Town Twinning Association

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

 Tales of the "Titanic"

Something of a departure from our normal events took place on the evening of Friday, 22nd September when we met at Ashby’s Congregational Church to hear a lecture from Jake Billingham on the famous and tragic ship, “Titanic”. A blustery evening seemed entirely appropriate for the event!

 Jake is very much a young man on a mission and explained to us how his fascination with this subject had originally come about and subsequently developed. He has clearly researched it in great detail and was able to regale us with many facts and anecdotes about the famous vessel and its sister ships, Olympic and Britannic, many of which, despite the celebrity of the ship and the tragic events for which it has become infamous over the last 100 years or so were quite new to us or upon which he was able to shed new light.

 The tale was interrupted at the moment of impact of the notorious iceberg to permit a break for refreshments in the form of a buffet of cheese, paté, etc. and a glass of wine with the usual raffle after which Jake took up the story of the actual sinking and its aftermath. It really was a revealing and, indeed, entertaining evening that went down well! Many thanks to Jake (and his father, who diligently controlled the slideshow) and to everyone involved in the organisation and catering. Click here to see a short video of this event: Titanic

Croquet Taster Evening

We were again made very welcome by members of the Ashby Croquet Club on their superb lawns at Moira. Although few in number members enjoyed some excellent coaching. As skills were remembered and refined the games became tactical and quite competitive.  

In keeping with the summer weather this year we were accompanied by drizzle which eventually became light rain. So players and spectators alike were glad to retire to the warm atmosphere of the Half Way House at Donisthorpe where we caught up with each others' news over a well earned drink.  

Everyone indulged in the excellent fish and chip supper to round off an enjoyable evening.
Thanks to Winnie Meadows and Linda Brown for organising this event


 Bastille Day Pétanque

 On Saturday 15th of July we were back at the King’s Arms in Coleorton for our annual pétanque competition. This year there were over twenty of us. Starting with an enjoyable lunch four teams set out to win this annual event beneath lowering skies, which fortunately failed to deliver any rain. The winners finally emerged as David Underwood, Peter Wilkinson with Pat and Geoff Cort. Margaret presented them with the customary prize of  wine from Pithiviers before we headed home. Another great afternoon to celebrate our twin town’s fête nationale. Thanks to Sandra for organising it. Click here to see a short video:

 2017 Pétanque

Biennial Dinner

This year's convivial Pithiviers biennial dinner took place on Friday 19 May 2017 at the Queen's Head in Belton in their delightful function room.

After grace was said by Sandra Adkin they provided us with a delicious meal and the wine slipped down easily.  I can safely vouch for their Fish Pie, which was beautiful to look at as well as delicious, and their Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry Sorbet for dessert was sublime.  The Steak and Kidney Pie met with great praise too, along with the Eton Mess, and those who had Cheese & Biscuits were well pleased too.

The Loyal Toast was proposed by Keith Youles, the Chairman's address was done by Margaret Barnett, and thanks were extended by Alan Briggs - and the sweepstake on the length of Margaret Barnett's speech was won by Joan Foster!

Fantastic Fuchsias

What a useful and informative evening we spent with Brian Storer on Friday, 21st April, when he came to the Ashby Congregational Church to give us an inspiring talk on Fuchsias as well as some other gardening tips. In addition to answering lots of questions on the topic of fuchsias, Brian regaled us with anecdotes of his own gardening history and experiences as well as going through the practicalities of taking cuttings and general care of fuchsias in particular. He also distributed several different varieties in order to raise funds for charity. To round off the evening we enjoyed a light supper of cheese and paté, washed down with a glass or two of fine French wine. A most enjoyable evening for one and all! Click here to see a short video of the evening: Fantastic Fuchsias

Panel Games Evening

After the popularity of this event last year we decided to repeat the success so on Saturday evening, 25th March, we held the competition, based upon popular TV game shows, again. The venue was Smisby village hall and around 30 of us took part. Elaine Shaw and Kay Gosling ran the set-up of two teams: red and blue for the course of the evening. Using Pointless, A Question of Sport, Who Dares Wins and Countdown points were acquired. The questions were challenging and the serious team effort occasionally bordered on the highly competitive to edge closer to the winning post. At half-time there was a break for an excellent chilli-con carne with a variety of tasty desserts and the raffle was drawn before battle recommenced when the blue team were declared winners (reversing last year’s result!). Again it was a most enjoyable evening thanks to all those who participated and entered into the spirit of competition but especially to Elaine and Kay for devising and organising affairs so well and to all the ladies who, as usual, did a first class job of catering, arranging the venue and generally preparing it for an excellent social get-together as well as boosting the funds. For a short video of the evening click here: 2017 Panel Games.

The Beetle Drive

On the 18th February we gathered at the Thringstone Community Centre for an evening Beetle Drive. There was a very good turnout and the action was fast and furious with Sandra ringing her bell to commence each of the ten frantic rounds. Mid evening we broke off to enjoy a fish and chip supper from the award-winning establishment over the road before starting up again to complete the proceedings.

In the final analysis it was Gill Read who scored the most points in a closely fought competition and who, therefore, walked away with the prize of a bottle of wine from Pithiviers. We all had a thoroughly good time and many thanks are due to the social committee and all of those responsible for planning and organising the event. To see a short video of the event click here: Beetle Drive

The January Quiz

As usual there was an excellent turnout for this popular event held this year, 21st January, at the Congregational Chapel on Kilwardby Street, Ashby. A challenging and fun-packed evening was garnished with a tasty supper of filled rolls, soups and cakes at half time and much good humour and camaraderie. It gave a healthy boost to our funds aided by a well-supported raffle. Many thanks to Carole and Keith Youles for an excellent quiz and to everyone supporting this fundraising event. Your commitment and generosity is much appreciated in contributing to a successful and enjoyable evening.

Christmas Walk and Lunch

Yet another successful year for this annual event. It was well-attended with around 30 members partaking of the excellent fare, a good third of whom sharpened their appetite with the walk beforehand. The weather was overcast but not disagreeable and the conversation amongst old friends flowed as freely as the Christmas cheer. Many thanks to Elaine and the staff at the Mount Pleasant for the usual fine organisation.

To see the video, click here: Christmas Walk & Lunch 2016 

2016 Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Association was held on Monday 14th November at the Ivanhoe Social Club, which also kindly offers us regular monthly meeting facilities free of charge. Some 15 members were in attendance.

Joan Foster, the retiring Chairman, gave a report of the year’s activities. She thanked her fellow officers and executive committee members for their continued support and briefly outlined the various social and fundraising events as well as details of this year’s successful visit from Pithiviers.

Retiring Treasurer, Peter Wilkinson, submitted his report showing the healthy state of funds, despite proving for a French visit this year and highlighting the need to raise important sums if we were to maintain our traditional level of hospitality for the future. It was accepted that the annual subscription next year would remain unaltered.

Anne Donegan, the Membership Secretary reported on the current membership position, which has not changed significantly since last year.

Executive Committee
The election of officers and committee members for the next 12 months was uncontested and details appear on page 2 of this newsletter. Margaret Barnett takes over as Chairman from Joan, who now becomes vice-chairman. Alan Briggs takes over as Treasurer and Peter Wilkinson joins the Executive Committee, as does Pat Cort leaving three committee vacancies.

The Future

The coming year’s activities are already in course of planning and this includes  the biennial visit to Pithiviers in June.

To see a short video, click here: 2016 Annual General Meeting

60s Night

On Saturday 22nd October we held our major fundraiser of 2016 at Packington Memorial Hall in the form of Jim Robertson, The Singing Postman, before an audience of over 90.

Jim, who had already wowed our French visitors at the “mock” Christmas dinner during their June visit to us, turned in another first-class performance for the large assembly at Packington, serenading us with a wide variety of ballads, popular numbers and harmonies calculated to stoke up nostalgia and pleasant memories from an era of outstanding music. Quite a number of us (especially amongst the ladies) were even moved to venture onto the dance floor to relive the pleasures of yesteryear!

 At the midway point there was a break to serve a supper of sandwiches and cakes, which featured as part of the evening’s entertainment and that was also the point at which we took the opportunity to celebrate the 90th birthday of Joe Shaw, one of our oldest, most stalwart members and an honorary life-member of the Association.

Joe was also pressed into drawing the raffle tickets, the large-scale purchase of which had done much to enhance the funds raised this evening. It proved a highly successful event and has set us in good stead to provide the funds necessary for the next visit from France in 2018.

Packington Memorial Hall, again offered a congenial setting for this social get-together and thanks are due to  all those involved in the planning and organisation of this great evening from both the social and financial point of view. It also marked the last event to which Joan Foster was able to welcome our visitors as Association Chairman and we are all pleased that she was able to bow out on such a high.
To see a short video of the event please click here: 60s Night




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