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The 1977 Dinner

Like it or not, the inquest is now complete, or if not then you're too late.  Actually, there has been a reasonable response to the dinner questionnaire though compilation of the results has presented quite a statistical problem in the attempt to decipher opinion and the majority's recommended action.

First Item, STYLE:

74% of the returns think that our type of dinner is right for formality and answering thus, saved themselves the bother of questions 2 and 3 of this section.  Of the remainder, the 'more formality' outnumbered the 'less formal' by 2:1.

Second Item, SURROUNDINGS:

This, I resolved had to be a combined answered item because neither answer to the questions was mutually exclusive.  I found that 46% would prefer the plush hotel but are reasonably happy about some of the recent venues.  30%, (including some of the majority) would be happy if the dinner were held in Priddy Village Hall whilst 15% don’t care about the surroundings.  The rem¬ainder (9%) think that surroundings are important, would not be happy at the PVH yet have been satisfied with recent year's surroundings.

Third Item, VENUE:

This item turned out to have 42% in favour of holding the dinner 'close' to the Belfry whilst a further 42% think that the distance/place doesn't matter.  Only 8% were firm that the dinner should be in Bristol though 4% stated just as firmly that it should not.  As far as distance is concerned, the mean distance turned out to be 22 miles radius but the Mode was 10 miles from the Belfry - so I prefer the latter.

Fourth Item, SIZE:

53% of the responses think that the present size situation is OK whilst the remaining 37% think-that a limit should be set.  Strangely enough, working on some of the restriction suggestions lead to the conclusion that if invoked and all those eligible turned up, we would have greater numbers than ever before.  Apart from that, the suggested limits varied from 100 to 200.  Again, the Mode was 150 and that is roughly as at present.

Fifth Item, PRICE:

This was clearly a difficult question to try to answer in these days of inflation and a range of both maximum and realistic prices were quoted, with the maximum varying from £3.00 to £8.00 – the main being £5.00.  The range for realism was from £4.00 to £7.00 with a mean of £5.00.  In both instances the Mean and the Mods coincided so it seems that our aim should be for £4.00 but prepared for £5.00.

Sixth Item, FOOD:

Not surprisingly, because the question was asked that way, 96% are in favour of a 'better than average' menu though, surprisingly, the question of cold fare versus hot fare only produced a weighting of 12% against – from which I gather that a better than average could turn up to be acceptable.

Seventh Item, SPEECHES:

Once again a problem for analysis as there were really two questions in one and the need positive or negative answers (each) but we got many crosses and ticks meaning what (?). Anyway it seems that ½ the responses think that speeches are a waste of time whilst at the same time 75% think that toasts (which presumably include speeches) are OK particularly if witty and amusing.  They (speeches) should be regarded as part of the entertainment and presentations (not understood by some) if apt, were OK.

Last Item, ENTERTAINMENT:

  There was a total agreement in this matter; it should definitely be part of the BEC Dinner scene.  99% thought our entertainment should be homespun and that the Christmas Barrel and Caving thru the Ages were our best efforts.  11% thought that we should have a professional folk singer and all thought that we should have a system of making the entertainment louder than the audience.

That seems to be the total of the evidence and still it leaves the committee with the problem of venue and facility.  We are asking that establishments such as, say, The Cave Man, The Cliff, City Arms (Wells) Royal Hotel (Bristol) and Nick Barrington’s quote for 150 persons. However with typical prices we will still continue for the short term to pursue the private venue and Catering Service in the hope that we can avoid restaurant prices for Wine and Beer.