Our Diamond Jubilee was in 1970 and it was only fitting that we returned to North Foreland, the scene of the birth of the society. By this time, the Scottish Daily Mail had closed in Edinburgh, so it was back to square one with just Manchester and London.
Everyone stayed at The Castle Keep Hotel, where it was arranged to hold the dinner. The clubhouse catering was too restricted to manage this affair; they did, however, put on an excellent lunch.
Vere Harmsworth, who was playing, wished to see Northcliffe’s old house in Broadstairs. The house is now divided into flats, with a small property development in the grounds, but the main structure and entrance is very much as it was. Vere walked up the drive, knocked on the door and introduced himself. The occupants were only too pleased to show him round. Vere was delighted, as this was the first time he had seen the house, which had been out of the family for half a century.
As North Foreland had been good enough to accommodate and make the society so welcome, the Northcliffe invited their captain and secretary to the celebration dinner. When the captain of North Foreland replied to Vere, who had mentioned that he had enjoyed playing so much that he would like to play the following day, in his address the captain said he was sorry to disappoint him, but the club could not accept visitors on a Saturday.
Vere thanked the captain, then went on to tell him that before coming to North Foreland he had discovered that he still owned all the debentures!
The captain was nonplussed, and the sequel was that, despite several reminders about a settlement of the Northcliffe account, none was ever presented.
More changes took place in 1971, when the Daily Mail went tabloid and merged with the Daily Sketch. Jack Whitbourn’s activities as secretary came to an end with early retirement, but the society lived on in the capable hands of Alwyn Robinson as captain, Peter Moss as administrator, and Roy Sellwood as treasurer.