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Spring Term 2011 - The Fourteen Club Newsletter

Spring Term Review

14 Club Hits The Jackpot!

Oxfordshire Community Foundation Grassroots Grants Thanks to the generosity of The Oxford Community Foundation (OCF), the Club was thrilled to receive a grant of £2,000 in January. The money was to replace worn out equipment but mainly equipment and materials which got lost or damaged during the moves relating to all the building projects at Fitzwaryn School. We have purchased a Wii games machine and games, a 32” flat screen TV (for our DVDs and playing on the Wii), a pair of remote control cars, a Scalextric set, a karaoke machine and a selection of CDs, a keyboard and stand, a coffee maker, a combined camcorder and camera, and a large amount of craft materials and PE equipment. This is already making a big difference to the quality of our Club activities.

Term began on Monday 10th January and many of us just wanted to chat about what we'd been up to over Christmas and the New Year. However just over a dozen were game for the traditional DVD show. Tim let us all down by being unavailable and so there was no free DVD from his Christmas stocking (something to do with his son's 21st birthday or some such pathetic excuse). Mark stepped into the breach and, having no record or memory of previous showings, brought along 'Mamma Mia' just two years after its first showing at the Club. In fairness he also brought 'St Trinians', but there was a big no vote for that one. Unbelievably, Mamma Mia went down really well. We were pleased to welcome Emily's friend Lyn to Club

Monday 17th was an evening of bingo which was dominated by Stephen Buckle who had to be pushed to the front in his wheelchair to collect prizes on about six occasions! His helper will be really fit now! Others were lucky including Emily, Patrick, Dick, Brian and John.

Jemma organised another of her fantastic quizzes on the 24th - although she herself struggled in late on crutches following her running accident. Get well soon Jemma and remember, it's difficult to break your ankle sitting in front of the TV! Iain was question master for the first bit but Jemma took over when she arrived - lucky really because one or two had a problem with Iain's Scots accent! (Iain does actually speak very clearly) Some of the questions were much harder than the usual standard although in the first general knowledge round all of the four teams (Deb's Dodgers, Adkin Way Winners, Worms and Harry Potter) did quite well. Did you know that a monk called Dom Perignon invented champagne? Or that the largest country in Scandinavia is Sweden? Round 2 was a very tough picture round involving identifying such characters as 'Stone Cold', Scott from Thunderbirds and Timmy from South Park. Round 3 involved some easier questions about animals and everyone got ten out of ten. We still had to identify which continent doesn't have bees and which is the largest primate. In round 4 we had to identify 12 car logos (quite tricky eg Pontiac, Maybach, Bugatti) and when we had to identify famous buildings and their locations in round 5 many of us were stumped. Would you recognise Neuschwannstein Castle in Germany? Andrew Harwood did! In round 6 we had to interpret some optical illusions and round 7 was all about chocolate - no problem for most of us. We finished with a round of identifying celebrities ranging from Vivien Leigh to Barbara Windsor. Winners were Deb's Dodgers (84 points), 2nd Harry Potter (82½), 3rd Worms (79) and 4th Adkin Way Winners (76). So it was very close. Did anyone notice any prizes?

January almost over and on its last day we had another very welcome visit from Icknield Way Morris Men. It was a freezing evening and to prove how cold it was Iain had a long-sleeved shirt on. The Morris Men were brilliant as usual - one of very few evenings through the year when everyone is in the hall - proof of a great success. Amongst many others, we watched and heard 'Washing Day' (from Adderbury), 'Ring of Bells' and 'Jenny Lind' (from Litchfield), 'Greensleeves' (from Stanton Harcourt), 'Long Willy' (oh dear!) and 'The Quaker' from Bampton. They also gave us 'The Man Who Watered The Workers' Beer' which was a 'visual action song' and which almost everyone joined in.

Debbie and Iain organised another terrific indoor games evening on Monday 7th February. John Curtis led everyone in a warm-up session using his experience at Faringdon Town FC and then we were off, starting with a hockey relay race in which we used a hockey stick to guide a puck round a course and back. Then 'ball tag' was great fun; the person who was 'it' had to hit someone else with a ball and then they were 'it'. Then we had another relay race involving scoring by getting bean bags into hoola hoops on the floor. This was a game that Stephen Buckle and David Hutweller managed really well from their wheelchairs. Our new Wii equipment (courtesy of the OCF grant) had its first outing and Debbie and sister Pam managed to get it going with no problem after the men failed! This proved enormously popular and everyone soon got the hang of it; it was especially suitable for those in wheelchairs. The evening ended playing catch in the hall with some very oddly-shaped, brightly-coloured throwing things.

Valentines' Day fell on the Monday so, of course, we had to celebrate with a disco. Jim Shoemark and Tom gave another cracking performance whilst well-dressed club Valentines and would-be Valentines strutted their stuff around the floor in the school hall to all the old favourites. Apologies to Barbara & Co who were trying to have a meeting in the staff room. Ian Bedford danced ALL night right in front of the disco and clearly enjoyed himself. Sarah Walford and Jack Collier were the same, dancing enthusiastically and doing the actions to all the familiar songs. Jack was particularly energetic doing the actions when his favourite song YMCA came on. Most members joined in at some point and a high point was Kevin's traditional Valentines' Day proposal of marriage to Penny. Garry's and Tricia's absence (out celebrating their wedding anniversary) meant that Mark was in charge of the drivers, so apologies to all those who had wasted journeys. Caroline Burson got a card and a chorus of 'Happy Birthday', her birthday being on the 18th. Helpers Tim and Helen were both away celebrating birthdays on the day (no, not together, we don't want to start any rumours!)

After a half-term break, we were back on Monday 28th for another karaoke evening. The karaoke machine is one of the many new items of equipment we have courtesy of OCF. Brian Heath had arranged the hall for the small TV on a stand, but Elva wanted the big one high on the wall in the corner of the hall. So helper Iain struggled for a while without success, breaching all health and safety requirements by standing on a table trying to find any AV or HDMI socket which would produce karaoke words on the screen. We ended up using the small TV, facing the audience, so all we could see of our many karaoke-ists (is that the right word?) was their backs - even for some of the tracks which, for some reason, did not produce words on the screen. Never mind it was all good fun and there were many exciting performances. Star turns probably turned out to be John Morton and Sarah Walford duetting to 'I Couldn't Live Without Your Love' and Steven White, Dick Prior and Sarah Fearnley were good doing 'Don't Stop Me Now'. Laura Sykes was brilliant with 'Sola Iyaz' (no, I haven't either) and Kevin Legge did a pretty mean version of Take That's 'Said It All'. Jack Collier did 'Day Tripper' and there were many more great performances. For those of a highly technical bent we gave our new keyboard an outing (Thank you again OCF!). Norman Singleton got a few tunes out of it, but Tim struggled a bit, Actually it is a super piece of kit and if all else fails, we can always read the instructions.

On Monday 7th March it was time once again for Come On Down! The Price Is Right! As usual Andrew ran the evening and there were two teams: 'Dolphins' and 'Superman'. By an amazing coincidence (or was it) Kevin Legge wore his Superman outfit. We had lots of fun guessing the prices of items mostly from the Argos catalogue including a tent, a bike, garden furniture, a blender, a talking tankard, an electric toothbrush, a coat-stand and a few more. As usual, in turn, one team guessed the price, and the other team had to say 'higher' or 'lower'. The whole thing ended up in a draw which was a fair result but after the break teams had to come up with the names of as many cars as possible. Dolphins got 28 and Superman got 40! We had some very sad news when we heard that member Stephen Buckle had died a couple of days before on the Saturday. We managed to sing happy birthday for Penny whose birthday was on 10th March. We had three possible new helpers: Eva, a friend of Tricia and mum and daughter Mary and Catherine Chalk, friends of Bernie.

On Monday 14th we really began to see the benefits of some of our new OCF equipment. Some of us (especially Laura and Elva) began to get the hang of ten-pin bowling on our Wii and elsewhere in the hall there was a massive craft activity which involved decorating wooden pencil boxes, again one of our OCF items. This produced a variety of excellent designs. Ian Bedford's had a rainbow, Kevin Legge's was covered in hearts and flowers, John Morton's had cars on it and John Curtis did an amazing picture of the Faringdon Folly along the whole length of the box.

On Monday 21st out came the very popular karaoke machine again for an X Factor evening of competition. Well, almost everyone had a go and there were too many unforgettable performances to be able to include all of them here. The standard of competition was elevated somewhat by first-time new helper Millie Southgate and by now old hands Mary and Catherine Chalk. Mistress of Ceremonies Lisa Beardmore appointed as judges Laura Sykes, John Morton, Catherine and Millie. So, with apologies to those not mentioned here, Penny, Sarah Fearnley and Dick had separate goes at Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now', Ian B was unforgettable doing 'I can't stop loving you', Jack C was very good with 'These Boots Are Made For Walking', Sarah Walford and helper Helen did a super medley but with rather too many wild movements! Kevin did very well with 'My Girl's Mad At Me' and 'Love Shack' (with Penny) and Emily and Linda, backed by Mary, Millie and Catherine were fantastic doing 'Nine to Five'. Everyone scored nines and tens but only one competitor got four tens: well done Jack Collier!

On the subject of Jack, we had a great evening on Monday 28th March when Jack's mum invited us all over to their farm at Childrey to see the lambs. Helpers' cars were used to ferry everyone across to Angels' Grange Farm. Mrs Collier has a small flock of Jacob's sheep and there were new-born lambs to stroke including two born that morning, although we weren't allowed to stroke these because they were still bonding. Unfortunately we didn't see any actual births although one ewe was 'very close'. It was fascinating to see them. Equally impressive were the two Suffolk Punch horses (Alice and Florence if I remember correctly), powerful animals which in days gone by would have been used for ploughing, although today they are kept to preserve rare breeds. We also saw some of the carts they pull. We had a demonstration of carding and spinning, using the brown, black and white fleece from the Jacob's and we saw some of the items which have been made included scarves, a cardigan and a rug. Many of us had a go at spinning - it's much more difficult than it looks! Sadly very few sheep are farmed for their wool in this country now and we were told that although it costs £2 to shear one sheep, the current price per fleece is only 19p.

Term ended on Monday April 4th with a well-supported Easter cards craft activity headed up by Jemma. Once again some of our new equipment was out: the craft activity made use of our new card kits which included cards, envelopes and thousands of stick-on decorations. Also included with one of the kits was a great embossing machine which presses beautiful patterns onto the card. Everybody also made an Easter chick from yellow card using our hands as a template for the wings and stick on eyes, beak, legs etc. For those who had finished their cards we had our new keyboard out and played tenpin bowling on the Wii. It was a great way to finish the term and we all looked forward to a four week break over Easter and the May and spring bank holidays.

News of Members/Helpers/Drivers

Stephen Buckle We were all shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Club member Stephen Buckle on Saturday 5th March. Stephen had recently begun to need a wheelchair at Club and had been quite ill. He first came to club on 9th November 1998 and was something of a character and probably at times our noisiest member! Stephen would have been 48 in May this year. The Club was represented at his funeral.

Committee News

The Committee met on 21st February at Debbie's and Iain's house. We discussed progress on spending our £2,000 grant from Oxfordshire Community Foundation and welcomed two new helpers: Pam Evans (Debbie's sister) and Eleanor Weston. We were very sorry to lose two of our long-serving drivers Ted Watkins (who has driven for us for 38 years, since the Club started) and Pam Clark. A big 'thank you' to them for their considerable commitment. We put together the programme for the summer term and hope to be able to run all the old summer-term favourites. There's also the possibility of a trip to the seaside!

Notice Board

Don't forget, parents and carers, to let us know when members will miss Club. Last-minute problems cannot be avoided but when you know in advance please give Garry a call on 01235-764222. We cannot afford to send our volunteer drivers on wild goose chases!!

Parents! Don't forget to let us know about any medical problems which members may have or medication which they may need to take. We try to update medical forms regularly but we can never be up-to-date on everything. We should also be told if there is anything else which could be relevant - eg any foods to be avoided etc. Also, should we restrict any members on what they purchase at the coffee bar - even though these days it only serves low-calorie drinks. The onus is on you to tell us - we can't be expected to guess! Thanks!

Drivers!!

Thank you for all you hard work bringing our members to and from Club in all weathers. You really are the lifeline of the Club and without you it could not exist. Please let us know when you've swapped runs - it could save us ruining Coronation Street for someone!!

Any More Of You Out There?

We're always desperate for more drivers. If you can help, or if you know someone who might please call Garry Shand on 01235-764222. It's really not too bad - one or occasionally two trips per month during school term time.

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