Town Twinning Association

On this page we report our social and fundraising events of the past 12 months with photos and videos.

2019 Pétanque Competition

Saturday 13th of July saw us at a new location for our annual pétanque competition with over 20 participants. After an enjoyable lunch at the Birch Tree in Coalville four teams began the competition in overcast conditions. This year the winners were “Team Cort”, Pat and Geoff, Jane and Alan Briggs and Wendy. Margaret presented them with the customary prize of  Pithiviers wine. Another pleasant afternoon to celebrate the French fête nationale and encouraging to see so many new members taking part. 

To see a short video click here: 2019 Pétanque

The Biennial Dinner

The venue for  this year's Biennial Dinner was Willesley Park Golf Club. There was a mix of members and guests, catching up with each other before the proceedings began. Peter Wilkinson was the master of ceremonies for the evening. Keith Youles said grace. An enjoyable and substantial 3 course meal with coffee followed. Peter proposed the Loyal Toast. As is tradition at the Biennial Dinner a book was opened at one pound a go to guess how long the Chairman would speak; nearest to win the kitty.

The chairman thanked all officers and members of the committee for their dedication and commitment. She touched on activities and events which had taken place over the last two years, including the hosting of the successful twinning visit by Pithiviers in 2018. She commented that fundraising remains increasingly challenging but praised the loyal core of members who are exceptionally supportive of the Association's fundraising efforts. She mentioned the forthcoming visit when Pithiviers will be celebrating the formation of their twinning committee in 1959. The speech was just over 4 minutes long, the kitty being won by Alan Foster. Anne Donegan proposed the Twinning Toast.

The chairman concluded by offering thanks to Elaine for liaising with the Golf Club, Joan for planning the evening, Winnie for the delightful table flowers, the Golf Club for the venue and enjoyable food, all who played a part in the proceedings and all who attended to make it such an enjoyable and worthwhile evening.

The Skittles Evening

Saturday evening, April 27th saw the return by the Association to the Odd House, Snarestone for a sociable evening gathering for a game of skittles in their traditional alley and a pub meal. Eighteen people assembled and a very fair and equitable way of choosing teams was followed (i,e, whichever side of the long table you were seated on denoted which team you belonged to!) with Karen Underwood and Les Aldrich being team captains. This seemed to work well as the teams won a game each and drew the decider.

The meal was eaten halfway through the proceedings. All agreed it was enjoyable fayre. One or two people even found room for a pudding!

A lively knockout challenge was then played and the overall winner was David Underwood, who was presented by Margaret with the traditional prize of a bottle of Pithiviers wine.

Many thanks to all who supported this evening, to Jane, David and Karen, who kept scores and to all who helped with replacing the skittles.

2019 Panel Games Evening

Saturday 23rd March saw us, once more, indulging in an evening of panel games straight off the television. It has now become a very popular annual event and was again well-attended this year with around 40 participants. The venue was St. Helen’s Heritage Centre and we gathered in three teams of around 12 each: Red, White and (of course) Blue.

The evening kicked off with several teasers in the Pointless vein and was followed by three of our number, Alan Briggs, Sandra Adkin and Tom Redfern, testing their veracity in a round of Would I Lie to You?  We then progressed forward via Countdown, Connections and A Question of Sport judiciously accumulating points towards the end of the evening when the Blue team were pronounced winners. At the half-way mark we broke off for a welcome supper of chilli with crisp, fresh bread and a variety of tasty desserts produced and served by Margaret and her team. Jane then called the raffle prizes.

The evening was a great success, no doubt ensuring its continuation into future years and we are, of course, very grateful to everyone who took part and attended - most especially to Elaine with the assistance of Kay, who took so much trouble to duplicate and adapt these popular TV quizzes.

The Balloon Debate

The Balloon Debate was a "star-studded" evening with an assortment of celebrities who were gathered together in an imaginary hot-air balloon, and each "celebrity" had to give an account of why they should not be tipped out of the balloon-basket from a great height, and at the end we voted which person should remain in the basket.

Marilyn Monroe (aka Wendy) had a headache with all those pills and had her dark glasses on;

Helen Mirren (Margaret ) was elegant and borrowed the Queen's tiara without asking the corgi;

James Bond (Peter) was neither shaken or stirred by his glamorous assistants - after all he is the only "celeb" not "real";

Donald Trump (David Harris) was on usual controversial form;

Donna Summer (Linda) had a sore throat and did not sing a note;

Shirley Bassey (Cynthia) however was on pink sparkling form, and sang  "diamonds are for ever" but had trouble with the mike;

Elvis Presley
  (Bruce) was also having trouble with his quiff and his blue-suede shoes, and THE WINNER was Andy Murray (Keith) although not "fighting fit" soon will be!  With the top prize of a  bottle of Pithiviers wine!

However, we kept our feet on the ground with Cottage Pie, red wine and a cake! It was a fun evening.

The January Quiz

Quiz evenings have always been popular with our membership and Saturday 19th January, our first social and fund-raising event of 2019, was no exception. Indeed it must have been up there in the record charts with an attendance very close to 50 people. Not only that but we were delighted to see a whole lot of new faces as well as the welcome “regulars”.

 This year the questions were set by Jane and Alan Briggs, who offered us a startling new formula! This consisted of 7 rounds of 10 questions each based on a colour of the rainbow and with multiple choice answers. The twist was that each round contained one answer, which was not merely wrong - but impossible. Correctly identifying this “land mine” earned an extra two points. However offering it as a legitimate answer reduced the score for that entire round to zero! This certainly evened up the odds more than a little and, with around eight teams taking part, made for an exciting evening.

 At half time we broke for an excellent supper of various soups, followed by different desserts and the raffle prizes were drawn. The final result of the quiz was very close and even the booby prize was awarded and received in good spirit thus getting our 2019 events off to a most enjoyable start.

Many thanks to everyone who participated and especially to those who organised the evening, prepared the questions, the food and ran the raffle to ensure we all had a good time as well as swelling the Twinning coffers.

Christmas Walk and Lunch

 A merry band of 19 Twinners and friends gathered at the festively decorated Repton Mount Pleasant for the Christmas LunchChristmas 2018 Celebration. As it was held on a Sunday we shared the venue with other diners which added to the seasonal atmosphere. As usual we had a long group table.

Crackers were pulled, jokes shared some old, some new! Friends caught up with one another and shared their Christmas plans. The lunch was a delicious turkey carvery enjoyed by all. The tempting dessert display saw many people indulge in afters. We rounded the meal off with the inclusive tea or coffee.

Accompanying photographs of this jolly and replete group were taken by Alan B. Ann T organised the thank you collection for Michelle and her staff. Margaret thanked all for attending and wished everyone Season's Greetings. Thanks to Elaine who organised 

The Annual General Meeting - 2018

The Annual General Meeting of the Association was held on Monday 26th November at the Ivanhoe Social Club. There were 17 members in attendance. The Chairman welcomed them to the meeting and thanked all members of the Executive Committee for their support and work during the year.  She advised that the visit from our 46 French visitors in June was a success and she thanked all who had been involved either in organising and/or hosting.  Particular thanks to Ashby Town Council for the excellent reception at Ivanhoe College.  She advised members that the Association supports links between local schools and Pithiviers schools and had hosted a meeting of teachers recently.  The social lunches organised by Ann Shilton have been popular.  In September we had a membership drive involving distribution of flyers to houses in new estates.  Although it probably helped to increase our profile it has not yet assisted with the recruitment of any new members – although we have recruited 5 new members during the course of the year.  We have also lost two members in Archie Weir and Peter Meadows.  Fund-raising has been challenging and she thanked all those who have supported events – we are going to have to work hard over the next two years as we will be celebrating the 60th anniversary next time the French visit us.  The new newsletter will be out shortly with details of social events in the early new year – she asked members to support as many as possible.  She thanked Anne Donegan who is retiring from the Executive Committee and specifically from her role as Membership Secretary after several years of hard work in this role.  In closing she thanked Ivanhoe Social Club for their continued support of the Association in the provision of a free of charge room for committee meetings.

Go to the "Noticeboard" page to see Minutes of the AGM.

The Oompah Evening

The Oompah Evening began with a delicious supper of local sausages in soft rolls with onions and baked beans on the side    followed by a choice of Black Forest gateau or apple pie with cream. Everyone brought their own drinks alcoholic or otherwise depending on taste and the fun began.

What's the popular phrase? What happens at the Oompah Night stays at the Oompah Night. Needless to say it was a very entertaining evening with Karl's Bavarian Band providing the music for the competing teams of Berlin and Hamburg to exercise lungs, arms and knees.

Band member Brian, in particular, encouraged unsuspecting audience members - mostly committee members - wonder how that happened? - into various competitions and japes.

During the interval the raffle was drawn with winners choosing from a varied selection of donated prizes.

The fun recommenced and the competition between Berlin and Hamburg intensified but in spite of the best efforts of the team leaders to spur their team to victory Karl declared a draw!!

The evening drew to a close after a short speech of thanks from Margaret. 

Just to say many thanks to all members, friends  and supporters who attended this event and joined in so heartily, especially to everyone who helped in any way with bookings, poster and ticket design, distribution and sale of tickets, planning event menu, shopping, cooking and serving food, preparation and tidying of hall, greeting and door, donating raffle prizes and selling raffle tickets on the night.

Last Night of the Proms at Linton - September 8th

The Last Night of the Proms usually heralds the arrival of Autumn, this year was no exception so sad the glorious Summer evenings couldn't have lasted a little longer.

However the rainy evening did not dampen the spirits of the assembled crowd 34 people in total. We were delighted to welcome some new members and their friends. We were accommodated in a marquee, a gazebo and conservatory to enjoy some delicious canapés, a very varied finger buffet, Eton mess, both raspberry and strawberry, homemade trifle and  a selection of cheese to follow with Pithiviers wine to accompany. Eventually the hardened Promenaders were all in the conservatory to enjoy the WW1 songs included this year to commemorate the centenary of the end of WW1. Then followed the finale with lots of flag waving and singing along to Rule Britannia, Jerusalem and our National Anthem.

Many thanks to all who contributed in any way towards to such an enjoyable and successful fundraising evening.

 Afternoon Tea at Osgathorpe - August 19th

The weather has been a real blessing this Summer to enable our Afternoon Tea to be taken outdoors in glorious sunshine. 26 people attended at the home of The Fosters and had the opportunity to just sit, eat and drink and catch up on all the news. Sandwiches, scones with jam and cream and cakes were in plentiful supply as well as tea from the bottomless pot. The generosity of some members who willingly made and prepared the delicious fare made it a successful fund-raiser to help build up the coffers for the next visit in 2020. Thanks to all those who helped and attended.

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