be seated at a table. For this purpose, children 12 and under are not counted and can be in addition to this total. The only exception to this rule, whereby more than 6 people over the age of 12 can sit at the same table, is if they are ALL from the same household.
  8. Dancing is strictly prohibited

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