The stakes were high; when a full house of brethren, family and friends came under starters orders for the Goodwill Lodge No 3896 annual Charity Race Night at Widnes Masonic Hall
In the guise of Clerk of the Course, WM James Ross ably assisted by his wife Jacquie ran through the evening’s proceedings and set everybody at ease before declaring that the going was good and that for once the racing was immune to the weather; and that there were no obstacles between the grandstand and the bar; information that certainly saw a number of guests break into a gallop!
James and his wife then informed the crowd that they had managed to get all of this evening’s races pre-sponsored and that the charitable donations for the event already stood at £400 before a bet was placed and that thanks should be shown in appreciation of the following race sponsors: Utility Warehouse, Milton Engineering, Insight 2 Drive, MBEC Electrical, Liverpool and Lancashire Property Services, Phil Newman Window Cleaners, Mac Landscapes, Irish Guards Singers, Mark with Splendour Caterers and Navsar Marine Services
The first five scheduled races brought excitement around the hall as punters placed their bets and the cheering increased in volume from the first race onwards as everybody started to cheer their horses on to the finish line; one or two punters even stood up in the saddle with whip in-hand as they thought that somehow this would give their horse an advantage!
A break in proceedings then saw the new hall caterers Mark with Splendour provide a sausage and chips supper which after all of the excitement was enjoyed by all.
Before commencing with the remaining races, the guests were delighted to welcome a surprise guest in the form of top international jockey ‘Wee Wille Carson’, ake John Alderson in full riding gear who agreed to be interviewed by Bob Williams, the group’s Regional Charity Steward. There followed an insightful review of the world of horse racing and a few tips on how to pick ‘winners’ along with how to eat and drink as much as you want and still remain at your riding weight at 80 years young; now these were two key topics that all of the punters certainly wanted to pick up on!
Armed with ‘Wee Wille’s’ tips, the punters couldn’t wait for the remaining races and Bryan and Debbie Magan Bookmakers were certainly kept busy as they dealt with a flurry of bets on each of the remaining five races.
Following the conclusion of the racing the WM offered his thanks to all of those present and declared that the event had once again been a resounding success and that the total amount raised had reached the wonderful sum of £970 which would be added to the proceeds from other events that the lodge had planned and then be allocated at a later date to local charities.
In summary it was a ‘Tote-ally brilliant evening’, enjoyed by all with charity being the overall winner.
Report by Bob Williams, Regional Charity Steward Mersey Valley Group.