Social report Jan10

Beech Village Hall & Recreation Ground

Social report – Winter 2009/2010

By October, the new Village Hall was really starting to come into its own. The annual Beech Village Quiz Challenge Cup night that month was a huge success. The new Hall’s excellent audio-visual equipment was put to use for the first time (as, indeed were the new loos!). Over 80 people participated, and competition was intense, as last year’s winners Sally’s Army eventually ceded defeat by just 2 points (or a single question) in a nail-biting last few rounds to Calitering, led by Sarah and Howard Castle-Smith.

A crisp, clear November evening made for a memorable Bonfire Night on Saturday 7th November. With no entrance fee this year – a thank you to the village for all its support and fund-raising for the Village Hall – numbers were higher than ever, and an estimated 300 people made the traditional torchlit procession up Wellhouse Road to the Rec even more impressive than usual. Despite the rain of the night before – and unlike the previous year! – the bonfire leapt into life the moment the torches hit it, providing a welcome source of warmth and light. The fireworks themselves were spectacular, from the first rocket to the fabulous finale. Thanks to everyone who helped behind the scenes to create such a great evening – and to all those who came along and supported the ongoing Village Hall fundraising buy buying torches, hot dogs and mulled wine.

Christmas fun in Beech

Christmas started early in Beech, with the Hall decked in its festive splendour in time for the Christmas Craft Fair in late November. Over 20 stalls offering everything from clothing and jewelry to children’s toys and turned wood ensured that there were plenty of Christmas shopping opportunities. Like every occasion in Beech it rapidly turned into an opportunity for a catch-up with friends and neighbours, aided by tea and cakes – or mulled wine and mince pies. And of course, it was the first opportunity of the year to hear the Beech Boys sing!

The Boys were back in town (or should that be village?) on 12th December, for the one and only Beech Village Adult Christmas Party. Residents turned out in force to enjoy the fruits of a year’s worth of building work – and many more years of fundraising. Christmas glamour and sparkle abounded, with a couple of tables even opting for full Black Tie. But – as with all Beech events – it didn’t matter what you wore, just that you were there to have fun, which everyone certainly did!

The traditional Christmas dinner has become an institution at the annual Party, but the quality that is achieved never ceases to amaze. Many thanks as always to all the volunteers who gave up the hours just before the party to prepare roast potatoes and turkey crowns, and special thanks to Louise Stagg who co-ordinated the catering (along with Brian Wagstaff), to Caroline Ward who volunteered to oversee the kitchen on the night rather than attend the party and to their four young helpers in the kitchen who ensured that for the first time in years the Village Hall Committee and their spouses did not end up doing the washing up!

Following a short recital of popular tunes, the Beech Boys led the rest of the room in a rousing singalong. Enthusiastic – if not entirely tuneful – renditions of Is This the Way to Amarillo?, Delila and YMCA (actions obligatory of course) well and truly tested the new Hall’s hi-tech laminate windows and sound-proofing. Finally, everyone danced the night away in true Beech style (thanks as always to Paul Fleming for the excellent sounds) before heading home through the cold, clear night, feeling that Christmas really was just round the corner.

The following day saw the children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews of Beech getting into the Christmas spirit with magic, fun and games from magic man Rob Gaffney and a visit from Father Christmas himself!