Meet our Members

Meet Derick Wilkie

Derick Wilkie has been a Member of the VSC since 2005 and is a regular at VSC events such as Burns' Night supper, Trafalgar Night and the monthly Club Secretary's Lunch.

What have you enjoyed about your time at home?

Being retired for a few years now my daily routine is pretty well established.  With good weather I have been fortunate enough to be out in the garden to undertake tasks such as painting the garden shed and wooden fencing.  I’ve walked my local park and nature reserve more, continued using my treadmill and undertaking light weights exercises at home, as well as sorting out my leisure and sport clothing.  There has been more time to chat with family and friends through the use of FaceTime, getting to know my neighbours better and a coming together with them for the Thursday evening clapping session, for the NHS and key workers, as well as the VE Day celebrations. Surprisingly I have made greater use of my time to browse the many free magazines available from Surrey Libraries using the RBdigital app on my iPad.

Have you learnt/tried anything new?

I would say that I have had to learn how to use my iPhone and iPad and associated Apps and social media to a better degree than previously. Being over 70 I managed to be added to the list of my local supermarket for home delivery of groceries ordered once a week online, which is a new experience for me, and which I will continue to use in the future.  My wife and I have been learning to grow vegetables in containers outside, with some success, and it’s fair to say that I have also taken on more of cooking the evening meal in our household.

Normally I would catch up with friends on a Saturday for parkrun (Nonsuch) and Nordic walking sessions twice a week which ended abruptly early on.  Fortunately, the Zoom App allowed us parkrunners to catch up on our Saturday morning chat over coffee, once I mastered how it worked, and we have now formed a team to raise money in the virtual  Endure24  NHS 24 Hour Challenge in June.  In a similar way my Nordic walking group set up a virtual Lockdown WhatsApp group to record our solo efforts, after our daily hour of exercise, and we also took part in the 26.2 Challenge charity event to raise money for the Cavell Nurses Trust. From the greater use of these Apps we now take part, one evening a week, in a family and friends virtual pub quiz night linking Epsom, London, Portsmouth and St Albans.

What do you miss most about the VSC?

Being retired the VSC has played a large part in my social life over many years.  I would say that  on average I’m at the Club at least three times a month.  For me it’s the perfect venue to catch up with family and friends for a drink, lunch or an evening meal before going our separate ways.  Remembrance weekend is the only time I meet up with colleagues from my Army days and is one of those occasions when I book accommodation to stay at the Club.  Other occasions for staying over have been when I’ve taken part in running events being held in London or when attending the New Year’s Eve Celebrations.

Along with all my direct family members I have made many new friends, civilian and ex-military, by attending such events as the monthly Club Secretary’s Lunch, Wine and Dine Evenings, Burns’ Night, Trafalgar Dinner Night, Children’s Christmas Party and not forgetting the monthly Thursday Jazz Evenings to mention just a few.  Catering is consistently of a high quality with Paul Mattocks and his team always managing to ensure that my wife can have gluten free food served by wonderful and very friendly staff.  I have always found that from the moment I walk through the front door, and I’m greeted and made welcome by those on the front desk, the VSC has consistently maintained its reputation, that I appreciate of Value, Service and Courtesy.

What’s the first thing you will be doing after lockdown?

Not an easy question so at this moment in time having missed out on celebrating my birthday and that of one of my sons at the Club, but in no particular order I will be getting a haircut, catching up with our granddaughters/family members, getting back into our routine of using the VSC and restocking my surprise presents cupboard of VSC Gin!!


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