The Essex Sections' Annual Christmas Lunch 2010
Like Siberia but not in the interior
A bitterly cold day on 25th November but there were still a fair number
of bikes leaning against the wall of the Writtle Village Hall, the venue
for our annual get together so well organised by Paul & Anne
Collins. I could not help but cast my mind back to similar times in La
Tavena, Epping when the prolific stacks of bikes would be a problem for
anyone who wanted to get away early if their bike was first in. But it
is good to see the tradition of cycling to this occasion being
maintained. However, I was not going to envy the riders their ride back
in fading light, icy blasts and full stomachs.
Inside the busy bar staff and the hubbub of many cyclists in the foyer,
Gosh so many old friends re-met and warmth of friendships forged over
many miles in many places.
I was fortunate to chat to, among others, Doreen Raybould and to find
out that she was indeed our newly appointed President, no chain of
office and that was explained by it being at the repairers or something.
Paul Collins had a lovely idea of tinkling a bell to get us into the
eating area, it reminded me of the film 'It's a Wonderful Life' (James
Stewart) when it was said, 'every time a bell rings an angel gets its
wings'. Well we did not get wings but had a very nice meal. Even the
peas and carrots were tasty and I am one who avoids that slightly
plastic taste of hard carrots and warm peas that can apply to mass
meals. These veggies were good, I took some more and tried to forget
that there were no Brussels sprouts this year but whose complaining?
Ninety-two sitting down and all jolly soon served with our turkey and
roast potatoes. Groups of friends together on tables and it must be a
nightmare to get everyone in the right places so great credit to Mr
& Mrs Collins and sorry for all your sleepless nights, but it was
all worth while.
The raffle was the usual chaos-come-success with the booming voice of
Peter Wermerling. President Doreen won the beautiful watercolour
painting by Mike Pendreich, most appropriate. But all this was after
stalwart Peter had been presented with his 80th birthday certificate
illuminated with another lovely watercolour of a country pub this time
by Steve Ebdon.
Before we knew it, it was all over and then commenced the traversing of
groups of friends to get to the exit. So many farewells until the next
ride, or lunch or indeed in this modern age, email.
Happy Christmas Season to all - Bill Godfrey