2003 Pre-Charter Organisation

The 2003 Christmas season

Sometimes, as we revisit the past, it’s best to check out both the ambition and also the fruition.

The Christmas season of 2003 was moving closer, as the 4th formal meeting of the emerging Allendale Lions Club convened at the Golden Lion on the 17th of November.

By this point, the idea of a lit Christmas tree had been put on hold, along with a Lions Christmas dinner, but a Lions band of real carollers hoped to gather in the square and mosey around the various pubs, shaking collecting tins and in general behaving as the reputed carollers of old. Never mind that the traditional Nine Lessons and Carols would be held the same evening, the 21st of December, in St Cuthbert’s church, because the Lions would be getting together afterwards.

Meanwhile, a call had come in from the Tynedale Lions to help with their Santa’s sleigh circuits, around Stocksfield and Haydon Bridge, for which Trevor, Nigel and Margaret volunteered a night each.

With the business of the hotly-anticipated Charter Dinner attended to (village hall booked, dress code = black tie/formal, entertainment recruitment and meal provision/service plans ongoing), the guiding Lions offered to help us out with formal invitations to neighbouring clubs.

Graham Girvan had identified the process by which we could open a Charity Account and an Administration Account at Lloyds-TSB in Hexham and signatories were agreed. Fergus Sandison was organising orders for club rugby shirts. Margaret Stonehouse, Wendy Blowman, Sue Mills and Rosemary Granger were suggested as possible Vice-President candidates. The nitty-gritty components of the club’s affairs were coming together.

And it was back to Christmas season plans. The pub crawl on the 1st of December would definitely be going ahead, and it would take the place of the monthly business meeting, Perhaps the curry supper to be served at the end of the evening in the Lion would suffice as a Lions Christmas Dinner.

And that was the last Lions meeting of 2003. Only another two meetings were likely before the exciting Charter Night!

But what actually happened throughout the Christmas season was both intriguing and slightly different from the plans. The pub crawl on the 1st of December must have been either too much of muchness, or it hadn’t been well-attended, or it hadn’t happened at all: no report was forthcoming at the business meeting on the 5th of January, 2004. Two evenings of our Lions supporting the Tynedale Lions Santa circuit around Corbridge resulted in a reciprocating loan of the sleigh for the Allendale Carol Singing, with Jonny Baynes as Santa, but the carollers had a very chilly and lonely evening indeed. As the community participation had been negligible, a post hoc suggestion was raised to do carols on the Saturday morning before Christmas, when a captive audience of last-minute shoppers might be present.

Apparently, however, some intrepid Lions volunteered to help take down the Christmas lights festooned around the square; it’s not clear whether or not the club members had been part of the decorations.

It must have felt a bit of relief to have the Christmas season behind us, so we could all look forward to some excitations in the year ahead, like the Burns Night dinner in the hall, and then the Charter Night, but most of all, the community presentation of the Allendale Fair by the new Allendale Lions Club!

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