It is always a success when you visit a place for the first time and realise that you would like to return and that’s how many of us felt about the visit to Fairhaven Water Gardens. As usual we were blessed with perfect weather for our annual outing and members and friends enjoyed the garden walks, a boat trip on the Broad, and bird-spotting as well as cups of tea and cake! Thanks to Pat and Judith for making the arrangements.
Tony and Miriam Ireland gave us a very enjoyable afternoon of song. Their nostalgic stage and film songs weree very well chosen so that we could sing along.
28 members, 16 visitors and several children enjoyed the presentation by Sandra Dalzell of Happisburgh Owls. She explained how she began caring for and rearing owls and how they were used to help people with medical conditions and learning difficulties. She had 5 owls with her, all of different types and after her talk members of the audience held and stroked the owls.
Thirty members and two guests thoroughly enjoyed a performance by Marsham Belles. Six players, with two bells each, rang a selection of well known tunes from England, Wales, Scotland and France and members were able to sing or hum along. Many people were surprised at the complex and attractive melodies that they made; undoubtedly the result of much practice. The competition for a bell included several cow bells, some pretty small bells, a bell from Jamaica and one full of whiskey. The prize went to Val Dagley for her old wooden cow bell from Austria, seen in the back of the photo below.
At our AGM Jean Garland retired as treasurer after many years service. Thanks were expressed to her and her husband, Ernie, who has acted as auditor. Carole Owers has kindly agreed to take over as treasurer. The meeting agreed to increase the yearly subscription from £10 to £12.
The committee was re-elected en-bloc.
Marilyn Nevil – Chairman, Carole Owers – Treasurer, Val Dagley-Secretary, Jackie Hudson – programme secretary, Pat Needs – outing and annual meal, Jeannie Jones – Competitions, Paula Adams – tea rota and supplies, raffle and Village Hall representative, Christine Yarnold – strawberry tea and Christmas party food oversight.
The Chairman asked for more volunteers for the Committee, and Sue Lock volunteered and was elected unanimously. Later on Judith Terry also volunteered and was co-opted onto the Committee.
The AGM business was followed with a lively and enjoyable Beetle Drive.
What a good party we had. An amusing Christmas quiz, the popular card and pinching presents game (you have to be there to appreciate it) and a splendid tea of sandwiches, sausage rolls, mince pies and Christmas cake, all made by members (and in one case a husband). 37 members and visitors attended with several people making a considerable effort to get there. The afternoon was completed with a distribution of presents to members and a sing along with Colin on the organ.
This month we had a splendid talk by Eddie Anderson about his home, Templewood, in Northrepps. Samuel Hoare had the house built in the 1930s from an original idea of a shooting box. After much research into various house styles he plumped for an Italian Palladian design. One of the architects was Hoare’s nephew, who eventually married the widowed writer, Verily Anderson, which is how the house came into the Anderson family. It was wonderful to see the original plans and many photographs of the house and grounds, some of them comparing past and present. Eddie’s humorous delivery made for an entertaining as well as informative talk.
Charlotte Philcox entertained us with a talk about knitting and patterns. After a short history of knitting and some of her family memories she showed us slides of a small selection of her patterns from the 1920s to 1970s. Some of the models were drama school students who later became famous such as Roger Moore and Joanna Lumley. Some of the pictures were very amusing. There was a lot of laughter as well as reminiscing.
23 members attended our meeting to listen to a talk by James Begley, who is the co-ordinator of Overstrand and Cromer Community First Responders. James stepped in at the last minute as our previously booked speaker could not make it. He reminded us of the importance of making sure that our homes are easily identifiable to the emergency services if we should be unfortunate enough to require them to call.
He told us about a scheme started and run by Lions Club International, whereby we can keep a custom made plastic bottle in the door of the fridge containing information about medical issues, repeat prescriptions, people to contact in an emergency etc. All the emergency services are aware of these white containers with their distinctive green crosses on and the stickers that go inside your main entrance to show that you have a “Message in a bottle”.
Strawberry Tea – the committee arrived early to hull strawberries, whip cream, lay tables and get everything ship shape. 26 members and 13 visitors enjoyed a wonderful rendition from our own Jo Oxborough, who was accompanied brilliantly by Matthew. Among the songs she sang were “Autumn Leaves”, “Send in the Clowns” and finishing with “Rule Britannia”, assisted by the audience joining in with the chorus and frantically waving our Union flags. We then settled down for a delicious strawberry tea and a good natter. The competition for a show or music item was won by Sue Locke.
Outdoor activities in Britain are always a bit of a leap of faith but once again we were very lucky with the weather for our trip to Wroxham. In spite of dire predictions of heavy rain we were able to sit outside to have our lunches and the sun was shining as we travelled along the River Bure. Our driver and guide was a local lad (well a lot younger than most of us) who had read ecology at university and so was able to give a very informative commentary. We saw several things of interest but perhaps the highlight was the crested grebe carrying her chicks on her back.
There were more questions about the life of moles than I can ever remember at Trunch Friends. Maybe it was because they live most of their lives underground and are rarely seen. With 50 years experience of working with moles, Ivan Woodrow was certainly very knowledgeable and could answer all of our queries. He illustrated his talk with various items which are used for the deterrence and trapping of moles and, although not everyone agreed with the trapping of moles, we all found his talk most interesting.
A large audience were captivated by Bill Drayton’s video and commentary on local wildlife. Who knew that there were tawny owls in Brewery Road, badgers on Mundesley Golf Course, Marsh Harriers in Pigneys Wood and so many different birds in Bill’s garden. We all do now, as well as how to identify various local birds, flowers, dragon flies, butterflies and mammals. Bill’s patience and willingness to rise early produced some fabulous images and the closing shots of sun-rises and sunsets were spectacular.
Simon Partridge talked about the How Hill Study Centre, which was previously the home of Christopher Boardman, an Olympic Gold medallist in sailing.
AGM & Beetle Drive
The Village Hall looked very festive for our Christmas Party with some decorations and a tree already in place and our tables decorated with crackers and Christmas foliage arrangements. Christmas music provided a cheerful background.
Members and visitors played a noisy card game with mystery presents, did a Christmas Quiz, which was not as easy as it seemed and listened to two amusing poems.
The committee provided a tea of homemade mince pies and sausage rolls and very indulgent chocolate cakes. On behalf of those present, Kate Drayton expressed thanks to the committee for a very enjoyable afternoon and everyone went home with a small Christmas present even if they had not been successful in the games or raffle.
This month Bob Warnes and Sheena brought along a range of old objects that they use to help jog the memories of dementia patients. It was interesting to hear that they are now training some NHS workers in the same technique. Some of the items were Victorian, which most of us had never seen before, but others such as the old pegs and soaps were familiar to some from their childhoods in the early 20th Century. Perhaps most amusing were the vintage clothes, including corsets and liberty bodices.
This month there were many members of the audience who had never heard of the old Anglia TV programme “Bygones” so there was a lot of interest when Eddie Anderson explained how it started with farmer Dick Joice talking about old or odd objects that he had come across. Eddie was a researcher on the early programmes and when it was re-launched he presented it with Wendy Hurrell. He illustrated his talk with a range of intriguing objects from oxen shoes to flint knapper’s goggles. After the talk Jackie Hudson read her poem “Remembering Those Days” which rounded it off nicely.
After the talk “Workers, Wellingtons and Wheelbarrows” by Charlotte Philcox we all felt well entertained and informed. The talk was full of interesting facts and was illustrated with excellent slides. Over tea several members looked at the miniature garden items that Charlotte has collected and we were all impressed by her passion for everything to do with gardening.
We were all very shocked by the sudden illness of our Chairman, Marilyn Neville, but members were delighted to hear that she was recovering well. The strawberry tea, with local strawberries and scones was greatly enjoyed by members and visitors. Max Prasser, one of our members gave a very interesting talk about the time when he and Kate were caretakers of Stansgate in Essex, the holiday home of Tony Benn and his family. There was a competition for a childhood toy or book which attracted several entries of old teddies, dolls, farm animals, toys and books. The winner was Edna Taylor for her charming old teddy bear.
In spite of all the modern media available to us, there is still something special about
a live performance. This month 11 members of the Broadbeat Choir, led by their
brilliant conductor, Sandra Edwards, entertained us with a selection from their
repertoire. They sang songs with many different parts, and some actions, and we
joined in with “You Make Me Feel so Young” and “Summertime”. As well as the high
quality of the singing, the obvious enjoyment of the performers was infectious and
we all went home happy.
This month 8 visitors joined 30 members for the Beekeeping talk by Teresa Caves,
which proved fascinating to us all. She explained why honey bees are so important
and amazed most of us with the details of their life cycle. The talk was illustrated
with very clear slides and a display of books and items made of beeswax, as well as
pots of honey, which soon sold out