Clayhidon Friends 2013

December 2013
Christmas supper with salad and singing
Our meeting was a Christmas supper party this month; a delicious ham salad prepared by Heather Procter, with soup and puds made by Helen Lancaster and Freda Dewar.
We all sat round a large decorated table, and after the meal, Brenda Persey provided a very entertaining half hour of music, song (members and guests joining in) - and amusing anecdotes which gave us much pleasure.
Our thanks go to the cooks and entertainer who ensured a wonderful evening.
The New Year January meeting on the 9th is a lunch at the Blackdown Garden Centre with guests. New members are welcome to join, and the present members have agreed a rise in subscriptions to £14.
Enquires:- Anne on 680086

November 2013
How to make a pop-up Christmas card
Creativity was flowing at our meeting this month, as Margaret Brotheridge showed us how to make a "pop-up" greetings card. Armed with pencils, rulers and scissors, we made some splendid examples with the coloured card, pretty stickers and Christmassy motifs which Margaret had provided. The evening was very well attended, and there was a chance for members and our three guests to chat and admire each others work.
Next month, members and their spouses and partners will enjoy a Christmas supper. £5 a head, and please contact Heather on 663231 if you wish to be there.

October 2013
Dotty Dolly and a tale of many quilts
Quilts everywhere! Joan Herrington brought many pieces that she and her colleague, Debbie, had made, and was able to show us the different styles and patterns that can be used. Wonderful colours, and they were almost all made by hand. 
Joan described how she and Debbie had come to owning the "Dotty Dolly" shop in Wellington, with amusing anecdotes to illustrate the journey. 
We learnt a little of the history of quilting in the USA, and something of the techniques used to create these beautiful works of art. 
Members were able to handle the quilts, and some said they had been inspired to take up the craft and attend the course which Joan and Debbie offer.
Another craft meeting in November - Margaret will be showing us how to make a greetings card. Members should bring a small pair of scissors.

Coffee morning raises £230

Many thanks to all those who attended the MacMillan coffee morning in the Church Room, donated and helped with our fund-raising event. We are delighted to be able to send over £230 to the charity. 
Diane Darlow, with a guess of 2000, won the Count-the-bean competition - the winning number being 2080.

September 2013
From Cullompton to Aberdeen by bike
Once again we were treated to a wonderfully illustrated talk from Tom Coleman; this time on his three week trip by bicycle from Cullompton to Aberdeen. 
He travelled on canal paths and converted railway tracks where possible, and pitched his tent in camp sites at night with the occasional stay in a B&B or Youth Hostel. 
Along the route were a variety of places to visit, and abbey and castle ruins were of particular interest. Even the most mundane of towns he passed through had some memorable buildings. 
The Northumberland coast is particularly dramatic, and is definitely worth a visit, especially if you want to photograph nesting sea birds or visit Holy Island via the causeway at low tide. Only hardy souls would attempt this trip on a bike, and Tom has our admiration!
October's meeting has a display and talk on quilts and quilting, and in November, we will be making greetings cards.

August 2013
Clayhidon's horrible history
A well attended meeting for David Puglsey's excellent talk on the infamous murder of William Blackmore in Clayhidon by George Sparkes in 1853. The tale was dramatically told, and the lifestyle of Clayhidon parishioners at that time was revealed, leaving members feeling far better off living in the 21st century. 
Sparkes was hanged for his crime, and a grisly discussion followed on hanging methods, and how effective they were. A real history lesson!
September's meeting is an open evening, with Tom Coleman talking on Edinburgh. £2 for non-members which includes a light refreshment.

July 2013
Walking through blackcurrants
It was a beautiful evening to have a summer walk through William Price's blackcurrant fields at Bradford-on-Tone. 
Members and their guests were introduced to the business of blackcurrant farming, and were able to have a close look at the amazing currant picking machine. There was also a machine which, curiously, deposits ice on the bushes in freezing weather in order to keep them warm! 
The fields and far reaching views were green and peaceful, apart from the occasional train which raced through on the main railway line. There were swans on the irrigation pond, and swallows flying above.
Tea coffee and Ribena were served in the Prices' garden afterwards with scones, cream and blackcurrant jam. It was a pleasant and convivial outing, and members are very grateful to William and Nicky for their hospitality. 
Next month, David Pugsley talks on the Blackmore murder at Clayhidon.

June 2013
Athletics around the world
Bill and Vivienne Smith enjoy going to athletics events around the world, and we experienced some of the pleasure and excitement they have with Bill's talk on their last 30 year's of travel, ending with the London Olympics.
We viewed many famous athletes on his slides which began with Roger Bannister and ended with Bill's favourite, Jessica Ennis, who Bill and Vivienne were lucky enough to see win her amazing gold medal.
We also heard from Howard, a friend of the Smiths, who had been a games-maker at the Olympics, and he told us of his experience at the games. 
A guessing competition got us moving - we had to estimate the length of the world long jump record along the hall floor. The range of our named stickers was huge! but Margaret guessed the best. (8.95metres)
We hope the weather will be kind for our 11 July meeting, which is a walk around William Price's blackcurrant farm at Bradford-on-Tone at 7pm.
Heather has maps/directions. (NB no refreshments this time, so bring a drink if it is warm)

May 2013
Pass the parcel with forfeits
Pass the parcel with forfeits began our evening of games, and (un)lucky members had to name a book they had enjoyed, and why, sing a nursery rhyme, tell of a favourite holiday and so on. Frances won the prize.
Heather served Tim Potter's ham, chips and baked beans which was excellent, and a chance to chat over the meal made it a very enjoyable evening. 
We welcomed a new member.

April 2013
Sobering memories, enjoyable evening
We were entertained with a talk by Spencer Kingdom called Rivers and Rock cakes, and laughed over his account of the local produce shows held in his village when he was a boy. The secrecy and anxiety over the growth of his father's vegetables, and his mother's experiments to make her cakes even better were most amusing. 
On a more serious note, Spencer told us of his family's experience of the Lynmouth floods in 1952, and had photos to show the terrible tragedy from their point of view. We discussed the comparison of the lack of immediate help with climatic disasters in those days compared to the support available today.
Despite Spencer's sobering but most interesting memories, the evening was most enjoyable.

January 2013
Members share their experiences
A very interesting meeting this month, with five members telling the group of some of their memories. 
Freda talked of her life with her 13 siblings, Ruth's account touched on many of her experiences through her life, including speaking with Prince Charles, and we learnt about Lynda's childhood to the end of primary school. Anne's trip on a dhow across the Persian Gulf was her memory, and Margaret's very funny anecdotes about parents and children from her teaching days had us all laughing. 
The meeting on 14 March is on Gemstones. 
We will continue to support Devon Air Ambulance with any fundraising events.