Reports - Events & Days Out 2023

Visit to Upton House

Upton HouseUpton House
Upton House

Parts of the country woke up to snow on Sundy 3rd December but nevertheless 6 Country Link members made the journey to Upton House near Banbury, where it was wet and cold!

We went inside the house to see it decorated for Christmas (more details in December Chairman's Chat). We made the best of a wet day, had a light lunch, then decided to wrap up and walk around the gardens.

After all, many of us are used to working outside, getting wet and cold.

Member Spotlight

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Country Link member, and Northern Area Rep, Susan Chilton volunteers as a Rainbows, Guides, and Rangers leader in Northallerton, North Yorkshire.

The North Yorkshire North-East group is celebrating its 50th birthday and Rishi Sunak (MP for Richmond, North Yorks, and Prime Minister) was invited to visit the Rainbows group to help make a paper chain with the names of all adults and girls in the county who are involved with guiding. The PM put his name on a link to be included in the chain as well.

He joined the Rainbows girls, sitting in a circle on the floor, for news and he told them the best bits about his work from the previous week.

Hilariously, the PM then completely upset his security team by staying too long chatting with the girls. As parents arrived to collect the girls he also chatted with the parents and allowed photos (and selfies) to be taken, all without any names being given or any security checks or clearance.

National Days Out - September and October

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During September we enjoyed two National Days Out.

First of all, there was a return visit to Oakham Treasures near Bristol which saw two members attending.

The second visit was to Shepshed Water Mill in Leicestershire. Four members (and a border terrier) visited Shepshed where they saw the watermill turning, a blacksmith working, and a collections of vintage cars.

There was some spare time at the end of the day so two people made an unscheduled visit to Statfold Barn Railway where there was a Road, Rail, and Ale event.

At the beginning of October two members (and aforementioned border terrier) visited Corby Glen Sheep Fair. This was a family fun day with Many artisan market stalls, Morris dancing, live music, demonstrations from the local dance school, choir singing, a dog show, a classic car show, and an axe throwing area.

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Visit to Middleton Hall Tamworth

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On Saturday 12th August a total of 6 members (and one border terrier), from Warwickshire and Staffordshire Country Link groups visited Middleton Hall near Tamworth. Everyone enjoyed looking around the courtyard with it's bespoke shops, and then went into the house and gardens.

In the house there was a museum about the Peel family. John Peel was a former tenant at Middleton Hall and MP for Tamworth. He was also a cousin of Sir Robert Peel - the founder of the Metropolitan Police. Another room housed a collection of birds eggs.

In the grounds there is a walled garden with a bothy in it, as well as a fountain and a blacksmith's forge. Fortunately, the weather was kind to us staying dry and sunny.

A civil war re-enactment was taking place in the grounds over the course of the weekend so there was plenty to see and do.

Hoveringham Vintage Vehicle and Tractor Society - Rally & Show 2023

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At the end of May the small village of Hoveringham, in Nottinghamshire, welcomed people from across the county to the annual Vintage Vehicle Rally and Show The event took place on Sunday 28th May and this year was the 25th Anniversary.

Many of the Nottinghamshire Country Link members were at the event. Peter Hurt was there with his Ford tractor, Tim and Michele Robson were there with a 1966 Martin Markham Colt De-Luxe tractor, and a 1946 Ransome's MG2 Crawler with a TS42A plough. Tim's Martin Markham tractor is No. 101, and was the first one off the production line. Both of these tractors had been at the very first show so took part in a drive around the arena for the 25th Anniversary. Tim and Michele were also given a specially made badge to mark the 25th Anniversary.

Mick Hammond took along some of his vintage vehicles which many of you will have seen during the visit to Mick's last October (National Weekend at South Normanton), David Owen was there with his tractor, and Steve Tooley was there with both an old and a new Land Rover, as well as a tractor. Some of you will have been to Steve's in 2016 when we held a National Weekend in Leicestershire. More recently both Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire groups have visited on club events as part of their club programmes.

Sue Hallam was in charge of the dog show, Nick and Anya arrived in a vintage car, and Pat Bosworth set up a stall selling old books and farming memorabilia.

HVVS raise money for the Notts and Lincs Air Ambulance at this event, as well as for other local charities.

It was a glorious sunny day and everyone who attended enjoyed it.

Photos courtesy of Paul Gregory.

National Day Out - Anderton Boat Lift

Six members from Warwickshire and Cheshire Country Link groups recently enjoyed a day out at the Anderton Boat Lift close to Northwich in Cheshire.

The morning visit to the boat lift included a boat trip and was followed by a good Sunday Lunch at the Stanley Arms, a nearby pub with views over the Trent and Mersey canal. During the afternoon they went to view a private collection of vintage cars and tractors at John Eaton's at Davenham near Northwich.

Lorraine and John, from Warwickshire, had made a full weekend of it and also visited the Railway Museum at Crewe on the Saturday.

For details of more National Days Out please contact Lorraine on 07968 891065

Warwickshire Country Link

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Warwickshire Country Link recently visited Tropical Bird Land at Desford in Leicestershire. It was a very busy, but enjoyable, day out. You can see from the photograph that John, a less able-bodied member, has a bird sitting on his arm which he is feeding.

Lorraine from Warwickshire also organised a 'National' day out for ALL members of Country Link to visit Shugborough Hall in Staffordshire. A total of 9 members, from Warwickshire and Staffordshire, attended. The weather was good and they all enjoyed looking around the walled gardens and found the tower very interesting. Following this they went into the hall and around Lord Lichfield's private apartments. Finally, they had time for a coffee and a look around the shop and gardens before setting off home.

Lorraine will be arranging more National days out later in the year - a visit to the Anderton Boat Lift in Cheshire on 16th July, and a return visit to Oakham Treasures near Bristol in September. Details will be on the website. If anyone is interested in going on either of these visits please contact Lorraine on 07968 891065.

Visit to Oakham Treasures

Two people from Country Link visited Oakham Treasures on 18th April. It is a well-run private museum which is open to the public. There was something for all to enjoy whatever your interests are. The collection includes old tractors, an old tractor seat from Germany, old farming implements, old motorbikes and cars, and lots of other memorabilia making use of all the floor space.

There's a lot of old horse bits, beer cans from many different areas (some still unopened!), an area of display cabinets showing egg cups, thimbles, old shaving pots and brushes, old kitchen equipment, books, and typewriters.

Many different household items and old toys are displayed, and there is a post office area as well.

The collection also includes vintage clothes and hats. Every time you turned a corner you found something new to look at.

Lorraine, from Warwickshire, says it was well worth the drive down to Bristol and she plans to go again later in the year. The museum is all indoors so not weather dependent. If anyone is interested in going then please contact Lorraine on 07968 891065 so that a date can be arranged. Lorraine is only able to go down to Bristol on a Tuesday as that is her only day off.

Cornwall Country Link

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We're all having to tighten our belts, and watch the pennies a little closer, these days.

So here in Cornwall we've opted to meet at Sainsbury's in Penzance, overlooking Mounts Bay. The views are terrific, and we have a much cheaper Sunday lunch than in local pubs or hotels.

For our latest walk we travelled by car, sharing where possible, to the starting point where there was a free car park, and free entry to a Cornish Heritage site at Carn Euny. Carn Euny is a Bronze Age settlement. At the end of the walk we shared home baked cakes while enjoying the glorious view from the last hill in Cornwall, overlooking Land's End and the Scilly Isles.

Because of heavy rain the week before we knew the walk would be muddy, a strong northerly wind kept the temperature down, but the day stayed fine. We trudged through the mud to Euny Wells, crossing exposed moorland. The Wishing Wells are ancient and mystical. People visit the sites to leave tokens, such as cotton ribbons, in the surrounding trees. As the ribbon rots and disappears, so do the ailments or problems of the person who left the ribbon. The Bronze Age settlement is very close by.

After a short detour, due to a flooded gateway, we climbed Chapel Carn Brea - the last hill in the country. Here we took in the breath-taking view and let the wind blow away the cobwebs.

More, similar, walks are planned to enjoy the Cornish Heritage sites with members of Cornwall Country Link.

Essex and Suffolk Country Link

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At the beginning of December Essex and Suffolk Country Link enjoyed their Christmas Meal at The Bell in Feering. Many of our members were wearing Christmas jumpers and a good time was had by all.

The visit to the Air Ambulance took place during the summer. There was a good turnout and a lot of interest from the members. We're all looking in good in our high-vis jackets!

Nottinghamshire Country Link

Drone2Home - Team

Wednesday 18th January saw Nottinghamshire Country Link come together for their first meeting of 2023. We met at The Gleaners' Inn in Calverton where we used their private room and had a guest speaker.

Phil James, and volunteer Rebecca, from Drone to Home came to talk to us. We had a really good turnout for this with 17 members, and 1 guest, attending.

Phil is an ex-policeman / personal security officer who talked to us about our personal security and gave us some really good tips. For example, always reverse into your parking space - it's much easier to get away quickly if you feel threatened or at risk. A simple thing to do.

He also talked about the charity he has set up called Drone to Home. Phil has a drone with a thermal imaging camera which he uses to search for lost pets - mainly dogs although other animals have been found. He does NOT look for cats. He also gave a lot of advice about what to do if your dog does go missing.

Although Phil only works in the East Midlands area he will gladly give advice over the telephone to people nationwide. They are a small team and are unable to travel long distance.

Our group made a donation of £40.00 to the charity and some of the members bought merchandise which was for sale on the night. For more information see their website or Facebook page:

Website: Home - Drone to Home

Facebook: Drone To Home | Nottingham | Facebook

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