2009 2010 Public Service

Carols in the Square, 2010 of 2009?

Those photographs that Peter Aldcroft mentioned in the first Lions business meeting of 2010? The ones that featured our annual Carols in the Square? It’s likely that this photograph presented in the 2010 Tynedale Christmas Guide, a handy pull-out in the weekly Hexham Courant, was one of those. I do seem to recall that the Courant managed to be a year late on one such image, and it was probably this one.

If nothing else, this page from ‘the present’ of ‘the past’ proves that the events did take place, though it’s not crystal clear that this photo really is of the 2009 event. I’m intrigued too, to clock the carol sheets, which as might be self-evident from the squinting going on, were printed in quite the smallest font possible. I couldn’t wait to create an easier-to-read A4 on card, to facilitate better scanning! But that was to come at a later Carol session, further ahead in the future.

I wonder if I can find a pdf of that file for that later entry, and I wonder too when the bigger font came into play. But at any rate, we can be assured that the traditional Carols in the Square would have been among the very last events presented by the Allendale Lions Club in 2010.

So 2011 is just around the corner, as the ‘noughties’ finish and . . . and, what decade is this one coming on? Some publications will, by the time 2021 comes, call it the ‘Lost Decade’ but as we look ahead, it feels like anything but ‘lost.’

We have exciting times ahead, surely! We as a club will be only some seven years old, or eight during 2011, if you count the organising meetings in the autumn of 2003. But what is also true is that we are, each of us, getting older.

2010 Public Service

Mystery Tour!

These photographs, carefully collated in Nigel Baynes’ exhaustive archive from these years, seem like a wonderful reminder of events held over a decade ago. Many of the folks in these pictures are no longer with us, but I hope this diary entry will be an important way to remember them, and the philanthropic efforts of the Allendale Lions Club.

Nearing the end of this odyssey through 2010, and noting the date of the Mystery Tour, I realise that I shall have to shuffle entries again in the blog so that events are presented in proper chronological order.

Of course, the autumnal Charity Auction, which would have elicited the funds by which the Allendale Lions could present a cheque to the Great North Air Ambulance Service, would have happened in late September. In the grand scheme of things, after my re-shuffle, that will be the next entry after this delightful series of images of another crucial philanthropic endeavour, the Mystery Tour.

It’s hard to look at these photographs, and to realise that so many beloved folks have departed from our company.

The Mystery Tour could not have been held without the benevolence and good grace of Baynes Travel staff, who also seem to have had a good time too. Of course, many staff members were also Lions Club members, to be fair.

I wonder if anyone can pinpoint where this Mystery Tour actually went? I can insert that designation, conveniently, or it could be noted in a comment to the blog entry.

2010 May Fairs

The Sunday Sun’s feature on the May Fair, 2010

Somehow, I’m not quite sure how, Nigel Baynes’ B Factor managed a surreptitious appearance in the photograph of Steve Roll, second place finisher of the Strongest Man competition. So that was a clever bit of advertising placement, wasn’t it!

Meanwhile, no doubt the organisers of the Hexham Regatta were a bit dumbfounded to see their event relegated to a little bit of text at the end of the Allendale Fair piece, which really showcased the Children’s Race organised by the Allen Valley Striders. So cute!

It was always great fun to see what post-event write-ups came along after the May Fair, and the publicity from the Lions’ 2010 event was no exception. Clearly, however, as the little yellow arrow indicates, online content was making an inroad into the print media.

How times change, and how we enjoy reminiscing about the times past while accepting that things do move on.

2010 May Fairs

The Courant’s Feature on the Fair, 2010

The Hexham Courant sent its local reporter Rebecca Dixon along to try to capture some of the excitement of the fair. From the blurb, it’s clear she did manage to chat with a few folks, including Stephanie Thompson from Durham on the karaoke heat and Simon Morton from Haltwhistle on the Strongest Man competition.

Additionally, she got a quote from Robbie Loraine from Wickham who won the children’s race, and Raymond Jaffrey from Hawick who took gold in the 8km Fun Run. So she reported well, but what must have been Sheila Baynes’ additions to the longest T-shirt went unremarked, though the photographer caught Cordelia Harrison in the newer yellow section. I don’t think the Guinness invigilator ever agreed that the T-shirt really was the longest contiguously occupied, but it was certainly fun to have been a part of it.

The image most of us will chuckle over, though, as we think back to that May Fair (held, as bemused as residents were, in the first weekend of June), has to be that of Nigel Baynes struggling with his aplomb (never really a challenge, that!) as he announced the fair events and marshalled the dancers from his wheelchair with his broken ankle on display for all to marvel at.

I was there, back from a school run to see Nigel on the ground, his face white, while he was being kept warm while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. How he missed more serious damage with the chainsaw he’d been brandishing, nobody ever figured out.

That was, however, the beginning of a long odyssey of recovery which eventually got him back into the ranks of Allendale’s Retained Fire Fighting Service. As I recall, the worst of that recovery was the enforced cessation of his smoking habit, about which in any event he was rather circumspect.

Anyway, as with all things in Allendale, the show must go on, and go on it did.

2010 May Fairs

The Fair Pet Show Preview

Typically, as I recall, the Hexham Courant helped out on the publicity front by running content pieces to accompany the advertising feature the Lions Club purchased. Although I found this clipping tucked in with others from the 2010 May Fair, the text suggests that it may have been an earlier year, as it was possibly the first time that the longest continuous T-shirt was attempted. Until I’m informed otherwise, however, this entry can stay as part of the publicity for the 2010 fair.

Anyway, this one itemised just a few salient events scheduled for the Fair, of which the Pet Show was a brilliant image to conjure with.

As I recall, June Thompson took over the Village Shoppe from the wildlife photographer and his partner. It was never easy, that shop. But back in the day it also functioned as a video and then DVD rental store, in addition to its National Lottery terminal sales. It did, of course, stay open until 9pm most nights, and thereby proved a valuable local for ciggies and booze when stocks ran out at home.

BECKs Training may have taken over Deneholme by then, or was just about to, as the effort involved in running the centre by the voluntary sector was proving too big a mouthful for Fawside to handle. But the resilience of the community was well-founded in a kind of doughty perseverance in the face of the sort of adversity that we all weathered together.

The Allen Valley Striders were already traditionalising their Fun Run 8km race, which always felt to me like another example of great community enterprise synergistically becoming more than the sum of each individual contribution.

Whenever the year of this press clipping, it’s safe to remember those times with good cheer, to think about the optimism and hopes for the future, while contributing to brilliant good causes like the Great North Air Ambulance.

2010 May Fairs

The full page Advertising Feature for the May Fair, 2010

Actually, I think these advertising features tell us more about the village than any number of historical anecdotes. It’s always fascinating to see what enterprises were active when, isn’t it?

Of course, the features used images from previous fairs to remind readers of the fun in earlier years, while the good wishes from advertisers offered a glimpse of the great times ahead.

Clearly, the Baynes enterprise was working within the zeitgeist as the Baynes Factor Karaoke Competition was launched at the height of the X Factor television talent show.

But the ads show that it takes all kinds of effort to engender a vibrant village community, and it’s wonderful to remember the times when we were able to take a full page feature in the Hexham Courant and expect to be seen by everyone. Social media had not yet taken over from print media.

And the fairs rolled on.

2010 In Memoriam Personalities

In Memoriam

Writing the entries for this Allendale Lions Club blog . . . sometimes it’s not easy at all. I’ve known for a few months now that this entry was coming along, as I try to pre-plan the entries based on photographs, press clippings and Business Meeting minutes to hand.

Cliff was the first charter member, I believe, that we, as a club, lost, though Forster Milburn, a dear friend of all the Lions, had passed away in the summer of 2008. Cliffy died in March of 2010, so it was still the waning winter when everything seemed grim.

Just before the renewal of spring, as it goes around. Perhaps the sense of springtime has opened the gates to deal with the personal grief of winter, but for whatever reason, even more than a decade after Cliff’s passing, it’s been hard to press ahead with this entry.

But for those of us who are still living, it falls on our shoulders to press on. And so these entries for 2010 will continue.

Cliff’s legacy will live on too, perhaps most especially in the environs of Allendale’s Golf Club, which the Lions support with the annual Cliff Calvert Golf Classic.

2010 Business Meetings Fundraising Lions Social Events Public Service

Welcoming 2010

We’ve already mentioned the completion of the Village Hall bar, in the last entry of 2009 (as re-configured ex post facto in the blog calendar). So the first meeting of 2010 was important for looking ahead, Janus-like, after reflecting on the accomplishments the club had achieved over the past year.

Plans for the annual Burns Night supper seemed to be well in hand, for example, with previous events so well-subscribed that apparently we’d had to turn applications away from neighbouring clubs! We maintained the courtesy, for this year anyway, of inviting Lions clubs from around the region.

Graham Girvan notified the meeting that the Spanish wine-tasting evening two years previously had been such a success that it was thought to be a great idea for this year’s Charter Night, ostensibly to be held sometime close to the actual anniversary of the first Charter Dinner in February. [I remember what actually transpired, on the second occasion, with the chagrinned wine profferers slicing thinner and thinner pieces of cheese in a desperate attempt to accommodate hungry diners, for an egregiously under-catered event!]

I distributed the second version of the handy ‘membership information’ cards I’d designed, with explicit contributions to various organisations shown, as examples of ‘what we do.’ That concept was kiboshed, so it was back to the drawing board for iteration three! I so wish I could dredge up an example of these handy wallet-sized cards, but I cannot find head nor tail of them. Perhaps the whole concept was consigned to the round file.

On the Community Service front, the Christmas lights festooning trees around the square would be switched off before 12th Night, and the new Best Garden plaque, for the Horticultural Society to award, was admired.

Hilary Aldcroft wowed the group with the reveal that some £1,077 had been received during the past season’s Santa’s Sleigh, which had included a rather thrilling Santa in the Snow up at Allenheads, made possible only by the borrowing of Nigel Baynes’ Land Rover. Graham had been a great Santa!

Apparently the Hexham Courant had not published photographs taken in Allendale on the occasion of the Carol in the Square event, nor even the Tar Bar’l parade, so everyone hoped that the next issue might have some further images to delight.

John Dobson, Webmaster, described how he was setting up an email list[serv] so that Lions members could conveniently distribute emails to everyone with just the one address.

It was time to take a drinks break, to share in the card draw which raised £19 for the General Account, and then, with no further business, to toast Elsie Eye.

Err, that’s the Lions Club Internation, LCI, in case anyone hadn’t remembered.