Last night I had a clash. I had committed to going along to Camborne Rugby Club's end of season dinner at the Lowenac Hotel in Camborne, but also the next meeting of the Trelawney Alliance which was scheduled for the same day and time. Luckily the Trelawney Alliance were just down Basset Road road at the Town Council offices so I could do both - just.
Jean Charman, our energetic Town Mayor, and the committee at the Trelawney Alliance have made some fantastic progress over the last few months and managed to get a new cross party campaign up in the news and recognised. But they are not complacent. The next step is to improve coordination between other groups campaiging against the centralised government targets and they are working hard.
I had told Camborne RFC I would be there by 8.30 but a speech at the end of the meeting by our local MP went on a little longer than expected. Still, I made it there by 8.45 which was in time for the main course and speeches.
My father used to play rugby for Camborne and the family business at Trevaskis Farm sponsor the club today. As an amateur club, they are really able to develop talent and give younger players a chance to play in big matches where they learn fast. There is a strong team spirit because the players quickly progress through the Colts and into the Chiefs and get used to playing rugby together. They also have a really important commitment to junior and mini rugby teams.
I think amateur clubs like this have a crucial role to play in our society. I also think we could see a revival of amateur sport as the commerical clubs which rely on lucrative media contracts find that they have less clout than they once did.
My first memory of the Lowenac Hotel is attending a Young Farmers disco there in the late eighties. I have never been a great dancer but last night, as the disco was about to pack up, a couple of the Camborne team members decided to drag me and my brother, Giles, onto the dance floor to sit down in a line and 'row' away to "Oops up side your head" by The Gap Band. It could have been 1988 all over again.