The Dog that nearly became an RNYC Member

In order to ensure the member’s peaceful enjoyment of club facilities the Club maintains a strict “no dogs” policy and it is always interesting to note the extent to which some members will go to try and subvert this rule. While we strictly enforce the rule and respectfully request members cooperation there is an interesting account at page 316 of the Club’s official history book “Salt on the Sails”  about:

The Dog the nearly became an RNYC Member (kindly recalled by Richard Crockett)

“Be afraid, be very afraid as the stiff upper lip members of the RNYC were not amused and wanted blood!

I am of course referring to a ‘famous’ membership application many years ago now when the RNYC was ‘over the road’, in Fenton Lane.

A stalwart member, Bill Piddington, had the most obedient dog named Buller whom he brought to the Club on occasions. Buller would stay in the car park and keep a watchful eye over the rescue boats, and anything else untoward that may happen.

On occasions his master overstayed his welcome in the Pub, and Buller would cross the railway line and the Esplanade to collect his errant master. As the bar door was a swing-type door he would go through the barmen’s entrance and would put his paws on the counter in front of Bill advising him that ‘time’ had been called.

This was to the amusement of Bill’s mates, and the chagrin of the stiff upper lip members who would immediately complain to the Club Manager.

Now Bill was a boisterous type who was always being hauled in front of the Flag Officers for a variety of misdemeanours – one of them being singing in the bar. He had a very loud voice and knew the words of every single rugby song ever sung!

On one occasion he was banished form the club for a short period for singing, and at a formal Rescue Dinner, the Commodore, Bob Nuttall, instructed him to sing. Bill replied as follows: “The Commodore banished me for singing, so I am unable to sing”. To which the Commodore replied: “I am the bloody Commodore – NOW SING”! And wow did we bring the house down.

Bill’s mates decided that due to Buller’s sterling work in guarding the rescue boats and equipment, he should be made a member. So they filled in a membership application for a Junior member, in the name of Buller Piddington. Had it proposed and seconded, paid the entrance fee and the form was placed on the New Membership Applications board. After the obligatory waiting period his membership went to ballot (as all memberships applications did in those days) and Buller sailed through with flying colours. All that was left was for the General Committee to approve the results of the Ballot.

The Club Secretary presented the results, and one wide awake Gencom member revealed that Buller Piddington was in fact a dog!

The Club Manager was seething and embarrassed beyond belief – and was overheard to repeat many times: “They are trying to embarrass me”.

Needless to say Buller did not become a member – but it was a close call!!”

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