Reports on Events in 2019
Christmas Lunch - 16th December
This was the third year that we had arranged the group's festive meal here and once again we were not disappointed. The day dawned clear and sunny for the 50 members who attended the golf club, where we gathered in a spacious and bright room with tables seating six or eight.
Pulling crackers (but not always with a bang!), groaning at the jokes enclosed, and wearing colourful party hats – a traditional custom but not universally observed – ensured much merriment.
Following the meal we held a raffle, which raised £220 for our funds. There were four prizes, the main one being the large food hamper donated by Thelma in memory of her late husband Keith. The lucky recipients were: Sheila Blamire who won the food hamper; Tracey Higgins who took away the chocolates; Yvonne Smith who received the wine; and Don Brown who carried away the panettone.
As usual the event was organised efficiently by our activities ladies, Kay and Monica, with Kay taking a leading role (but she did eventually sit down to eat!). Our thanks to them and to Thelma for providing the wonderful raffle prizes.
Flower Pot Carols and Festivities - 14th December
The evening was well supported by Flower Pot regulars and the tombola and raffle raised a magnificent £348 for MADYSS. It was a busy and noisy Saturday evening, but the children's choir provided a tuneful counterpoint by singing a range of carols and Christmas songs. In addition to the tombola, Chris Willet and Kay Evans sold raffle tickets to customers for three prizes: a Christmas cake, three bottles of fine wines, and a food hamper.
Approximately 20 MADYSS members went along to the evening and seemed to amass a range of tombola prizes, but perhaps fortunately the raffle prizes were won by other pub customers. Sincere thanks must go to Diane Thomas, ably assisted by Tracey Higgins for running the tombola, and to pub landlord Glen Farrell who allowed the event to be held. We must not forget Thelma, who with Glen's contributions, again organised the splendid raffle prizes, and to anyone else who assisted in whatever way to ensure the evening's success, thank you.
Chatsworth Coach Trip - 26th November
Thirty-seven members and friends gathered on a drizzly Tuesday morning at the Flower Pot for a 9.00 am start to take the coach to Chatsworth. We had an uneventful journey there, initially stopping at the cafe and farm shop. Here we refreshed ourselves before going on to the Christmas market and tour of the House.
The market comprised a large number of stalls that sold a wide range of items from foods such as cheese, chocolates and pies, to all sorts of items suitable for Christmas gifts. Among these were ceramics, jewellery, wooden sculptures and jigsaw puzzles for children.
After going our separate ways to wander on our own around the stalls, we met up near the House for the 2.45 pm tour Monica had booked for the group. The theme was based on Phileas Fogg's and Amelia Earhart's journeys around the world.
The rooms were themed according to different countries' celebrations of Christmas. Signposts in each room indicated distances from Chatsworth and amounts of snowfall in December. Countries in Europe, Asia, North and South America were all represented. These included The Netherlands, Spain, China, Japan, Brazil, USA and Canada.
We got back to the Flower Pot just before 6.00 pm after a long day, but comments and the numerous bags suggested that the trip had been enjoyed by many. Our thanks go to Monica and Kay for the arrangements and to Chatsworth staff for efficient execution of this annual logistical nightmare!
My Life in Music, Talk by Keith Yearsley - 28th October 2019
On Monday 28 October, Keith Yearsley MBE gave an interesting and laughter-provoking presentation at the tennis club in Macclesfield. About 30 members attended and enjoyed a buffet lunch of sandwiches, crisps, mini bites, fruit, and cheese and biscuits. Following the lunch, Keith who is a Maxonian born and bred, entertained us with a review of his life in music, accompanied by snippets of various pieces on the keyboard, which Geoff Blamire had provided for the afternoon.
Keith learned the piano from the age of seven. His mother only permitted him to go and play out with friends when he had done his half-hour daily practice! During his formative years he sang in the choir at York minster, and when in the army he started and led a choir of his fellow recruits. Keith has clearly had a varied life with music the driving force. The former headmaster of Upton Priory and Ivy Bank spoke about receiving the MBE from the Queen in 2008, and his role as conductor of the Oriana Choir.
Keith concluded his talk by having members shout out numbers from 1–70. He then playing the song that tallied with the list of 70 songs he had written down, all pieces he knew off by heart. There was just time for him to tell a few jokes, which were all very well received by the audience. Our thanks go to Kay for ordering and collecting the buffet food, to Monica for help in organising the event, to Geoff for the loan of his keyboard, and to the tennis club staff June Wardle and Ann Tunwell for setting up the room and running the bar during our event.
National Arboretum Coach Trip - 21st September 2019
Promptly at 9.00 am on a beautiful sunny Saturday, 27 members set off from the Flower Pot to visit the National Arboretum in Staffordshire. We could not have ordered any better weather.
We arrived 2 hours and 20 minutes later due to heavy traffic on the motorway, and the coach driver Yvonne had to make some diversions. Unfortunately this made us too late to attend the Act of Remembrance at 10.50 am. There was just time for a comfort break before boarding the land train for a 50-minute trip around a large proportion of the fascinating memorials, with a running commentary as to which branch or supporting services the memorial represented.
At 1.00 pm we went to the restaurant where an excellent two-course, waitress-served lunch with tea or coffee was provided and, if desired, alcoholic beverages could be purchased. The private restaurant was enclosed by large windows, giving views in all directions. Our group had three large round tables which were beautifully set out. The meal was excellent with a choice of four main courses.
We then had two hours of free time to walk around and see any of the memorials we wanted. The group was also able to visit several stalls and purchase items from the Autumn Fair. At 4.15 pm we departed the Arboretum and arrived back at the Flower Pot safely at 6.00 pm. Thank you Monica and Kay for arranging a great day out.
Llandudno Coach Trip - 29th August 2019 - by Kay Kennedy
Our trip to Llandudno started dead on time from the Flower Pot on Thursday 29 August, which was a warm sunny day. Arriving two hours later, we disembarked from the coach and went our separate ways.
Thelma, Sue, Val, Anne, Gill and I went along the promenade and enjoyed the sea breeze and sunny conditions. We ended up having fish, chips and mushy peas with several glasses of wine! Lots of chit chat, what could be nicer? We finished the day being driven home by our lady driver, which was the end of a very pleasant day out for me with the girls!
Rudyard Hotel Lunch - July 2019 - by Gill Mosley
21 MADYSS members and guests met at the Rudyard Hotel for luncheon. The meals and drinks were ordered and consumed with laughter and friendship. Afterwards some of the diners went for walks around the lake or sat down at the lakeside tables to enjoy ice creams, the fresh air and chat.
Chester Zoo Coach Trip - 27th June 2019
Originally 26 members and friends had booked for the outing, but unfortunately illness, injury or other commitments meant that only 19 of us went to the zoo in the end. We had one of the warmest and sunniest days so far this year, which meant that many of the animals chose to stay hidden away in the shade or in the cool of their indoor enclosures, out of the view of prying eyes!
Once Kay and Monica had sorted out tickets and arranged for delivery of the scooters hired from the zoo to the coach park, we went our separate ways within the zoo itself. Certainly, those individuals who had hired scooters were able to cover many of the zoos different areas more easily and comfortably. We were rewarded with sights of the tiger, flamingoes, Humboldt penguins and Rothschild's giraffe to name a few.
A huge thank you goes to Kay and Monica for organising the trip, for arranging the lovely brand new coach from Belle Vue coaches and for the hire of the zoo scooters, which were much needed by many to explore the vast acreage of the zoo. Oh, and a special mention for NOT performing a rain dance!
Afternoon Tea at Gawsworth - 22nd June 2019 - by Ike Karnon
On a lovely sunny afternoon, Diane and some of our ladies arranged a wonderful Afternoon Tea and Bring and Buy Fair at the Methodist Church Hall in Gawsworth. The most outstanding feature was the superb offering of freshly baked cakes, which were donated by our members, friends and some of the Gawsworth regulars. We are still enjoying them, never mind the calories!
There were lovely stalls such as books, jewellery and pottery, ladies' bags and scarves, bric-a-brac, beautiful Venetian masks kindly donated by Yvonne’s sister, Sandra, and of course a raffle with a variety of prizes, which raised £88. In total the Fair raised £277. A generous contribution to MADYSS!
We were disappointed by the poor attendance. The glorious sunshine was probably one of the reasons, but it would have been good if more MADYSS members (excluding the helpers) were able to come along.
Thank you Diane for organising this successful event. Thank you also to the ladies who looked after the kitchen. You worked hard and looked after us very well. You managed to raise £56. Thanks to all the helpers: Jill, Thelma, Val, Monica and Ian, Sue, Kay Kennedy, Kay Evans, and Lesley. And thank you to all who contributed and attended.
Annual General Meeting - 13th May 2019
The meeting took place at Macclesfield Tennis Club on 13 May and was attended by 44 members. Only a brief summary of the meeting will be reported for the newsletter here, but official Minutes will be available later.
Two new Committee members were elected: Sue Stephenson as Membership Secretary and Diane Thomas as Fundraiser. Following a review of the year and the Treasurer's report, the members and Committee held extensive discussions about the proposed changes to the Constitution.
As the business meeting had extended far beyond the time planned, the invited speaker sensibly proposed to return to the group on another occasion to present to us. Ike thanked him for that offer, which we will take up at a future date.
After the meeting we were all ready for something to eat and eagerly tackled the buffet, which Kay Evans had kindly organised and picked up from Sainsbury's earlier that day.
Capriccio Concert - Sunday, 12th May 2019
You will all be pleased to know that the Capriccio Concert raised a fantastic £1,755 on the day, and additional donations took the total amount to over £1,800. Quite superb. We must say a huge thank you to Judy Fleming for organising the event, even if it did give her a few grey hairs (!), and to MADYSS members who came along to help on the day.
A range of delicious cakes were baked and donated by Judy and Michael's daughter and daughter-in-law, and by three kind ladies who had no links to MADYSS whatsoever! Other members provided items for the two huge hampers that Thelma put together, sold tickets, and supported the concert in a variety of ways. Thank you everyone, the end result was well worth it.
High Legh Garden Centre - 2nd May 2019 - by Ike Karnon
It was local elections day. We were fed up with politics and politicians. So what better than to ignore them and spend the day at High Legh Garden Centre instead.
It was our second visit this year, which perhaps explains why there were only 12 of us present, but nevertheless it was a lovely day. Nice weather, except for one or two showers and a wonderful place to visit.
We met at noon only to find that Thelma and Jill had been shopping since 10.00 am, emptied all the shelves and appeared ready for a rest, so we all gathered in the café, which was quite busy for a mid-week lunch time. We had reserved tables and were very well looked after by the staff. We all enjoyed a hearty lunch, drinks, and delicious desserts. After coffee and a chat we went our separate ways to enjoy the vast shopping area. Somebody said that at High Legh you can find anything and everything you don’t need. Perhaps so, but what a choice! If you are a keen gardener you will be planting for weeks after your visit.
It was nice to see Val there and also Ian who seemed to enjoy his day. Thank you both for coming. We all had an enjoyable day and left with empty wallets and full cars. Perhaps we will give it a miss for a while, but don’t worry we will be back.
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.