Welcome back to our activities page.
After a break of eighteen months trying to avoid covid, (which the majority of members did successfully) there were no serious cases that we know of.
The year's activities started in May with foot golf and hopefully will continue through to the end of the year without any further plague or pestilence!
Looking forward to meeting everyone again as times get back to normal.
Read members activity reports below
FOOTGOLF - Ann Cook
Its been far too long since Mick, I and many others have done a club event due to you know what. Brampton Heath Golf Club was the venue for this gathering and what a lovely spot it was. A very busy place but 15 of us met up eager to join with friends old and new for a game of footgolf. It was a shame the weather was so bitterly cold with a biting wind but it was dry and none of us got wet although there may have been a few muddy knees after retrieving our balls. It was a challenging but interesting morning with lots of laughs, any skills one had in golf or football did not help much but we did have some fun.
Gathering for a hot drink afterwards we totted up our scores, Viv Alex Barry and Sue were the worthy winners.
It was so good to be socialising with fellow club members again, so many thanks to Dave for organising this club event.
The Winning Team
The 'not so' winning team
SPRING WALK (slightly delayed!) - Viv Fiander
We all gathered in the top car park of Foxton Locks for our walk and it was so lovely to catch up on the last 14 months of lockdown. We all mingled during the amble through fields and locks chatting to all admiring the lovely views and scenery laughing a lot as we chatted to one another. Being Alex's first walk with the club he was extremely impressed how friendly everyone was.
CYCLE RIDE - Keith Merrick
It was lovely weather as we met at Grafham, with quite a crowd and carnival atmosphere, owing to the other activities occurring there. After much preparation we set off. We seemed to have gone only a short distance when we came across a cafe. We felt a need to support this venue after lock-down, and magnanimously bought ice-creams etc.
We continued to the start and did what the club seems to do best: eat, drink and put the world to rights.
Lovely activity, lovely people and lovely weather - many thanks to Jane.
JENNY’S (LONGER) WALK- Judith Sampson
It was a beautiful weather for a walk and beautiful countryside to walk in. An unknown route for me which made it all the more enjoyable. Not to mention the long-missed company!
We set off from Castle Ashby, down the hill and into fields of flowering broad beans. A quick survey revealed that nobody actually liked broad beans, so we did wonder exactly who all the beans were going to. Our route took us along footpaths and by the sides of fields where wildflowers were in full bloom, birds could be heard singing and a short stop by a shady brook completed the scene. This was a special spot where fallen trees lay across the water and made little waterfalls. Northamptonshire at its very best.
Now we started to climb, on and up the Jerusalem Steps. There were villages to our right and left but being a stranger to this part of Northamptonshire I had to ask where we were. Whiston to our right and Cogenhoe to our left. We walked along the hedgerow which was full of the promise of Autumn berries. If you make sloe gin this is the place to come! By now it was getting close to lunchtime, so we were glad to stop by the river at Mill House and delve into our picnics.
Refreshed we journeyed on along the tow path to the lock and weir. Swans and other water birds lined the banks. Tall wildflowers edged the fields on our right and we were lucky enough to see a lark rising from its nest up into the blue sky.
By now the temperature was climbing as we took a straight path over the fields where gravel extraction was beginning to form the lakes of the future. We were glad to cross the road and make our way up to St Marys church where we took a final break and enjoyed a seat in the shade on the cool, daisy-filled grass.
Back along the edge of the broad bean fields, through a little spinney and we were back at Castle Ashby. What a treat the walk had been.
Thank you to Jenny for organising it and for showing me a truly delightful part of Northamptonshire.
TREASURE HUNT - Annie Balding
Sunday morning, June 20th, dawned grey and mizzly and the thought of trolling round rural Northamptonshire in wet weather gear, did not appeal.
However, Hilary (our leader for the day) happens to be my cousin and as I was brought up to always put family first-I wrapped up well in cagoule and boots, smiled stoically and we were off. That is: Janice and I, our team of two.
We met up with the other members -making 8 teams in all- at East Carlton Park, where Hilary clocked us in and handed out the relevant Treasure Trail information.
A short walk through the park led us to our first clue in the historic and picturesque village of Middleton. We collected more clues as we progressed slowly along the main road towards the adjoining and equally lovely ‘chocolate box’ beautiful, village of Cottingham.
Following the trail -and by now the drizzle had stopped- we passed by weathered ironstone cottages and grander houses built of pale stone, some dating from the eighteenth century. Here we searched for clues, on walls, roofs, in yards and in gardens.
The route meandered around the village where we continued our quest: identifying weathervanes, and checking dates and name plaques like the forge, the bakery and brewery, all related to a working village of by-gone days.
Whilst wandering around this rural idyll, I became immersed in romantic ideas of what living here two hundred years ago might have been like and at this point I wouldn’t have been at all surprised to meet Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters tripping along the street for their daily marketing.
(I don’t know what they would have made of the five alpacas grazing on the village footpath though.)
Back to the present and the Treasure Trail. By now, an hour or so on, we had been overtaken by the other teams who seemed to have completed their answer sheets in record time, whilst we were still looking for village pumps, a music genre, a place for bird watching and a question relating to Birmingham!
Sadly, we found none of the above, so throwing in the towel, we admitted defeat and went to lunch!!
Many thanks Hilary, for researching and organising a very entertaining Treasure Trail in our beautiful Welland Vale countryside-it was good fun and I loved it.
Congratulations to the winning team - ‘Good Grief’ and better luck next time to everyone else. Hopefully, Janice and I will improve our score for future trails and then I won’t have to do the write-up again.
AFTER A 2 YEAR BREAK, 18 OF US INVADED GLARAMARA IN THE BORROWDALE VALLEY OF THE LAKE DISTRICT. THIS IS WHAT WE DID:
Rock Climbing (Jane, Viv, Mary & Steve) - Mary & Steve O’Brien
Thursday morning dawned, fine and sunny, as the four of us headed off with Graham in the minibus to Seathwaite slabs. Having parked in a field, we made the short uphill walk to the base of the rock face. Under Graham’s instruction, we donned our safety gear and ‘sticky’ climbing shoes (which should always be kept dry J). We psyched ourselves up for the 3 different ascents, each one getting progressively harder, with the last requiring us to fight our way through an overhanging tree. During the rest breaks Graham showed us marks on the rock made by the first climbers’ spiked boots whilst training for expeditions to the summit of Mt Everest. There is an inscription on the top of the rock dating back to 1953 to record this.
Thanks to Graham and Jane’s knowledge, we learnt a great deal about the surrounding area and its past. History on a rope!
Abseiling (Jan, Hilary, Viv, Mary & Steve) - Mary & Steve O’Brien
As ‘what goes up, must come down’, following a restorative lunch the five of us headed off for our abseiling session. We parked in Bowder stone car park, walked across the road, down through a haunted wood, and then crossed the river Derwent in wellies provided by Graham. We then had to hide our wellies on the riverbank for the return journey. Following a steep climb, we arrived at the top of the crag, caught our breath, and admired the fabulous views across Derwent water. After getting kitted up and listening intently to the safety briefing, we completed our first descents. As we were a small group, we had several turns each and it was noticeable that we got faster and faster! So much so that the metal descender was too hot to handle!
Finally, we made the walk back and ‘good news’ our wellies were still there.
A huge thanks to Jane and Dave for organising a very enjoyable break in the Lakes.
Voyager Canoeing - Hilary Chapman
What a gorgeous day to go out on the lake - blue skies and warm sunshine with just a gentle breeze. 8 adventurers arrived at Platty’s on the lakeshore at Lodore Boat Landings and were issued with lifejackets and paddles and headed for our Voyager Canoe. Our sturdy young captain, Rich, helped us all board the wobbly craft. We then set off in ‘Hawaii 50’ style with perfectly co-ordinated paddles (for the first 10 minutes!) We paddled into the centre and then made two separate landings on the West Shore. First to have the obligatory photo on the giant hand sculpture, and secondly to sit on a viewpoint bench overlooking the lake.
However when we got up there, people were already sitting on it and not budging, so we went back down ;-) The biggest excitement of the trip was when the launch crossed in front of us and the bow waves energetically rocked our canoe.
It was a lovely activity and good fun. Thanks to Jane and Dave for the organisation.
Viking Boating Sue Wigley
The weather was absolutely beautiful for our forthcoming trip on the Viking boat and luckily for us, wind, so we could sit back and take in the views instead of working hard rowing (well we are on holiday!).
During our trip we had a bit of excitement when our Viking Leader noticed a boat had broken down. He called in to rescue the stranded souls before they were attacked by the Saxons!
During our trip we were shown how to ‘tack’, to move the boat in the direction we required and we manoeuvred the boat well, with a lot of help from the leader.
A good time was had by all and we encountered no resistance from our enemies. 🤣
The High Level Walk Janet Kemp
T’was was a bright July morning with the sun aglow,
Five started out and who was to know,
Whether the Lake district trolls, or the Cumbrian beast
Would seek one out for a human feast
Steadfast and brave they made their ascent,
With stooped backs and knees quite bent
They ploughed on upwards, past mines and gorse,
Feeling the might of Newton’s force
The weight of their rucksacks pulling them down,
But their faces all smiles, no sight of a frown,
As they soldiered on to Dale Head cairn
With stunning views over hill and tarn
Then onto another Wainwright peak
They hastened their step, no pace for the meek,
Then they were there in the blink of an eye,
Upon the summit, of the gracious ‘High Spy’
They all looked smug, they’d at last arrived
They’d tackled the heights and all survived,
No need for stretchers, or mountain rescue
All intact, though a motley crew
So with time on their hands, perhaps a gentle descent
Over well-travelled paths no need for lament
But does fate have plans for amusement, yes?
Test their mettle, scrap that smugness.
Over the wobbling rocks for a start,
Causing their legs to shuffle and part,
So some slip and slide with much lack of grace,
Falling on hands to save their face
Then onto the loose, slippery scree
They slid and scrunched with complete lack of glee,
John roly poly’d down the slope, quite unsteady
With Dave his saviour, with pole at the ready
Dave, the hero, stymied John’s fall,
Allowing him to again stand tall
As he lurched to his feet and regained his hold
On that slippery stone, he returned to the fold
Then Bob went down on that perilous slope,
Were they in danger, could they cope?
But straight to his feet this valiant fella’
Can’t call the 50+ members yella’!
They continued down with cautious hope
That soon they’d be off this perilous slope,
But then they encountered that fauna foe,
Thick growing bracken, a further blow
Over fronds and stems they battled through,
Where the triffid like bracken throve and grew
It grabbed their ankles, their feet it bound
With manic fervour wrapping round and round
They tripped they slipped they fell to the side,
They wobbled and lurched but kept their pride
They showed the spirit of the 50+ club
As they battled the vegetative shrub (poetic licence here)
And then, success, on flat, even ground
They’d survived the descent and were homeward bound,
But hold, wait a sec, Dave’s hand was all red,
Blood gushing from wounds (he’ll need whisky and bed)
And Bob too it seemed was in need of a plaster,
But Rick was prepared, and no-one could’ve been faster
With administering first aid and protecting their health,
With efficiency, kindness, humour and stealth
So they returned triumphant, with their adventurous tale
Looking forward to that first ice cold pint of ale
Smiles all around as they joined the hub
Those valiant members of the 50+ club
So, another two Wainwrights conquered – Richard and Sheila – we’re catching you up!
Thank you Dave and Jane for organising the whole event and Rick for being our ever informative and patient guide.
The weather just kept getting hotter, but we didn’t resort to Plan B (a level walk around a lake) so Plan A it was – up, up and more up until we gained flat land (well, almost). The far peaks of Skiddaw and Blencathra and then Derwentwater soon came into view and we could at last take a well-earned rest to regain our breath and admire the views; this was the cue for a sit down and some refreshments - apart from the leading group who disappeared down the hill into the
distance and no amount of whistling or shouting could persuade them to stop.
They were quite safe however and hid behind a huge rock, completely out of sight of the recumbent members high above them! Re-united, we soon reached the River Derwent and some welcome shade where we picnicked before proceeding into Rosthwaite village for some well-earned ice-creams. No Glaramara walk is complete without an open-top bus ride back to base and this was no exception. Part of the group then departed to Northamptonshire while the rest had a well-earned relaxing afternoon and yet another delicious three course evening meal.
While the rest of the group were on a leisurely scenic walk, 4 intrepid members were hanging by their fingertips on the infamous Via Ferrata (literally “iron way”) at Honister Slate Mines. We have no write-up but they all survived and managed to take the following photos:
The Gang of '21'
SUMMER WALK - Astrid Gregory
This was my first Adventure Club event and I wasn’t disappointed. Everyone was so welcoming and I enjoyed the company immensely. We split into two groups to start the walk and the first leg was past a derelict farm, across golden barley fields to the very old Elton Mill. After a short break, in which the other group caught us up, we set off out of the picturesque village to a bridleway across the extensive grounds of Elton Hall. Through a wooded area and then past a gravel pit lake down to the impressive locks and rushing waters of Warmington Mill. Another drink break and then we headed off on the Nene Way crossing tributaries of the Nene with Fotheringhay Church in the distance. More lovely fields until we approached the castle mound where Mary Queen of Scots was executed. Then back into the historic village of Fotheringhay, where some went for a meal and others for a picnic.
Thank you to David Chapman and his wife Hilary (who stepped in at the last minute to help lead the walk following his shoulder operation). It was a delightful walk and a lovely day
BLUE BADGE WALK IN LEAMINGTON SPA - Maggie Marshall
Miraculously as we all arrived at the Pump room and queued for fortifying coffee the rain stopped. Roger our friendly guide was there to meet us, he always has entertaining stories, although some about WW2 did not go down well with a group of Germans! We heard how a visit from Queen Victoria resulted in Leamington becoming Royal Leamington Spa. We stood outside what was the largest hotel in Europe at one time but is now a Travel Lodge, well worth a visit to see the stunning original staircase Roger said. At the war memorial to the most decorated soldier to survive WW1 Henry Tandy, Roger told us the story about Adolf Hitler who allegedly met Henry on the battlefield and although Henry could have shot him he spared him. Roger did say there is some doubt about this story as they were known to be in different places at the time! We saw Queen Victoria’s statue which had been shifted at least an inch on its plinth by a German bomb probably intended for Coventry
A lovely walk through the Jephson gardens led us to the memorial to Czech soldiers who were based in Leamington during the war. We crossed the river into the old town after stopping to hear the tale of the elephants who used to come down the river from their winter quarters (lovely elephant mural here). A walk round the old town with its Regency houses and a blue plaque to John Ruskin and others brought us back to the Pump rooms where we all dispersed for lunch.
Thank you Pauline for organising a very interesting morning
DISC GOLF AT LEAMINGTON - Jenny Walker
After the Blue Badge walk around Royal Leamington Spa, and a picnic lunch, in the park. 18 members took a short drive, to meet up at the Disc Golf Park. The game was explained to us, by a man called Derek. He advised us how to stand, how to hold the frisbee type disc, aiming towards the basket-like target, 50 yds away. Dividing into three teams of six, choosing a different colour disc, which all displayed a painted warning on them, ‘Lost Disc’s £5’ it came close!
The first team start off, we all soon discovered that these discs, have a mind of their own, we also soon learnt, to ‘keep well out the way’ while each person ‘took their shot’. We discovered our own style of throwing, displaying some flowing, arm and leg movements, which wouldn’t be out of place in a dancing event! The discs took off, going anywhere but the intended direction, rescued out of trees, disappearing into bushes and thick undergrowth. But all were found, and all eventually reached the target - the best in two throws, many a lot more. But what a brilliant event, everyone enjoyed it, we had such a laugh, completing the 17 targets. Thank you Pauline for arranging such a brilliant day.
BARBEQUE & GAMES - Viv Fiander
It was good to catch up with everyone at Stanion Village Hall - some members we hadn’t seen for 17months. The BBQs were lit and we waited for them to be ready
The rain came and went most of the time, but we still managed a game of quoits and croquet. The aroma of food being cooked over the coals smelt wonderful. A few of us left early due to the weather but we had a great couple of hours. Thank you Pauline for organising it. Just to say I apologise forgetting to take our chairs back that we used from the village hall!
PITCH & PUTT AT PETERBOROUGH - Jacqui Clements
In teams of four off we went, clubs & balls in hands, each four waiting for the team in front to move off (didn’t want anyone getting hit with golf balls). Some ended up in the bushes & some nowhere near the hole, but there was lots of fun & laughter along the way
When all 12 holes were completed we all grouped together for the dreaded scores. The winners were Barry’s team - well done, the losing team, being myself, Chris, Viv & Alex, oh well we did get a packet of hole in one each, and the pleasure of doing the write up. We then all went off for a wellearned drink & bite to eat
Thank you Dennis for a fun filled morning
NARROWBOATS ON THE NENE - Carol Pullen (Or the baffling case of the Missing Wife and the Treasurer)
Having been postponed from July, I was looking forward to this event. We all met at Willy Watt Marina at Woodford Mill (near the teashop!) and were sent to our boats: one boat diesel and I was on the electric boat. Though slower than the diesel boat, this one seemed to have a mind of its own at times and couldn’t be stopped at one lock and it was determined to get through without the gates being opened!! CRASH!
Many of the locks on the River Nene have the traditional wooden lock gates at one end and a ‘guillotine’ lock gate at the other. The rules were written VERY clearly on the boat and on the lock gates that these must always be left open when exiting even though there were queries why we must do this!! We set off and negotiated the first lock which wasn’t difficult as we were being shown what to do!! However at the next lock Paul had trouble coming along the landing stage so we could get off safely and I nearly emptied the Nene because I failed to ensure the guillotine had got to the bottom, so water was draining out when it shouldn’t have been!! It was rectified quickly. Leaving the third lock Ron suddenly found his wife was missing – she was still on the landing stage chatting – so we had to reverse to pick her up. Then we did a head count and Pauline was missing – panic!! It was OK she was in the loo!! By about midday we needed lunch and refreshment as we had made an early start. The River Nene has a lack of riverside pubs, so it looked like we must moor up (by banging in a stake and tying up) by a field. So Ron manfully leapt ashore but then it was decided this was not a suitable spot, so we had to get Ron back on board without him getting wet! Achieved successfully
Whether we were breaking the rules we don’t know, but we moored up at Titchmarsh Lock and had an enjoyable lunch, turned around and chugged back. The countryside of the Nene Valley is stunning, with lovely villages and is enjoyed by many, including stand up paddleboarders, wild swimmers, canoeists, herons aplenty, Red Kites, swallows and, of course, the 50+ Adventure Club.
Thank you to Paul for organising this trip and Pauline for providing the coffee and cake
CANOEING ON THE NENE - Jan Holt
9 of us turned up at Canoe 2, Rushden Lakes. We had a briefing about all the things that could go wrong and the possibility of Weil’s disease if we fell in and swallowed any river water; however we were not put off. After being given paddles and life jackets we then had instructions about how to attach the canoe to the portage wheels. We put all our valuables in watertight barrels that looked like we might be smuggling rum! Down to the dock to be allocated into three 2-man canoes and one 3-man canoe – Viv volunteering to sit between the married couple to ensure harmony. First obstacle was getting into the canoe – bums on the dock and swing legs into central position – don’t rock the boat!! We were off, in a convoy heading across the lake to the far side where we had to get the canoes out of the lake, across the footpath and into the river – no-one fell in!! Along the river we went, the 3-man canoe covering a lot more of the river with their zig-zag route. Alison was at the front of our boat instructing me with “just me” or “together” as we made our way to Ditchford Lock where we had to dock, get out and move the canoes to the next stretch of the river, quite a physical activity (for some!). We passed the lovely building of Chester House, but I can’t remember if this was before or after the lock!! Back in the canoes we paddled against the current and the wind and when we docked at the Lower Lock at Wellingborough a small shower had us diving into our barrels for waterproofs. After some refreshments it was decided we had better turn back as we didn’t want to incur a time penalty. We were all better on the way back in the sunshine and with the benefit of the current taking us faster. We all got back in one piece and dry! An enjoyable 4 hours. Thanks to Pauline for organising, (and providing Keith with his packed lunch) and Jenny for deputising on the day.
SAILING AT RUTLAND - Alison Setchel
As we neared Rutland Water the heavy rain killed all the wind but 50+ people do not give up readily. Clothed in wetsuits, with warnings that all photos should be announced so that stomachs could be held in, we began the landside instruction on how to rig and steer a Laser Pico dinghy. Most of us managed to get the launch procedure done when suddenly there was a splash as someone took a refreshing dip before even leaving the shore. The wind was still avoiding us so we had to paddle some distance out of the sheltered bay before we caught a gentle breeze. We did manage to sail to the centre of the reservoir and practiced our steering on a couple of runs before it was time to head back in. Everyone enjoyed the session and stated that they would do it again
STREET RALLY - Marilyn Rogers
26 of us met at Earls Barton on a bright sunny morning for a Street Rally. We were split into 6 teams and set off at approximately 10-minute intervals. The teams were: The Infamous Five, The Long and The Short of It, The Barton Babes, The Cookfield Four, The Jelly Babies and The Four Tops. Starting from Jeyes of Earls Barton we turned right, first clue - A Medieval Inn? Do we stop for a pint, oh blow it wasn’t open. Onward we went around the village to find the answers to 32 clues, Hilary and David had put some interesting information about the village - Hangman's Gibbet, the love of numerous hearts in King Street, something to whet your whistle? Is there time for a pint? Or two? Shame, must press on. A cable drum made into a garden feature; this is to name just a few. We all finished at Jeye’s Tea Shop for cream tea - yum yum - and the score results. First was The Jelly Babies - Kate Hewitt, Ron Hanson, Trish Booth and Keith Merrick, with 28 points; 3 teams scored 26 or 27 and two scored 25, a very close call. A tie break of the lower two teams resulted in The Four Tops becoming the Bottom Team. This was an excellent event and thank you Hilary and Dave for all the hard work put into organising it
POTTERS BREAK - Richard Stanley
43 of us arrived at Potters for 3 full days of eating drinking and playing games - what's not to like? Loads of medals won and warnings from security that we were rowdy while watching the evening entertainment, it wasn't me I was getting drinks (my mother warned me about associating with a rough crowd). Kurling - medals were won here but who tried to bribe the judge that if he let her win she would buy him a drink? Who was chatted up in the sauna and didn't realise he was the entertainment compere because she had only seen him with his clothes on?
Quiz time - we won! We got all 20 questions right on Catchphrases and would have won the general knowledge except someone was positive xo xo on texting means "kiss my ring" it did in fact mean "hugs and kisses". Mind you the question master thought nobody drank tea before tea bags were invented, she thought it was just posh tea in a pot.
Bowls - who kept missing Greg Harlow the world bowls champion? She was either swimming or in the ladies when he came by for a chat. We all got soaked playing outdoor bowls and soaked again playing pitch and putt golf. Somebody got a medal for saying they got round in 30 when in fact it was 40?! (maths and eye sight need a bit of work). Mary - well done - covered all points on the climbing wall. Barry thought badminton was easy and you couldn't miss the shuttlecock, till he tried it! It was a full fun packed 3 days and can't wait to go again next year.
A big thank you to Pauline for organising.
Thoughts from Viv Fiander
What a fantastic time eating we had at this fun place. The food was fantastic and very tasty. There was a varied menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There was meat, fish and vegetarian meals. Coffee, tea and copious amounts of alcohol were consumed.
Our waiters were funny, and attentive. I would imagine we are all now dieting.
I can only thank Pauline for organising this active and fattening week.
And these from Mary and Steve O’Brien - Giant Swing
Only a few hardy 50+ souls attempted the Giant Swing challenge- mainly as that was all that time allowed. Alison bravely went first, and not a whisper escaped her lips- despite the sudden unexpected drop when the cable was released. The second duos ‘drop’ was not so quiet. Apologies to the golfers on the pitch and putt course (Jude especially - who was ‘put off’ an important stroke apparently) for the prolonged, ear-piercing scream that echoed across the landscape and interrupted their game – not mentioning the ‘vocalists’ name….. but her sister Carole has it on video if anyone would like to experience it! Great fun though J
To the soundtrack of the climax of Thursday’s Kurling competition, the climbing wall event started at the other end of the sports hall. Suitably harnessed and masked, the 50+ climbers (and a few interlopers) worked their way up and down the increasingly technical climbs… the most difficult one kept to the end, adding the extra challenge of weary limbs! Congratulations to all for their conquests, alas no medals were awarded.
Potter’s Activities Week (or How to Win a Medal!) - Carol Pullen
I arrived at lunch on our first full day and discovered some members of the 50+ Adventure Club wearing medals!! How did they get them because I wanted one to add to my very small collection at home: most of which were awarded to me for just turning up! Medals were awarded for winning an activity so I studied the activities list (all free) – Segway’s (no medals), Laser Clay (no way could I shoot at a moving target), quiz (not clever enough), bingo (not my scene), kurling (their spelling and I missed that one as I was in the sauna, talking to the compere!), air rifles (couldn’t load my rifle quick enough), rally carts (no prizes), welly wanging (on a walk), pitch and putt (I would be lucky to hit the ball) BUT there on the list was Archery!! I have participated in this activity with the club before, so I booked for Tuesday morning – just learning and no medal. Ditto Wednesday morning but getting better. The advantage of archery is that have you have both eyes open when sighting on the target; with air rifles you must shut one eye and I can never remember which one! Thursday was my last chance, so I booked two sessions, both with the knowledgeable Bruno. First session I scored 220 points and was in a tie with another holidaymaker, so we had a one arrow shoot-out. I LOST but received a runners-up medal but maybe session 2 would be better. I scored 260 points and won, but well done to Bob Wakefield who scored a bullseye and his name went up on the daily winner’s board. I came home with two medals, so honour was satisfied. Great week Pauline and thanks for organising
Thoughts from Hilary Cave
Arrived at Potters in the sunshine to a warm welcome from the check in staff, picked up our welcome pack and key then set off to find our ‘home’ for the week, then off to get my bearings and explore the vast complex. It was immediately apparent that there was a serious bowling competition also taking place the week we were there as there were smartly dressed men and women in their white outfits sitting in the ‘bowling bar’.
We were provided with a full timetable of activities taking place throughout the week both inside and out (which was just as well as Monday night we had torrential rain), it was always a topic of conversation when meeting up with other members of what activities they had done or planned to do. I particularly enjoyed the keep fit, Segway, kurling and craft workshop. Jenny also arranged a good exhilarating walk along the beach on Tuesday and Pauline a 50+ bowling competition although ‘rain did stop play’ which was a shame. The meals were amazing, SO much of and all freshly cooked. In the evening we enjoyed a programme of live music and dance. A big thank you to Pauline for organising a most enjoyable week.
Our Potters climbing experience - Barry Fitzhugh
Four members tackled the indoor climbing wall – me, Alison, Mary and Steve. There were six routes – blue, red was harder with an overhang and black – the hardest. Alison, Steve and I went first and completed the green routes, then Alison and I tackled the red. I then followed Steve on the black route – he got about halfway up twice – the second time ending with a graceful landing on his back; all was OK I got about halfway up, then Mary – who had done all the other routes – raced up the black right to the top, very impressive. She really deserved a medal but there were none to be had unfortunately. Many thanks to Pauline for the organisation and to all the other club members for making it a good week.
Lastly, some words from Hilary and Dave Chapman
When we arrived at Potters we were concerned that Dave’s recent shoulder op would make him an observer more than a participant, but we were pleasantly surprised at the variety of activities we turned out to be able to do. As soon as we arrived we headed for the leisure club and did some gentle swimming and sessions in steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi, and peeked into the fully fitted out gym. Then met up with other members for predinner drinks and catch up.
The dinner was lovely and it was great not to have to think about paying for drinks, food, activities and the West End style entertainment in the Theatre. (Every night we enjoyed the aftershow entertainment in the Garden Bar and danced to the livelier numbers) The different exercise and dance classes on offer led by the professional dancers were first class. We did some gentle table tennis, came joint third in the air rifles, got medals for curling competition, hole in one at crazy golf, very wet at outdoor bowls (the only time it rained). Went for walks and swam some more (you needed to with 3 course breakfast, lunch and dinner – not to mention the midnight snack Dave enjoyed every evening!) Watched the other members get muddy in the buggy riding, and saw them playing badminton, use the climbing wall, but missed the giant bungy swing. Plus the endless quizzes. Thank you Pauline for arranging such a brilliant week, we will be back next year.
AUTUMN WALK - Jenny Walker
My party of four eventually arrived at Saddington, with a minute to spare (we were delayed slightly, by taking the more scenic route, via Sibbertoft, another story). Everyone was soon booted and geared up for a wet day. We left Saddington, following the Leicestershire Round footpath, downhill, crossing foot bridges, to turn along a peaceful grassy valley, leading us to walk along a delightful stretch of the Grand Union Canal. Leaving the canal the walk became more challenging. Unusual for Leicestershire, we had more stiles than usual to tackle and the action of ‘getting your leg over’ is proving a bit more difficult for some of us! In 50+ style we coped with rain showers, steep ups and downs, rabbit and badger potholes, all looking out for each other, with warning shouts and everyone survived. It was a lovely walk, with great views. I will certainly do it again, on a clear sunny day. Most of us enjoyed a delicious Sunday roast in the Queen’s Head, on our return.
Thank you Jane, for arranging a great event.
TEN PIN BOWLING - Denise Gibson
27 50+ Adventurers arrived at Hollywood Bowl Wellingborough for an evening of strikes, splits and bowling shoes! Ok, it’s been so long since I last bowled, it turns out you don’t have to change into bowling shoes anymore and your own trainers are good to go.
Refreshed with complimentary drinks, our team of 7 logged our names into lane 24, one of the 4 VIP lanes. Who knew I would be able to bowl so consistently BADLY across a whole game of 10 frames? I was letting my team down, but I still had another game to redeem myself.
By frame 6 something was wrong, it was only after 6 balls bowled in my turn, the screen moved onto Tim. He bowled really well 9 pins with the first ball and the one remaining with his second ball but alas his score wasn’t added! It was time to call on the staff to put things right.
Sadly after 10 or 15 minutes the guy declared there were ‘too many bugs in the system’ had Team 24 had broken the lane? We were unable to finish, so it was Game Over when most of us still had 6 more balls left to bowl.
Congratulations to Mick and Jenny highest scoring man and woman on the night, and my commiserations to Tim who was doing rather well but unable to finish, so he was lowest scoring man.
I had improved a bit in game 2 but nowhere near enough, so I was definitely the lowest scoring woman!
Thanks to Pauline for organising a great evening and for the prizes including my Brazil Nuts, I also left with a ticket for complimentary bowling (for extra training), along with the rest of my team because of the gremlins in the technology, so perhaps I was a winner too😊.
NIGHT WALK - Barbara Hayward
We met in the car park of The Queens Arms, Orlingbury, on a beautiful, mild but cloudy November evening. We changed into walking shoes, collected rucksacks and wondered whether we needed to wear a hat or scarf or gloves because it was so mild. Those that decided not to wear them carried them … just in case.
Jenny ticked off our names from her list and kindly handed round the Quality Street to set us up for the walk and we set off down the road. After a short time, we turned onto a track lit by lanterns and torches held by various people.
It was steady underfoot and pleasant to chit chat with those people nearest to us. Soon we crossed over a road and before long we crossed over a little wooden foot bridge over a babbling brook towards a wooded tree area. It was fun walking through the fallen leaves kicking through them as we used to when we were kids, until we came to a clearing.
Being outside at night like this reminded Dennis of the times when, as a scout leader, he used to take his scouts out on night walks where they would cook up hot soup, lay in black bin liners to keep warm (that is what he told them!) and tell ghost stories.
As we hadn’t brought black bin liners, we stood in the pretty clearing (aka The Woodland Arms!) lit by lanterns hanging off branches and, thanks to Jenny, we shared some tasty mince pies and some warm mulled wine she had brought in a flask, followed by some chocolate heart shaped treats, the prize she had won at the bowling evening. Thanks for sharing, Jenny. What a lovely treat.
Feeling content after the lovely treats, we set off homeward bound, well back towards the pub anyway. The track took us back over the little wooden bridge and the babbling brook and past a few brambles and nettles. Jane stung her hand on a nettle. Someone suggested she may need resuscitating but, before the men could line up ready to volunteer, she patted her glove back on and decided she was quite well, thank you.
We walked along the track through a winter wheat field (definitely not barley!) and, before long, we found ourselves back in Orlingbury where the Beaver moon suddenly appeared, fleetingly, through the clouds but promptly disappeared again.
Back at the pub car park Jenny gave out any remaining sweets, shoes were changed and some people went into the pub*, which was a perfect end to a perfect evening.
What a lovely night walk and a lovely evening. Thank you Jenny.
*The pub was extremely busy (the food looked amazing) and the evening so mild that we sat outside on the patio under a gazebo (in the third week of November) drinking cold beer – must be a club first!
INDOOR BOWLS & CHRISTMAS LUNCH - Viv Fiander
We all met at the Desborough Indoor Bowls Club - an annual event.
A lovely time was had by all; there were club members to guide and help anyone who had never played before. We rolled the woods as near to the jack as possible, laughing and having fun. When this ended we had time to change our shoes and move into the bar for lunch which was served by very friendly waiters and, again, the food was excellent.
Another great activity.
(Not forgetting the free raffle, followed by mulled wine and mincepies at D&Js!)
Thank you Dennis for organising.
Happy Christmas and a healthy New Year to everyone. 🍷