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Christmas Lunch 2021- Ken Batstone photos by Frank

On Wednesday, 8th December, the 18th annual Association Xmas Lunch will be held as usual at the YMCA Hawker, in Richmond Road, Kingston, KT2 5BH. The Menu will be same pattern as previous years

Due to Covid, inflation, truck drivers, Brexit, the French etc., the cost of the meal at £18.50 per head will be £1 higher than the past two Xmas Lunches. (There is NO £2 signing-in charge at the Xmas Lunch.)

Ken Batstone will be taking bookings with payments so please send your cheques, for £18.50 per head, made out to The Hawker Association, to him at 42 Kings Road, Walton on Thames, Surrey, KT12 2RA. If you have any questions, you can phone Ken on 01932 229938.

Please note that all bookings and payments must be received no later than December 3rd to allow a definitive number of attendees to be given to the caterers. Any Members who have paid for their Lunch, but find they will be unable to attend after all, will be refunded, providing they inform Ken by December 3rd. After this date, payments cannot be refunded.

As in previous years, the Lunch will be served at approximately 1.15pm and Members and Guests are requested to arrive from midday, but not before please, because the YMCA Staff will still be setting and dressing the tables.

The Committee have been concerned about the current Covid situation as a result of which, it is suggested that any Members or Guests who have not had at least two Covid "jabs" should not attend the Lunch, to avoid the risk of infection to themselves or other Members. However, on a lighter note, attendees will not be required to wear facemasks; it makes eating your meal very difficult!

The menu will be nominally the same as last year with prawn cocktail to start, followed by traditional roast turkey with trimmings for the main course. The final details of the alternative main course and dessert will be decided nearer the day; if you would like alternatives from the menu please specify when booking.

Booking Details


Glass of Wine or Soft Drink on Arrival


Prawn Cocktail


Tomato Soup

Main Course:

Traditional Roast Turkey & Trimmings
Poached Salmon or similar & Trimmings


Fruit Tart/Gateaux OR Fruit Cocktail

To Finish:

Coffee/Tea with Mince Pie

Please note that as in the past three years, there is no Xmas Pudding option. Also, the alternative courses preceded by an underlined "OR" must be requested when paying for your booking. This is of great assistance to the caterers in preventing food waste.

Let us hope that the weather will be as kind to us as it has been for the past few Xmas Lunches. Your Committee is looking forward to welcoming as many of you as possible on December 8th for a sunny, happy and satisfying meal.

Ken Batstone and the Committee.

On Wednesday, 8th December 2021, the 18th annual Xmas Lunch was held at the YMCA Hawker in Richmond Road (our late-lamented Hawker Sports Club). It should have been our 19th Lunch, but Covid Restrictions forced the cancellation of the 2020 event. So it was with great relief and pleasure that it was possible to organise the Lunch for 2021.

Unfortunately, the new Omicron Variant of the Covid Virus appeared on the scene, which caused considerable concern in the Committee and the general Membership. These concerns caused a reduction in the number of Members willing to attend the Lunch and the application of rules concerning mask-wearing, sanitising, pcr testing and the requirement that only fully vaccinated persons should attend the Lunch.

Finally it was agreed that testing was not necessary and masks should be worn when entering and moving around the building, but removed for eating or drinking (obviously!). The YMCA staff also wore masks and followed the government rules for such public venues. The result was that as Members arrived, it could be difficult to recognise who they were until they removed the masks to reveal their faces!

In the event, 32 Members and Guests paid in advance for the Lunch, but 2 were unable to be present on the day, so while the numbers were down on previous years, 30 was a suitable number for the size of the venue and to give the afternoon a suitable "party buzz" for the meal and the concomitant speeches. The sight of senior members of society in party hats always raises a wry smile.

Before the meal, Grace was given by the Rev Vernon Lidstone and between Courses and at the end of the meal, short speeches were given by the Chairman, Chris Roberts and the President, Colin Wilson.

The meal itself was up to the YMCA's usual high standard and thoroughly enjoyed by all. The only negative comment was that the portions were too large! Rather that than the reverse.

The afternoon concluded with coffee and mince pies and the now "traditional and hugely popular" raffle (so said the raffle organiser).

It would appear that as the Omicron situation develops, we were fortunate to have held our Lunch early in December, but everybody hopes that the virus will be under some control in the New Year and that therefore our annual Summer BBQ will take place in unrestricted times.