I’m reminded of that infamous jeweller who destroyed his business with one unfortunate quip (ah yes, it was Gerald Ratner, wasn’t it!). And yet, Peter is absolutely right . . . the annual charity auction does consist of just so much dross, as in fact everyone knows very well. So there’s never much chance of doing a Ratner on the auction by telling it like it is. On the other hand, we’ve always thought that the public service was in the contemporary mode of recycling, and besides, the day is such intriguing entertainment.
For some reason, can’t think why, the advent of the Lions bar and real ale on draft for the day seemed to make the long process a bit less stressful. Between the liquid refreshment and Nigel’s quips and running repartee, we were all consistently amused.
According to the dates of these items in Nigel’s archive, of which there are at least a score of thanks, commendations and/or commiserations or congratulations, this award is the second in the series developed by Pete.
Copious thanks to Nigel Baynes, and Wendy Baynes, for saving and forwarding on this archive of Allendale Lions memorabilia. And this was quite an intriguing ad in the Courant, wasn’t it? All sorts of everything. Indeed.
Anyway, the photographs don’t lie: Nigel wasn’t always on stage (he must have been taking photographs sometime?!), but no matter who was taking the bids, the event was a day of entertainment, always. It’s intriguing, also, isn’t it, that the caterers changed from year to year. Lately we’ve been delighted with the catering provided by the Sports Club in support of the playing fields and pavilion, but it wasn’t always them. Along the way we managed to create an event for which the Whitfield Parish Hall, among others, could generate some much-needed revenue.
I wonder what the pub furniture was, on this particular auction day. I’m afraid I don’t remember. Occasional tables, stools maybe? Perhaps this was the end of the Horse and Hounds? No, of course not, this would have been the pub furniture from the pub in Ovington, the Ovington Arms if I’m remembering correctly, that Trevor Newman of Newan Developments took over to create new housing from. Who knows where that furniture eventually went.
I have a few components of pub furniture myself, gracing the Elf Hole up in Sparty Lea, but that will have to be a feature of another entry. I can’t begin to list the auction items featured here at Elpha Green Cottage, acquired over the years, but they certainly kept us comfortable.
Somebody, ah yes, it was Brendon Jackson, who I met at the Household Waste Recycling Centre the other day, and we were chatting about the sad sight of a child’s race car (with pedals!) perched atop the heavy plastic recycling bin, and we remarked how nobody even thinks of recycling anymore. That car would have been a wonderful stage feature at the auction! Certainly an item worthy of attention by the Repair Shop folks. I opined that the Lions had been eager to recycle things in the community for decades, and I wasn’t far wrong. Talk about prescient public service, eh?!
And so the regular events of 2006 are entering their autumnal season. Look out for some bonfire night photos, some Santa’s sleigh, and some commentary as well, in the coming entries for the remainder of this month.
What treasures have the Lions collected together to re-distribute back amongst the community this autumn? It’s all a grand recycling scheme, of course, with proceeds to good causes, always.
Prue Newman and Rosemary Granger are handling the front desk and welcoming folks in, while Jonny Baynes is his usual smiling self. The hall is all set up, and Nigel Baynes is mugging for the camera with cheerful Lynda McGregor and Wendy Blowman. It’s all go!
Let the auction commence . . . Margaret holds up a cuddly sheep for starters, as Christine Hutchinson contemplates the crowds coming in for a warming cup of soup, and this year’s auctioneer Paul Murphy is captured in repose on the balcony. Finally, with Trevor Newman on the computer and a friendly helper beside to collect the winning bids and run them to the back room where the book-keepers keep a tally, the auction is ready to roll.
With any luck the village hall table with its eponymous embroidered logo (AVH), a legacy from Nora Handcock, on the front, will not be part of the lotted sale items!
Back in 2004, Vladimir Putin was embarking on his campaign for re-election to his second term of office as President of the Russian Federation. This was some fifteen years after the fall of the Berlin Wall which presaged the end of the Soviet Union and its hegemony in the region. It seemed that a different kind of Russia was awakening, open to the West and embracing support from EU member countries. Wendy Innes, a Northumbria University graduate in physiotherapy, spent eighteen months in the Ural region as part of her commitment to the VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas), where she learned to play the balalaika.
A piece in the Chronicle described her activities, noting the upcoming tour by the Ural Gems, which Wendy’s parents Bill and Yvonne had organised to help raise money for the hospital at Ekatarinburg. It turned out that Allendale was the venue for the final concert of the mini-tour around the North East, and the Allendale Lions Club were the hosts for a delightful Russian Evening of music and cuisine.
We remember Maggie Shearer’s classic borscht, and then a dinner of possibly stew and various vegetables, accompanied by copious lashings of ultra-chilled vodka shots. After the dinner, a tumultuous balalaika concert was performed by the quartet of Ural Gems, straight from Russia, and by the end of the evening a final donation of £1000 had been raised to go directly towards funding better physiotherapy in the Ural region.
After such an evening, a real social affair with the double delight of raising money for what seemed to be an incredible good cause (not many people will remember that the Urals had been the site of a desperate nuclear accident, long before Chernobyl, and still bore the scars among its population), it was amazing that the Lions had sufficient energy reserves to concentrate on mobilising for the Charity Auction the following weekend.
But mobilise they did. The minutes of the business meeting of the 1st of November ’04 record that on this first village hall auction hosted by the Lions Club, Nigel Baynes auctioneered the entire day without a beer break, helping to raise a grand total of £3247 for good causes. That was in addition to the funds realised on the catering front by the ?Middle/?First School PTFA of some £300. But it was not an event that was ever likely to be memorialised with photographs. No, it was just another fund-raising effort put on by indefatigable Lions members who seemed to revel in philanthropic endeavour.
The photographs would have to wait for next year’s Charity Auction, 2005’s, which we shall hope to feature sometime later on in September here in this blog.
A year recapitulated in a month. That’s the idea of this blog, and there are only four more entries left in August to remember the incredible year that was 2004 in the history of the Allendale Lions Club.