Thirty-five club members descended on the Kingsway Centre in Middleton-in Teesdale to enjoy another classic Xmas annual dinner away meet.
Local hostelries and chip shop proved to be a magnet on the Friday night. Following this, members retired to their beds at different times in preparation for Saturday (the last to do so went to bed at 3.30am).
Saturday dawned fair and, during the day, activities ranges from one party walking along the river Tees to the mighty High Force waterfall; one party ascending to the top of a nearby mountain the summit of which was 675metres; one party mountain biking along some wild disused railway tracks and one party soaking up some industrial culture and history at Beamish museum. Saturday evening started with wine which was well mulled by Elen. Marian then took charge and cooked up a feast, which as on many other Xmas meets (along with the ever excellent Xmas puddings cooked by Rosie) was enjoyed by all.
Following the meal the anticipation was high as President McLeish rose to deliver an entertaining, if a little lengthy, awards ceremony. As with last year our President injected a bit of glamour into the proceedings by welcoming internationally renowned saucy glamour model for the over fifties ‘Davina’ to give out the awards.
Awards, in no particular order went to:
Russ – cycling. Rosie – walking. Improving – Tina and Jane. Hex for biggest fall – Pete. Marianne – Intrepid. Andrew – foot in mouth (in the absence of Hugh). Mike – Champion of the club. Bill – forgetfulness, and in her absence a well-deserved award for determination went to Mary.
Following the awards ceremony Vanda tempted people into doing some circle dance training in preparation for her birthday. Things rested up after this with Gordon and Russ entertaining the group with a few songs, some well-known and some not so (for those not on the weekend next time you see Russ ask him to give you his verse about the evolution of dogs!).
Sunday was again fair weather wise and more cycling, walking and museum visiting ensued. Mary arrived in time to join the cycle party who went up hill and down hill to Weardale, found a café, then it was up and down back to the centre.
All round it was a good weekend in a great location. Thanks to all for supporting and taking part.
Provisional organisation already taking place for the same event next year, possibly somewhere near Settle. See you there!