We have had a good year so far despite the ‘Beast from the East’ always coming out to play on the week-end of our events. We started the year off in Telford, having our post-Christmas lunch at the Madeley Court Hotel. We had a good turn out and a lovely meal, although due to the weather and an event the previous day the hotel was rather understaffed which led to few ‘Fawlty Towers’ moments. We took it in good spirit and enjoyed our first outing of the New Year. Our next event this year was in March where we held our Annual Lunch. This year we went to the Fleur De Lys, Lowsonford, near Henley in Arden. This was a really well attended event, where we presented one of our cups, remembered dear friends, all around a sumptuous lunch of excellent quality.
The latter part of the year ran very smoothly with a selection of new and time honoured events. In July we were invited to a picnic at Pailton. Lots of cars managed to get here and make this event really memorable. They looked resplendent in the field with an excellent view of the miniature Farifield Lake and Smite Brook railway ran. Lots of us had several goes on that. All money raised went to the local Air Ambulance, so a win, win, situation.
Later in the month we ran our very popular Treasure Hunt and Lunch even so kindly organised by two of our members. As ever their clues were really obscure and challenging, meaning no ties in the results! The venue, Billesley Manor, is fascinating and steeped in history. We ate our lovely meal in the oak panelled library after our ramble around the surrounding countryside.
As so many of our members are often busy in August our charity Chairman’s at home was less attended than usual. However we still had a good time, lovely weather, super company and raised a reasonable amount for the R.N.L.I.
We decided to visit the Severn Valley Engine shed in September. What an amazing place, up close and personal with these huge steam engines and lots of interesting displays and coaches to see. From here we drove to ‘Ye Olde New Inn’ for a carvery lunch. This, as always, was excellent value for money.
We headed back towards the Telford area for a visit to RAF Cosford’s Air Museum. This venue is an amazing place, steeped in loads of history of our flying history. A couple of our members had very personal memories. We then drove the short distance to Weston Park where we ate in the Stables. Although the house was shut at this time of year there is definitely another visit needed. Our last event of the year is our AGM which we have at the Henley Golf Club. They always really look after us here, providing us with a room and superb food. So, another busy and successful year over.
We began this New Year with a return visit to the Mercure Hotel in Bewdley. A good number of us ventured out to meet friends after the Christmas festivities. This time we were given a cosy spot to ourselves where it was easy to talk to all who attended. I felt that the food was even better this time around plus we had specially designated waiters, so we were really spoilt.
Following on from this, in February we went to the Fleur De Lys in Lowsonford, near Henley-in-Arden. The staff here made the whole event a pleasure right from booking it to their attentive nature on the day, where excellent food is always served.
March brought us to our 56th Annual Lunch, an event where any awards are presented. For Various reasons this event was not so well attended as usual, but those who did attend had a lovely time. The trophy for the car that had attended the most events was awarded, two of our newer members vying for that.
During April we headed over to the Horsehay Steam Railway in Telford for some fun on the trains followed by a lovely lunch at the Madeley Court Hotel, a stunning old building with it’s roots in the Abraham Darby family.
In May we went to the Shed Food and Drink for lunch, a well organised restaurant in a garden centre. We were due to go for a ride on the boat at Stourport afterwards, but due to bad weather and a really high river the boat wasn’t running. This was a huge shame, but somewhere to go another time. So we just ate more slowly and put the world to rights!
Our week-end away was based around Betswy-Coed this year. We stayed at the Waterloo Hotel just on the outskirts of the village. We were spoilt with their apartments, fantastic food, amazing views, waterfalls, steam trains, sea sides, forests and mountains. Wales really is God’s own country and it is highly likely that we will return to this area in the future.