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.