This Months Activities

Saturday 1st

We are visiting the University of Northampton (creative leather technologies) to discover how leather is made and the materials used in it's production.

Thursday 6th

We are visiting laser force (Northampton) for a "shoot 'em up" evening. Big kids will enjoy this.

Thursday 13th

Get down and boogie with a  learn to rock and roll evening.

Saturday 27th

Was it in the library with the lead pipe, how was Miss Plum involved. All will be revealed at the end of the Murder Mystery Evening presented by Thrapston Amateur Dramatic Society.

Saturday 28th

Enter the war zone if you dare. Get kitted up for Indoor paintball ( it doesn't hurt- much!)

See write ups for other months













March Activities

Leather Experience - Maggie and John Benton

Ostrich leatherArrived at Northampton University ready to be educated on the processes involved in producing top quality leather. We were split into two groups - the scientists in one and us mere mortals into the other. Jeanette the teacher gave us a very interesting introductory talk about the different types of skins used, the most common is raw hide from cattle, mostly used for your furniture, so the next time you sit on your leather seat just think you are sitting on a cow's bottom, because that is the best suited hardest wearing leather. I shall never look at our three piece suite in the same way again. We even got the opportunity to examine some finished articles, one in particular - a lovely soft, small purse which turned out to be a kangaroo scrotum, poor kangaroo, It was fascinating to learn about some of the tricks of the trade and what to watch for when shopping. We then had the pleasure of playing scientist all dressed in our white n the Labcoats. We started our experiments with mixing sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid together making a test tube of rainbow colours - looked like a scene out of Harry Potter.
Then into the tanning room where Paul took us through the crusting (thinning), washing of the leather in certain chemicals and the process of vegetable tanning; this is important not only to give us the colour but to alter the protein structure of the skin which prevents it from being susceptible to bacteria and decay. The most interesting discovery for me was finding out that very thick rawhide can be split into multiple layers, used for many things and also to create suede.
We enjoyed the day very much it was both educational and great fun. A big thank you to Jeanette and Paul for sharing their excessive knowledge with us and Sheila for organising the event.

PS That's Maggie in the white coat and Carol pretending to be an ostrich!

Laser Maze - Alison Setchell

Mission: To shoot opposing team as many times as possible.
The Laser Zone venue boasts of having 300 square meters of playing area to navigate. Participants play on the two levels with the gloom being broken by the flash of green lasers and atmospheric lighting.
On arrival we divided into two teams, red and yellow, and were then shown a briefing film before being released into the play zone armed with a laser gun and sporting a light weight target vest suitable, according to the blurb, for anyone aged 5 to 105 years.
 We were told not to run or to lay on the floor during the game which seemed reasonable however after forty minutes of walking at speed round the play zone I think most were ready to lie down and wait for the opponents to stumble over them.
There was some confusion over the exact mission being undertaken in respect of destroying colour coordinated base stations but really there was nothing to do other than shoot as many opposing people as you could whilst avoiding being shot yourself. This frequently involved sneaking around behind an opponent, shooting them without being seen then waiting for their vests and guns to reactivate before shooting them again.

We had three games in all and between each we were able to see on the electric scoreboard which team had won and also our individual ratings. The red team won all three games but everyone had an opportunity in each of the games to try and out shoot everyone else. At the end all reported no permanent injuries and that all had enjoyed the experience.

AJ's 50s Diner Rock & Roll Night - Stuart RawlinRock and rollgs

A-wop-bop-a-loo-lop a-lop bam boo
I got a girl, named Daisy
She almost drive me crazy
I got a girl, named Daisy
She almost drive me crazy
She knows how to love me, yes indeed
But you don't know what she's doing to me,
Tutti frutti, all rootie
Tutti frutti, wooooooooh!
Tutti frutti, all rootie
Tutti frutti, all rootie
Tutti frutti, all rootie
And so it went on until 11.00pm.
Twenty six of us enjoyed a great night learning to perfect their rock & roll jive and to my surprise, only three or four moves were required to do a competent jive all night!
The teachers Bill, Julie and Susan gave expert tuition to the whole group, followed by lots of practice. Without much effort we were all able to swing our partners round and round to the music and had the opportunity to get help from the trainers. At the side of the room, there were some old style motorbikes parked inside the room, the bar and two practice rooms for the more serious.
dance nightEverybody had a great time, the music was continuous and Bill & Susan broke into more complicated routines as the night went on. It was a pleasure to watch. We had a chance to do the "sway" which I found a bit of a challenge but many found it fairly easy and enjoyed the routines.
My arthritis did not play up all night but what I did learn is that there is dancing every Friday night for £2.50 if you would like a go, or on the first Saturday of every month they have a live band where everyone dresses up in rock & roll gear all for £6 for the night.


Murder Mystery Evening - Chris and Frank Jenkins

Our first mystery of the evening was.....Have we mislaid the tickets or weren't there any? Our second was "where is Stanion village hall?" (We had left the SAT NAV at home). Having overcome these difficulties we ventured to our second ever 50+ event. Our first had been the fabulous barn dance in January.

Once we found the hall we were soon introduced to Sarah who had lost her mother through cancer six months earlier; Grahame, a gay writer; Michelle, whose husband had numerous affairs and had recently learnt that he had an illegitimate daughter; James who had recently lost hundreds of thousands of pounds after being defrauded by his accountant; Martin, a welder with a passion for the amateur theatre and Claire, a secretary with a dubious background. Could these really be members of the 50+ adventure club? After all it was our daughter who had bought us membership for Christmas so we didn't know a lot about the club's background!

Murder Mystery

No! These were all the members of the cast in a super evening of real life Cluedo. We met some lovely members of 50+ club who were grouped in five teams of eight. One character at a time we quizzed the possible murderer and as a team unpicked their background to try to solve the murder crime. The winning team is pictured. Their prizes of magnifying glasses and Agatha Christie books will ensure that they are even more "clued up" the next time the event is run.
Thank you to everyone for making us so welcome and for making the night such fun and to Thrapston Amateur Dramatic Group (TADS) for acting out the parts so well. Chris and I look forward to many more 50+ events, especially the trip to Snowdonia in May.

Indoor Paintball - Richard Stanley and Janette Taylor

Paint Ball11 of us gathered at a new venue in Corby (which also has an impressive indoor karting track on two levels, but that's for another time).
We split into two Teams - Boys V Girls and our instructor handed out protective gear - neck brace, overalls, body armour, helmet, gloves and ammunition pack. We were then given instructions how to load and fire the guns. "How will you know when Im Battleyou get hit?" was asked - "you will know" I said! Then followed three fast and furious games which the girls won overall - only because they were in camouflage and the boys couldn't see them.
It was a true battlefield atmosphere out there with smoke and plenty of places to take cover, but you did seem to get hit in the most sensitive places (eh, Alison?). The only place that became uncovered was Richard's wrist and that was the first place he got hit - who said soft foam balls don't sting?

The Boys The Girls
The Boys
The Girls

It was over an hour of good fun and in true 50+ tradition we then retired to the pub. Thanks to Janette and myself for organising and a big Boo to Richard who forgot to ask someone to do this write-up!


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