Birthday Party - Peta Jellis
Ten years of fun I
have enjoyed with the Club! Challenges faced and overcome,
laughter until I have cried and good friendships made. But
these challenges almost paled into insignificance with the barn dancing
which took place at our party - following complicated instructions to
“do-se-do” on a very crowded dance floor. I watched people’s
faces during the dancing: all were smiling and laughing (and some
puffing a bit when they sat down!). In the spirit of the
Club, everyone danced with strangers, partners and no-one was left
out. I had a whirl with Campbell doing the Scottish Express –
a fast but fortunately uncomplicated dance otherwise neither of us
would have coped!
Wasn’t the cake great? It really captured so many of the
activities we have enjoyed over the past 10 years.
Appropriately, it was cut by Roger Lovesay who started off the Club 10
years ago. The buffet was excellent and thanks go to Ann MacGovern and
Mike Booth for their hard work, especially Mike who was on
crutches! Finally, our thanks must go to the hard-working
committee, not only for arranging an excellent party, but for their
past and coming work on behalf of us all.
Pin Bowling - Joyce Roberts
and ahhed whether to go on this as I had not participated in ten pin
bowling for at least 10 years. My chauffeur for the evening,
Pauline, was very informative and assured me I would be fine and
welcome - and guess what – I was. There was the initial
trepidation of where to place myself and how to start the introductions
but I needn’t have worried – people introduced themselves and spoke to
me and I used all my energy (well a great deal of it - had to save some
for the bowling) trying to memorise all the names; to which I have
failed miserably, so please forgive me if I ask you again what your
The evening of bowling was a success as was the buffet after (even the
calamari was good– joke for some members) there wasn’t much
food remaining at the end of the night – I think it had something to do
with calories used up after all the strikes!
Needless to say I was not on the winning team who all received the
biggest bar of Dairy Milk chocolate I have ever seen ( I did have my
eyes on this but managed to restrain myself) Well done to the
winners and thank you to all who participated.
I would just like to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my first event with
the 50+ Adventure Club. This probably comes as no surprise to anyone
given that there are approximately 160 members so the events must be
pleasurable to have so many members. All the information and
advice I received through people on the night on forthcoming
events/trips were positive and gave me the confidence to book my next
Well done to all involved in this club and to everyone please speak to
the lonely lady, sorry person, in the corner at the next event – it
could be me!!!
Aid - Janice Munn
reported for training on Sunday morning at the St John’s Ambulance
headquarters in Northampton. We were greeted by Paul, our
instructor, and given a brief overview of the agenda along with the
welcome news that free tea and coffee was available.
training room upstairs Paul gave out our student packs and questioned
us about any previous first aid experience (which was not a
lot). We were given instruction on what to do in an
emergency, dealing with a casualty, CPR and bandaging
technique. We watched video clips giving scenarios of people
with health issues and saw first hand how best to deal with these
Of course practical experience is essential so we were given a
demonstration, ably assisted by Richard, Paul and Carol, on how to
treat our casualties. Emphasis was placed on staying calm and
communicating with the patient – something our instructor knew we were
good at as we hadn’t stopped talking since we’d arrived! We
then had to practise on each other and there was a very surreal moment
whilst looking around the room to find ten 50+’s lying on the floor,
legs in the air with trousers rolled up sporting a nifty bandage
applied by their partners.
Paul, our instructor, was very knowledgeable and managed to cover basic
first aid procedures whilst sharing with us some of the hairier moments
of his career. The majority of us, when training was
completed, ended up at a local hostelry (of course) where we enjoyed a
lovely Sunday roast. Many thanks were offered to Richard for
organising the event.
at Grafham - Carole
we were booked in for the afternoon session of archery we arrived at
Grafham Water Centre in time for lunch and a chat. The morning
participants sounded as though they had enjoyed themselves. It was 2.00
pm and time to start. Reggie our instructor was very patient but having
Grace and I as students you have to be patient. Not one of us was
wearing Lincoln Green and no men in tights which was fortunate as we
were indoors. Bows and Arrows were explained and no crossing of the
white line permitted "Health & Safety". We were shown how to
hold, aim and fire our arrows.....Great but I now only have "one
nipple" I wasn't standing correctly!!! We solved a Murder Mystery
puzzle, each arrow that successfully hit the target was a clue which we
had to solve. Then onto saving Maid Marion - sounds strange but in
reality it worked. Three teams, The Mead Drinkers, Robin Hood’s Gang
and The Crusaders, each arrow fired saved Marion. Robin Hood’s Gang won
only by a hair’s breadth. Grace from The Mead Drinkers was
just pipped at the post or should I say target. I had a great
day and I’m sure the others did too. A big thank you to Paul for
organising a great
event. Can I come again!!!
members will spot explicit aiming instructions on this pic!)
Rock Climbing - Debs
can I say? It’s like all these things, you look at this wall,
well it’s not too high, and there’s lots of pretty coloured knobbly
bits to put your feet on and hold onto, yeh easy(ish)! And
Richard said he would gladly administer first aid if I fell off as he
had just got his certificate, so all was fine.
Then it’s your first climb and the adrenalin is rushing and you wish
your arms and legs were just a few inches longer and then it would be
easy and then half way up you stop and give yourself a serious talking
to, saying that I can do this, but oh my what a sense of achievement
when you get to the top and then realise that you are breathing
Then it was my turn to belay and I was a little concerned when Matt
(our, as always, excellent instructor) clipped me to a sandbag - I was
worried. But he explained that it was because I was so light,
and as I had been climbing another climber fell off and almost met his
belayer half way up the wall – that was a missed opportunity for You
On my second climb I got to the top, with a bit of encouragement and it
was easier, and then as we moved across the wall to harder a climb,
that was it, I was up for all of it! They couldn’t keep me
off, all I kept hearing was ‘are you going again?’ and with a big
cheesy grin I replied ‘Yep!’ Ok so I wasn’t climbing like
Spiderman like some of the men were, but they couldn’t scream and whoop
like I was. I have to admit the last 2 beat me but I didn’t give up, in
fact I should have been doing archery in the afternoon, but that all of
a sudden looked so tame, so I stayed on the wall.
So thank you to my excellent belayers, and for the words of
encouragement to push myself further than I ever thought possible.
What a great morning, and afternoon, with much encouragement and
applause from the floor, and although not everyone got to the top we
all thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact I enjoyed it so much I am
going to join a club they have started, probably be the oldest member,
but who cares, you’re only 50+ once and I for one mean to make the most
A huge thank you to Paul for organising another great day.
And a little foot note, particularly for Joyce Roberts who went ten pin
bowling, don’t worry about not remembering peoples’ names, I am useless
too, maybe we could wear name badges, health and safety permitting of
course, it would help us newbies, food for thought for the
members/committee maybe ?
(ed’s note: we used to have name badges but as hardly anyone ever wore
them, they were dropped).
Ringing - Julie Thorley
Stanwick hand bell ringers made us feel very welcome as we took our
seats for a quick but impressive demonstration of how their music
should sound. Then we were given a lesson on technique. Less is more
when it comes to chiming, as, perversely, if you swing the bell too
enthusiastically it makes no sound! There were strict instructions
never to touch the bells without wearing gloves and, most importantly
never to bang two together. They are liable to break and even a small
one costs £180 to replace. Thus warned, we took it in turns in small
groups to have a go.
Those who don’t read music had no excuses, as the notation was not
presented on a conventional stave but written out as C, E, G, etc in
neatly defined rows and bars. So in theory all we had to do was count
1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4, look for our given note, give a flick of the wrist
and Bong! We were playing a song!
But as is so often the case, it was not as easy at it
looked, and the frowns of intense concentration had to be seen to be
believed. While one group performed (and I use the term loosely!), the
rest of us played ‘Name That Tune’, with varying degrees of success…
(Was that really ‘Londonderry Air’?)
Thanks to everyone involved in organising this interesting evening
(sorry, I’m new to the club and haven’t got a handle on names yet).
Go Karting - Tricia
I arrived at the
Northampton GP Go-Karting reception at 1.30pm. I was given a very
“stylish” race suit to wear; the man there must be very good at women’s
sizes because it fitted me perfectly even though he didn’t ask me what
size I was! Years of experience I guess. I was introduced to everyone
and then Richard Stanley took some photos of us as a group. We all then
ventured into the Karting area. By this time I was feeling a little bit
wary because I have never been Go-Karting before. I was teamed up with
Roger; the poor man. There was a health and safety demonstration about
all the do’s and don’ts on the track, what the different flags and
lights meant, etc. We were then given a full face crash helmet and
gloves. Bravely I stepped forward for the first 5 minute warm up
session. I found it quite difficu
lt to get
into the kart as it was so low down; once in position I felt powerless
to change my mind as I was wedged into the seat so tightly there
was nowhere for me to go! The warm up session went well; I was
still in one piece but still quite nervous. After the warm up sessions
the race was on! I did the first 15 minutes; the sweeping bends
& tight hair pins were quite scary for a first-timer. Roger had
his turn and then it was my turn again. Roger did the final 20 minutes.
My confidence grew throughout the race but it was so difficult to get
in and out of the kart for change-over. Poor Roger had to pull me out
as I was stuck in the seat like a cork in a wine bottle! The whole
experience was quite enjoyable and very competitive. Chocolates and
cakes were on offer during the whole session which was a very
nice touch. Okay, so the winners were - in 3rd place Keith and Janette
who received a bronze trophy, Janet and Malcolm were the silver trophy
winners and came 2nd. The winners on the podium were Debs and Barry who
took away the gold trophy. Congratulations to all three winning teams.
Congratulations also to all those who took part because without them
there would have been no competitive race.
The day was an unforgettable experience and thanks to everyone for
making me feel so welcome. (I was glad to get back to my “proper” car
with power steering!!!)
Races - Richard Stanley
18 of us gathered
at the Plough Inn for a 2 course lunch of homemade soup (the spicy
Parsnip was wonderful) and a roast which everyone seemed to
enjoy. We then set off to the Racecourse where Richard
provided us all with a Race card (well done to Sally for selling hers
at a profit!).
It was a lovely dry sunny day but as Towcester Race course is on high
ground, there was a chilling wind on one side so we spent a great deal
of time on the sunny side.
Then they were off! ‘Who’d have thought it’ kept winning each
race but some were luckier than others. Two race horses were
named after Richard! Simply Irresistible and Man Of The
Moment. Cecil kept running round telling all that the ‘Hookie
Bookie’ was a dead cert for the last race – Blaze Ahead won – good job
we had left by then or we would have lost our shirts as well.
In the excitement, Richard forgot to ask someone to do the write up –
so not only did he organise the event he has had to dictate the write
up too. Well done and we hope to have better luck next time.
Skills (1) - Julia Thorley
My New Year
Resolution for 2010 was to try something new at least once a week.
Well, following the excellent Survival Skills day at Fermyn Woods, I am
well ahead of my target of achieving 52 new experiences before the end
of the year.
I now know how to: set up and participate in a blindfold trail (great
trust-building exercise to do with a bunch people
hardly know!); start a fire without a match (OK, it took some of us a
while, but we all managed it eventually – the trick is to use some of
the ‘fluff’ from a reedmace, which is that plant we all call a
bulrush); build a shelter out of whatever natural materials are lying
around (so long so it doesn’t rain and there is nobody more
than 5ft tall to be accommodated); to forage for food (again, reedmace
is useful here, because the fleshy roots can be boiled, peeled and
eaten like potatoes and the inside of the woody stem is also quite
tasty, apparently); to set a snare and a trip trap, which catapults the
caught animal up into a tree out of the reach of predators, until the
hungry hunter can retrieve his/her dinner (not that we would set such a
trap, because it’s illegal in Britain); to skin a rabbit (in theory – I
was one of the few who declined this activity, preferring to watch from
the sidelines); to catch a fish on a stick, a wing and a prayer
(congratulations to Lucy who managed to land a roach, and to Barry, who
caught something so big it snapped his line and disappeared back into
the murky depths); to make string by literally ‘stripping the willow’
and to gather precious water by walking in the long grass with a tea
towel tied around my ankles (something that has to be seen to be
To a born and bred townie like me, this walk on the wild side was a
real treat. Thanks to Jenny for organising it and to Rangers Pete and
Eric for patiently sharing their skills and knowledge with us.
Skills (2) - Denise
threatened as we arrived so wet weather gear was the order of the day.
Blindfolded to disorientate us we walked slowly holding on to a rope
and the person in front. We split into two groups, then into
3 small teams. Our first task was to make a shelter using
whatever we could find. We chose a tree and leaned branches against it,
interlocking them as we went, to produce a crawl in tent type
shelter. We covered the structure with grasses, leaves and
moss to form our roof then we made a bed support from sticks, and
covered them with grass. When we had finished Peter
crawled in while Pete poured water onto the roof to see if it was
watertight. Not quite, but not bad given the short time
allowed. Our next task, with Eric, was to light a fire using a flint
striker or just one match. Everyone chose the no match
method. Patience and perseverance were needed. Some
teams were more skilled or maybe just lucky and got their fire going
quickly. Others found it tricky but in the end we all had a
fire. Then lunch round our campfires before Pete took us off
to try and collect drinking water, by walking through long grass with
cloths tied round our ankles. Next we tried our hand at fishing but
first we needed to find a long stick to make our own rods.
Did anyone have any bread for bait? Steve managed to catch a
fish but it got away! Eric then showed us how we could catch
birds or rabbits should the need ever arise and finally how to skin and
prepare a rabbit. This was cold work as the rabbits had come
out of the freezer! We thanked Pete and Eric for a very
informative day and Jenny for organising the day for us.
Lazer Maze -
A trip to
Wellingborough Laser Maze is one of the club’s regular
activities. This makes it very difficult to say anything new
when doing the write-up for the newsletter. So, if you read
this in conjunction with any of the previous Laser Maze write-up, then
I apologise if it sounds a little familiar.
Our visit this time should have been in February but had to be
postponed due to adverse weather conditions (anyone remember the
snow?). Some of us were ‘old hands’ (in more ways than one)
having been before, however there were also several ‘rookies’.
Picture the scene:-
A bunch of fifty-plusers, rushing around in the dark, shooting our
laser gun at anyone who could be seen, before they had the chance to
shoot you. Great fun! Of course, every hit counted
towards your score, which was presented to you at the end of each
session. These were examined and compared in some detail, not
that any of us are competitive!
Everyone enjoyed themselves and the club is due to go again sometime in
December. Then it will be slightly different with different
games – you have been warned.
- Joyce Roberts
We arrived at the venue not
knowing what exactly to expect and found ourselves using a short zip
wire, crawling on knees through a small opening, stepping over laser
beams in a smoky corridor and sliding down a slide to
escape the Russians! Oh I nearly forgot: blowing a door
out. What on earth was going on you may ask.
Before beginning we were informed that the Russians had taken English
money in return for a shipment of guns which were never
received. So our job was to enter the
Russian Embassy, without setting off any alarms, and use our brains to
complete puzzles/tasks, some on computers and some
physical to enable us to proceed to the next stage and finally getting
the shipment of guns and escaping the Embassy undetected.
The event was a new one for the club but I don't
think it will be the last visit and I believe, from those that
participated, that it was thoroughly enjoyable. It was
suitable for all ages, shapes and sizes. At the end we all got
our spy authorisation levels- some lower than others (in fact
I think I was assigned to office
Of course, after all the calories spent in sorting out the Russians, we
all retired to the pub for lunch!!!
Thank you to Mary for organising this event.
Cambridge - Diane Evans
39 of us met in
front of the Guildhall and were split into 2. Rosalind, our guide, was
excellent and provided many anecdotes enhancing the walk. I made
copious notes – virtually none of which feature here! Our
tour began with visit to Emmanuel College and ended at Kings College
chapel. Here are some of my memories which may give you ideas for your
I loved Emmanuel College. Reputed to be the friendliest
college, it had a quiet, relaxed atmosphere. The pews in the chapel
face each other, as in a Dominican friary. The wall panels in the
refectory are painted eggshell blue edged in white. Items on
the refectory menu were cheap, game main course £2.75. Very
big fish in a pond in the grounds – no-one knew the type.
The walk to Kings College took
us down ‘museum’ street, along Free School Lane and past Cavendish
laboratory. Many Nobel Prize winners studied there. It had
large windows with very deep window-cills to reflect the light into the
rooms for experiments.
Stopped at The Eagle, an old coaching inn owned by Corpus Christi and
leased to Greene King. Through an archway is the ‘RAF bar’, where
airmen, many American, put their initials and squadron on ceiling in
lipstick. (Must visit to see inside and sample fish & chips on
Rosalind’s rec.). Lease states one small window always kept
open, where a little girl burned to death in 1500s, said screaming
heard if window is closed.
On corner of Corpus Christi college, behind bullet proof glass, is a
huge Chronophage (also known as the Corpus Clock) which uses
grasshopper mechanics and cost £1 million. It was created and given by
ex student John Taylor, an inventor who developed the kettle
thermostat. It was unveiled by Stephen Hawking who is still
based in Cambridge.
King’s College backs onto the river Cam and is well known for Christmas
Eve Services from the chapel. Choir boys don’t know who will sing the
opening solo until just before service, to prevent nerves.
The chapel is very high roofed and ornate. There are 5 highlights to
see: stained glass windows and the stonework around them; the carvings
in the ante-chapel screen; the organ screen; the fan vaulted ceiling;
and the Rubens' painting over the altar Adoration of the Magi gifted to
the college. Originally painted for a nunnery in Belgium,
Sleeve of Virgin Mary’s gown is done with Lapis Lazuli, ground down and
more expensive than gold leaf. Nuns didn’t have much money so rest of
gown used cheap paint which faded. The painting was attacked and
scratched by IRA and now has shutters to protect it.
Alan Turing was a Cambridge student and a Fellow of King's College. He
was gay and in later life committed suicide with a poisoned apple.
Apple Computers logo has an apple with bite from it which is probably
in honour of him.
Two hours had flown past and my head was filled with information. I was
ready to adjourn to the Boat Inn for a welcome lunch. Many thanks to
Rosalind for her passion and to Carol for organising the event.
( Or the weekend of a
hundred cakes) - Anon
Some brave (?) 50
plussers with knees stiff and unbending
Were starting to feel that the “screws” might be pending
(The veins and age spots are starting to show
It takes buckets of cream for the dark circles to go).
So thought we would go on a healthy retreat
A weekend’s good living, with only good things to eat
We moved into The Dinney, with just this in mind
But no-one prepared us for what we might find.
Our des-res was so comfy, a real home from home
But no plastic flowers and no garden gnome
We had white fluffy towels and arch of wisteria (poetic licence that
Even Cecil didn’t suffer a bout of hysteria.
We did lots of walking (canoeing, horse-riding, cycling) and unlocked
We sniffed all the flowers and hugged a few trees
We communed with nature and said a few prayers (Please God, don’t let
this weekend end)
We staggered back from the pub and scared a few hares.
The spag bol and breakfasts (thanks Anne!) settled right down on our
But the local hot talent was a question of taste
We even dispensed of a huge Toblerone (more poetic licence)
And had no inclination to write or ‘phone home.
We will all miss The Dinney, the ducks and the streams
The freshly baked cakes, all loaded with cream
We headed for home, well and truly chilled out
Having had a brief glimpse of what life is about
Many, many thanks Anne for all your hard work. It was
Feeding the Multitude!
||Last Of The
experience - Arthur Marshall
Rumour has it that
I fell into the river, tush tush, the day was so hot, the canoe ride
was so exhausting, that when we stopped I couldn't help myself - I just
had to go for a swim. SO THERE. But, if you want a rumour,
remember The Lakes, R&J - conserving water. Well this year, ask
him about the "button mushrooms". Great w/end, great crowd,
Trying to stay dry
in Shropshire (1) - Nigel Cross
Pauline and I had never paddled the Severn before
so this was a good opportunity. On Friday we did some research
and looked at the notorious Trimpley rapids which were guarded
by a heron and then paddled upstream from Upper Arley over two
challenging rapids to Stanley followed by a quick return. On
Saturday we left my bicycle at Hampton Loade (West bank) and then
paddled upstream from Severn Park, north of Bridgnorth, past Fort
Pendlestone until we had had enough and then swept downstream through
Bridgnorth averaging 5.5 mph with little effort until we stopped to
chat to a couple of paddlers lunching on the bank. Pauline then settled
down to read her book while I cycled back for the car. Then we
investigated the sailing club near our base and sampled their very low
to stay dry in
Shropshire (2) - Linda Vikerman
It was a glorious
sunny day and after a hearty breakfast Tony, Cecil, Arthur and myself
set off to Bridgnorth for a days canoeing. As the sun was beating down
we quickly abandoned thermals, fleeces and cagoules and donned life
jackets and found paddles to fit! After some tuition on land we
hopefully knew how to go forward, left, right and stop, also what to do
if we capsized ….. try standing up as most of the water is quite
We climbed aboard two by two (just like the Ark!) and practised
manoeuvring with reasonable success amid a lot of squealing and
screaming from a party of girls canoeing for the first time.
Arthur and I set off in front expertly negotiated the first bridge
under the correct arch and promptly got stuck on a gravel bank! We were
pushed off and continued happily along watching birds, running rapids
and trying not to eat too many flies!
Lunch was at Hampton Lode, on landing Arthur decided to check the water
temperature by falling full length into 12 inches of water … enough to
After a beer and packed lunch in the sun (Arthur steaming gently!) we
set off again and reached our destination with no further excitement.
We enjoyed a cup of tea, an ice-cream and boarded the steam train for
the return journey. It was a great day out … Cecil, Tony and I stayed
The weekend was thoroughly enjoyed, weather brilliant, digs superb,
food excellent …. especially the CAKES! Many thanks to Anne for
organising and everyone for their company!
walk that grew and
grew - Maggie Marshall
The sun was
shining, the lunches were packed, and the battle for slices of lemon
drizzle cake was over. We debated taking fleeces/or not, safety first
won & we carried them all day!!
Crossing the fields we walked along the ridge with fantastic views,
passing hedgerows bursting with the first blossom of the year
(Blackthorn). We stopped to give way to cow with large horns and a
calf crossing our path - we are townies
Crossing the railway line we walked on to the river, crossing the
bridge up to the country park. Up the hill to the picnic benches for
our lunch break, or was it a cake stop? Those lucky enough to have
slices of lemon drizzle cake guarded them carefully. We wondered why
some back packs looked heavy but then the emergency rations of
Boddingtons appeared - some of us only had juice or tea from the
Visitors centre. We stayed for while, some snoozed in the sun (too much
cake) others ambled to the bird hide where the birds too were sleepy.
Then it was back down the hill to the river where we picked up the path
again. The plan was to cross the river at Hampton Loade for the foot
ferry but this wasn’t running so we went on to the Unicorn Inn for
refreshment. Unfortunately the short cut bridle path up to the road
shown on the map had disappeared so it was up the long steep hill on
the road, then across the fields, by the sailing
club returning to the Dinney. We all agreed that although we
were tired and power naps were in order (after tea & more cake)
this was a lovely walk. Much discussion took place on its length, 6
miles, no 7, no 8, final answer 8.5 miles Phew! Thanks Ann for a good
walk, well planned and led as always.
Riding in Shropshire -
We arrived at the
stables of ‘Country Treks’ in plenty of time to be fitted out for our
ride, with only a slight hiccup over a footwear dilemma. We
all managed to mount our trusty steeds without too much hassle, albeit
in a rather ungainly fashion, and set off in glorious
sunshine. Amazing views are obtained whilst seated upon 14.2
hands of horse; looking out over the hedgerows we could see for miles
into the distance. Our bird watching skills were put to the
test as we tried to identify the variety on offer. The
delights of the countryside could be enjoyed as we meandered along at a
leisurely pace – attracting the attention of a number of skipping lambs
in the fields – I don’t think it was our equestrian skills that
distracted them but probably our discussion of ‘mint sauce’.
After 2 hours in the saddle we returned to base, somewhat sore but
clearly satisfied with our wonderful experience.
visit Hoping to make the most of all Shropshire
has to offer Anne and I set off for Oswestry, a medieval town on the
Welsh border. Undertaking the ‘Town Tour’, a very nice lady,
called Margaret, divulged the history of the area – some of the
information was slightly hesitant and the dates a bit hazy (within a
100 years or so) but a pleasant 90 minutes passed in the sunshine.
Whilst in the area we visited the lovely village of
Whittingdon. In the centre of the village are the ruins of
the moated Whittingdon Castle – formally a Norman home. The site is
maintained by locals (with aid from the Heritage Fund) and given an
additional boost by having a pleasant teashop, second-hand bookstore
and souvenir shop to browse. This was chosen as a lovely spot for lunch
and a chance to relax and enjoy the scenery.
at Pidley - Nesta Hall
Thirteen club members met at
Pidley for the dubious pleasure of killing each other with paint balls.
We joined forces with a large group of 'fit' young men, divided into
two teams (red and blue) and equipped with battle dress, face guards,
guns and bullets were sent forth to annihilate our foes and
capture their flag. Not having a clue what to do I charged around like
an elephant and was swiftly slain - I think the blue team won
that battle. Game 2 - having observed more experienced
combatants I decided the best strategy was to lay low behind a large
mound of earth - this I did and managed to fire all of about
40 rounds - boring. Game 3 - survived. Game 4 - One team had
to defend a tower from within, the tower being constructed of
wooden slats on three levels whilst the opposing team attacked and
attempted to liberate an oil can. The victors were definitely
the blues. This should have been the conclusion of the war but
having time and bullets in hand we were encouraged to
prevent a kamikaze fool rescuing an oil can from the centre of a
bridge. I found a good position behind the roots of a fallen
tree. On a high mound to my rear were two 50+ who
proceeded to use my prone body as a target - I know who you are boys -
and like the proverbial elephant - I won't forget - revenge is sweet.
Thank you Carol, for a fun day though I would add this game is
not for the faint hearted or lame. Having said that, would I do it
again – YES!
Drumming - Barbara Lees
16 members gathered for
African drumming at Thrapston Church Hall. We were greeted by our tutor
and quickly learnt how to clap in rhythm. We were then introduced to
the drums. A Djembe is a skin covered drum played with bare hands. As a
result of the density of the wood and the thickness of the skin a wide
range of tones can be produced. The drum made from the skin of a ‘billy
goat’ had a lower tone than that made from the skin of a ‘nanny goat’.
We learnt how to play notes made by a ‘bass ‘tone’ and ‘slap’ though
not necessarily in the right order. It seemed quite easy until more
than one tune was learnt and keeping to your own part amongst the
laughter was more challenging.
We then learnt a song which can be translated as ‘beautiful mother’ or
‘beautiful earth’. Our confidence building we merged our song with our
drum rhythm – multitasking was not necessarily our forte.
The evening finished with a ‘Jam’ – everyone doing their own thing
including the use of an African version of cow bells.
A good time was had by all. I hope the neighbours were tolerant. We
certainly amused the teenagers who walked past.
Thanks to Ann for arranging the evening.
- Sheila Casey
"Take my advice,
There's nothing so nice,
As messing about on the river."
Even on a cold, overcast day in early May, with a biting wind, canoeing
on the River Nene between Irthlingborough Frontier Camp and Stanwick
Lakes Park takes some beating. After two hours, pulling
against the wind on the way there and also (I swear that it changed
direction!) on the way back, we felt so invigorated that we could have
started all over again.
Suitably attired, we launched the two- and three-seater canoes and set
out in the safe hands of Rob and Adam, who promised that we wouldn't
capsize - and we didn't! Although we
travelled more or less as a group, the learning was differentiated,
with complete beginners gaining confidence and improvers acquiring
rhythm and steering skills.
There was time to share interesting facts, chat to crew members and
take part in friendly rivalry with other teams. And
how we enjoyed those final cups of tea afterwards!
Many thanks to Pauline who not only organised the visit, but turned up
to sort us out when she herself was not staying - a real selfless act.
Cheers, Pauline! "
Building at the Frontier Centre - Steve Pelling
building exercise I remember best was the Gutterball game. One of the
other events I think involved listening to your partner’s voice, so I
was on to a loser there straightaway!
Anyway as the name suggests, we were all given a piece of
plastic guttering about two feet long. The idea was to transport a
tennis ball 50 yards into a barrel. While the ball was in your
piece of gutter you were not allowed to move, so you rolled it along to
the next person and then ran to the end of the line to wait for the
ball to get there. Sounds easy, but when that ball picked up a bit of
speed it was hard to get there on time, also we were going down a slope
on wet grass. I think it took us three goes to get it in the barrel
after a lot of slipping and sliding on the way, but there was a great
cheer when it eventually dropped in so I think every one was enjoying
themselves on that one.
Ride - Les Carter
Who said Milton
Keynes was flat?
intrepid cyclists met at Willen Lakes Milton Keynes car park on a cold
windy Sunday morning. Whilst some went to the café in search of coffee
or hot chocolate others were deciding how many layers of clothing to
Our guide for the ride Jenny Cook (daughter of Mick and Ann Cook)
arrived and we set off, alongside the lake, past the miniature railway
and the “going ape “ course and out into the water meadows past some
medieval fish ponds and continuing through pasture land and some of the
small villages that are now part of Milton Keynes.
Where else can you be inside a cathedral without walls? The whole
outline is done using trees, very effective. The shape is a scaled down
version of Norwich cathedral.
We then entered the Peace Park, passing the Buddhist temple and then on
to the Pagoda for a photo stop. We continued back into the built up
areas going down a zigzag path to rejoin the canal tow path, travelling
along until we arrived at a disused railway track that is used as a
cycle / walking track. As we were a fit lot of cyclists we were ahead
of time for the lunch stop so it was decided to make a round trip to
New Bradwell Windmill (now a museum). Upon return to the
railway bridge it was back down onto the tow path on the other side of
the canal to cycle to our lunch stop the Black Horse pub for refuelling
with food and drink. As the morning had progressed the weather had
warmed up so those that had put on extra layers were now removing them.
After lunch we returned to our bikes to find that Denise had a puncture
in the rear wheel tyre, so a slight delay whilst many hands changed the
inner tube and put the wheel back on only to find that Peter (Denise’s
husband) cycle helmet had gone walkabout whilst we were at lunch (at
time of writing this report it is still missing). We retraced our route
back to the village of Great Linford, rejoining a Redway route to the
Lookout Point with fabulous views towards Bedfordshire and this spot is
only about 800 yards from the Theatre. Time for another group photo
before we said goodbye to Jenny our guide. There are two ways down from
the lookout point, one is the gentle sloping path down and the other is
straight over the top which a few of us did, mad or what? Then it was a
very gentle ride back to the cars. Total distance approx 16 miles.
Many thanks to Ann and her daughter Jenny for a very enjoyable day.
There is more to Milton Keynes than roundabouts and concrete cows and
for those interested in exploring you can obtain more information on
Football (or The Morning After the Day Before) - Debs Moore
I joined this club I was impressed to find a good bunch of guys who by
all accounts struck me as ‘gentlemen’, having a lot of respect for us
gals. Play 5 a side human football with them and that
attitude goes out of the window!!! I can’t remember the last
time I had so many cuts and bruises on my shins, a few placed there by
some of the gals too, I must add. Oh and a few aches and
pains in those muscles which only seem to get used on ‘adventure days’,
but hey it was worth it. What a good day out, superbly
organised, thanks to Janette.
And hopefully nobody got me opening the bubbly on camera, my street
cred will disappear rapidly, well I’m not used to bubbly stuff with the
wire round it, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. Also
thanks to my champion team members (The Ash Clouders – devastating but
thick) we did play well together.
Perhaps the club could organise a night’s training for the guys – how
to tie your shoe laces – I lost count how many times the game was
stopped because their laces were undone!
Table Football (more
forecast of rain it was a bright, sunny day when we arrived at this
lovely venue. A number of stable girls and immaculately
dressed equestrians were working with the horses.
We enjoyed a tea/coffee and really nice selection of chocolate biscuits
to get us into the mood and then headed across the field to the games
area. Human Table Football is a giant
inflatable version of the popular pub game. Two attackers and two
defenders for each team are attached to poles, and slide from side to
side in a bid to get as many balls as possible against the free moving
goalies. When teams were not playing they could watch and cheer.
We had four teams: The Bone Breakers (guess who was in this
one), Mixed United, The Ash Clouders (devastating but thick) and
opening match was experimental and in high good humour between the Bone
Breakers and Mixed United. After a five minute
scramble and lots of giggling but not much ball control it was
half-time and substitutes were brought in so everyone had a chance to
play in the ten minute match. The score was 1-1 and
we were already exhausted.
Next match was between The Ash Clouders and Misfits United. Having the
advantage of watching all of our mistakes they were a little more
competitive and the score was 4-1.
Then the Bonebreakers had a match with the Ash Clouders and lost 1-3,
while Mixed United beat Misfits United 4-2.
By now the pace was hotting up and the pain level shot up as those with
heavy boots battled with softer canvas shoes and many a shin was
battered in the fierce struggle to gain ball
control. During the next match Steve Pelling had to
come off because he thought he had twisted his ankle and was ministered
to by a couple of angels who elevated his foot and applied cold
cans. (Later he was found to have broken a small
bone in his leg and ended up in plaster which will remain on for the
next six weeks) I thought the Bonebreakers’ name was a joke!
Our semi-finals were Mixed United against The Ash Clouders losing 0-3,
and The Bonebreakers beating Misfits United
5-1. This meant the final was between The
Bone Breakers and The Ash Clouders. Both sides failed to
score so it was a case of sudden death and first goal was the winner.
A very serious final team was made up from these teams with only 1
female on either side and some strong male players in the attack and
defence positions. The
concentration was palpable and feet were deadly in this
match. Suddenly Barbara Crowther managed to get
hold of the ball and sent the winning shot through the goalposts for
The Ash Clouders.
The win was celebrated with a bottle of bubbly provided by Grange
Farm. It was brilliant fun and thanks to Janette
and Pauline for their parts in organising
it. Next time can we have a
soft shoe rule though?
Walk - Richard Stanley
15 of us gathered at Kettering Registry Office on a sunny morning at
7.30 am (this surprised Dennis as, since retiring, he thought there was
only one 7.30 in a day!). We set off in a mini-bus to the
stunning Derbyshire Dales arriving in Youlgreave around 10 ish and
starting our walk with Ordnance Survey Map in hand (thanks Jane)
downhill to the River Lathkill, along the river and after two lunch
stops – one main and one cake – climbing upwards to the pub.
Along the route the more observant of the
group pointed out local wild flowers including orchids, blue bells and
dandelions. The wildlife included Richard spotting a beaver
that the others said was a water vole.
At the pub we downed thirst quenching drinks then split into two groups
– the ladies heading back down to the river to complete the walk and
the men opting for the ‘difficult’ route along the road back to the
Travelling home, we played I-spy hot air balloons and ‘who’s
snoring?’ Paul won both -spying 7 balloons and giving the
Words can’t describe what a perfect day it was. Thanks to Jane for
organising and supplying all sorts of chocolates and drinks, Dennis for
the safe driving and plenty of comfort stops, Jenny for the foot
revival care and Marilyn for the final stretching exercises.
Ropes - Hilary Connon
Tarzan, you Jane. Yes we were swinging through the
canopy. All right, not quite the jungle setting, it was
Irchester Country Park, but just as exciting. It
was a lovely sunny day and we were ready for
We had full instruction, but there were still occasions when we forgot
to clip on the karabiners for the safety harness in opposite
directions! There were also some scary moments, especially on
the difficult route when my hands got sweaty and as I wiped them on my
trousers I slipped and nearly fell off the swinging planks.
At one time we thought we would have to rescue Cecil as he was nimbly
stepping across a netted structure when his dangling pulley and
karabiners got tangled in the netting, fortunately he managed to
extricate himself. Also zipping from tree to tree meant a huge thwack
on a padded trunk and I nearly toppled backwards off the
landing platform, but it all added to the adventure. Climbing
up the cargo net and hauling up the ropes on ends of the slides did
mean I had some aching shoulders the next day.
It was worth it though, and I felt it was really good value and thanks
to the organisers.
- Lynne and Peter Toomey
It was a beautiful
sunny evening when we arrived at Husbands Bosworth Airfield.
A perfect time to take to the skies and, as we viewed the gliders, we
wondered which ones were ours.
During the war the airfield was used for bombers. Imagine
seeing a squadron of Lancasters and gaggles of Wellingtons taking off
on the main runway all day and night. There are some
buildings, now derelict, from that period that can still be seen.
We were put into two flying time slots – 5pm and 6pm. There
were two different forms of getting airborne, one a static winch launch
(which took you to around 1,000 ft) and the other aircraft tow, (around
2,000 ft), and hence up in the sky for longer.
Everybody seemed elated after their flight with comments like
“fantastic”, and “terrific”. Most people wanted to
go up again and possibly would after now qualifying for a
temporary 3 months membership with the Club.
Looking down on a clear evening (no volcanic ash here) the terrific
views could be seen for some miles – Gordon (Aero tow) said he saw the
old Express Lift tower in the south to Leicester in the north.
There was much banter from the ladies about eloping with the pilot for
the weekend to France until they realised that without engines they
would not make it over the channel, so in the end decided to return to
Last but not least to go up was Cecil the young seadog. He
was persuaded to swap his lifejacket for a parachute!
Thank you to Pauline for organising this event and Janette for
deputising on the evening.
Weekend (or the Werry Lucky Twelve) -
The cold windswept
weekend started off on the Friday for some of us, others arrived on the
Saturday. Friday evening began with a Thai green curry, imported
especially from Thailand, well not really, I made it and Jenny supplied
the strawberries, meringues and cream…. Yum Yum. A good start
to a weekend and a good evening was had by all.
On the Saturday we had a chilled out morning pottering around Potter
Higham and then a trip to the museum that tells the story of the Fens
and the Wherry workers, who had very hard lives living in cramped
conditions with their wives and children. They must have been tiny,
tiny people as the beds were very short. In the afternoon a walk in the
blustery wind around the fields of Potter Higham was enjoyed by all and
sundry. The rain kept off until fifteen minutes before we finished and
the happy band was drenched on returning to their cars………… Boo Hoo…
In the evening we had a nice pub meal where we were seated on one round
table with a revolving centre, much to the amusement of the man who
played with it non stop (as they do!). The food was good, the service
was………. well, they were busy….. and paying was good fun with Cecil
getting a bill for £67… That was soon sorted, as the men admitted to
having a few more pints than they first let on…
The big day dawned…………….
We were up with the lark to
prepare the picnic ready for us and the crew; after all we must keep
them sweet. Unfortunately it was still cold and windy, or was that the
beans I ate last night??
We arrived at the appointed time to find the crew already there and
working hard to get The Wherry ready for our Adventure. After an
initial safety chat, we sailed out to the sound of a lone cuckoo in the
distance; it was lovely and quiet, only the sound of birdsong and the
whirring wind. We could not raise the sail at first and had
to rely on a little rowing boat that was fitted with an outboard motor
pushing us along. Standing on the front of the boat we saw all manner
of wildlife, including Marsh Harriers, many Mallards, young and old and
lots of grebes, with their Punk Hairstyles (Featherstyles) combed and
gelled to the nines.
When we lent a hand (guess who was first to help, Cecil, well I never)
to raise the sail and all the other people on the boats took pictures
of us (not the boat of course) and we obligingly posed for the camera.
It was like being a film star. Perhaps I had at last been an overnight
success. ;o)) It became too windy so we gave a hand
scandalising………. Well you know that lady over there well,
she……. Oh, No…. it means to partly lower the sail. We also
used the quant to, well, push the boat along, it was fun to literally
‘put your shoulder into it’ for a time, but it could not be fun doing
this for a job, day after day.
We sailed from Ludham up to Cockshoot Dyke and then on to Ranworth
Broad, where we stopped for a picnic lunch and most of the party went
on to dry land for an hour, while I stayed and attempted to find the
chocolate that people had brought. They hid it well as I did not find
any. So I fed the ducks instead. Unfortunately I used Jenny and Lucy’s
tea (sorry) but the dicky birds enjoyed it. We then returned to Ludham,
again to the pleasant sound of the cuckoo.
A Wherry good weekend was had by all. Sorry to the people who did not
manage to get a place this year. It will be well worth
Many many thanks to Jenny for organising such an exhilarating weekend.
Water Rafting - Carole Dupont
wasn’t quite sure about this to start with, so being a bit of a wimp I
took a wander down to the centre before I committed myself. I watched
them go around once and thought; no problem, I can handle this, and
went home! Had I have stayed maybe I wouldn’t have been so
sure of myself. Thank goodness I didn’t!
First we were briefed on all the do’s and don’ts, and then clothed
ourselves appropriately. When all the chat was done, we carried our
boats to a wide stretch of water. (That bit worried me the most. The
depth of the water, not carrying our boats!) And we practise
our paddling techniques. “Then to the course.” We went around it once,
good fun and quit easy. Little did we know we were being lulled into a
false sense of security? Each time got harder. On the third and last
time they kept us at the bottom of the course under the biggest rapid
in hopes we would fall out! Just as we were feeling smug with
ourselves for not taking a dunking, and tittering at our friends in the
other boat for doing just that. (Although we did have one little mishap
which we are keeping very low key!!) They made us all get out
of our boats and on to the bank, so we could dive into the rapid and be
swept half way across the river, choking and spluttering! As
if that wasn’t enough, we had to shoot the rapids, on our backs, minus
our boats! I would never have done that in my youth. Who
would have believed I would start at 50, give or take an ish or
two! I’ve had a fantastic time. The weather was perfect, all
the 50+ crowd were good company, the guys at the centre were all very
nice and made it great fun, and the guy on our boat was a bit of a hunk
as well, which made it all the better. Oh to be thirty again!! What
more could a girl ask for, on her first time with the club
See more white
water rafting pictures
Street Rally - Christine
31 intrepid explorers started with clues and clipboards in hand from
the car park at Stamford, to explore this wonderful ancient town. We
were split into teams of 5(ish) and it only took 100 yards for my team
to lose one of our seekers. He did turn up for the food at the end
We set off on our trip around the town spending far too much time
looking for the first clues along the first road, after that we entered
the mindset of the clue mistress and were away. The trick was to look
every way that was possible, divide into sub teams and double check
each other. That sounds an almost impossible task but when you are
exploring such a historic place you want to do this anyway.
One of the problems that arose was the heat, we were vying to stay on
the shady side of the road as we searched, as the morning went on it
got hotter and hotter, the coolness of the Almshouses courtyard was a
blessing in more ways than one. It was another sight that was tucked
away behind a street not to be missed.
There were clues that had us stumped and it was good to see other teams
‘stuck’ in the same place, there were others that were right under our
noses and took a while to ‘click’. The one that caused the most
controversy was the
monkey/lions on top of one of
Towards the end our team ‘The trilbies’ stopped for coffee and cakes
when we decided that the heat was just too much to contend with. We
then continued and arrived back at the muster area to be met by most of
the others going for ice-cream.
After lunch of picnic or hostelry the sheets were scored. Ann was
taking no prisoners her answers were FINAL this time, only a couple of
dissenters tried to argue without much success. There were two joint
winning teams with 24 out of 30. But we were pipped at the post when
the two papers were remarked, boo hoo. It was too hot for
Thanks go to the other members of my ‘nearly’ winning team, who ensured
that we all had a really enjoyable time.
The day was finished off with boules, football and croquet for some of
us; others couldn’t be bothered to move from the shade of a very big
tree we had gathered under and then it was time to rush home to watch
England lose the football.
Thanks go to Ann and Carol for a wonderful day - can’t wait for the
Derbyshire - Tricia and Mike Booth
early start was needed on this fine Saturday morning to meet with our
leader Fay at the rendezvous point, which just happened to be a
café. After a hearty breakfast we followed Fay to Bagshawe
cavern, which was once worked for its lead by children some as young as
nine who chiselled away in the dark but once they got the rhythm going
the candle was blown out due to the high cost. When lead went into
decline it was opened as a show cave but it is now is only open to a
limited few at a cost of £2 per head.
After the usual struggle to get into the funny suit off we
set through the mystery door leading us to a very different world where
stalagmites and stalactites join up over many years to form columns and
minerals make weird and wonderful shapes and colours which are hidden
from all but a few. We came to the dungeon or “Pot” which is a vertical
shaft where the water goes to the next level when the cave is in flood
but no fear of that today and on through narrow wet and muddy passages
to the Gallery but no paintings to be found hanging on these wall only
the force thatnature has left us to marvel at. For a few of us that
ventured nearer the sump,
which is where the water
enters the cave system, we heard the roar of the water but it was
getting very narrow so we returned to join the rest of the group to
make the return journey up steps and back through the door to
the sunshine of Derbyshire.
We all wondered “how are were ever going to get out of these
suits?” because they seem to have shrunk but with a bit of help from a
handy person we all managed it and off we went back to the café for
afternoon tea, cakes and a talk about the day’s event. The people who
had been apprehensive about going underground wished they had done it
sooner so, if you get the chance, go for it because it is nothing like
Thank you Fay for stepping in at the last minute to take us on this
underworld adventure and many thanks to the 50+ and Jane for making it
possible. Thank you also to Adam for a glimpse of the teddy
bear suit - I bet you didn’t have as much fun with the youngsters as
you would have had with us! Hope the suits were not too dirty but there
was no handy stream to wash them in this year!
Evening - Caroline
you have never been to The White Hart in Lyddington you have missed a
treat, especially when a band of 50 pluses gathered to play Petanque on
a very warm July evening.
Thirty-six players were split into 6 groups of 6 and away to the pistes
we went; apparently this is the name for the courts/alleys. The 6 then
became 2 teams of 3 competing against each other.
This would be my third time and I think I have just managed to work out
how to play and how to score – not bad eh? It primarily
consists of throwing two steel balls per player at a cosh (a small red
ball) nearest ball, or balls if they are from the same team, score the
points – simple or what.
After a lot of noisy debating and raucous outbursts we all returned to
the restaurant for another noisy debate on who ordered what, then hush
descended as we sat down to a very welcome two course meal with wine,
coffee and sweeties.
A lovely evening, thanks Janette for organising it so well, especially
Trip - Anne Dodson
Would it, wouldn’t it… rain
that is, the clouds were very low and very black as Linda, Cecil and I
left Raunds early one Sunday morning. Oh dear they were moving towards
Sileby, where we were heading to pick up the canal boat.
But, with Linda’s foot firmly on the accelerator, we left them behind
and didn’t see them for the rest of the day!
However, it was a bit breezy when we got there and the first person we
saw was Dennis, hugging himself to keep warm, hadn’t brought a jumper
had you Dennis?
Captain Paul was on duty, guiding us to our boats, there
were a set of three, Rumble, Fumble and Jumble. We had two of them,
Jumble and Fumble.
Fortunately, even with Cecil on board no-one took a tumble!
All the food stacked neatly away and after a little tuition and with
one of our chaps at the helm we were off! After
about 25 yards we stopped. Lock No 1!
With about 20 people pushing and pulling we were soon safely through
that and we were really on our way.
The sun came out and remained out for the rest of
In true 50+ tradition (after Shropshire) the kettle was on and out came
the cake. A choice of two! Gliding along the River Soar at 9.30 on a
Sunday morning with coffee and cake… perfick!
Considering the amount of locks we went through, we made good time and
decided we had time to explore a little further up river than had been
Delicious lunch on board and it was homeward bound.
We moored at Watermead Country Park on the way back, a lovely country
park on the edge of Leicester. On a platform in the
lake is a statue of the last scene from King Lear, and legend has it
that he was buried in a chamber under the River Soar.
However, our culture vulture 50+ lot were more interested in climbing
all over a replica of a mammoth, for a group photo, much to the
amusement of other visitors!
It was a lovely, lovely day and we arrived back at the boatyard just on
Thanks to Paul for arranging a great day out.
Golf - Peta Jellis
What a daft
idea! Golf with a frizz bee! Just the activity for
the 50+ Adventure Club! Fourteen members travelled to
Leamington Spa and fortunately, the rain mostly held off whilst we took
a couple of hours going around the course admiring the wildlife en
route. One team was so hopeless that they stopped keeping
score of the number of throws they took to get the frizz bee into the
cage! No names of the person whose frizz bee ended up in the
top of a tree and in the brook: sufficient to say that this particular
gentleman usually gets wet if we have a water activity! The
other two teams diligently kept records and Trevor was the clear winner
at 47 throws over 9 holes – the majority of us took over 70!
At one point I thought my life was in real danger: Ann’s frizz bee did
not go in the direction intended and hovered above my head. I
dodged to the left – so did the frizz bee. I dodged to the
right – so did the frizz bee! I began to wonder if it was
controlled by aliens! We did see some “professionals”
practising for the national championships (they have international
championships too!). They “cheated” by polishing their frizz
bee before every throw. But I don’t think such tactics would
have helped any of us!
men at work
Racing - Ian and Madelin Atkinson
The event was held at Whilton Mill on Sunday 1st
August attended by about 30 intrepid members. As new members we
received a great welcome to the club by everyone and they have even
allowed us to do this event write up!
The weather played its part being dry and warm but not too hot and we
learnt to ride the Segway in a lovely green meadow. We all found the
balancing really strange initially but once you relaxed and didn’t
concentrate too hard it was really fun. The organisers set up a slalom,
‘figure of 8’ weaving, oval track and cross-country routes for us to
try with groups moving from one event to the next.
The biggest problem our group found with riding the Segway was when it
achieved top speed it started to tilt back and so after a bit of
practise they were easier to ride on the faster settings.
After a few practise runs we were timed on 3 of these – for picnic
bragging rights! Debs and Joe were at one with their Segways winning
most of the ‘bubbly’, along with Trev R who managed to get Debs off the
top step of the podium for the ‘figure of 8’ – but all the
participants were winners, even those who took a tumble, Joe – corner
cutting, Cecil – crunching cones and Mick – well, he said it wasn’t his
Everyone at the picnic agreed the event was a big success and a great
time was had by all of us.
- Judith Sampson
Only the brave or
foolhardy signed up for this
First of all you struggle into the wet suit and then you have your dry
land instruction which involves lying on your back with your knees
tucked under your chin. Then it's into the boat and out onto the water
where you lie on your back with your knees tucked under your chin (I
kid you not). The boat engine revs, there is an enormous pull on your
arms and you are up and away - if your name is Tim, that is- or
alternatively face down in the water for the rest of us. Still there
was lots of time to persevere and to finally skim over the water, even
if it was only for a short distance.
It was great fun, an absolutely must-do activity. Don't miss it if it
comes around again!
- (from a
spectator’s viewpoint) - Anne Dodson
Grendon Lakes was
the venue for this activity one Saturday morning in August.
Six very brave people turned up to do this (7 with me but I’m not
brave!) I had a seat in the lovely power boat!
After struggling into their wet suits, one by one the adventurers were
taken out into the middle of the lake. They were instructed
to climb onto the back of the boat and had their feet pushed into the
two shoes that are fixed to the wakeboard. You have to have universal
feet for this! I still haven’t fathomed out how this worked. However,
when they fell into the water some of the feet came out and others
So, we were ready to go, the
first victim was all set, I was sitting comfortably in the boat with
the camera ready to get the first shot of Cecil rising from the deep!
Snap, there was Cecil with his face in the water and because I had told
the driver that Cecil was our oldest member, I think he panicked and we
were back with Cecil in about 2 seconds. I nearly ended up in the water
We had one exceptional wake boarder, Tim, who by the end of his session
was flying across the lake holding on with one hand. Two of the girls
managed to actually get up for a while. Our driver was very
impressed with all of our brave people. He said that even the young men
who do this sport only manage to wakeboard for about 20 minutes,
because it is so tiring on the shoulders and arms. Ours were booked for
40 min slots. The majority found it totally exhilarating.
Me, I had a lovely time in the boat, I ended up almost as wet as them
but I have to say that I am full of admiration for all of them for
having a go! Well done!
- Sally Shone
We met at Grafham
Water Centre, Perry, Huntingdon at about 9.45 am on a blustery August
day, following the torrential rain and thunderstorms that we were
subjected to the day before. It was alleged that the wind
speeds at Grafham were blowing at 30 mph and there was some debate as
to whether or not the instructors would let us novices loose on the
lake. However, all finally went according to plan and we
donned wetsuits, waterproof jackets and shoes and walked down to the
‘beach’ to be given our instructions on how to set sail.
Eight of us teamed up in pairs and got into the fun boats (two person
fibreglass boat) and happily tacked and jibed along a stretch of water,
marked by two buoys. Our instructor weaved in and
out on his motor boat ensuring that we did not come to any
harm. The rest of the club members took off in a
motorised vessel, enjoying the waves and fresh air.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Our thanks to Paul
Rogers for organising the event and to Ann Cook who deputised on the
Boating - (on the
sailing day) - Carol Dupont
I am not trying for
my own column, but due to the other guys in the boat not wishing to do
a write up I am landed with it again!! So here goes.
When it was eventually decided that the weather was OK to sail in, we
went off into our two individual groups. Three other guys and
I (my friends outside the club say I fixed that on purpose!) opted for
the Whammel, which was a six person sail boat. After some
time trying to put the sail up and then trying to get the thing out,
our lady instructor decided it was still too windy, and suggested we
went on the power boats instead. I don’t know why I was
concerned, I thoroughly enjoyed it. We had a power boat and
an instructor between two and we went zipping off like Bay Watch, I
just wish I had a few other of their attributes! Our lady who
was very nice, convinced us that the boat wouldn’t capsize, so I
decided when offered, to have a drive, but soon gave it back when I
realised we weren’t going nearly as fast and it wasn’t half as much
fun!! I will definitely do that again next chance I get!
Raft Building - Bernard Hogben
Two teams had a challenge to build a raft and once made, have a race on
They could choose from the materials of plastic containers, ropes and
two different lengths of poles. Once built both crews were to
paddle out to a moored Whammel, touch it and then return. Both designs
were quite different to each other. After 20 minutes it was time to
launch the rafts. It was pretty obvious that raft A was of a superior
build and won the first race clearly.
We were allowed 15 minutes "tinkering" time to change things if needed.
Raft A crew were very happy with theirs but Raft B was completely
rebuilt with guidance from the instructors. So, race two began
and Raft B got their revenge quite comfortably. Building was a
challenge but paddling into a 25 knot headwind was also.
Great fun, enjoyed by all.
the Lakes - Diane West
An intrepid group
of 30 travelled north to enjoy a glorious time at Glaramara.
Everyone from the 'first timers' to the 'old timers’ agreed it had been
wonderful; comfortable accommodation; terrific food - especially the LS
and the STP!! - and really exciting activities. Of course we got wet
but did we mind? No! Actually we had several events in sunshine which
enhanced everything. Good camaraderie; lots of innuendo and laughs (no
names mentioned) and a rewarding weekend.
Thanks especially to Jane and Dennis for organising everything so
wonderfully well. Much appreciated.
to The Lakes - Art’n’Maggie Marshall
clippityclack, there goes the shoulder, there goes the back
Clippityclip, clippityclop, there goes the knee and down I drop
No pain no gain you cry as one, so carry on and have some fun
Shoot an arrow, climb that tree, see if you’re as good as me
Sail a boat, walk up a hill, the air so fresh, breathe your fill
Slide through the water, drop down the ghyll, giggle and titter it’s
such a thrill
Scale a mountain then drop back down; it doesn’t take long to lose your
So thanks to Jane for arranging this; the weekend once again was bliss
ghyll scramble - Janet
With the sun
shining on the righteous (and the members of the 50+ Adventure Club)
ten of us set out to tackle the wild tortuous river on our up-stream
venture. (OK, so it might have been a little more sedate than
that). With much intra-group support, including providing
soft landings for those slipping on the slimy rocks, John almost
severing a finger (slight exaggeration), Dennis damaging his shoulder
and Janette nearly chipping a finger nail (no exaggeration), we
overcame all obstacles to reach the impassable water-fall. (Although I
think Peter secretly questioned Dan’s use of that particular adjective
– as with what I now recognise as typical 50+ spirit, I think he’d have
made a valiant attempt to continue on.) All in all, it was an excellent
morning – so many thanks to our guide Dan (known to some as Stan!) and
to Jane for organising the whole weekend.
Climbing - Lynn Lewis-Nichol
The August sun shone brightly
as an intrepid band of would be mountaineers set out to conquer the
sheer cliff of Woden’s Face. Wes, the guide, set up three short lines
and one long. Then he took us through the drill upon which each of our
lives would depend:” V, knee, one, two, three”. Les the Lithe, Carter
volunteered to demonstrate the art of scaling the wall and scrambled up
it with dextrous speed. Inspired with confidence by the evident ease
with which he had assaulted the rock face, we all set to follow his
example, with varying degrees of success. Having flexed their muscles
on the short climbs, Steve “Spiderman” Pelling, Richard “Rockman” Owen,
Tony “Tenzing” Kightley and Les the Lithe went on to tackle the long
climb. Unfortunately, the reach required on this climb, meant only
those with gangly arms in the female contingent had any hope of
success. Tricia and Carole made valiant efforts but were
forced to retire, bruised and battered. As Maggie cheered all on, Ann
“Armstrong Jones” Cook captured the ascents and descents on camera and
Jane M vowed to go into training for next year!
Boating - Mary Owen
weather was sunny with a gentle breeze – just the day for a spot of
sailing on Derwentwater. We were kitted out with waterproofs
and life-jackets – not quite Viking warrior wear but very practical –
before walking to the jetty to climb aboard our vessel for the
morning. ‘The Gift of the Gael’ was just as I imagined a
Viking boat to look like, except a lot smaller seating only
10. We were told it is a replica of a genuine Viking
Longship. Having sailing experience, Cecil was given the job
of helmsman for our journey and the rest of us were seated and put in
charge of various ropes that were joined to the sail via pulleys. At
certain points when the boat needed turning, Cecil gave the command and
we either pulled on our rope or slackened it off! You can probably tell
I’m not a seadog and was quite happy to sit back and enjoy the views
and the peace and quiet of being on the water. Our Viking
Chief, John, passed on some of his knowledge of the Vikings in the Lake
District and explained how the boat came into being and how it ended up
on Derwentwater. All-in-all a very enjoyable
morning. Thanks Jane! And thanks to Cecil for getting us back
in one piece!
- Richard Stanley
Ten of us set out on a warm, sunny afternoon with
our instructor, Dan and his Australian helper, I think her
name was Sheila. They set up the
safety gear, and after about 25 minutes, we climbed up to the top of
the rock (100 ft at least) to start the abseil.
Les was first over the top and was excellent at guiding us all
down. Arthur and I pretended to get very scared as we were
very high up on a narrow ledge but Lynn helped by holding our hands
until it was our turn to go. I reached the bottom – legs
aquiver! Diane rewarded us all with a sweetie and a pat on
the head. The more adventurous of us went up for a second go
(guess which option I took?) Great fun and laughter.
Ghyll Scramble - Steve Pelling
Gorge or ghyll
scrambling has to be experienced to appreciate how much fun it
is. Our initiation to the ghyll was to stand in the shallows,
fill our safety helmets with the cold water and then to place them back
on our heads! Once we were nicely soaked, off we went down
the stream. Wes, our excellent instructor led the way and
showed us the technique for each gully as we reached it.
We started with a gentle slide into a pool of about two feet of
water. The water is stone cold and it takes your breath away
when you go in, but the fleecy suits we were wearing soon warmed us up
(a bit). Each gully and drop then became more exhilarating as
we slid, dropped and plunged into the various pools on the way down the
As well as the fun aspect, it was great to be able to see the work of
nature right up close. Only from in the stream can you see
just how the water and gravel have worn the rock into fantastic variety
of shapes, a real David Attenborough experience!
When we got to the end, there was a last daredevil jump of about ten
feet into a narrow but deep pool. This is nicknamed the
washing machine and you had to stand on the edge of the rock and leap
in feet first, where Wes would promptly haul you out again.
I would like to have carried on all day but it was time then to head
back to the minibus and return to Glaramara and the excellent dinner
that awaited us.
I’d like to finish by thanking Jane and Dennis for organising a
fantastic weekend for all of us and look forward to next year.
- Maggie Marshall
canoeists plus instructor set off to
cross Derwentwater in 2 pairs of canoes. Arriving at Squirrel
Nutkin island we had a brief sortie into the woods to see the damage
caused by inconsiderate campers felling branches of mature trees.
Returning to our canoes we battled with stronger currents, our small
group lagging behind as the instructor was in the other boat. Luckily
we were rescued by a passing speedboat (driven by a 6 year old - under
supervision) who towed us in so we finished in style, if
Ape (or No
prunes for the Apes) - Jane Mills
It was my second time on Go
Ape and WOW, I did enjoy it! The first time I found I was very nervous
and could not trust the harnesses and it was my first event with the
club and I did not know many people. But that was 5 years ago
and my confidence has risen and I found this time much more fun than
We first had to put harnesses on and, me, being a little (lot) on the
tubby side had an extra harness, which I was bolted into (kinky). We
did the first t Tester set to practise our safety skills with the
instructor looking closely on. After this we had the option of not
carrying on and could have our pennies back if we did not continue,
which I thought was good of them.
On to the first real and most strenuous set. We had a small
amount of climbing on a cargo net, but there were always HHP’s around
to help if we struggled. This was also the first high zip wire and
stepping off the platform takes some courage, but, as I said to myself,
‘Jane you have to just remember that you are safe as long as you
remember the rules. Red to Red, the Blue goes through and the Golden
rules ‘always stay attached’.’ I sat into the harness, stepped off and
Weeeeeeee! It was fantastic. I landed on my back, as for some reason I
always turn round, and lay giggling for some time on the huge bank of
bark chipping that is there to prevent you hurting yourself. Next time
I MUST remember not to wear a white fleece!
Half way round my breakfast prunes began to do their stuff. I
carried on to the end of the second set, then went to be unbolted and
go to the loo. I soon caught up with my troupe of ape friends and
carried on to the next set, more for fun and feats of daring. Then at
the end of each a long zip wire -step off the platform Jane and
Many, many, many thanks to Jane T for all the hard work she, again, put
into this wonderful weekend.
Come on all you new members you must get in and book early as soon as
this event comes out next year.
morning walk in The Lakes - Ann Cook
Everyone was setting off on
their own adventure on this slightly damp last day on our trip to the
Lake District. Five of us decided to opt out of the Go Ape
& Via Ferrata (events mastered at various other times) and take
a not so gentle stroll up a ‘mountain’. Having been dropped
off by the side of Derwentwater we climbed up to the Lodore Falls and
passed into the magical world of a hidden valley, following a river
along to Watendlath. By then the weather was getting a bit
damper so, of course, it was time for a mug of tea at a very convenient
tea shop - try finding one of those up a great big tree or in a slate
mine! Lunch was in a nice dry spot under some trees before
our descent into Rosthwaite and back to Glaramara for a well earned
rest before the weather turned really nasty
Ferrata Steve Pelling
fear, 100% safety. At one point, a helicopter flew
by. About 100 ft below us!
You spend a lot of time on a rocky path, close to the edge, but always
clipped on to the safety line. There are some scrambles over
larger rocks and when the going is more difficult, steel footholds have
been embedded into the rock to form a ladder.
Then there’s the scary bit! The path ends and
rock face turns 90º left over a 100 ft
drop. There are plenty of steel foot and hand holds so just a
matter of psyching yourself up for it! After this bit, things
get less scary but it’s still a hard climb and scramble to the top of
the mountain (Fleetwith Pike). I was well puffed when we
arrived at the summit but there’s lot of fresh air up there so recovery
After walking back down on the easy side of the mountain, we paid a
visit to the shop to buy a coveted Via Ferrata T Shirt. I was
that proud, I didn’t take mine off for two days!
PS Don’t let the scary bits put you off, it’s great fun.
The Nene - Heather Hewitt
Twenty two of us gathered on a fine Saturday morning to experience a
trip down the Nene. We collected our buoyancy aids, had the necessary
safety briefing, then we were off to enjoy a leisurely paddle from
Ditchford Locks to Ringstead.
Eleven very comfortable canoes, complete with backrests, slipped into
the water one by one and we started to make our way over the 6 mile
experienced members, Nigel and Pauline, accompanied us in their own
canoe and acted as back up. When we reached the first lock we had to
haul the canoes out at the portage landing and drag them over land on
little trolleys to re-enter the water at the next portage just after
the lock. Our gallant male members helped our ladies with the heavy
canoes during this manoeuvre and also at the
following two locks. Two gentlemen in
particular, after all their kind efforts to help, even went as
far as testing the temperature of the
water for us! It may have been a rather
unexpected idea judging by the shouts, but a sailor does love water,
(if you know what – who - I mean!!), so I’m sure one of them enjoyed it
It was really lovely, paddling gently through the water, admiring the
wildlife, the waterside flowers and the abundance of blackberries. It
Thank you very much 50+ Club once again for a great day!
Lock, London - Jenny Haynes
A party of 12 travelled from
Bedford railway station to St Pancras, from where on a fine Sunday
morning we meandered our way to the canal museum which was built around
1863 as an ice house. We learned much about the history of
canals and their use during yesteryear.
Continuing our journey on foot along Regent’s Canal to the bustling
cosmopolitan Camden Market, we were assailed by the sounds and smells
of the world. One stall fascinated us, in which people could
have a health treatment by placing their hands and feet in tanks of
water containing well fed fish, which ate the dead skin off recipients’
Despite the variance of stalls, we were hungry by now and spoilt for
choice by foods of the world. We settled at last for Chinese
and eating on Vespa scooter seats – a photo shoot was necessary before
sauntering off to a REAL tea shop with teas of the world.
We relocated with the other group, took the river bus narrow boat on a
trip from Camden via Regent’s Park Zoo to Little Venice.
After re-tracing our steps and stopping for a very welcome drink we
congratulated ourselves on a wonderful day out.
As a new member and my first activity with the group, I had a great
Many thanks to Anne for organising a super day.
Shooting - Nesta Hall
Manor Park Farm in Woodford
was the venue for the Rifle and Shooting event. We were
welcomed on arrival with very tasty refreshments.
Two groups of six people were deployed, one to the rifle
range, the other to the pistol range. The rifle range had two
gun positions. One a normal rifle and the other fitted with a
telescopic sight. We were instructed in how to handle the
guns, load and fire. We were allotted five pellets for each gun.
Success varied but there were a couple of bulls eyes. I found
the gun with the telescopic sight impossible - I was unable to get the
target board in the cross hairs - trees, fences, hay bales, in fact
everything but the target.
The pistols highlighted the more experienced. We were given
ten pellets for each of two types of pistol. In my group
there were a couple of sharp shooters - I did wonder if bank raiding
was their hobby.
We all enjoyed ourselves very much and would like to thank Paul for
arranging the event.
Orienteering - Gill
people gathered at Barnwell Country Park for a morning of
orienteering. The weather had been wet but held off nicely as
groups of four set off to find all the cunningly placed
clues. We didn't run (perhaps we should have) and everyone
was back within one and a half hours. One or two questions
eluded most groups but the Mad Hatters missed only one and were
suitably rewarded with bottles of wine. The slowest were the
Man Beaters who won a wooden spoon each, presumably to help them beat
the men next time! Thanks for arranging this fun morning Jane.
Day At Grange Farm
Road Driving - Les Carter
My final event of
what had been a really fantastic day was Off Road Driving.Along with
Tina and Michael we were introduced to our instructor John (who drives
in off road competitions) and led to a Ford Maverick four wheel drive
vehicle. Tina drove from the farm to the first course and after we had
instruction on how to drive on the course it was time to
experience the thrill of driving the humps and hollows of the course.
Feet off all pedals at the top of the humps and allow the natural
momentum and gravity to take you down the other side. After we had all
had a go it was time to move on to the second course - this one being
steeper and with tighter turns and greater side slope angles.
Due to the drizzle and splash pools, this made the course a
little tricky, but was good for testing our nerves and skill (or lack
of) as the case may be. Then all too soon it was back to base. A truly
thanks to Janette
for organising all the events and to Pauline for standing in on the day
Biking - Keith Merrick
It all started innocently as
the instructor led nice and sedately along the road with five of us
following, l was bringing up the rear. I had not realised, but the
other four were having a competition for the silliest thing to do on a
quad! As soon as we turned off the road one turned the handle bars the
wrong way and disappeared across a ploughed field. A little while
later, another hit the throttle instead of the brake and somersaulted
into a fence with such force that her helmet got stuck in the fence.
The best though was L and J (names omitted to protect the guilty). At
the deepest, dirtiest, muddiest pond, L stopped, with J close behind.
Then L hit the throttle, churning up the water and the deluge went all
over J - just like you see in the films - think standing behind an
elephant with diarrhoea.
Oh, we had such fun, thanks to Janette and Pauline.
Pigeon Shooting - Carole Houghton
There were 8 of us
taking part so we decided to have a 50p bet each – winner takes all.
We were split into 2 groups – 4 men and 4 ladies. We were
shown how to hold the gun and given safety instructions. Les
asked if we could shoot real pigeons if they came into view
(typical). We were told “NO!”
We started shooting; it was great fun, especially when we hit the
clays. A cormorant flew past – it was very tempting, but it
survived to fly another day!
Shooting over, the winners were the 2 Crackshot Caroles, from the
ladies team and Mike the Magnificent from the men’s team.
Girl Power rules!
Can’t wait to beat the boys again.
I’m not sure what
we all expected but we arrived on a cold and damp windy
morning at Grange Farm reception to check in and get organised for the
day’s events. The coffee and biscuits were a nice start.
event we were led to a field where
we gazed in awe at our transport.
I am not sure what everyone expected to be driving but the awesome
power of the beast that stood before us sent shivers down our
spine and raised hairs on our necks. Les was actually so frightened
that he had to cover his eyes, having done so …… Debs decided
that this might be a good time to start praying.
While the first two victims - Les and Debs - prepared themselves for
what was to come, the rest of us stood motionless and
silent, well clear of the beast of Grange Farm.
We were clearly not the only members to be disturbed by the
beast. A number of group members were witnessed
leaving the farm at high speed on whatever transport they could find.
Quad bikes could be seen racing towards the exit while
others leaped into a range rover. Shot gun fire could be heard
moments later and a land rover was seen racing across the adjacent
field followed by the fleeing members on their quad bikes!
We all bravely took our turn and faced our
nemesis but it was clearly too much for us all. Even Cecil,
our fearless warrior and slayer of
beasts completely lost control, while Carole’s arms
flailed in a desperate bid to tame the beast, it was
hopeless and Cecil was last seen heading towards Stamford at
a lung bursting 4 mph, such is the power of the beast
of Grange Farm.
All of the members
on this event had tried - and failed - to slay
The Beast of Grange Farm
But we had some fun trying.
Walk - Janice Taylor
Turning off the
alarm on Sunday morning on 3 October, I looked out to see the rain,
wondering “will the walk still go ahead and did I really want to go
Bradgate Park?” but as I had arranged to travel with Sandra and Ray
(also new members) I thought I had better make the effort.
After loading the car with boots and wet weather gear we set off.
Arriving at the car park, seeing everyone kitted up in their walking
gear ready for the off, we were met by a lady holding a clip board,
saying she had to “tick us off”; we then asked if the walk was really
going ahead – she answered “of course, we never cancel, we are an
adventure club!”. With that, we booted up and prepared to
We joined the second group of walkers, going at a fast pace, crossing
the road, over a stile heading for the woods, avoiding the fresh cow
Pouring with rain, we carried on regardless, trying to keep up with the
leaders thinking coffee stop would be soon.
If only the sun had shone and the deer had come out to play, the day
would have been so much more enjoyable. At last, we saw the
coffee shop – oh, what a disappointment – it was closed!
We then headed back to the car park, whilst some took a detour hoping
to see more deer. After getting out of our wet clothes, we
headed for the Wheatsheaf Pub and really enjoyed our meal.
To sum up our first outing with you all – it was enjoyable and we look
forward to seeing you all gain but we realise that we are fair weather
The Dogs - Denise Sayer
I’d joined the Club
months ago but this was the first time I had dipped my toe in the water
and tried for an event. So on a cold October Saturday evening
I put in an appearance at the Pemberton Centre to be welcomed by Carol
Pullen; that was the first thing she said; the second was “Of course
you will write an article”!! At that point it felt more like
“in at the deep end” than a “toe in the water”. My
protestations about going away on holiday on Wednesday were brushed
aside – so here goes.
Twenty two of us were going to
the Dogs at Peterborough; the coach arrived on time and we picked up
people en route. At the Stadium we were given a programme and
tickets for 2 bets, 2 drinks and a meal. The first hurdle to
overcome was that the tickets did not include reserved seating but were
we downhearted - no we were not. With the thought of standing
all evening driving them on, Ann Dodson and others went on a determined
hunt for seats. Don’t know how they managed it but in the end
we did have seating at a number of tables.
For me the second hurdle was to understand how to place a bet – I’d
never placed a bet in my life. After listening to other
members of the party who were obviously very experienced in this area I
was still no nearer; I thought a glass of wine might
help. So, with glass of wine in hand, I studied the
programme. This could have been written in Hindustani for all
I could understand it. Then I had my Damascene experience – I
found a page in the programme headed “A Beginners Guide to Tote
Betting”. Nothing could stop me now as I came to grips with
such things as ‘Reverse’ Forecast, ‘All Ways’ Place, Trio and
By the end of the evening everyone at our table was looking at the
parading dogs and making such comments as “No 2 looks light on her
feet” as if we had studied greyhounds all our lives! The TV
screens above the tables remained a mystery to the end; for one thing
the information was flashed on an off at such a rate it was impossible
to study it. Still perhaps mastering the different bets was a
successful outcome for the evening. Some on my table had huge
wins – like £19.50. I won a modest £6.50 on Win and Place
bets and guess I was down a little by the last race at 10.30.
Talking afterwards it appears no-one won a fortune or lost one but
everyone enjoyed themselves. I think this comment sums up the
evening – “I won £2.20 on the last race although of course I did bet
I thoroughly enjoyed my first event with the club and look forward to
Evening - Kate Taubman and Bill
Wednesday 20 October saw 21
would-be Jenson Buttons gathering at the Wellingborough Scalextric Club
for an evening of thrills and spills and, after everyone had done a few
warm-up laps, the competition began in earnest!
Every member “drove” each of the 6 cars in turn (some more skilfully
than others!) ably assisted by “marshals” stationed strategically
around the track ready to reposition any of the vehicles that came to
grief: there were a few pile-ups and some quite spectacular spin-offs
but nothing fatal for cars or drivers!
Well over half of our intrepid racers managed to bag at least one first
place (the real show-offs managed several!) and, after 21 heats, the
top 6 scorers mustered for the final – the atmosphere was electric (oh,
no, that was the cars!).
So, the final event over, our winners were announced: double
congratulations went to Barry, who was not only declared the overall
champion but also achieved the fastest lap (6.352 seconds, for the
statisticians amongst you) and a special mention for Art, who received
the wooden spoon award!
Many thanks to Pauline (who was one of the show-offs with two firsts!)
for organising such a fun evening – it’s definitely worth repeating!
Walk And Punt , Cambridge - Richard Amos
The members of the
Club who were brave enough to venture into the world of the
‘paranormal’ duly assembled at the boat yard. We were then presented
with light sticks and lollypops, a good way to start an evening of
being scared out of your wits.
Then the fun started, we had to get into the punts. The joints creaked
and complained but we all made it, suddenly it dawned on many of us,
will we ever get back up! But never fear hotties and blankets were on
hand to ease the ancient limbs.
The steersmen assembled the
three punts in line abreast on the river and off we went, like a very
large raft. We passed Queens’ and Kings and other colleges each with a
little tale of horror and intrigue imparted by the young steersmen.
The bridges of Cambridge look large and impressive from above but when
one is sitting in a punt aiming at a small arch in the middle of a
river they are really quite small. The outside steersmen doubted the
width but were ordered to keep station, such is democracy, and through
we went. We made it through several more with warnings to keep hands
and elbows in.
It was time to return and the delicate turn was made with all punts
keeping station together. The return journey was punctuated by the
avoidance of other punts full of people willing to risk their lives in
pursuit of horror. We all arrived back in one piece and the dawning of
the thoughts ‘will I be able to get up!’ some were better than others;
I will leave it at that. There then followed a short walk interspersed
with little stories at historical points on the route. At one point on
the tour we were being told the history of The Eagle pub when several
voices from behind enquired “Is this the queue for Darwin?” the reply
was “No he’s been dead for several years”. The membership secretary
slipped up there, we could have had 10 new members.
We all then all adjourned to The Anchor Inn for a meal and a
well-deserved drink. The evening was enjoyed by all and it was a change
from the walks we have had before.
Anne is to be congratulated and thanked for organising a very enjoyable
- Elaine Pell
Had a really
pleasant drive to the Snow Dome, thanks to Mary and Janice, who were
really good company. I did think that when we got there we
would have the slope booked just for sole use of the 50+
group for an hour or so. How wrong was I.
We were herded like cattle through narrow walkways, en masse, after
instructions that went over my head ‘cos I was battling with my
locker. Luckily Jane, passed some important info down the
line, "left for left, right for right and both together for
braking”. Yeah right. After being handed a plastic
tray, we then made our way up the travelator which kept getting stuck
(though not as often as usual – ed’s note) I couldn’t make
out where the sledges were being launched from, then after another
travelator I realised there was a bend on the slope. You’re
joking, I don’t do bends. There was no going back.
I was stuck in the middle of the herd and lemmings came to mind a few
times. After my first launch down the slope, I was
hooked. I did think the young girl near the bottom of the
slope who was shouting "brake" was very brave and must have been paid
danger money. Was quite pleased with my spectacular collision
with a young girl who careered right in front of me.. Serves
her right for being younger and prettier than me. We both
lived to tell the tale. Evening finished off by a very good
meal at Hinckley which we eventually found after zooming up and down
the A5 a few times.
Pin Bowling - Brian (Batman) Bateman
As a new
member and this being my first outing, I would like to say thank you to
club members for making me most welcome.
It was a real pleasure to attend with so many greeting me as if I had
been a member since the club started.
A large turnout of
club members ensured that a very enjoyable evening was had by all.
Members divided into various bowling lanes, high fives and hip shaking
when strikes occurred was going on all around. Despair was
shown when bowls went into the side gulleys.
As I said earlier, the event was thoroughly enjoyable; the food
afterwards was very good.
Prize for the highest score of the evening went to Paul Rogers, the
highest scoring lady was Judith Ellingham and Elaine Pell was the very
sporting lowest scorer.
I look forward to my next event.
Evening - Madelin Atkinson
About 30 members met on a freezing November
evening to learn the Jitterbug. Alistair and his partner told us there
were several different types of Jitterbug, and we were going to learn
“The East Coast Swing”.
Alistair and his partner started off slowly showing us the basic steps.
After we had practised these they added a few more steps and turns -
one at a time. We all had great fun practising – some of us were more
adept than others at the complicated double turn!
It was an action packed learning session, and Alistair explained if you
take regular lessons the instructors take things more slowly - making
sure the dancers are comfortable with one set of steps before
progressing to the next stage the following week.
Anyway it was great fun and we all thoroughly enjoyed the session, so
if this activity is offered again – dust off your dancing shoes
Bowls - Clive
with some trepidation that I approached my first 50+ event, but having
much fun my other half Julia has been having for the last year, I
time had come to give it a whirl.
I picked indoor bowls not least because there was
the promise of a good lunch at the end of it – and I'd seen it on TV
thought it looked do-able. Shows how much I know!
None of us could believe how long the rinks
looked, and one or two of us had to reach for our spectacles. We were
into groups of two teams of four. Then after some brief instruction (in
from Geoff and Glenys), we were off. The woods have bias so you have to
away from the target jack, which took some getting used to. It was all
judging length, apparently, which we managed with varying degrees of
success. Barry turned out to be a
natural, but the rest of us sent woods in all directions – including
adjacent matches at times – and there were several references to Barnes
and his bouncing bombs.
I play golf at the moment, but will be looking for
something to replace it, once my swing deserts me completely. On this
performance, I'm not sure that I shall be turning to indoor bowls…
Thanks to Jane and Dennis for organising the event
and for their hospitality afterwards.
Maze - Hilary Cornwell
We all gathered in the
foyer of Laser Maze, Wellingborough where, this being my first outing,
made very welcome. We went into the briefing room where the
equipment were explained to us, which this being my first experience of
maze I found most useful even if I could not remember all the
technicalities! It was then off to get our
‘armour’ and guns which depicted which team we were in -
dwarves; once inside we then had fun shooting our opposing team members
their bases scoring points for every successful target hit.
Some of us seemed far
better at this than others; my major accomplishment was being able to
the maze without getting lost forgetting sometimes that people were
me! All teams were very well balanced with each one having
won at least
one round, although Christmas team having the slight edge.
Half way through we all
enjoyed refreshments of sausage rolls & mince pies courtesy of
Pauline. Then it was off for more fun including one game in
surprisingly some of us were better at this than with the lights
Afterwards some of us retired to the pub for a resumé of the evening’s
A great evening was had
by all and I look forward to my next event
||Back to 2010 Programme
||Back to Homepage