News & Events
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High Legh Garden Centre - Thursday, 25th April
Members will make their own way here, meeting for lunch at 12.00 noon in the restaurant. On our last visit we had excellent service, the food was good and we were well looked after by the staff so we hope that we can look forward to the same again.
Capriccio Concert - Sunday, 12th May 2019
Despite this concert being advertised previously, to date the uptake of tickets to be sold on by members has been EXTREMELY poor to say the least. The choir will perform a varied programme, which will include folk, jazz, some songs from The Sound of Music and classical choral pieces. It is likely that there will be a piano solo and a flute duet performed. Judy Fleming has put hours and hours of time into organising the event, creating adverts and flyers, getting vouchers from commercial sponsors for the raffle, designing the tickets, etc, etc. Do not embarrass us – come on everyone, this is an event to raise funds for MADYSS so PLEASE sell tickets! To get tickets (£10 each, under 18s free), you can contact Judy at 01625 426879 or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annual General Meeting - Monday, 13th May 2019
The Annual General Meeting date has been set for Monday, 13 May at the Macclesfield Tennis Club. More precise details will appear in the next newsletter but MADYSS Matters understands that Ike has arranged for a mysterious 'entertainer' to follow the business part of the meeting, during which the appointment of Committee members will be voted on. At present we have NO ONE for the roles of Membership Secretary and Fundraiser. The group cannot continue without a functioning Committee. PLEASE consider if you can help.
Reports on Past Events
Games Night and Fish & Chips Supper - 23rd March 2019
After last year's snow blizzard for the quiz night, it was a relief to get more spring-like weather on this occasion. Thirty-two MADYSS members and friends attended, eager to show off their quiz skills.
We were split into five teams then Tracey Higgins, who acted as John Humphrys for the evening, read out the questions that fell into the eight categories which she had put together: General Knowledge, Sport, TV, Geography, Films, In What Year, Music, and Pot Luck. We also had two bonus rounds of well-known faces and famous lines from films, which were on sheets of paper that each team could try and complete as we went along.
After four rounds we had a well-earned break, during which attendees eagerly devoured the fish and chips supper and refilled their glasses, ready for part two. On completing the final four rounds, the winning team ended up being the March Hares with 98 points, the winners by just one point!
In addition to the quiz, during the supper break three competitions of Roll the Coin were held. Contestants aimed to get a £1 coin nearest to a bottle of pink gin, gin and finally whisky. The winners of the respective bottles were Chris Willet, Michael Fleming and Chris Warrington, who is a friend of Michael and Judy Fleming.
Our sincere thanks and appreciation go to Tracey for the enormous amount of time and effort she put into developing and running the quiz.
Many thanks also to: Diane Thomas and Kay Evans for setting up and clearing the room; Thelma Farrell for organising and Gill Moseley for assisting her with the raffle; Monica Meah for supervising the Roll the Coin contests; and Roger Snelling and Kay for collecting the fish and chips.
Last but not least, thank you to the Tennis Club for letting us use the facilities, which were given to us free of charge, and to the volunteer bar staff, Jim Borggren and John and Judy Nixon. As well as enjoying a fun quiz night, we were able to raise £135 for MADYSS from the raffle and Roll a Coin competitions. Thank you everyone.
Chilli Banana - 24th February
A warm, sunny and spring-like day greeted us for the annual Thai buffet lunch at the Chilli Banana in Macclesfield. Thirty-two diners, both members of MADYSS and their family members in some cases, sat down to consume the usual selection of Thai delights.
We began with tempura vegetables, chicken wings and various soups before moving on to the mains. Among these the selections included pad Thai, and prawn, chicken and beef Thai-style dishes to be served with fragrant or boiled rice; crispy noodles were also available. A selection of sorbets and ice cream flavours provided welcome and refreshing desserts to round off the lunch. The staff were efficient and attentive in dealing with our group. Our thanks go to Kay Evans for organising a pleasant social event.
Ten-pin Bowling - January - Report by Yvonne Smith
Eighteen members attended our trip to the Superbowl, Macclesfield on Thursday, 17 January for our annual tournament of ten-pin bowling. Those attending opted to play two games each, meaning we had to be at the Superbowl for 3.00pm, leaving enough time to allow us a good session before going on to the Flower Pot for a meal.
We split into three teams of five. Team 1 (Anne, Gary, John, Kay and Tracey) were the overall winners with a total score of 867, with Teams 2 and 3 coming close on their heels with scores of 855 and 842, respectively. The best individual score went to John, with Tracey second, Richard third and Gill in fourth place. Listening to the screams of laughter and encouragement, it was clear that everyone was having a good time.
After all the activity, we were ready for our meal and the Flower Pot did us proud. It was a very enjoyable afternoon and evening, hopefully to be repeated next year. Many thanks to Monica Meah and to Kay Evans for organising another great event.
CHRISTMAS MEAL - 14th December
The Davenport Golf Club played host to us for the second year running, but fortunately this time the weather was much kinder. It was good to see that there was a large turnout of members with a total of 46 in attendance.
Tables seated eight people so there was plenty of opportunity to share the cracker jokes with other diners and chat between the courses. The waiting staff were pleasant and efficient in serving us too.
Each year Thelma Farrell has generously donated a Christmas hamper in memory of her husband Keith. The raffle held at the lunch for this splendid prize raised £179 for MADYSS, and although Val Bush's name was the first drawn out, she asked that it be redrawn and so the lucky winner on the second draw was Hilary Wheelock. We hope you enjoyed feasting on the goodies it contained Hilary!
Gawsworth Coffee Morning - 22th November
We had a very successful morning at the Gawsworth Methodist Church Hall on Thursday 22 November. Twenty-four members were present and this month MADYSS was the chosen charity; a total of £507 was raised for MADYSS.
A HUGE thank you to Thelma and the MADYSS ladies Yvonne, Margaret, Monica, Li , Sue, Chris, Jill, and Diane, together with all the others who worked very hard to ensure that the event was asuccess. Thank you to all of you who donated items and who came along to support the event. Without you it could not have been such a successful event. THANK YOU!
Trip to Cadbury World - 15th November
A lovely warm day with blue skies and sunshine meant that we could enjoy the autumn colours during our trouble-free journey down to Bournville and to Cadbury World. A total of 32 MADYSS members and friends had decided that a trip to chocolate heaven was a great idea and so it proved.
Our first part of the day comprised an heritage tour around Bournville on the coach, accompanied by a Cadbury guide. As an 18-year veteran of doing these tours, he was very informative on the buildings that we passed, the Cadbury's Quaker background and the lives of the workers.
Once back at the tour entrance, we were each given a Crunchie and bar of Cadbury's Milk before going through the first parts of the exhibition. These focused on how Europe was first introduced to the cocoa bean after Cortes' explorations of South America, and on his meeting the Aztec and Mayan civilisations who used cocoa to make a beverage from which today's hot chocolate eventually developed.
We continued to a seated area where we viewed a film showing how the Quaker John Cadbury and sons, Richard and George, set up the company in 1832 in Birmingham. The Cadburys realised that a happy workforce was a productive workforce and, true to their Quaker ethics, introduced a number of benefits that were unusual at the time: annual holiday, a pension scheme, and a day off each week for leisure and outdoor activities too in the Bournville village which the founders had built.
After viewing a demonstration of how chocolate was made (before modern machinery took over many of the processes), we proceeded back to the cafe for afternoon tea of sandwiches, scones, jam and clotted cream.
There was just time to take a stroll through the World's Biggest Cadbury Shop and stock up on a large variety of chocolate products before rejoining the coach. A huge thank you to Monica Meah and Kay Evans for organising a day out that was so 'sweetly' successful.
High Legh Garden Centre - 16th October
|We had a good time at High Legh Garden Centre. Fourteen people went and we were extremely well looked after during our lunch by very pleasant and attentive staff. We sat down at 12.00 noon and were so comfortable that it was 2.00 pm when we moved off to look around the Centre and do a little shopping. We'll definitely be going again next year.|
MADYSS Holiday to the Isle of Wight - September - Report by Tina Yearsley
After a delicious breakfast of bacon butties we set off in the sunshine. We made great time to Portsmouth which gave us time to visit the Marie Rose (pub that is). We all settled into our rooms and got our bearings in the hotel, in time for our evening meal and the entertainment. We were blessed with beautiful weather all week, and got to see the Island at its best. As Gary and I had been to the Isle of Wight before we thought this prior knowledge would help organising the first day out. Not so, as we have never toured the Island by coach and found the restrictions of parking to be quite a challenge. Luckily our lovely driver Patrick was calm and relaxed, and we managed a few hours in the picturesque village of Shanklin. The hills were tricky to say the least, so it was hard going.
Once back on the coach we enjoyed a tour of the island, passing through Godshill, with its thatched cottages and tea rooms. More parking problems ensued as we moved onto Arreton Barns craft centre. It was lovely watching the glass blowing and enjoying ice creams in the sun while Gary enjoyed the vintage one armed bandits.
Day two was Osborne House, Queen Victoria's summer hideaway with private beach. Very regal it was too, enjoying an insight into the home of The Royal Family. The grounds were vast so we all split up to enjoy the day. There were buses to help transport us to the beach, Swiss Cottage, the museum and back to the house with its lavish gardens. The evening entertainment was 60s night, which lured many out onto the dance floor to shake a tail feather and do our Tina Turner impressions. You know who you are! Ha ha.
On Thursday it was a difficult decision for what to do as various choices were on offer. Some set off early on a boat trip, to rest and bask in the sun on board. Patrick drove us to Quarr Abbey then carried on to Cowes with the most adventurous group who ended up going mountaineering. Of course they didn't mean too, just more parking restrictions and a very steep hill. The less said the better.
Quarr Abbey was relaxing with beautiful gardens and lovely woodland walk. I achieved my ambition of finally spotting the elusive red squirrels, which made my year. Those who stayed behind at the hotel to rest ended up competing in self-inflicted tournaments. In this way they enjoyed some of the sports facilities on offer: table tennis, mini golf, boules, swimming, sunbathing and drinking.
We returned from our day out in time for me to join in with the final event, which turned out to be a rather inebriated race in and out of the ornamental box trees, over the hedges, and back to the Spanish gardens. All I can say is much hilarity ensued, and I may have evidence of Sue's attempt on my phone for a small fee! Needless to say everyone was exhausted by the end of the week.
Our final evening meal and the last night's entertainment saw considerably fewer of us on the dance floor! I would like to personally thank Don and Sylvia for keeping us entertained every night until the staff were desperate to go to bed. As perhaps our most adventurous holiday yet, Gary and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would like to thank the MADYSS Committee and everyone involved who helped to organise such a fabulous trip.
Canal Boat Trip - 30th August
Treasure Hunt - 19th August - Report by Monica Meah
Ian and I, together with our family, enjoyed taking part in the Treasure Hunt on Sunday 19 August. We filled two cars. We all loved the adventure of exploring the 'unknown' (to us) Derbyshire countryside and looking for all the clues and answering (nearly) all the questions.
We liked parking up and exploring Longnor and Hartington – extensively! Filling in our answers we then headed back to the farm where we had started out from, looking forward to the BBQ. We were all ready for our food by this time.
Once back there, we savoured a feast and enjoyed each other's company. The results were announced – 'It is the taking part that counts'! Chocolate prizes were awarded to the deserved winners. The children drew the raffle tickets and prizes were received. It was a wonderful time of exploration, family, friendship and food. A special thanks to Steph and Kay Evans for organising it, and to Anthony and Sharon for hosting us at their magnificent farm at the foot of The Roaches.
Kay has informed MADYSS Matters that the hunt, a thoroughly enjoyable day, raised £163; other donations have take the total to £200. When the money raised from the Bollington concert that Steph organised is combined with the Treasure Hunt, the amount is £1,033. Fantastic news!.
Canal Boat Trip - 6th August - Report by Val and Allan Bush
On Monday 6 August at 11.00 am, a total of 12 MADYSS members boarded the narrow boat 'Mary Sunley 2' at its mooring on the Macclesfield Canal in Higher Poynton. After we set off, we started to see some wildlife in addition to what we had brought with us. Ducks in abundance and the odd heron, but no crocodiles, alligators, sharks, whales or dolphins (next time perhaps?). We also passed a number of old mills, including the Goyt Mill on the edge of Marple golf course.
Regrettably, Gary Yearsley couldn't come with us as he'd nearly worked himself to death the previous week and needed a well-earned rest (poor old man!). However, Tina came along to keep everyone in line from the pointed end of the narrow boat.
After a gentle cruise of about two hours without an attack by pirates, we reached Marple where the Macclesfield Canal meets the Peak Forest Canal and where Monica and Liz hopped off to pick up pre-ordered fish, chips and mushy peas, which we ate after turning around to start our return journey to Higher Poynton, where we arrived at around 3.00 p.m. Everyone expressed their enjoyment of a wonderful afternoon in the peace and tranquillity of our green and pleasant county.
New Home for the Bench
The MADYSS bench, given in memory of our founder John Evans, is now in its new location at the Flower Pot pub. The bench had been in the Stroke Ward garden at Macclesfield hospital but when the ward closed, Kay Evans took it home until it could be re-situated elsewhere.
You may recall from an old newsletter that assistance to renovate the bench had been requested. We are pleased to report that George Higginson has done a marvellous job in sanding down, varnishing and generally rejuvenating the bench. He has also made a small table to go with it (see photo). Never mind Bob the Builder, we have George the Joiner! Following the August Flower Pot meeting, the bench was officially welcomed to its new home by Kay.
Tittesworth Resevoir - 19 July - Report by Kay Evans
Ten members of MADYSS met at Tittesworth Water, Meerbrook where we were able to enjoy refreshments before a wander around the wellstocked
Visitor Centre. Some of us then followed this with a gentle stroll in glorious sunshine.
It was my first trip to Tittesworth and I cannot fathom why! It’s well planned with very pleasant, modern facilities, bright and airy, very accessible and has lovely grounds. It has good parking, a children’s play area and a reasonably priced and interesting menu, which we had to forego as we were moving on for lunch.
This being a Water Sports Centre it was lovely to see and hear trainee canoeists having instructive fun. Although water levels were low there was a huge amount of space both for the canoes and for the water fowl.
The interesting sculpture (see photograph below) created by Jason Thomson in 2003 is called ‘Earth Man’ and is meant to represent the close connection between humans and nature. Although a strange sight on first encountering, when studied the meaning becomes clear.
Concert by Bollington Festival Players - 23rd June
It wass the 10th anniversary of Kay Evans' husband John's death. A concert with Bollington Festival Players was held at Bollington Arts Centre.
Kay's daughter Stephanie organised the event and the proceeds from the concert was donated to MADYSS.
Coach trip to Crosby Beach & Southport Pier - 25th June
A perfect, warm sunny day ensured that those attending were suitably dressed for the occasion, sporting sun dresses, shorts and sleeveless tops. Once wheelchairs, scooters and other mobility aids were safely stowed away by our driver, 31 members and friends embarked on the coach trip from the Flower Pot.
We first stopped at Crosby Beach to see just a few of Anthony Gormley's 100 Iron Men. The tide had already receded so some of us ventured out to the nearest man and others stretched their legs on the promenade above. As the sand was firm the writer rode her scooter out to the nearest man. Having paused near him for several minutes, she quickly regretted her decision to stop when the scooter's weight with her aboard prompted it to start sinking into the sand. Luckily after much pushing and heaving, we managed to extricate the vehicle and return swiftly to the safety of the car park. Won't be trying that again!
Forty minutes later the coach dropped us off near the entrance to Southport Pier. Most of the coach trippers headed straight for a late lunch at the various eateries nearby. A gentle breeze from the Atlantic kept the temperature bearable, unlike in Macclesfield where it was still 28C at 6.15 pm on our return.
Members all did their own thing, but sometimes saw each other while wandering down the Pier, through the extensive gardens, or sitting watching the swans and Canada geese on the lake. Many of us were impressed by the very smart public toilets in Southport and the 40p charge for use was reasonable, given the quality of the conveniences. An amusing anecdote I have been asked to include in this report concerns one user who shall remain nameless, but whose initials are KK, who managed to leave her handbag in the loo and had to pay another 40p to retrieve it!
Lord Street proved an irresistible draw for some who indulged in a spot of retail therapy. On the day, a much-needed wide-brimmed straw hat, shoes and a handbag were among the purchases exhibited on the coach ride back to Macclesfield. Other buys were no doubt stored on the luggage shelf above the seats. Thank you to Monica and her able assistant, Kay, for organising the day out – and for arranging such super weather.
Annual General Meeting - 14th May
Members will have received the official Minutes of the AGM held at Macclesfield Tennis Club last month so this report will not cover the business matters of the meeting.
Following the business section, Ike introduced Nick Barnes who proved to be an excellent entertainer. Nick is a magician who also engaged us with his very amusing banter while carrying out a range of magic tricks. I think it is fair to say that he was a very good choice for the group, and he certainly seemed to be a skilful performer, showing great dexterity. Our special thanks go to Ike for arranging Nick to come.
The AGM was very well attended with 43 people present. All items were approved unanimously from the business side of the meeting which went very smoothly. An increased Committee was voted in and we are now fortunate to have a full and active Committee. Please see the yellow box at the bottom of the page for the Committee members and their titles.
Kay Evans once again organised a wonderful sandwich lunch followed by delicious fruit and cakes. Tea and coffee were served and a good bar service was offered by Jim. Thank you Jim. Warm and sincere thanks also to John and Judy Nixon of the Macclesfield Tennis Club who offered their very kind help and worked tirelessly to ensure that everything ran smoothly.
Josiah Wedgwood Coach Trip - 10th April
A group of 22 MADYSS members and friends gathered at the Flower Pot for our coach trip to the World of Wedgwood in The Potteries. We were waved off by our Social Secretary, Monica Meah who had organised the outing, but unfortunately personal circumstances prevented her joining us.
The journey was trouble-free but not so our arrival on site, which involved a 20-minute detour through somewhat narrow country roads. The Wedgwood estate unhelpfully provided no directional signs to our coach driver when a height barrier meant only low vehicles could access from the direction we were approaching! He expertly manoeuvred the coach around, both at this entrance and when searching for an alternative coach-friendly route into the estate.
Rejuvenated after a welcoming tea or coffee we split up, with some embarking on the self-guided factory tour and others heading for the museum. On the factory tour we had a chance to look down from the first floor level to the ground floor below and watch the workers engaged in the different processes involved to produce ceramics. We also learned that a large spray dryer on display (no longer is use) would have contained enough water to make two million cups of tea or supply a family of four's needs for two years! And did you know that Charles Darwin (The Origin of Species) was the grandson of Josiah Wedgwood? Proceeding down to ground level, we walked by some of the artists who paint intricate and delicate designs on the china ornaments and dinner ware.
Those who hadn't already toured the museum took the opportunity to have lunch before tackling this next part of the estate. It was chronologically arranged with areas devoted to the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Each of these showed a vast range of china, experimentation in colouring processes, and decorative designs. The museum provided a fascinating insight into how pottery has evolved over the past 250 years.
Of course the Wedgwood Tea Room which served drinks in Wedgwood bone china was a popular refreshment venue before the journey home. Our thanks go to Monica for arranging an enjoyable and educational day out.