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.

2009 Lions Social Events Personalities

Handover 2009

Hard as it is to believe, as hard as we thought we were working, we found we could work still harder, back in the day. Not content with merely baking bread and opening the Allendale Bakery Café, Carrie Winger thought she might be useful in the President’s role for the Allendale Lions Club. Perhaps an ulterior motive was the idea that some meetings might thereby be held in the new café.

Whatever the gambit, the publicity surrounding the handover was a surprise to many in the community. ‘Who was the blonde beside Peter?’ was a common refrain. Carrie was dressed and decorated against the type of her normal persona, but it was refreshing to see her out of the utilitarian baker’s apron and hat.

Margaret Stonehouse and I were jointly taking on the role of vice-president; member recruitment would be an important component of the job. I distinctly remember creating a pocket sort of card to press into the hand of possible new members, as a kind of outline of what the Lions Club of Allendale actually does. Unfortunately, I cannot find any record of the little card today.

I do remember Ann Potter remarking, relative to the mission statement we’d developed for the coming year: ‘Quiet, Unassuming Service’ or some such humble verbiage; that she’d believe the ‘quiet’ part when she saw it! We Lions were never really very shy with coming forward about our accomplishments, of course.

Since the handover event was held in July, that meant that the annual Beer Festival, to which Peter Aldcroft refers in the publicity clip, was imminent in August.

More work ahead then! No rest for the weary, but you know, we loved it, we did.

2008 Lions Social Events

Clay Pigeon Shoot

Apparently, no living thing was hurt in this Lions Club adventure, organised as a social affair by the Fun & Games committee. Well, no living thing apart from a few instances of hurt pride, I suspect!

I think most everyone imagines they’ve a better aim than they really have. So when it comes to the test, and you’re aiming at a flying clay disc, and you pull the trigger, BAMM! In most cases of amateur frolics with shotguns, I’d bet, the disc goes sailing on by, landing gently unscathed. Perhaps I am mistaken, but it’s up to the sharp-shooters who were there to disabuse me!

Nigel Baynes managed to fill two pages of his laminated archive with images from the event, but I wonder if he caught a disc in mid-flight?

It seems likely that the last image in the collection does feature, far to the left on the horizon behind the tree, a flying disc. Another escapee, doubtless.

It seems that a great time was had by everyone who turned up to share in the experience, and no doubt everyone trooped back to the Elk’s Head to chat about the misses. I was going to say, hits and misses, but I can’t be confident there were any actual ‘hits’ to be fair. If one of the Lions did manage to bring down a clay pigeon, I hope they got a congratulatory drink in the warm pub in front of the cosy fire!

And anyway, it looked like a lovely day to be outside.

2007 Lions Social Events

The Wasdale Ramble

Julie and David Humes were the primary organisers of the walking adventures in the early days of the Allendale Lions Club, and as far as I can determine, Nigel Baynes was the official photographer of many of these events. No doubt the adventurers were carried to their embarkation point on a Baynes bus.

It seems to me, though I may be mistaken, that the participants in this group photograph were Doug Ness, Davey, Julie, Margaret Stonehouse, Jane Peach, Peter Aldcroft, Stephanie Atkinson, Trevor Newman, and Ray Bather. And two friendly doggies.

These walks seem to have been a great team-building exercise, imbuing the participants with great esprit de corps, and energising them to participate in even more philanthropic activities during the autumn season ahead.

As we shall see (peering into the future as we can, thanks to the time-travelling capacity of this social history blog), walks of one sort or another have punctuated the local Lions’ experience right through to the present day.

2006 Lions Social Events Public Service

Christmas Activities, 2006

Not only were the Allendale Lions in full swing throughout the seasonal festivities, in their money-raising and public service endeavours, but we also managed to hold our own Christmas party later in the evening after the Carols in the Square, upstairs in the Golden Lion!

The December business meeting, however, is yet another treasure trove of information about our activities. For example, at the annual Mini-Market in the village hall (one of Nora Handcock’s inventions, I believe), some £110 was raised during the first outing of the book stall. These books, inevitably, were the product of some years of collection for the Charity Auction. They simply didn’t go at auction, but rather repaid time spent by browsers looking through, collecting their own treasures, and paying up. Ever mindful of stepping on the toes of other groups, we decided not to schedule too many of these book sales, as the church coffee mornings at St. Cuthbert’s held much the same activity every month.

After several, rather wet forays to Haltwhistle with the sleigh, and bedraggled elves, it was time for the courtly old gent to emerge from the gloom into Allendale’s square, and to take requests from the small queue of children gathered to greet him. You can see how carefully protected the big speakers were, positioned on the little trailer that transported the sleigh.

After all the sleigh forays, and by my count from the minutes there were three visits to Halty, possibly one to Allenheads, and a final two divided between Allendale and Catton, after all of these efforts, it was finally time to enjoy the carols together with the rest of the brave souls who ventured into the night, on the 21st of December along with the Dale Singers, and then to party into the later hours.

The last public service of the year was a volunteer effort by some strong and sturdy Lions as Stewards for the annual Tar Bar’l Parade and Bonfire in the square.

2005 Lions Social Events

The Hungie, or Nigel’s Tales of the Riverbank

Somewhere, in some of Nigel Bayne’s voluminous files which I’ve just acquired for this blog archive, I hope to find some personal mementos of the big Hungie riverbank hand-over barbecue on the 18th of June 2005, when Lions President Trevor Newman handed the reins of office over to Vice-President Margaret Stonehouse. In particular, I’m hoping to see an image of the floating candles bobbing down the little brook, which is one of my salient memories of that event. That and the midgie nets some of us wore with affected nonchalance.

But until then, these images from Steph Jamieson’s archive will do nicely, thank you! The report on the hand-over party recorded in Prue Newman’s most excellent minutes was brief, which rather suggests to me that a brilliant time was had by everyone, if only we could remember it after all that imbibing.

2005 General Administration Lions Social Events

Intriguing business

Dawson Place, adjoining the Library, was the 2005 target of the Allendale Scouts group

While we waited for our special bottles and lids imprinted with the ‘Message in a Bottle’ scheme logos, all 6 cubic meters of them or 86 boxes, we were particularly intrigued with the enterprise of the Allendale Scouts group. The Scouts were eager to acquire the venue where they had been meeting, a building belonging to the Methodist church, for renovation to suit their purpose more conveniently.

The Methodists were also keen to sell the property and so the Scouts had been busy eliciting funds from every possible source. We Allendale Lions were keen to support them in their bid too, but we were seeking reassurance that if the bid failed, our donation would be returned to be used for another good cause. At the meeting of 4th April, 2005, Trevor conveyed assurances that such an eventuality would be assured.

Meanwhile, we pre-occupied ourselves with considerations of what other clubs in the country were doing: the national MD105 convention was to be held over the 1st of May weekend; Disclosure application forms were being circulated; Newcastle upon Tyne Lions Club’s 37th (and last) Charter Dinner was being held in Ponteland on 16th April; Lockerbie’s Charter Dinner is scheduled for mid-October; the Kellogg’s Great Walk, a four month collective effort, was seeking intrepid walkers and helpers for just after our May Fair; a new competition seeking to inspire inter-club visits is being launched; the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalger (‘Kiss me Hardy’) was coming up in October, and should we do something about this?

We hadn’t got anywhere with our request for funding for a permanent marquee for the fair, much to our discomfiture.

But perhaps we were most intrigued, at this business meeting, with Maggie Shearer’s idea for a Polish Midsummmer Event, to coincide with the biennial Handover Party: we could have a Maori barbecue and floating flowers to drift down the River East Allen! It all sounded very international in flavour, and we hoped the date could be over the weekend of the 17th and 18th June.

With a few more intriguing bits of Club business, notably our Trevor Newman’s acceptance of the role of Zone Chairman for the coming year, and our collective decision to store our paraphernalia (Charter and pennants) at the Golden Lion, now that the pub’s future was secure (after the Foot and Mouth epidemic of 2001, some financial incentives helped a small group of local farmers to acquire the pub), we did, formally, raise our glasses to toast Elsie Eye (LCI = Lions Clubs International), and the meeting was adjourned.

2005 Lions Social Events

Burns Night 2005

Slightly out-of-sequence, this archive of Burns Night photos will actually appear in the right calendar position, by the magic of editing, after this post is distributed. Meanwhile, for this post we can imagine that we’re back at the tail end of January, ’05, and the evening of song, speeches and possibly some dancing looks like it was quite the party. Although this particular Burns Night was not formally a Lions Club event, when a party is organised, most of the Lions have been happy to turn up!

So Ron Jamieson seems to have quite the ambition to sing the classic Burns numbers, while Liz Hughan, Stephanie Atkinson and Carrie Winger are happy to smile in demure mode. Larry Winger and Lynda MacGregor share a not-so-secret cuddle, but the main photographic event is surely the boys in the kilts, like a bunch of nested brackets surrounding Nigel Baynes in trousers. It looks like there’s Andy Morgan and Graham Girvan to Nigel’s right, with Greaeme Leighton, Fergus Sandison, and Chris Bacon to his left.

Those were the days, and how we partied on!

2004 Lions Social Events

The Lions first Christmas Party

Final arrangements looked set in stone by our meeting of the 6th December, 2004, for the first Christmas Party of the Allendale Lions Club

There were some 42 Lions and guests expected to be attending a do on the 20th of December, but everybody felt that if we held it at the village hall, we’d just be rattling around. So we cancelled out of that booking, but we may have paid the village hall half of the hire fee because of backing out at this late date.

Instead, we were going to Pebbles, with a rather unique twist. We were going to make our own entertainment in the guise of Nigel’s disco/karaoke, and it was BYOB. The menu was to be a choice of:

  • sausage cassoulet, or
  • chicken curry, or
  • chilli con carne, or
  • vegetable bake

with sides of rice, salad, garlic bread and finishing up with a delicious dessert. The catering was going to be handled by Fran Wraith’s foodie committee, and, as Prue suggests in her excellent minutes: See you all there. Wey hey!

The report at the business meeting of the 7th February, 2005 was that it was a real party night, thanks to the crew who worked so hard to make it all come together.

Before the Christmas Party, however, there was a small matter of twirling around villages in our catchment area with the newly refurbished Santa’s Sleigh. As the sleigh stopped off at Haltwhistle on the 16th, and in Allendale on the 18th, elvish collectors (Hilary and Pete Aldcroft, Fergus Sandison, Ann Bacon, Fran Wraith, June Thompson, Margaret Stonehouse, David Humes, Jonny Baynes, and Prue Newman) shook their tins, and people donated to help the Lions support good and needy causes near and far. Cliff Calvert performed Santa duties with aplomb!

After a final Santa twirl around Allenheads, the day after our Christmas Party, the next event, and the final one of the year for the Allendale Lions Club, would be a repeat attempt at an annual Carols in the Square which would also see a visit from that friendly Santa character in his famous sleigh.

2004 Bonfire Nights Lions Social Events

Bonfire, Party, Dance

There’s such a fizz in Prue Newman’s minutes of the Allendale Lions Club business meeting (the 14th) on the 1st of November, 2004.

Bonfire Night was only 4 nights away, and a gang of workers had been busy building a huge pile. Wardens, first aiders (Lynda McGregor and Julie Humes) were going to circulate around the field. To help with last minute collecting of appropriate items for immolation, volunteers were going to be needed, for which Michael Keene, Peter Aldcroft, George Newman and Graham Girvan had already added their names. Fergus Sandison and Colin Wraith would be helping out on the stall and site preparation all day on the 5th. The gang of igniters for up on the hill were all prepared.

We were all invited to the Baynes residence for an ‘After Bonfire Party.’ To protect Goosey Baynes’ floors, a change of footwear would be de rigueur.

[I parenthesise this paragraph because I don’t have any photographs of the actual fire of 2004, I’m afraid. Perhaps someone will have one or two of our first Lions bonfire, perhaps not. Just sending out a plea really. I’m confident there won’t be any photographs of the party at the Baynes house, but happy to be corrected, of course!]

And hot on the heels of the fire, the very weekend after the cleanup, Carrie Winger’s Jazz Dinner Dance was scheduled in the village hall. There was to be buffet beef provided by Margaret Stonehouse, salmon, salads and great entertainment, and it was going to be a tight squeeze as Nora Handcock’s annual Mini-Market would be occupying the hall until 4pm that Saturday, the 13th of November.

At the next business meeting, the first Monday of December, both of these events were the subject of a debrief. Trevor thanked everyone for their hard work on the bonfire night, which was looking like breaking even (not a surprise considering the cost of the fireworks). There was some consternation at the damage caused to Jan Symond’s garage roof, which had been penetrated by an errant rocket on the night. But overall the whole event was a delightful community event, much appreciated by all who attended.

The Jazz Dinner Dance too was hailed as another success, having made a profit for the Charity Account. We might repeat the event next year with a few changes: reduce the food commitment, for example, and thereby bring the cost of the ticket down (from £15).

Meanwhile, a couple of events in early December were grabbing our planning attention: the Grab-a-Granny affair for the 2nd, and the Children-in-Need Hike to Hexham on the 11th. In addition, there was the small matter of putting the Christmas lights up around the square. And then the social event at Pebbles on the 20th, the Chrtistmas Carols and Santa’s Sleigh on the 23rd and perhaps by the end of December the Lions, or at least those who would not be involved with the guisers and the Tar Bar’ls, might have a respite!