Dinner/Party – Sue Hearn
||A selection of Tramps!
annual dinner on 10 January was a merry affair, particularly for me, as
have to drive home. The usual venue, the Carriage House, provided
food and service, in a party atmosphere, all seated at one long table.
dinner I managed to beat Cecil at arm-wrestling [at 77 I should hope so
not me] before we embarked on the quiz. A fair selection of
get our brains working - won by Les and Carol. We then moved to tables
the dance floor, where the people who had made the effort to dress as
awaited the judging. There were some excellent
costumes, and if times get harder, I’m sure they could survive on the
the winner being Linda Vickerman. Not
everyone joined in the dancing but those who did thoroughly enjoyed it.
Cecil did not find too many bThe
annual dinner on 10 January was a merry affair, particularly for me, as
have to drive home. The usual venue, the Carriage House, provided
food and service, in a party atmosphere, all seated at one long table.
dinner I managed to beat Cecil at arm-wrestling [at 77 I should hope so
not me] before we embarked on the quiz. A fair selection of
get our brains working - won by Les and Carol. We then moved to tables
the dance floor, where the people who had made the effort to dress as
awaited the judging. There were some excellent
costumes, and if times get harder, I’m sure they could survive on the
the winner being Linda Vickerman. Not
everyone joined in the dancing but those who did thoroughly enjoyed it.
Cecil did not find too many bruises next morning. A
very enjoyable way to start 2009 for the
Go Karting -
Michael Markham and Julie Trevor
It was 1.15 pm on the
of Saturday 24 January 2009, when the would-be girl and boy racers met
Karting in Northampton. The mission, to go faster than any
We assembled in the
reception area where new members where introduced and everyone had a
size up the opposition. We were then
given our overalls, apart from Nigel who chose to wear his own, a
suit, but no horns, which, as Nigel explained, tended to make him a
target. I’m not sure Nigel got that the
right way round but more of that later.
then went through to
the racing circuit where the rules were explained comprehensively by
although I’m not quite sure if everyone listened to all of
them. We were then put into teams of male and
female where, in team 4‘Williams Team’ Les had to assume the identity
of Liz to
make that work. It has to be said that
it might have worked on paper but in reality, there was no mistaking
set, rules explained, the first drivers of each team crossed the
for some, seemed like the point of no return, donned helmets and gloves
of course, for that red devil Nigel, who also had his own helmet. The
drivers got into the karts for some warm up laps and to set a lap time,
would establish their grid position. Off
they went and Michael spun at the very first corner. Steve
then had to be rescued by the marshals
and team ‘Toro Rosso’. Marylyn and Cecil
were being very polite and letting everyone pass them.
Team 4 ‘Williams’ - Les
and Keith - were told off for using both pedals at once, that was just
they got a ‘take care’ board for hitting the barrier with the back end
took the bend too quickly.
Team 3 ‘Renault’ Tina
and Tony. Tina actually got stuck on her
way out of the pits for the warm up laps having not noticed the back of
kart was slightly wider than the front.
Tina from team 3
‘Renault’ and Deborah from team 6 ‘Toyota’
were timed as having the equal slowest lap speed of 50 seconds; we were
assured that the karts did not have reverse gear.
Team 7 ‘Torro Rosso’
Marylyn and Nigel got it all wrong right from the beginning and first
took up all the time for both of the drivers to have their practice.
After a short break to
allow the marshals to assess the times, the cars and their drivers
the grid in the appropriate place for the one-hour team endurance
race. Rules being quite simply to go as fast as you
can without being dangerous and each team to have at least 3 changes of
during the hour.
Almost immediately Les
from Team 4 ‘Williams’ got a board telling him to slow down and take
hitting the barrier on his first lap, having also spun it on another
bend. Team 5 ‘Red Bull Racing’ Pauline was greatly
improved using the accelerator pedal as well as the brake
pedal. Cecil and Marylyn then put in their fastest
laps and Les from Team 4 spun out again after hitting
then spun out on bend 1 again.
Nigel, that red devil in
his own suit and helmet, was constantly boarded for misdemeanours on
mainly ramming people. He also consistently missed the pit board from
teammate. Tina needed rescuing and, just
after being rescued, Tina then spun out again.
Cecil stopped on the fast straight to talk to the spectators.
Shortly afterwards Keith spun out and just
after heading back on course was rammed by Nigel.
Of course, it wasn’t
competitive at all. We all had a great afternoon and are looking
forward to the
At the end of one hour,
there was very little to choose between the teams but Team 4 ‘Williams’
Keith just managed to steal first place from Team 1 ‘Ferrari’ Michael
who eased Team 6 ‘Toyota’ Deborah and Steve into third place.
Other prizes awarded, the fastest lap time of
the afternoon went to Michael with a time of 29.7 seconds.
Other awards were;
Sin Bin Certificate
Awarded to Nigel
Gentleman driver Awarded
And others I can’t
remember! My apologies to those that were awarded them.
Our thanks go to Richard
Stanley for organising the event
Maze - Stella Antonis
On my journey to the Laser
Maze with Pauline, who kindly offered to give me a lift, to my horror
she asked me to do a write-up on this event and my impressions of it.
On arriving at the venue and meeting several of the members, my first
impression was how friendly and welcoming they all are.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Laser Maze, it was great fun and I would
recommend it to anyone (even though I scored the least
points). My gun must have been a dodgy one !!!!
I find myself looking forward to meeting the members again and would
certainly visit the Laser Maze again sometime in the future.
Bowling – Jane and Dave Fisher
Wellingborough rolled (or should that be
bowled?) out the multi-coloured carpet for 35 of our members on
February 24th and 4 others had just as much fun watching.
As we arranged ourselves into teams of 7 or 8
someone asked us ‘Is the person here who wants his bowls re-drilled?’
Soon the alleys rang with whoops, groans and
cheers as the first game got underway. Our right hand gulley saw lots
at first (no names mentioned), but we all improved during the second
apart from Geoff Crowther, who was consistently good from the start,
But who wants his bowls re-drilled?
In between turns, us girls discussed whether we
scored better with the lime or aubergine bowls whilst the boys ‘got
preferred blue, green, or grey!(Or Should that be black and white?!)
we had all worked up a healthy appetite ready for our meal, scampi and
proving to be the most popular. Sitting down together with red and
serviettes, several amongst us felt a sense of déjà vu and looked for
hats and poppers!
Congratulations to Geoff Crowther for totalling
335 to take home the chocs and wine, and to Peta Jellis for
scooping the booby prize. Perhaps
next time we could all improve our performances by getting our bowls
We were all looked after very well.
Thanks to Pauline for organising such an enjoyable
evening for us all.
Murder Mystery - Christine
early for the evening to find Anne putting the finishing touches to the
what a superb spread - which was devoured half way through the night.
The room soon filled
to the brim with fellow sleuths, the police were already checking their
Tables were filled with the CID staff from various local forces all
solve the case of the murdered resident of the flat above the post
Suspects were dispatched to the tables to be
questioned on their role in the discovery, motive and method of
dispatch of the
poor West Indian gentleman.
Evidence arrived in each interview ‘room’ at
regular intervals which proved quite controversial at times on our
least, with very little time for all to digest the contents. We were
question each culprit [oops] interviewee twice and still our table
agree who dun it or why. At the end we filled in the killer’s name
could not think of a good reason why they did it, so we crossed it out
wrote another name that we though had the most to gain.
The winning table - decided by the police officers
- were very jubilant and enjoyed their “sweet surprise”
What a very enjoyable night we had. Bob and I are founder
members of the club but
have not attended many events over the past 2 years; there are so many
faces that we have to put names to and look forward to getting to know
Walking on Water - Hilary
was a bright, cold day outside, but the swimming pool was blood
anticipation was palpable as the
first ‘victim’ stepped into a collapsed plastic bubble and we watched
blown into it until it was a huge transparent sphere.
A makeshift launch bridge was created
on the edge of the pool as she walked slowly to the
rim. Then a ‘run’ and CRASH, and SPLASH! and
absolutely no chance of ever standing up in these
contraptions. As soon as you could semi-balance you tumbled
again, scrabbling against the slippy interior like a demented muppet.
When my turn came I favoured my wrist
which had so recently been sprained, so decided not to even attempt to
up. I maintained a very creditable
crawl doing several circuits of the pool, and did some dizzying rolls
splashes on the water’s surface. We
were allowed 5 minutes per person, but I don’t think many actually
sustain that length of time. It was
unbelievably tiring but really novel and enjoyable too.
Many of our more ‘macho’ members still
felt they could stand up by running in or trying different techniques –
their crashes were louder and more spectacular as a result.
The rest of us had a more leisurely
time in the swimming pool doing lazy circuits and chatting against the
while following the action.
A great experience and thank you to
Janice Munn & Annie Balding
5th April turned out to be a lovely, sunny morning for
our first adventure with the club, meeting in the picturesque village
of Yeldon. We were rather apprehensive when we saw
everyone sorting out their walking apparel which seemed to include an
supply! (It was actually a tube connecting to a drink
container) We were given a meeting time of 9.45 am but
set off at 10 am when the completed numbers of fellow walkers were
As our route led us
through blossomed lanes, we were serenaded by robins and observed by
horses, intrigued to see so many intrepid travellers hiking
by. We walked through fields of growing crops
whilst larks carolled above us and, should the need arise, the comfort
facilities were pointed out to us – a rather opportune overgrown
After meandering for an
hour or so our circular route returned us to The Chequers pub where the
were already set for our roast lunch.
This we thoroughly enjoyed among convivial chatter and a hearty cheer
and thanks were given to the organiser for a most enjoyable outing.
Multi-Activity Day - Geoff
and Barbara Crowther
What’s one of
only a few things that can bring women to their knees?
Answer: Piloting a hovercraft!!
20 members descended
upon Avalanche Adventure just outside Sibbertoft on Sunday 19 April in
sunshine to attempt quad biking,” blindfold” driving and piloting
Also on offer at this site was 4x4 driving in what resembled a quarry
pigeon shooting. The group was necessarily split into several groups
members only attempting one activity and some more intrepid ones two.
Hover crafting was
probably the most unusual of the activities. The pilots had to kneel
hovercraft, lift their skirts (with the cushion of air I mean!) and
transfer their body weight around to shift the hovercraft round the
site. A lot of people had plenty of bovver with the
hover on the first slalom run, but quickly and impressively gained
on the next two runs which included going over water and a speed trial
the outside track. Six members were in
the first group – Linda, Janet, Roger, Selvy, Jenny and Janet - Janet
triumphing in the overall competition.
Quad Biking was a load of fun with a lengthy course involving
the glider airfield before descending into the Leicestershire
through tight wooded sections, deeply rutted tracks and lots of mud and
water. In our group were Dennis,
Jane, Roger and Lucy and we managed to miss the trees and not hit each
The bikes had great grip and an easy electronic gear shift, but needed
of concentration for beginners like us.
The event was
brilliantly organised by Janette, who contented herself by watching
from the sidelines. Wise woman - bodies were quite definitely creaking
Driving - Lucy
Cecil, Tony and me this was to be a
real 'eye opener'.
After receiving instructions about
negotiating around an undulating track we had to don an ominous looking
helmet that completely enveloped our head and face. It was sobering to
instructions from our friends. Cecil
gave me some very wild graphic hand signals and I could hear Tony and
instructor busting themselves with mirth.
When it came to Cecil’s turn we all
collapsed in laughter when the helmet wouldn't go over his
ears. (after a lot of wiggling he managed it).
We all completed two circuits effectively
and even a time trial which Tony won.
We had a
brilliant time and enjoyed the camaraderie immensely.
Experience - Ann Cook
Another new challenge with the
Club on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Me
and four fellas – what can I say☺
Janette did sell this event as a very different
and unusual sensation. All
done on a
cushion of air with a throttle and a rudder!
though, this was a challenge that needed
co-ordination and a lot of forward thinking to tackle the course set
us. After a short
period of instruction,
we all took our turn at the controls of the hovercraft trying to miss
to score points, easier said than done and a lot harder than crossing
obstacle which we all managed successfully.
Thanks Janette for organising another enjoy
Thanks Janette for organising another enjoyable event.
Investigation - Lynda & Jeff Bell
first for the club and a first for us!
Having booked this as our first event we were a
little unsure whether 'it was a good idea'! BUT we soon discovered that
When we arrived at the Hall we were confronted
with a dead body. Luckily someone had got there before us and cordoned
crime scene so that all the vital clues were not disturbed.
The 15 'investigators' then split into 3 teams
-Tennyson, Frost and Taggart (corny but necessary!). Unfortunately it
was then that we were given the bad news.
We needed to don white protective suits, masks and gloves – very
fetching and I
hope that none of the photographs that were taken ever see the light of
Our task was to identify the killer of Lord
Devonport and to discover a possible motive.
To do this
we were taught the art of finger-printing and dental forensics (a bit
times but good fun) in order to examine the evidence – a pile of VERY
plates and a number of cups which had teeth marks on the rim.
During the more than welcome tea and cake break we
had a quiz to complete and had to try and identify 10 objects which
either used or found at a crime scene.
It was at this point that Ann sidled stealthily
over and happened to drop into the conversation that “as the 'rookies'
like to do the write up?”. With such a sinister look in her eye what
Our final task was to compile a photo fit of the
suspect using software on the laptops – there were certainly some very
characters in the frame. While we were busy Steve, our instructor and
Scotland Yard Detective, gave us fascinating insight to some of the
and evidence available to a high-profile murder case of recent years.
All too soon the time had come to announce the
winning team - ***TAGGART***.
Well done to them BUT as a member of the Tennyson
team I must say “we was robbed!!!” and we want to know 'who did it' and
A BIG thank you to Ann Cook for organising the
event and to Steve and Sheila from 'Right Angle Events' for giving us a
thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.
If the event comes up
again, consider signing up – just be wary of the white suits!
Pudding Evening - Janet
very word made my mouth water. We hadn't realised that such
tasting puddings would be included in the activities of an Adventure
Club so of
course we were keen to sign up. At least we did a walk as our
activity so we didn't look too greedy!! We duly assembled and
six cold puddings to sample. First off was banoffee pie which
good. This was followed by Key Lime Pie which was
Deee-licious as my
granddaughter would say. Raspberry and Elderflower Terrine
That was a subtle variation on old-fashioned jelly and fruit and I'm
not sure I
would spend £3.99 on it. I felt the same with Scottish
Raspberry and Amontillado
Trifle. The New York Cheesecake was good as was the Chocolate
vanilla cheesecake which was quite a favourite with many people
husband but nothing came close to that Key Lime Pie for me although it
evening was rounded off by a welcome cup of coffee. A very
social evening especially as it was purely tasting and no
about each dish! Thank you Mary for arranging it.
Keith & Anne Drury
it was a dry morning as everyone
assembled in the car park at Irchester Country Park,
all looking forward to a challenging day with our maps
compasses etc. We
were instructed to form ourselves into teams of four which we
managed to achieve. So armed with all the necessary guidance,
instructions we were ready for the off. For some of us this
was the last
time during the day that we were at all sure where we were.
next two hours or so teams could be seen rushing from one side
of the park
to the other, and then back again frantically searching out any sort of
post that might have anything useful written on it. Our team
really well until we read the instructions, having realised it
was the letters on the posts we
were actually looking for, we started again. It was around
this time that
we managed to loose a member of our team (sorry Marilyn) -
disqualification was expected to be the penalty, fortunately
we were re-united later.
As the day progressed
the weather was very kind to us and we were able to get rid of jackets
weather gear which had clearly been impeding our progress. It
was clear at
this point that some teams were taking this seriously, fortunately we
had Steve on our team and he really
seemed to know what he was supposed to be doing, so we tagged along.
we met en route from the other teams was all more than happy to help
advice about the location of key pieces of information. We should have
those who managed to complete the ' course' there was the challenge of
quiz questions to be tackled, if only we'd had 'Google' on the
mobile. Or had a friend to phone!
Worthy winners on the day - The Compass Points - consisting of
Carol Pullen, Linda Vickerman and Bridget Paull.
Thanks to the organisers for a very enjoyable
event and much needed refreshments at the end
Bird Watching - Maggie
Lakes ‘A breathe of fresh air‘, so goes their strap
line. Well on a fine breezy May evening
it was certainly fresh!! A Group of 50 Plussers sheltered by the
out of the wind as we waited for the off. Our guided walk was led by
the Mid Nene RSPB, which was actively involved with the design of the
habitats on the site. The lakes and
wetland areas have a mix of deep and shallow areas designed to attract
variety of birds. This site, along with others in the Nene valley, is
by a wide range of seasonal migrant birds as well as the more common
swans, mallards, coots and moorhens.
We set off
following Bob to ‘Sand Martin
Bridge‘, along the way we stopped to watch a Great Crested Grebe
chicks on its back, those specialist telescopes certainly helped to see
tiny chicks. At the bridge we were
dive-bombed by swooping Sand Martins & a few Swallows, all
from Africa. We moved on to watch a solitary
Heron and for the first time heard the Sedge Warblers hiding in the
lucky people actually saw the birds but I didn’t.
We retraced our steps back around the Visitor Centre
and the play area (one or two left the group to try out the play
no one got muddy or wet this time). Our
next ‘spots’ were nesting Swans, a family of Coots on the sand spit and
watched the Terns & Swifts swooping across the lakes.
Black headed Gulls occupied the sand islands
and flew among the Terns but without their graceful flight.
Bob explained that the willow bushes
spreading across the site were not ideal habitats for water birds who
the reed beds and grasses. A few
intrepid volunteers meet each Wednesday in winter to cut these back -
volunteers would be welcomed!
walked round to the reed beds, dry at this time of
the year; they are covered in several feet of water in
winter. We heard those Sedge Warblers again and too
the Reed Warblers. By this time all the
birds were in full voice & it was a calming experience to be
birdsong. We heard the Song Thrush
repeating himself several times and in the distance saw a Cuckoo fly
horizon (at least that’s what our expert said it was). As we walked
back to our
cars we all agreed it had been a good evening with lots of good ’spots’
for those of us who are not expert birders.
To finish the evening some of us retired to the Duke
of Wellington at Stanwick for food or to watch the football or just to
A most enjoyable evening - thanks to Ann for
Lowestoft Sailing Day -
It was a beautiful sunny
morning when we met on
the quay at Lowestoft. The Excelsior, a Lowestoft fishing
smack with a gaff ketch rig, is 33
metres long (including spars) with a beam of 5.9 metres, was waiting
for us to
board. This lovely old boat was built in Lowestoft
in 1921, and worked as a commercial fishing trawler until
1936. Since 1989, Excelsior has operated as a sail
training vessel providing off-shore voyages for young people – not as a
cruiser for oldies.
Our first evidence of this
was when we had to hitch our legs over the side to get on
board. Descent to the lower deck required some
manoeuvring but the main problem was on the ascent when more than
one of us hit our heads on the hatch – every time we came up!
We were greeted warmly by the captain, Bill, and
the crew, Lucy and Penny. Our party
consisted of Grace and Cecil, Jane, Dennis,
Sally, Gordon, Pauline, Nigel, Lucy, Jeremy, Terry and Linda.
we set out we had a hot drink and a hot bacon and egg roll which was
welcome, even though some of us had had a full English breakfast at our
We motored out of the
harbour and the first task, in which we were invited to take
part, was to
hoist the sails. Once hoisted, we set a course
South East down the North Sea passing a low
and rather uninteresting coast line.
There was very little wind
so the going was very gentle. At lunch
time we descended
into the galley for lunch which was hot soup followed by a great
salad, cheese and biscuits and fruit. Our tummies full, we
back on deck to enjoy the sunshine. It
was a little chilly in the wind but we found ourselves cosy spots to
people took a
spell at the helm. Here
is cecil doing his bit.
Eventually, we had to turn
round and make our way back. The wind
had picked up and we were heading right into it, tacking this way and
that. This required us to be a bit more
active as the sails had to be re-set each time we turned.
Just before we reached Lowestoft, it was time to take the sails
down. Cecil was invited to help tie up the sails
and readily agreed, although he was not sure what it
entailed. He soon found out when he was directed to
climb onto the hatch cover, and then on to the boom of the main
mast! He edged his way along the pole until he
reached the middle where he had to hang over it and tie ropes over the
which the rest of us were folding and handing up to him.
We motored back into port
and, after a bit more excitement coming into dock, we arrived back
Jane gave the captain and crew a very hearty
thank you on behalf of us all for giving us such a wonderful
Mystery Walk - Judith
the weather was as much a mystery as the
destination when we set off on Saturday morning. Hot? Cold?
Windy? Yes to all of those, so suitably equipped for all eventualities,
watched the road from the comfort of our minibus seats and hazarded
the signposts flashed by.
We arrived at the Ashridge
Estate just outside
Dunstable in high spirits and, after the important business of
began our climb up through the trees and on to open grazing land.
was in abundance: birds singing in the trees, deer
leaping fences, insects buzzing around our ears. An English May morning
continued on to scale the heights of Ivinghoe Beacon, where we took
ate our lunch in the shelter of the slope overlooking the view. Then
Ridgeway track and down into the valley for a welcome afternoon drink
pub in Aldbury. One final climb back up through the trees and we were
our starting place – and the ice-cream van!
As a walk it couldn’t have been bettered and the
company was great too. Many thanks to all those who worked hard to make
enjoyable. And the tub of chocolates for the return journey was just
on the cake!
Street Rally- Marilyn Savory
Higham Ferrers on Thursday 4 June, a dry but
cool evening, 30 members split into 6 teams and set off at intervals,
questionnaire in hand - examining buildings, fences, doors, churchyard,
and stumps to find the answers. It is
not long before we see members of other teams; have they found the
are they trying to mislead us? Oh
quick! Another team is catching us up,
go down this alleyway before they see us!
Spending a great deal of time in the churchyard desperately looking to
find who died on 16 October 1837, having the feeling of despair and
give up, a team member spotted the small bright green stone, how could
missed it for so long!
At 9 pm we were all back at the Coach House after
all that brain taxing more than ready for a drink or two. We
also tucked into a basket meal of scampi
and chips, sausage and chips or omelette.
Then it was time to check the questionnaires and the mystic animals,
height of the steeple and what a stump was, all came to
light. All teams scored well with three teams tying
with 22 points and it was only by the skin of their teeth that Three
took the prize.
Thank you to Ann and Mary for organising a most
enjoyable night yet again.
Trip - Jenny Hopkins
Sunday May 31st turned out to be 'jolly
boating weather' for the 24 sailors. We had two
boats, which were
equipped with a sink, a hob and the smallest toilet in the world which
to reverse into and then pump like mad ( to flush it that is!!)
After instructions on how to open the locks safely
and not drown the people in the boats, we set off at a steady pace down
river Soar. Despite the passengers getting a few whacks with
branches everyone who had a go at steering did a good job.
A wrong turn (the chevrons weren't big enough were
they Paul) meant we took a bit longer to get to our destination, where
moored up and enjoyed the feast provided by everyone (except me, I was
minute replacement). With our stomachs full we turned around
back to the boatyard and we all agreed it had been a lovely
thanks to Paul for organising it.
Derbyshire - Debs Moore
a wonderful hearty breakfast in Hope we
drove up to the The Devil’s Arse in Castleton.
Amongst many oohs and aahs and ‘God I’m shattered’ we finally managed
get all kitted up in our safety gear.
Adam (our guide) had been quite worried that we would all get lost in
his kit as he thought he was taking out a bunch of midgets, he had
such a small group, I was the tallest at 5’6”! Girls at the
ready with their red lipstick on
and waterproof mascara applied to perfection we walked up to the cave
entrance. Adam was extremely impressive
with his knowledge of caving and we all felt quite safe in his hands
managed to trip over his own feet walking up the path (mmm, wonder if
he is so
good? went through my mind)
We were promised a mine of information about the
geology of the area whilst caving, notes of which I was obviously
unfortunately my shorthand pad got
wet when we were in the water.
I don’t quite know what I was
expecting from this
adventure but it certainly got my adrenalin going and in parts my fear
was being pushed slightly to the limits.
I think the best or possibly worst bit was when we had to get into
water, up to our waists, and stoop under a gap just big enough to get
through and then wade through a small cavern in which you could not
but it was astounding geology and made funny by all the comments about
the water was and where it was getting to!
Adam kept us well informed about how the caves had
been explored over the years and added in a few horror stories about
happened to some less fortunate
cavers, just to make us feel safe!? He
also told us how to read the rock formation, which could tell you how
from what direction the water would come into the cave.
Once we reached the end of our cave a few of us
were feeling slightly tired so we rested for a while whilst the more
ones went elsewhere to practise walking like penguins apparently.
Heather managed to find her trousers (she had
lost them inside her boiler suit somewhere) and we tried to play I Spy,
that didn’t last long, so we set off again, retracing our steps to the
and through that horribly cold water again, which we all decided had
since the first time we went through.
Before we left the cave we had to wash down our
suits, so that we didn’t get the tourists dirty as we left, and a very
political debate followed, it wasn’t until Jane mentioned we were
the middle of a river, could we discuss this elsewhere that we thought
good idea - funny that after being soaked
to the skin for five hours you
don’t notice the water any more.
I don’t think I will ever forget the faces of some
of the tourists as we emerged from the depths of the cave, it was like
parting of the waves as if we were an alien species, although with all
on we probably did look like that.
There was much frivolity in the car park as we
battled again with our gear, this time to get it off, and I never knew
much water you could collect inside a Wellington boot and still walk
with it on
All in all, a cracking day and could I just say
thank you to the other members, Lucy, Les, Heather, Jane, Mike, Trish
Pauline for making me feel so welcome on this my second outing with the
All I can say is that if this is what this club is
about ‘then bring it on’ I will be there for every adventure possible!
Bridgnorth Weekend - Canoeing -
was my first
Adventure Club event so I was looking forward to meeting up with other
whom I found welcoming and helpful with advice and introductions.
gathering at the riverside car park in
Bridgnorth, our group of 28 members
proceeded riverside for the predictable health and safety procedures
Our flotilla of 14 canoes (along with 18 other canoes) got away rather
tentatively with varying degrees of abilities and skill. I was
fortunate to have Carol as my shipmate who proved to be
enthusiastic and good fun. The first six miles gave us beautiful views
countryside and wildlife, the river changed from high cliff faces and
running water to wide pastures and slow runner water. We stopped for
Hampton Loade where we had a pleasant pub lunch.
On a personal note I
managed to explore the waters of the Severn at
first hand (well legs and bottom!) due to a navigational error, water
warm. However, we were quickly back in the canoe and on our way.
After lunch we canoed
down about 5 miles to Arley where we left our canoe’s and travelled
Bridgnorth via the Severn Valley Railway in a lovely restored 1937
and carriages. Imagine “The Railway Children” film, nostalgic and
I had a most enjoyable
week-end and had the opportunity to meet many members, I would like to
Anne for organising the event.
Weekend – Tandeming- Carol Pullen
Following the canoeing the
previous day, eight of us were tandeming and
we arrived at the very well run centre at Fusion in
Jackfield. After at least an hour of excellent
instruction and practise we were given water bottles and maps and sent
way using the cycle paths in and around the lovely countryside of
Ironbridge. We could stop whenever we wished and visit
anywhere we wanted and the maps were very informative. Being
a solo cyclist I was not completely
happy relinquishing the controls to my partner but he was very
helped to allay my fears and in the end I enjoyed myself – thanks
Stuart. Thank you also to Anne Dodson for organising
an activity with an extremely professional organisation.
White Water Rafting - Margaret
We all arrived at
Whitewater centre at
10.00am ready for our adventure. There
were 11 of us taking part, some like me were complete novices and
totally unaware of what they had let themselves in for and
others had experienced this activity and were obviously prepared to
Before we could start we had to have the safety
instructions talk, although necessary, did not do much to allay my
talk of what to do when you fall in
and not if you fall in!
It was then off to get kitted out in our body
hugging wet suits and as the weather was so wonderful, we did not need
thermals or waterproof jackets. When we
were all in our life jackets and wearing our helmets we were at last
rafts (inflatable boats) to the water.
I was in a
boat with Janette, Richard, Geoff & Glenys with David the
look after us; we were also accompanied by Lauren a trainee
trainer. The six in the other boat were Heather, Jane,
Les, Debs, Peta & Marilyn.
The boats were launched with us all safely inside
and we were told by David what responses
were needed when he gave his
commands. We had not paddled far when we
all had to get out the boat again and carry it up the hill to start the
water circuit. In the boat again and off
we went frantically paddling forwards, then backwards, then not at all
were told and steered the boat through the narrow chicanes and down the
trying desperately to stay in the boat which we all did but
much to our
surprise on one downhill chicane Lauren the trainee trainer fell out!
I don’t think our paddling skills impressed David
much but we were the only boat not to get ‘pinned’ (stuck) in the
The next exercise was to
manoeuvre the boat as close as possible to a very fast flowing
without capsizing or falling in, a lot of frantic paddling and leaning
luckily the boat did not capsize but unfortunately
Richard did fall in.
We then left the boats for a
minutes and were given the ‘opportunity’ of jumping into the fast
waterfall and floating over the waterfall (without the boat) which a
few of us
I had a go,
thankfully the water
was quite warm, I plunged into the white water and popped out like a
the other side, very exhilarating.
It was then off for our last trip
through the white water, this time with Lauren in command and guess
fell out again, luckily David was still in the boat or we would have
up the creek but with 5 paddles!
I believe everyone found it
enjoyable and a brilliant way to spend a hot summer’s morning.
see more white water rafting pictures click
(opens in new window)
The Oundle Festival Firework
Concert - Ann Cook
an adventure club you might ask what we were
doing at this concert, well the fun began as soon as we arrived at 5
along with hundreds of others.
Our mission was to locate other members of the
club gathering and find a space in the already crowded school sports
field – no
easy task as we weaved our way in and out of assorted tables and chairs
picnic baskets. Luckily we were soon
spotted by several members already set up in a prime location not far
stage. Unfortunately as the 4098
other party goers gathered around us we were split into two main groups
did not stop us having lots of fun as the music began. The
OG’s got us off to a good start followed
buy The Manfreds then the Bootleg Beatles.
Everyone danced the night away even when the rain started half an hour
from the end - quite a sight, people dancing in their wet weather gear
lots of large umbrellas bobbing up and down. It was a great
night and was finished off with
a spectacular firework display. The adventure bit? – well you try
picnic gear amongst all those umbrellas, in the dark!
- Hellen Dicks
My First Big Adventure
After a leisurely drive
to Cannock Chase hoping it wouldn't rain (many thanks to Anne
for the lift) we arrived in time to grab a quick cup of coffee.
We then split into two
groups of 14. Our group had the 11.30 slot. We were fitted
into the safety harness and given a 20 minute safety talk and shown how
connect ourselves to the wires.
The course is split
into 5 areas. After One practice session you are let lose on your
After climbing a 30ft rope ladder the fun began. The course was very
challenging in parts with many heart thumping moments but at the end of
area, after plucking up enough courage to step of the platform, was a
thrilling zip ride as a reward. I always seemed to land in heaps of
I found the 3rd part of
the course very daunting and must admit had I walked the course first I
have missed this part out. It was higher and quite scary in
goodness for long legs. My mantra when my legs turned to jelly was ' I
it I will do it'. Many thanks to Mick, Richard and
Les for their
encouragement and support. Much to my amazement I completed
At the picnic
afterwards the general consensus was that everybody had jolly good fun
most had experience at least one scary moment.
Many thanks to Richard
and Janette for organising a wonderful awesome day. A true adventure
Punting in Cambridge - Martin
a period of variable weather ranging from the truly summery to
the almost wintry, we were fortunate
that the sun chose to shine on us for the Sunday punt experience in
Cambridge on August 9th. We all gathered on the quayside
board and watched the expert youngsters steer their passenger-laden
consummate ease. It all seemed so
effortless and relaxing.
A quick division of our
assembled group into sixes and we were soon being herded onto the
“Who wants to have a go?” we were asked as we stepped
aboard. In our punt, Carol said she
would. I recklessly said, “I’ll give it
a try, too.” Jude took the front
position with a paddle for extra steering; Carol took the helm (or
pole). Mary, Hilary, Janice and I
settled down in the centre seats ready for a relaxing drift along the
The youngsters went by
us in both directions, each standing on the back of their punt
running commentary on the riverside sites.
The four 50+ punts drifted, lurched, hesitated, wavered from side to
side and generally made slow progress up river.
There were gentle collisions and there was much laughter.
Carol and Jude negotiated us under bridges
and over-hanging tree branches. Then
there was an anguished cry from the back.
“I’ve lost the pole!” There it
was, a few yards back, stuck in the river bed at an angle while we
from it. A passing punter picked it out
and reunited it with Carol and we were able to carry on.
We took time out to
stop and have a better look at Kings College from a
different viewpoint. As we continued
along there were other views of other landmark buildings. There was a
burst of ‘Just one Cornetto’ as we approached one bridge; there were
about white water punting; some ducks looked at us with some amusement
seemed. Carol was flagging with the
effort of pushing us along and trying to maintain a straight
I took a quick look into the surrounding
water. Yes, we were going against the
flow. That meant I’d be going with the
flow on the return journey!
We finally reached the
end of our journey – or at least the end of Carol’s energy
Carol and I exchanged places and I took the
pole in hand with what I hoped looked like confidence. I’d
noticed that the expert punters stood
right at the back behind the well that the non-experts
They had no need of someone to paddle and
were able to punt centrally and on alternate sides. I
mentioned this and was told in no uncertain
terms not to even think about it. We’d
brought a change of clothing ‘just in case’, but there was no way
going to let me tempt fate by showing off.
We wended our merry way
back weaving between increasing numbers of people out in
We were surrounded by young and old of many
nationalities some dressed casually and some dressed as if they were on
way to church.
We hailed a passing punt
full with Moslem women of various ages, some with the all-covering
some with the hijab headscarf all giggling and obviously enjoying their
trip as much as we were. Punting is a
friendly affair and we greeted and were greeted by everyone we
One surprise was the sudden appearance of
Nigel coming alongside in a red canoe.
We made a text book
docking and disembarkment and then stood waiting for the other 50+
return cameras in hand just in case someone fell in. Everyone
landed safely and there more tales
of punting experiences from the other crews along with outlandish
as “We went so fast we did some water skiing!”
We headed off to pick up our picnics from our cars and then settled
on Jesus Green.
After eating there was
time for a quick quiz and our team (Carol, Heather, Janice and me)
No one was more surprised than us! Then it was time for games
boules and quoits to choose from. The
sound of laughter echoed round the green as we played in the
It was a great end to an enjoyable and
punting pictures click Here
(opens in new window)
Petanque Evening - Richard Stanley
(+ 1, Les arrived on the off chance and was accommodated) gathered at
White Hart in the village of Lyddington. The weather was kind
to us and Janette
greeted everyone with ‘can you remember what you are eating?’ and ‘the
We moved to the Petanque course (the pistes) and
our instructor, Sam, a sprightly and somewhat randy 76 year old, gave
us the in
depth rules of Petanque. Totally baffled
by these rules we split up into teams of six.
The game consists of having two steel balls each
and throwing them towards the ‘cosh’ – a small red ball – and the team
this won the round. There were lots of
oohs and aahs from all sides throughout the night and it proved a good,
game. Our team decided it would be girls
v boys, with the boys winning the first game easily. After
stern looks from the girls, we let them
win the shorter second game!!!
We then all made our way to the restaurant where
we had a great two course meal with wine.
Dennis welcomed the members for
their first event – Peter and Lynne Toomey and Sheila Smith.
It was a great
evening and thanks to Janette for all the work organising (that’s me
Team Building (High ropes and problem solving) - Grace
Whittemore and Carole Houghton
23rd August, we arrived at Grafham Water centre, late because Carole
argued with the sat-nav, and joined 16 other adventurers ready for the
ahead. This was only our second event in
the 50+ adventure club, but we knew there would be fun and laughter and
probably water involved. We were told
the challenges for the day, given the necessary instructions, very
safety gear and then it was off to the tower.
We were split into three groups, and the fun started, first, the rope
walk, Cecil lead the way, the rest of the team following, Carole and
were brave (or fool-hardy) and decided to go higher into the trees and
the high rope. The other two teams were
having as much fun as us, everyone shouting encouragement.
Our team then moved to the planks in the
trees, Janette decided running was the best option, it worked and we
followed. Again Richard and Carole were
adventurous and went higher into the trees and walked the high rope,
across Carole was heard to shout “I want my mom”. Time took
over and we walked away from the
tower (some of us with very shaky legs) pleased with our
achievements. It was then off to the problem solving, we
saved the world from Nuclear explosion (well nearly) and none of us was
by sharks. We ended the morning as true
adventurers sitting by the water having a well earned rest and picnic,
forward to the afternoon.
We both enjoyed ourselves and achieved things we
never thought we would ever do. Many thanks to all of you for making us
welcome, special thanks to our team “Knot A Chance”: Cecil, Richard,
and Marilyn for putting up with us.
On behalf of everyone
thanks to Pauline for organising such a great day.
team building (Raft building) - Peta Jellis
how do you build a raft to hold 6 people? I have done it
before: sometimes it worked
and didn’t sink, but sometimes (more often!) it didn’t and I got very
wet. Four barrels only (why were the other teams
using 6 or more barrels?), 4 poles and lots of ropes – that should do
it! Gradually we built a very neat and compact
raft: our knots were a delight to any seaman – maybe! “Mick’s
Harem” she was called in acknowledgement to Mick’s strenuous efforts in
morning with problem solving and planks of wood.
The other 2 rafts were
completely different: “Pauline’s Pirates”
was twice the size of our compact job and “Knot
a Hope” lived up to its name by turning turtle and throwing all its
occupants into the water! The knots came
undone! I thought Cecil was a seaman?
The race was on with the
two remaining rafts and a tie was declared as both rounded the buoy and
its occupants safely to shore. So our
lovely YOUNG instructors from Grafham said we should build another raft
all 19 of us. That was easily
accomplished – we just popped our compact raft under the large raft,
more lashing and off we all went around the buoy a second time without
mishap. The only people who were
disappointed were the men on the rescue boat as they didn’t have anyone
13 adventurers set off for the Twinwood Festival
at Clapham on Sunday. The experience
began as soon as we boarded an old military bus with suitable
camouflage at the
car park. Delicious smells of fish and
chips, roast pork, and coffee assailed our nostrils and tempted us away
our picnic lunches. Everywhere you
looked there were people dressed in 40’s clothes.
Dashing uniforms (more American than British) were
everywhere. Elegant ladies
with seamed stockings and fox fur capes, stoles and tippets and little
perched on the side of their heads.
There were also a few from the fifties, ladies with frothy net
petticoats and a couple of sharp suited teddy boys.
There were two main stages and we were hard
pressed to choose from the acts that were on, plus the chance of some
dance sessions in Swing, Charleston
and Collegiate Shag? There were also
some excellent museums and Living History exhibits, with volunteers to
all about the areas they worked in. The
Glenn Miller museum at the old Control Tower was particularly
the guy spinning a very good conspiracy theory about Glenn’s
David Niven. We laughed at the
hand-knitted knickers in the women’s barracks, and the utility items
seemed so normal in our grandparents' homes, but were now antiques.
As for the bands – the Jive Aces had a fantastic
keyboard player who jumped in the air and did all kinds of tricks that
Jerry Lee Lewis in the shade. John
Miller and his orchestra played some good old Glenn Miller
Peter Donegan and the Lonnie Donegan Band had
a packed audience swinging away to their skiffle on the second
Stickey Wicket and his Swing Orchestra were
fantastic and were still playing as we packed up to leave.
We got the chance to watch some excellent and very
lively dance displays with aerial launches of the
One lady had frilly blue panties with a
Union Jack (or is it Union Flag?) and was lifted up by her group to
them to the Dakota as it did several fly pasts.
We were also invited to join in the Big Apple – a Charleston/lindy hop
type dance with a Hokey Cokey ending.
It was a brilliant day only marred by the cool
wind and eventual drizzle towards the latter part of the evening.
Many thanks to Mary
and Anne for organising everything.
Ride in Cambridge - Janet Carding
to the balloons we had no difficulty
finding the rendezvous. As we were there in good time we were
watch the various vehicles arriving - some with bikes strapped on the
some where bikes were produced from inside. We did
wonder when a
mini arrived with more than one person in but they were to do with a
match that was being played nearby.
At the appointed hour Carol set off to meet the
two people who were hiring bikes, leaving the remaining 12 of us in the
hands of her son Matt. He was to lead us to the bike hire shop which he
did - not on a bike but running ahead and even then he had to stop for
Once reunited and duly photographed outside
King's we set off through the streets of Cambridge out to The
Backs. After a
short stop to look at the back of King's we all managed to negotiate a
crossing at the same time and headed off.
We rode on
a variety of cycle lanes on the road, cycle routes on the footpaths and
quiet lanes. Thankfully most of it flat. The
"hill" was onto the bridge over the motorway and as we all assembled
on the bridge the Red Arrows flew over (as if to acknowledge that
been reduced to walking!)
We continued over or beside fields - meeting very
few people, and watched by some cows at one point. After
two hours with various stops for
crossing roads, catch up and a rogue chain we arrived at the Red Lion
lunch was waiting along with some non-cyclists who had come to join us.
Chaining up our bikes to posts took a while but then it
time and the meals were certainly worth waiting for. Everyone enjoyed
and thought other people's looked good too. We confused the
with our coffee orders but she took it with a smile.
We then unchained our bikes, had a final photo
and set off for our starting point with another flyover of the Red
Arrows. As we'd done about 9 miles before lunch the final
stretch was a
Thank you Carol for an excellent day and to Matt
for leading us to King's and then running to the Pub to order our
PS My grazes are healing nicely after an encounter
with an uncontrolled dog (which had the cheek to lick me afterwards)
to lose control and fall off, I'm sorry I didn't fall off
that one of our party could have the laugh he wanted.
Visit - Jackie Ormandy
last event in August a little “corker” was chosen! We all
took our seats at Welland Valley
Vineyard to listen to its owner, David Bates, giving a highly
illuminating talk about wine production in the U.K.
After some agreeable imbibing of various
wines produced at the vineyard, some of which were award winners, we
to the neat rows of vines themselves to inspect their
Finally we were rewarded with another tasting
before decisions had to be made as to which wines to
We may have come away lighter in pocket but
we certainly gained some insight into the fascinating art of
next leg of the adventure was negotiating the
Bank Holiday crowds at Foxton Locks as we made our way to The Old
lunch. Notwithstanding the long wait
between courses, we made the most of our surroundings by “gongoozling”
colourful narrow boats on the canal junction and when the food did
arrive it was
after our lunch, those of us who could
still rustle up some energy went on a peaceful canal side walk in the
afternoon sunshine, followed by a ramble and scramble over bridges and
on a circular route back to the locks.
very varied and satisfying day was had by
DISTRICT ADVENTURE WEEKEND
Richard, THE CHIMP, going back to his roots.
Paul and Marilyn showing us young ones there is life after the sell by
Lucy THE FLOP, trying to fly but not succeeding. Richard
Janette showing us how to conserve water. Maggie, bug-eyed
after her Ferrata experience.
I’m sure there are others, but what the heck and the weather,
The centre, staff, accommodation, food, couldn’t be faulted
and to have
arranged for a singer from Durham to give us such an
well, I thought that couldn’t be topped, but top it you did - that fly
we were leaving was total magic. Thanks to all concerned.
MAGGIE and ART.
– downstream – Bridget Paull
set off in the bus for Stoneycroft Ghyll with Tom, our instructor, all
attractively kitted out in padded bunny suits, enormous trousers,
helmets. Mick unfortunately wasn’t
well and had to wait for us in the bus, but the rest of us climbed up
starting point where we got down into the stream. Tom went
ahead and showed us how to take each
drop, but I do admit to chickening out of the two ‘belly flops’ we were
to do through what appeared to be very narrow channels, and slid down
As we progressed our legs and feet got heavier as they filled with
(especially for Lucy who had been given wellies to wear), and we had to
them over some of the rocks. However it was an exhilarating experience,
was only when we were chest deep that we realised how cold the water
was. Arthur and Tony, by accident or
design, were tail end Charlies, and were always ready to lend a hand on
more slippery rocks. All in all great
but wet fun.
Canoeing - Carol Pullen
was one of those glorious mornings when Derwentwater had scarcely a
ripple on it, the sun shone, the fells were reflected in the
eight intrepid canoeists set off, with our very informative instructor
have some fun on the water. With two to
a canoe and the heavier person in the back to lift the bow slightly we
to explore some of the inlets around the edge.
beached our canoes
and had a photo opportunity at ‘Entrust’, which commemorates the
the first piece of land bought by the National Trust, which now owns
this side of the lake.
into the canoes to
paddle very lazily back across Derwentwater to our starting
That was the theory, but there is always one
wayward boat in 50+ who cannot quite control their canoe and spends
time running into others!! For others it
was a very peaceful and gentle start to the weekend.
Abseiling – a woman’s
view! Sheila Smith
hearty breakfast 12 of us were summoned to
the Store Hut where we were issued with helmets, harnesses and
Were we Abseiling or taking part in some weird ritual!!
Thankfully we arrived at the Bowder Stone National
Trust car park where we walked to a magnificent cliff face.
We had already chosen a ‘spectacular’ abseil
rather than just an ordinary abseil after Simon the instructor had
rightly given us the choice. There
really was no choice for our group of adventurers as ordinary was just
enough. We had already carried enough
rope to re-rig a Tall Ship although there were no karabiners
Ship (were there Cecil?) After a few
basic instructions on how to use the karabiners and feed the rope
our hands we were ready to fly – whoops sorry abseil!
Shock horror – not only did we
have to throw
ourselves over the cliff edge we first of all had to climb up 120 feet
there…2 hours later (ha ha)……. we had arrived at the cliff face and 4
later the first victim had landed at the bottom unscathed thanks to
instructions. A few of the group conquered their fears of heights and
themselves gingerly to the bottom with a whoop of joy when back on
have thought that after all this climbing and abseiling that there
would be a
‘Flasher on the rock face opposite!’ The
ladies could not believe their eyes when a ‘man’ (mentioning no names)
to perform a striptease – trouser bottoms off first and after a couple
whistles and shouts of ‘get ‘em off’ Richard took off his shirt and lay
prostrate on the Rock face to take in a few rays of sun or the watchful
the ladies. Simon wondered what sort of
club it was!! This was fine until Simon shouted “Time for three more to
another go” I have never seen a man move so fast, dressed in a jiffy
and up the
cliff face like a mountain goat Richard abseiled down again.
All in all it was a
brilliant morning; we all thoroughly enjoyed it and survived to tell
tale. Having helped Simon pack up all
the gear, we headed back to the minibus – but wait “Simon,
have a dog
with you” – “oh I forgot about Midge” who was asleep on top.
One loud whistle and Midge was back down
herding us back to the minibus. We
arrived back at Glaramara for a welcome lunch and rest.
Boating Anne MacGovern
Vikings “set sail” in a beautiful
30’ Viking boat, but as there was no wind, we had to row!
Captain Ann (Cook) at the helm whipped the
slaves into shape and we made it to the middle of Derwentwater, where
on the sheets (and many other ropes, whose names I have long forgotten)
hoisted the sail.
our instructor, was full of fascinating information about our craft and
life. As we sailed slowly down the lake,
we imagined what it would be like sharing our space with animals,
bread and drinking beer (now that didn’t sound too bad), having no
“facilities”. Rape and pillage –
apparently the Vikings were no worse than anyone else and those cute
with the horns – a myth.
to John, our instructor, for a
very entertaining trip and to Jane for making it all possible.
adventure with 50+ was the Lake District Weekend. I can’t
swim and am not happy in deep water,
so was rather anxious when I found that the rock climbing wasn’t going
and that I was with the uphill gorge scrambling group instead!
Before we could begin we were kitted out in
blue ‘teddy bear’ outfits over which we wore waterproof trousers and
cagoule. A white helmet completed the ensemble. Feeling
rather like ‘boil in the bag’ we walked up the road in the hot sun to
fun was to begin.
didn’t take long before the wellies filled with icy water,
but I was soon scrambling up the stream and clambering over rocks with
others and thoroughly enjoying climbing waterfalls and splashing
In my enthusiasm I soon slipped and found myself sitting in the water,
was all part of the fun. We all helped each other up the tricky bits
instructors, Simon and Tom, were there to help with the really awkward
Most of the group were happy to wade through really deep water and even
the pools, but as a non-swimmer there was always an easier route I
the end, we all had to trudge back down the
road to Glaramara in our soggy outfits and squelchy shoes. It was a
enjoyable afternoon and it might even be my first choice of activity
Via Ferrata - Richard Coles
18 of us who piled out of the minibuses
at Honister Pass.
We were told to put on harnesses, helmets and torches. A
simple task for 12 year olds but for adults
stepping into a two legged harness was not so simple and a certain
member found out the hard way that two legs won’t go into a one legged
an hour later we had walked up the winding
path to the Cliff entrance. Head torches alight we climbed up a dark
through the mountainside and came out the other side to start our
traverse. Tom and Simon the instructors
had already given us some basic safety instructions so we soon got into
routine of clipping on and off the support line. At one point Tom
allowed us to
have a well earned rest – admiring the view, the sound of silence was
interrupted by a blood curdling scream – Tom jumped up thinking someone
fallen over the Cliff but no - Lucy had a worm crawl over her
hand! Amazing - 200ft up on the sheer mountainside
no terror - but a worm – mayhem!
re-commenced our traverse – “hey this is easy
clip, un-clip, clip un-clip” until Tom vanished round a left
hand bend and said you are doing this next!
Peering round the bend I was shocked to see a vertical rock face of 40
metres with overhanging ladder, however, several club members including
one of the girls, overcame this scary obstacle and hauled
round and up whilst Tom the instructor was suspended by one
One more horizontal ladder safely crossed we
carried on up the mountain taking in the breathtaking views and reading
the slate mines. At the top we were
rewarded by fantastic views across the estuary and peaks all around.
were no buses
running today so Tom made us walk all the way down the mountain back to
minibuses to take us back to Glaramara.
We all had a fantastic time and a wonderful experience.
morning the sun was shining
and nine of us set off for a five mile walk.
The start was quite a climb and after a short while we all made it to
the top - our efforts rewarded by the beautiful views all
around. We continued to walk around the back of
Castle Crag, crossing clear rippling streams and continuous beautiful
views. Then came Derwentwater, a group
photo a must; we then continued the walk along a wooded area by
At one point arriving only a few yards from a waterhole, Scafell Hotel,
a debate, do we stop or continue, needless to say the vote was
unanimous and a welcome drink was consumed. Up and away
again, around a tricky rocky area
and pleasant walk back to the centre.
you Jane for arranging and guiding such a scenic and enjoyable
The Monday Left-Overs
members were fortunate enough to be
able to stay for an extra night at Glaramara (oh! the dinner that
missed – lamb shank, strüdel ………). It
was eerily quiet after all the excitement of the previous two days so
morning action was called for. While Arthur
took himself up to Honister to buy souvenir Via Ferrata T-shirts, the
us scaled the dizzy heights of Castle Crag and were rewarded with
of Derwentwater and surrounding fells. We celebrated our
achievement with Kendal
mint cake and then made our way back to Glaramara, our cars, the M6 and
home. Another Lake District weekend over but the good news is
that we have booked
again for 2010!
more Lake District pictures click Here
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SHOOTING DAY (or don’t mess with the
50+ gunmen/ladies!) Jeremy Furnish
Twelve of us gathered at
Farm in Woodford (thanks for the good directions Paul), for a morning
of air weapon shooting. After coffee there was the obligatory
briefing then we went to the range.
of us started with air pistols, and the others picked up rifles.
For myself, I was amazed at the development of air weapons since I last
fired one, about twenty years ago. The pistols were modelled on
well-known firearms, including the big Ruger .44 Magnum and the .45
Colt 1911A1 beloved of American servicemen. There was a pistol modelled
on the Glock 17, but it did not work very well, unlike the real one
which is one of the best in the world. The other two pistols
accurate (for pistols) and had very light triggers, from which we had
to keep away until ready to fire. My group had a go with each weapon. I
hope all the others did too but by then I was at the rifle bench.The
rifles were amazing. With superb telescopic sights (electronically
no less) a beautiful balance and a featherlike trigger they gave a
confidence when first picked up, and performed with astonishing
understand that they are the property of the instructors rather than
weapons, and so was grateful for the chance to fire them.
we all had had a chance to get used to the weapons, there was a
with rifles. After the first round (at paper targets at 25 yards), five
had scored the maximum, so a shoot-off was needed (this time at small
targets again at 25 yards), and four of us top-scored. With a
glint in his eye, the Range Master had
the field targets moved out to 45 yards, where they were quite
difficult to see
without the excellent scopes, but well visible with them. There was a
winner (who wrote this) but it was close.
myself I thoroughly enjoyed the day and I think everyone else did too.
thanks to Paul for his organisation. This was a good one for the club.
Grace Whittemore & Carole Houghton
Saturday 10th October we gathered at Nassington; it was like a scene
out of Camelot, or some might say Spamalot.
Ladies and Gentlemen in their
finery, Cecil the jester with bells on his hat making music wherever he
and enough monks to start their own religious order. We were shown to
tables and settled down to enjoy the evening. Brother David gave the
and the medieval feast began. After soup and the pig roast we retired
another room and were entertained. The court jester (without bells)
with plate-spinning, juggling and other tricks. Paul (dressed in
head-gear) offered to be the jester’s assistant and was very good.
Due to health and safety regulations real swords
could not be used, so we compromised - Paul chose a red balloon and the
a blue one .Needless to say, with Paul’s 50+ Adventure Club experience,
fought a good fight and rescued Lady Marilyn, his reward to be knighted
Sir Paul”. The entertainment came to an end with Brother Geoff wrapped
cloth on the floor while the jester walked over him swinging his clubs.
had a chance to try a few tricks for ourselves, we all survived. It was
time to make our way back for our Just Desserts. After more laughter
the evening came to an end. For some of us it was a longer night due to
forgetting to phone for our carriage home; at one point we considered
hitch-hiking but who would pick up a monk (Brother David) and his two
companions? Instead, we had another drink and waited for the transport.
eventually arrived home about 1.30 tired but happy. Thank you Anne, for
arranging a most enjoyable evening
WALK Barry and Pat Fitzhugh
head count by Ann, 26 of us set off on a cool, cloudy morning from the
Horse at Nassington across the fields to the Nene where we encountered
lively young cattle that seemed intent on rounding us all up!
The walk continued along the Nene to Yarwell
Mill and into Wansford where we re-grouped and had a group photo by the
stone bridge. With the sun now shining,
we walked through woodland and an old quarry where we spotted a red
kite and a
buzzard. We had more animal encounters
just before Nassington when two horses investigated the contents of
people’s bags! To finish off the morning
a good Sunday lunch was enjoyed at the pub.
thanks to Ann for organising a very pleasant
and scenic walk.
SKILLS Elaine Pell
a terrific way to start my initiation into the 50+ Adventure Club at
skills night. Usually one to stand at the back of the queue,
comfortable and at ease and ready to join in. What
instructor was brilliant. He was funny, patient with those of
us with no
co-ordination skills, terrific to watch when he demonstrated to us and
thoroughly entertained. There was a wide variety of things to
tried tightrope walking and surprised myself; juggling, which was
harder than it looks; tried plate spinning, at which I thought I was
and other things which I can’t remember the name of. Oh yeah,
"Diablo", couldn’t get the hang of that one. Decided not to
the unicycle after watching Cecil and others hit the deck a few
There wasn’t enough time to do all the skills, so if ever there was
I am definitely up for it. Want to try the stilt walking next
Maggie and Arthur Marshall
Halloween, it was a full moon and ghosts and ghouls were about
- or at
least a group of 50+ ghost hunters were stalking the alleys
and streets of
old Stamford, led by a reincarnation of Betelgeuse (remember
the film) and
his ghostly assistant Caspar!
corners and up on the roofs spooky apparitions leapt
out to startle
us with resulting loud screams echoing around. Some
of us were more
favoured (Anne) by these apparitions than others so
the screams were
even louder. We met the ghost of a star struck 'Stage Door Johnnie'
theatre, the ghost of a lovelorn suicide in dark alley, and other
apparitions, who startled us by suddenly leaping out
of dark corners.
finished as we walked warily into a black spooky
cavern haunted by
more spooks & lots of spiders, but this led to safe haven in
bar where we fortified ourselves before the journey home.
highly entertaining & spooky evening which we
all enjoyed &
anyway after a certain age it’s good to get the heart racing
occasionally!! Thanks to Paul for organising this one.
BOWLING John Kemp
A very good turn
out for this popular event. We sorted
ourselves out into teams on the six lanes booked. Two
enjoyable games later after the scores
had been added up, Judith Ellingham won the lady’s prize and I had my
Warhol moment winning the men’s.
finished the evening with a meal and prize giving.
Pauline for organising it and to AMF staff who looked after us very
DIVING (or Scooby Dooby) Steve
murky Monday evening in November 12 clubbers
got together to challenge the depths of Thrapston swimming
pool. As we each arrived and began to chat about
the evening’s “Try Dive” we soon realised that we all had the same
“will I be able to do this?”. We needn’t
After a presentation by John,
one of the Thrapston
Sub Aqua Club instructors, about safety and how the equipment worked,
through to the pool and got ready. The
girls had the first go and the instructors showed them how to put on
breathing apparatus and then submerge at the shallow end of the
pool. Within a few minutes they were swimming about
on the floor of the pool and soon down to the deep end. The
instructors stayed alongside all the time
to make sure they were OK
30 minutes later, it was our turn to go in. All kitted up and
mouthpiece in place, I
stuck my head under the water and tried a first breath.
Amazing, I couldn’t believe how easy it
was. A bit nervous at first but after about
a minute I began to relax and breath slowly.
We set off up and down the pool a couple of times
with some more instructions on how to use the fins (not flippers!) and
and then settled on the bottom where Peter, my instructor, showed me
adjust my buoyancy so that we hovered in mid-water. Another
couple of lengths and then the half
hour was up. At this point we
reluctantly got changed and retired to the Bridge Hotel bar where we
members of the Sub Aqua club to talk about the experience. It
was at this point that one of our lady
members (you know who you are!) spent 10 minutes chatting to a group of
the bar whom she assumed were Sub Aqua Club members when it transpired
they were just out for a quick pint! She
eventually returned, slightly confused, with at least one telephone
The overall opinion was that SCUBA diving is
easier than we expected and a lot of fun.
Many thanks to Mary who organised it for us all and also to Thrapston
SAC for a new experience.
Things we learned today:
SCUBA – Self
Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus
Thrapston Sub Aqua Club is part of the British SAC
– the largest diving club in the world.
So now you know!
First 50+ Adventure
I was really looking
forward to the tobogganing; I had not been on a sledge since the winter
1963. Then it was a matter of what we could find - fertiliser
tin trays iron corrugated sheets - no Health and Safety in those days!
On a wet and windy
night 23 of us made our way to Tamworth. We
found the rest of the group in the bar, where we collected our arm
bands for 2
half hour sessions.
After a short
safety talk on how to control the sledges and wrapped in warm clothing,
a slow ascent up the travelator to the top of the slope,
where we all
lined up ready for the off; the official gave permission and one by one
descended the slope. The sledges zoomed down the slope; the
enabled us to regulate the speed we travelled. Most of us
took a tumble at one point although
nothing serious. I came off my sledge in the middle of the
slope. Most of
us had about seven or eight runs it was a thrilling evening
enjoyed very much. A wonderful way to relive stress - may we
We then travelled to
the Hinckley Knight for an enjoyable meal and conversation.
Many thanks to Jane for
organising a wonderful adventure
BOWLS Tim Parrot
first event with this
club was the indoor bowls on 6th December.
This took place at Desborough Indoor Bowls Club, with 34 people taking
part. We were split into smaller groups
of 7 or less and then given two hours of instruction by one of the
club members. The instructress on our
lane was amazingly patient (considering) and spent the time trying to
control the bias of the woods so that they finished up still in our
lane. Apparently, control of distance comes
somewhat later after a lot more practice.
Some more flexibility in my knees would also have helped in avoiding
occasional 'Barnes Wallis Special'.
After the bowls, we had a Christmas lunch at the club and then went on
to Dennis and Jane’s home for some very agreeable mulled wine and mince
thanks to Dennis for organising this and for his and Jane’s
hospitality, not to
mention the mince pies (even if they are illegal!)
MAZE Paul Rogers
been in the club for 5 years and have not attended this event before.
mistake! This is a good excuse to go back to your youth and play a
version of "cowboys and
were divided into 3 teams, red, blue and yellow - each player having a
such as Spiderman, K9, Tardis etc. The aim of the game is to defend
from the other teams, whilst attacking them and their bases and score
points. The yellow team came out with the
highest score, but the overall winner out of the17 taking part was
Owen to us] with 56,000 points. According to the score sheets he had a
of Yoda and K9. Who were they I wonder? Well done Richard and thank you
for organising the event it was great fun. I would recommend this to
have not done it. Roll on February!
Twenty-one people turned up for this opportunity
to live out their childhood fantasy as one of the legendary
musketeers. However, we didn’t quite project that
debonair, agile, nimble persona of those old-time heroes as several of
first to battle with the ‘obviously undersized’ protective
garments. One or two (no names) not only needed the
assistance of several helpers but also had to virtually dislocate their
shoulders. However, once we were all
togged up we had the splendid appearance of a troupe of sword wielding,
slightly psychotic, escapees from the local lunatic
with the assistance of our patient teacher we all proceeded to jab here
there as required, with footwork which Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
my time of course) would be proud of.
It did become apparent however, that future
training on basic anatomy might be useful- if only to help Richard who
having trouble distinguishing his arm from his leg – a mistake anyone
There was one moment of terror, when our teacher
produced various swords to look at, and one of which – a devilish broad
object with NO TIP - was picked up by Cecil.
Lack of personal hygiene could not have cleared him a greater amount of
space as we all backed away in unison*. Safety
reigned when a more sound member of the group pried it away from him –
All in all it was an enjoyable mostly painless
experience which I hope will be repeated again.
Many thanks to Carol for organising it.
*(Ed’s note: Cecil will not take offence at this - he
is Jan’s uncle!)
BELLY DANCING Mary Frost
arrived at the hall wondering what we had let ourselves in for.........our
instructor looked very exotic, as was Pauline, the rest of us played safe
with jeans and tops. We all put on a belt
with sparkles and bells on; the hall was as cold as the weather outside but we
all soon warmed up!! Then we started our lesson, warm up exercises first and
then into belly dancing moves................never ever stand next to Janette,
what with the hip moves and the boob thrusting I couldn't concentrate for
laughing.......she was called a drama queen and a diva later in the
evening,......trying to get the hips, the arms and hand movements to look
graceful without laughing was a feat in its self......and then came 'the John
Wayne Walk' what can I say...............we walked, we moved those hips, the
arms moved in the most exotic way we could all muster.
It was a great evening, it is extremely difficult
and a very good workout, I would love to do it again. Tracy also gives lessons in
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