October 26th, 2013
The weekend began on Friday with everyone greeting old friends and meeting new ones. The three course meal was followed by the disco and fancy dress competition - lots of interesting interpretations of the 'Green theme'. The competition was won by two Derbyshire members - David and Lyn - well done to both of you. Seems to be quite a theme, because two Essex members won in May.
Saturday gave everyone a chance to explore Dorset, with trips to a local brewery and Shaftesbury, a walk from the hotel around Sherborne and a visit to Wincanton Racecourse and Stourhead. The trip to the Racecourse was very interesting - our guide was very enthusiastic and talked about all aspects of the Racecourse. We walked round the jumps - such a skill to build them, and they are huge too! Have a lot of respect for the jockeys and their horses! Stourhead is a lovely house, and not too large - one that you could imagine living in. The evening was a smart, black tie affair with the ladies in their glad rags, and everyone enjoyed a three course meal, chatted about their day and danced the night away.
Sunday began with the AGM after breakfast, before everyone went off to do their own thing. Walked into Sherborne - visited the Abbey, which was made even more interesting because the Abbey grounds and the surrounding area had been transported back to Victorian times as 'Far from the Madding Crowd' was being filmed there. Didn't see anyone famous, and will have to play 'spot the location' when the film comes out. We then walked to the Castle, but the weather had changed and we got very wet and cold on our way there. Another interesting building, which has been extended over the years. The weather had brightened up, and we walked round the grounds to look at the old Castle, which had been owned by Sir Walter Raleigh. We also sat on the stone bench he sat on to watch the traffic in Sherborne. In the evening, we all played games which was great fun, and brought back many memories. Well done to Gordy for supplying the games, and hope you got them all back safely …
Monday saw everyone enjoying a hearty breakfast before saying goodbye and setting off to different parts of the country.
Many thanks to Nigel and Wendy Swain and to the rest of the A Team from Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire Country Links.
Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible on theIsle of Wight in May!
Liz Goodwin, Staffordshire/Derbyshire