Reports - Events & Days Out 2022

Cornwall Country Link

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Cornwall Country Link held a dinner dance on 9th December 2022 at Penmorvah Manor, Falmouth. Over 40 members attended the event.

During the evening a raffle was held which made £141.00. The proceeds of the raffle will be donated to Go Beyond (formerly Chicks).

Go Beyond provide holidays for children aged 8-15, from all over the UK, who wouldn't otherwise be able to have a holiday. They have two holiday centres - the Coastal Centre in Cornwall at Twyardreath near St Austell, and the Daleside Centre near Ashbourne in Derbyshire.

More information about Go Beyond can be found on

Nottinghamshire Country Link

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Nottinghamshire Country Link had a successful Harvest Supper in early October with 22 members attending, where we enjoyed a Ploughman's Platter of bread, cheese, pork pie, and pickle, followed by apple pie and custard.

A few of us went to see the fireworks on bonfire night, on the field at Woodborough Village Hall. Our member Marion has access to the field from her back garden so after the fireworks we went back to Marion's where we enjoyed mulled wine. Sadly, there was no bonfire at this event.

At the end of November we had a go at icing biscuits for Christmas. Pat and Roma baked the biscuits in the shape of stars, Christmas trees, and Christmas stockings. Tim prepared the icing and piping bags, and demonstrated some icing techniques to show us what to do. See the photos for the end results. I'm sure all of the biscuits were eaten quite quickly, but now we know what to do if we want more for Christmas!

We also held our Christmas Meal in the first week of December. This took place at The Old Green Dragon pub in Oxton and 17 of our members attended the event. No photos from this - we were all too busy eating and chatting! Our last remaining event before Christmas is a visit to a small local theatre for an evening of Christmas music ready to set us up for the big day.

Merry Christmas Everyone.

Ayrshire Country Link

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It is so good to be back to some form of normality after our difficult couple of years with Covid.

With the beginning of Spring, we were happy to be meeting up with each other again on a more regular basis and attended quiz and games nights, a visit to the cinema, and 3 members enjoyed catching up with everyone at the spring weekend in Buxton.

Summer arrived and with it all the celebrations for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. The sun kept shining on the 5th June for our garden party when we toasted Her Majesty, enjoyed traditional coronation chicken, the newly created platinum pudding, strawberry cream scones and other tasty bites. We played a few games of our version of croquet - Corgi Croquet - you can see one of the little dogs in the bottom left of the photo! Lots of bunting flapped in the breeze, although no photos captured the decorations!

Later in June, a few of us spent a lovely afternoon strolling through Blair Estate near Dalry, and had a lovely meal to follow by the coast over at West Kilbride.

Troon RNLI held it's Open Day in the middle of July - a boat pull through the town in the morning was followed by an afternoon of fun down at the lifeboat station ,where a number of our group met up and enjoyed the activities together.

Farming work has gone well throughout the summer, and the weather has been a mixture of a few very hot days - allowing us to make some hay in addition to the silage - cool breezy days and the usual Ayrshire very wet days. We still have green fields and gardens, so really can't complain about our typical west of Scotland weather when we hear the reports of water shortages and burnt grass south of the border.

As we look forward to the rest of the summer, we are keeping our fingers crossed for a nice day to go on our annual ( but first since 2019 ) car treasure hunt in the middle of August. Of course, a meal will follow - we love eating out in Ayrshire!

At the end of the month we have booked a visit to a relatively new heritage museum which has wonderful displays of all things agricultural, emergency services memorabilia and local history. It promises to be an interesting day, and yes, we will eat afterwards!

And all too soon it will be cooler days again, and we should be back to holding our autumn/winter meetings in Kilmarnock. Quite a few interesting talks are planned over those months.

We send everyone good wishes from Ayrshire, and hope you enjoy the rest of the summer with your own club activities.

Nottinghamshire Country Link

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On Wednesday 27th July Nottinghamshire Country Link went to play croquet at a local club. Two of our members, Tim and Michele, are experienced croquet players. Tim and Michele organised the evening and were there to show us the ropes. Michele's mum and dad were also on hand to help.

We played in two teams of two, following a route around the pitch. The aim is to be the first person to knock the ball through the hoop and to win the point. Play then goes straight on to the next hoop. The team with the most points (or hoops!) wins the game. Tim introduced us to the basics - how to stand, hold the mallet, position our feet, and different types of shot.

For our second game we formed teams of two with one experienced and one inexperienced player in each team.

It appears to be a simple and straightforward game. However, the game is very tactical. You can block an opponents' ball by trying to place your own ball between their ball and the hoop, or you can attempt to knock an opponent's ball away from the hoop so making it more difficult for them to win the point.

The following week, 3rd August, we visited Running Wild Floral Design where the owner, Chrissy, not only makes floral arrangements, wedding bouquets and so on, but also grows the flowers that she uses.

Chrissy rents a small field at Manor Farm in Bleasby where she grows the flowers in raised beds. Her speciality is growing dahlias but sadly they are late coming in to bloom this year so weren't ready. Chrissy walked us around the flowerbeds, cutting some blooms as we went, and then she demonstrated the making of a hand-tied bouquet from the flowers she had cut.

There is a Tea Shop at Manor Farm and, although they close at 4.00 pm, they kindly prepared home-made sones, jam, cream, and a pot of strawberries for each of us. There was also a choice of tea or coffee, all of which was served in the garden. The weather was perfect, and it was a lovely evening.

Both meetings were enjoyed by all who were there.

Nottinghamshire Country Link

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On Wednesday 6th July 2022 Nottinghamshire Country Link met for their Annual Photo Walk / Quiz.

This event has taken place for several years now and is held in a different village each time. The format is that someone (usually Vicky) goes out to find a suitable village, with a pub and some parking, and takes some photographs. Questions are created from the photographs, then the photos are 'doctored' to hide the answers. Members go off either as individuals or in small groups looking for the answers. We reconvene at the pub afterwards for a drink and to go through the answers.

This time we met in a small village called Bleasby. It has a population of around 800, and one pub - The Waggon and Horses. It's amazing what you can find when you get out of the car and start to walk around rather than just driving through. For example, in Bleasby there is an Air Force Memorial for the crews of WWII aircraft. This is easy to miss despite the village being so small.

We nearly always have a good turn out for these meetings - even if it is pouring down with rain! This time 15 members turned up to take part in the quiz, as well as Vicky who had set it. It was a lovely evening, and we were able to sit outside at the pub for our liquid refreshments afterwards. While we were sat enjoying our drinks the barmaid came out with two fairly substantial porkpies, with the compliments of the landlord. One was a traditional porkpie and the other had a Stilton Cheese topping. There was mustard and chutney too, and there was plenty to go round so that we could all have a portion of pie to enjoy.

What a lovely gesture, and a nice way to round off the evening.

Oxfordshire Country Link

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As we finally move into the endemic stage of Covid, after two years of a pandemic, we find ourselves looking forwards.

We managed to keep our, admittedly small group, going over the last two years by virtue of walks and barbecues, eventually moving onto outdoor pub meets. Running up to Christmas three of us have managed to join the Worcester group for some of their very enjoyable meals out.

Moving into 2022, eleven of us made a return visit, after an absence of a number of years, to The Theatre Chipping Norton for the adult version of their pantomime Rapunzel. Including members and guests from as far afield as Worcestershire and Northamptonshire. A very jolly time was had by all, even if I got wet and didn't get any sweets.

On the 25th of January, probably much to our Scots friends' dismay, we held a very enjoyable Burns supper with seven in attendance , many thanks to Kate and Paddy.

Now as I look out of the window and see the snowdrops and winter aconites fading and daffodils appearing everywhere we head into spring. Moving forward a new program is being drawn up to include pub quizzes, walks, including one around the Otmoor Reserve, meals out, point to points, and going into summer, firework concerts, barbecues, and possibly a few competitions against other clubs. Hopefully a varied program will give new members something to look forward to.

Ayrshire Country Link

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So it's goodbye to 2021, and another very strange year for us all . We have missed meeting up on a regular basis, but have done what we can to keep in touch.

We tried to keep our quizzes and various competitions going throughout the year which kept us busy, and the occasional Zoom chat for a few folk. An enjoyable evening was spent last January when some members from Essex & Suffolk and Durham joined us for a Zoom quiz night.

Spring/Summer work kept us busy, but when August came we were at last able to meet up safely outdoors. A few of us enjoyed a walk around Dumfries House Estate at Auchinleck, followed later in the month with a picnic in Jim & Sally's garden. The Root & Industrial competition was again done by submitting photos - some great looking entries! The girls met in September for a McMillan coffee morning at Caroline's, and then on a wet Sunday at the beginning of October a few of us braved the rain for a walk around Loudoun Hill before meeting others for our first indoor event - a lovely lunch at the nearby Inn.

At the beginning of November, we returned for the first time since lockdown started to our usual venue, for an Italian night - delicious pizza all round followed by an Italian themed quiz.

December was then upon us, and a festive bar supper was enjoyed, during which Robert & Liz were presented with the Lockdown trophy for most points gained in all our online quizzes!

As we didn't have a formal Christmas night out, we opted for a lovely lunch at the college in Kilmarnock. Everyone enjoyed this very much and the students did a wonderful job cooking and serving the meal. Will definitely do that again.

And now as I write this, we are back to limiting contacts again to 3 households, so no Burns Supper this year. But "We're No' Awa' Tae Bide Awa' ", so hopefully rules will be relaxed again by the time of our scheduled AGM in March.

Looking ahead, fingers crossed, we can get back to a new "normal" soon.

Happy New Year to all.

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