We’re indebted to Prue (Rushman) Newman for taking a conscientious record of minutes from the very beginning of the ALC, and to Trevor for sending it along for this history blog. Although this was a semi-formal meeting, this first assembly upstairs in the Golden Lion, it wasn’t yet a fully formed group convening. Crucial organisational affairs were yet to be resolved.
But meetings like this one don’t just happen spontaneously, or if they do there’s always folks who might be left out. No, some assiduous recruitment had been going on throughout the winter, spring and summer, it seems. I may be wrong, but I have a feeling the earlier conversations went something like this, maybe round about May Fair time, when somebody brought up a certain eligibility criterion for membership in the Round Table:
Did you know that we’re getting too old to be part of this group?
Never, whatcha talking about man!
I’ve got a note here from the Round Table of Great Britain and Ireland. Says that they’ll retire members when they reach the grand age of 45! Says we’d better prepare for turfing the old guys out!
Hell’s bells, that’s me stuffed then. In a year or two. And you too. How’re we gonna keep the Fair going without some insurance?
Carrie remembers the scenario differently. As we were chatting about these early times (and what better way to stimulate memory than to muse, turn things over in our minds?) she suggested that Nigel Baynes had been involved in the revival of the Burns Night Supper at the King’s Head, and had worked his way around the village recruiting a likely crowd. It seems that the Burns Night do at the beginning of 2003 may have been the one in which Billy Thompson declaimed, from memory, Tam O’Shanter. An unforgettable experience, that.
Anyway, from the crowd of enthusiastic attendees, Nigel may have elicited folks eager to participate in a community service organisation. For this new group, there was to be no gender bar. [This is where comments ‘below the line’ can amplify and enhance our collective history!]. However it happened, an enthusiastic group of people, male and female, coalesced at the first pre-meeting meeting to set up the basic structure of the Allendale Lions Club.
In the next blog entry (I’m aiming for two or three entries of a working week, probably M/W/F) I’ll try to outline how things moved at this meeting, and we’ll follow our noses to develop this collective history.