The very first idea out of the starting blocks was, of course, the Fair. Whether it was the Allendale Fair, or the May Fair (well known to be held at the beginning of June), it was always going to be the Fair that was almost the raison d’être for the new club’s existence. We’ve noted already that the Round Table organisation has strict age limits imposed on its membership, and the task had fallen upon Nigel Baynes, then chairman of the West Tynedale Round Table, as was, and approaching the age of mandatory retirement, to hope that the new club, Allendale Lions, might take over the role of organisers for the fair that he and Brian Newman had invented perhaps a decade earlier.
Of course, after Trevor explained the circumstances of this transfer, everyone agreed. The first event was pinned up in the local Lions’ calendar; it would require special committees and lots of meetings, but we were up for the challenge. Not only Community Service, but also Fundraising and Fellowship boxes would be ticked by this event.
I suspect that ever since the Round Table had developed the play area in the Recreation Ground, there had been a special place in their philanthropy for young people. Nigel noted that a fundraising event for the Youth Club was on imminent cards, and that the youngsters were eager to gain sponsorship for the cycle ride from Sandgreen near Gatehouse of Fleet across the Scottish border and back to Allendale.
History, even relatively recent history, is a funny thing. I was delighted to see that my own submission, the clearance of the Dene below the Rec Ground, was up next. Apparently we agreed that this activity would be an ideal sort of Community Service for the coming year. But was I then the chair of the Allendale Village Hall & Recreation Ground charity? Or did I have a special place already in my heart as a trustee for this facility? I can’t remember!
Sue Mills’ notice, that a Rock Stars and Rock Chicks event was scheduled for the 29th November at the hall, also looked to have a history: it must have been only a few seasons since Maggie Shearer’s Theatre 2000 put on a thrilling show, and the dress-up party, which must inevitably be a karaoke-fest, felt like a next step.
Sylvia Milburn was eager to chat about the Harvest Home event at St Cuthbert’s this coming Saturday the 11th, with Wurzel Gummidge and Aunt Sally coming along to judge the children’s submissions.
And after Sue Mills put in another plea for sponsorship for her anticipated trek in Peru, the session closed with the next meeting date scheduled for a fortnight hence — my my, we were an enthusiastic bunch, weren’t we? Even back then, however, folks were eager to get to the bar to continue the discussion.