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Summer Term 2009 - The Fourteen Club Newsletter

Summer Term Review

Term began on Monday 20th April 2009 with a fairly relaxed general club evening (GCE) which included one of Tim’s DVDs bought specially for the occasion from the Tesco bargain box. This time we had The Fantastic Four - The Rise Of The Silver Surfer. This was a surprise box-office success in 2007 and about eight of us stuck it until the end. Well I thought it was good! For the rest it was exercise machines, chatting over tea and coffee and pool.

On Monday 27th Vera organised an excellent quiz for us all. We formed four teams with the usual outlandish names: Girls Aloud, The A Team, The Terminators and Doctor Who. The first round was ten questions on well-known couples eg Morecambe and _____? In the second round there were ten questions where we had to name the country, given a well known land-mark. Eg The Pyramids are in _______? I don’t need to fill those answers in, do I? We then had two tricky alphabet rounds where we had to think of a towns or cities in the UK beginning with each letter of the alphabet. Then fruit or vegetables. Each answer only counted if no other team had got it. ‘X’ proved impossible for both categories (No Tim, Exmouth isn’t spelt Xmouth!) and it was just allowed to have Zelah in Cornwall although strictly a village. And Zucchini is a sort of courgette! It was all much more fun than you would have thought. Nobody bothered to add up all the scores - well, there were no prizes anyway!

After a break for May Day, we were back on Monday May 11th for a GCE. There was the usual pool and chatting in the coffee bar and a well attended small games session in the hall. Jigsaws were very popular but so too were Kerplunk!, Frustration, Clobber and the giant sized Connect4. We welcomed potential new helper Louise Sui and had a successful fire drill although the building works at school meant we had to use different routes to a temporary assembly point - but we were all clear in under two minutes.

On Monday 18th May we had a craft night where members decorated boxes with greetings cards. Helen told the members when we started that if they wished to have their boxes photographed for the website, they could. She was delighted to find that everyone worked really hard and many wished to have their boxes photographed for the website. Many members followed a theme such as animals, dancing or flowers. The cards were old Phoenix greetings cards and we managed to find all the things members were looking for even cats, dogs and a kangaroo! At the end of the evening, after many industrious members had worked very hard, Helen tried to 'judge' which members had produced the best boxes but she couldn't do it! They were all so good. Brilliant efforts were made by the following: Mandy: a good dancing theme; Lavinia: a good job of cutting up; Elva: good use of cards inside the box which included on the outside a tree with a cat in and a dog underneath; Molly: clever positioning of cards; Andrew R: good layout of flower cards; Brian H: good positioning of cards on his football-themed box; Sarah W: good use of cards over the edge of the box; Stephen: interesting choice of cards; Penny: cards well stuck on; Kevin: well positioned; Chris: his Australian theme included interestingly-sourced pictures - the kangaroo took ages to find; Kira: good theme with lots of variety; Sarah F: Sarah was keen to do two boxes, she had a good build up of pictures; Dick: diligent worker, he had to work extra hard as he had come from swimming; Ian B: Good coverage; Keith: really well cut out; John M: hard work and co-operation with his 'support worker' who accompanied him on the evening. Thanks go to Sabine, who took lots of photos, and to Jemma, Vera, Tricia and all who helped to do the craft. After we had finished Helen asked members what they would keep in their boxes. Answers included things such as jewellery, postcards, pens and photos. Some other members enjoyed coffee and tea, chats and played pool. (Report by Helen Harwood and Sabine Wood)

Monday the 25th was the ‘Whitsun’ Bank Holiday and half term week and so we were back on 1st June when we were once again very generously entertained to a barbecue and one free drink at the bar by Grove Rugby Club. Well, it looked like being a fairly uneventful evening until star helper Vera, who is very good at getting things going when the rest of us have fallen into some sort of catatonic trance, decided to organise skittles outside on the grass. She certainly wasn’t one of those who supplemented her free drink by buying extra ones from the bar (like some of you!) but she did come an awful cropper. Sadly, normal shoes on grass are not the same as bowling shoes in a ten pin bowling alley. She slipped on her run up and did the splits injuring herself so badly that we had to call an ambulance! Poor Vera was in absolute agony and had to spend the night in the JR hospital. She returned home the next day feeling a little better but had to cancel her holiday. The barbecue was great and we had a raffle with sweets as prizes before we all went home.

The 8th June and the building work at the school was beginning to feel a bit claustrophobic by now. Gauleiter Shand insisted we all re-park our cars about a mile-and-a-half away on the other side of the playing field to make room for our drivers (you see you are the most important people at the Club!). Even inside there didn’t seem to be very much space left in the coffee bar but we managed to spread out a bit for small games in the hall (jigsaws very popular again) and in to the kitchen for cooking. Sabine headed a team producing ’14 Club Power Desserts’ and Tutti Fruity 14 Club Tartlets. These looked delicious. Sabine provided tartlet bases and a whole range of fruits, yogurts and custard to fill them with. We were pleased to welcome Emily who came along to see what she thought of us! We were all concerned to hear how Vera was getting on. The evening went very quickly and it was soon time to get on the shuttle buses back to our cars.

On Monday the 15th, following some amazing thunderstorms in the early evening, it kept dry (just) for our annual treasure hunt. Andrew Harwood organised a disposable camera for each of the two teams ‘Smelly Socks’ and ‘Scooby Doo’ and we set off around the Belmont estate to find and photograph things on Andrew’s list. Things to find included a dog (not many about), a duck (well you had to find the stream first!), an aeroplane, a skip, a boat etc. We also had to photograph members of our team doing silly things like lying on the ground to form a triangle, forming the number 14 with their bodies, posting a letter, miming Coronation Street (!) etc. We paused at the sports ground next to the aeroplane roundabout where Andrew met us with crisps and drinks. Poor Lavinia became ill during this break and her parents had to come and pick her up, but she was soon OK. Scooby Doo team included Kira B, Penny T, Steven W, Kevin L, Lavinia C, Amanda W, Sarah F, Dick P, Sabine W and Tim P. Smelly Socks included Sarah W, Emily H, Andrew R, Brian H and Jemma H.

On Monday 22nd we went for our annual free barbecue at The Lamb in Wantage courtesy of owners Andy and Anne Chalmers. It all went swimmingly - warm and dry weather, a drinks bill of less than £80 and free burgers to boot (too many as always!) what more could anyone ask for? We had a pleasant walk both ways. Kevin Legge was in 'combat gear' (camouflage jacket & trousers and black boot/trainer things). Possibly he was expecting an ambush somewhere along the stream. He didn’t have a backpack, so not very well equipped to cope with any problems but we assumed everything was in Penny’s gurt big trolley which now seems to have an outhouse of some on the front which seems almost as big as her old trolley. It was lovely to see the members all sitting around in the garden enjoying themselves. Neither Martin Cox nor new member Emily wanted a burger which was a bit of a surprise. It was no surprise that Mark didn’t have one, or that he hadn’t brought some grated cheese to stick in a roll as a veggie alternative. The reason for Kevin’s military dress became apparent at the end when he provided protection for Bernie and Rhona and escorted them back to Club (Report provided by Mark C. Mostly)

On Monday 29th it was the beginning of that heatwave week and we decided it was too hot for the scheduled game of rounders. The outdoor types we have sat out in the courtyard enjoying the evening warmth and sunshine and a few managed to heave the odd basket ball into the net. Helen Harwood took charge indoors where she had a jumble sale. A wide selection of bargains was on offer from big teddies to dolphin pottery, the pottery getting snapped up straight away. Many members enjoyed buying items and a total of £33.90 was raised for the 14 Club on the night. Sarah found lots of clothes for her holiday, Kiera was a keen shopper on clothes and decoration items and Kevin played the clown again. He put a woman's dress on and modelled it. He ended up with a pair of shorts and a sleeveless jumper (not sure if they were men’s or women's) A huge thank you to helpers Sabina and Jemma and members, Elva, Brian Heath and Dick who helped to set up the stall.

Into July and the sixth was a GCE with outdoor games - well for a few of us. Anne Alderson arranged a game of rounders on the much-reduced school field and this was much enjoyed by Patrick, Brian H, John M and John C, Chris Roots, Emily and a few helpers. As usual, Tim had to have a bit of a sit down after the walk from his car. The main action was inside with pool in the coffee bar and lots of games and jigsaws in the hall. Someone found a massive ball about four feet in diameter which turned out to be lighter than it looked, but even so the game of catch was a little tricky!

We finished the term on Monday 13th July with the usual outdoor disco in the school courtyard courtesy of the fabulous Electroloom Disco with Jim and son who got us all leaping around to their usual excellent dance music. Yes, in spite of all the building work, the courtyard is relatively untouched (but when will it all end?!) However there were a couple of significant differences this time and not just the fact that the burgers were the size of Wantage Market Square. Sadly ‘Old Faithful’ the barbecue which had served us so well over many years had finally fallen to pieces in the move from our garage to our tin box. So Sabine, Anne and their helpers decided to do all the frying and grilling in the school kitchen. Well, why not? Actually because of the new highly sensitive, linked-to-the-fire-station smoke alarm system, that’s why not. Well we can guarantee that the system is very efficient - Wantage’s finest arriving in a shiny red fire engine in a matter of minutes. We all cringed with embarrassment and blurted our apologies as they came running through the school to extinguish a slightly overdone burger. Well they took it very well indeed, so well in fact that they have offered to buy us a new barbecue from their charity funds! What wonderful chaps they are! Then they allowed us all to clamber all over the fire engine for the best part of half an hour! Our previous fire drills served us in good stead but the nearest exit for most could have left us all trapped in the courtyard if it had been a real fire! Some slight re-planning may be necessary!

Summer Outing - Marwell Zoo

We had only 15 members join us for our summer outing and another half a dozen or so (known as ‘deposit losers’) didn’t turn up at the last minute without any explanation. Anyway we left Fitzwaryn School eventually when the Harwoods turned up at about 10.15 arriving at Marwell Zoo at about 11.45, just in time for the heavens to open. Fortunately it was a short shower, the only one of the day and for the rest of the time there was a mixture of cloud and sunshine. Marwell Zoo is in Hampshire and fills 140 acres of beautiful parkland with around 250 exotic species including rhinos, hippos, lions, tigers, birds, reptiles, monkeys, deer and 14 Club helpers. (Helen, Andrew, little Lois. Sabine, Garry, Tricia and Tim). We went round mainly in a single group except Kira, Steven, Penny, Kevin and Emily whom we agreed could go round on their own. So the rest of the group (Ian +sister Jane, Elva, Andrew R, Dick, John C, Molly, Patrick +Dahlia, Chris, and the two Sarahs) set off and began to explore, starting at the penguin pool. We didn’t get to see everything but we covered most of it including our picnic lunches under the trees with all the crows/ravens/ jackdaws/rooks (thanks Sarah F for use of your bird book so we can now tell them apart), a ride on the land train, ice creams and a visit to the vast gift shop. One of the highlights was the spider visit! Tim, Sarah W, Chris, Dick, John and Helen 'met' Rosie the Tarantula, whom we were not allowed to hold or touch but could get quite close to. These club members were very brave getting close to Rosie. Afterwards several members were very good at spotting the chameleons, spiders and other creatures which were difficult to see in their tanks. Many of the animals were asleep or very dozy in the heat, but no one wanted to take up Tim’s suggestion to ‘heave a brick at ‘em’ to make them move around a bit. Barnes coaches took us home at 4pm and in spite of a diversion due to the closure of the A34 we got back to the school at 5.15pm.

Spring Term Review

Did anyone miss issue 79? Tim threw a hissy fit and decided he was ‘too busy’ to be Treasurer, Health & Safety Officer and Newsletter Editor. As if. So just for the record here is a very brief summary of what happened. The rumours that the reason we’re back is that we’re not doing Health & Safety any more are simply not true. We’ve taken advice and simplified the procedures so it doesn’t take half a man-hour every Monday evening.

  • 12th January - GCE including Mamma Mia, much enjoyed by a large audience who often joined in the singing and dancing!
  • 19th January - GCE including cookery with Jemma and Sabine.
  • 26th January - Bingo
  • 2nd February - Icknield Way Morris Men were scheduled but heavy snow meant a very rare cancellation of Club that night.
  • 9th February - Valentine Disco with Electroloom
  • 23rd February - GCE
  • 2nd March - Indoor Games - Quiz with ‘The Price Is Right’
  • 9th March - Icknield Way Morris Men. Ian Bedford volunteered to help the Morris Men with one dance. He had to stand in the middle of the circle and everyone danced towards and around him. He enjoyed it very much even if all this movement around him made him a little bit dizzy. He recovered quickly and was up to speed with lots of the other members for the last dance.
  • 16th March - GCE
  • 23rd March - Another jolly good Beetle Drive organised by Vera. There was great hilarity on one table with Helen, John Morton, Brian Heath, Mandy and others and lots of activity as everyone furiously encouraged each other to try and complete their Beetle.
  • 30th March - Craft activity - Easter Cards. We made some Easter rabbits to hang on wall or window. The members had to colour out rabbits and parts of different clothes and then they dressed their rabbit by glueing the clothes on depending they wanted a boy or girl rabbit. Some members made more than one. John Morton made a whole family. Kevin decided to do a rabbit on holiday and just drew a bikini on his rabbit.

Committee News

We held our AGM at Fitzwaryn School during Club on the first evening of term, 20th April. If you would like any of the reports or details, please contact any Committee member. We were very sorry to lose Julie Furlonger who felt she could no longer commit the necessary time with her growing family and other domestic commitments, so did not stand for re-election. We thanks Julie for many years of hard work for the Club, with special mention of outings organisation, looking after membership forms and much else. The new Committee is Mark Clutterbuck (Club Leader), Garry Shand (Chairman), Sabine Wood (Secretary), Tim Pocock (Treasurer), Andrew Harwood, Helen Harwood, Vera Hollister, Anne Alderson, Jemma Howland and Jan Collins (parent member).

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!!

Did you know that drivers can be helpers too? Yes, obvious though it may seem, we have been asked to point out that if any of you wonderful drivers would like to give up even more of your time to become helpers you would be more than welcome to give it a try!

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.

Is anyone out there interested in being on the Committee? We are particularly looking for another parent or guardian. (Parent Jan Collins is already on). If anyone out there would like to become involved in this interesting and rewarding job, please contact any committee member - you could just come along to a committee meeting or two to see if you like it first!

HOW CAN I HELP? As usual, by selling Christmas draw tickets please! See Tim at Club. Thanks!

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