A Weekend To Remember
|I always look forward to my weekend at WASH and the next
one never comes along quickly enough. This was my sixth time at Hunstanton
and I still enjoyed it tremendously.
Clare and I took a leisurely cruise to Hunstanton and then had our normal
search for our allocated caravan which was really lovely. Log effect electric
fire, microwave, heating in the bedrooms and even a toaster which sometimes
had a mind of its own. First it came out as bread and then on the second
attempt it was burnt but my peanut butter covered it up well.
I had a great time on Friday night at the disco which included a few
local bands. I spent half the evening catching up on lost time talking
to people I hadn't seen for a while. I would ask Clare if she wanted a
drink and half an hour later I would return (Clare knows me by now !) I
had a late night that night (or early morning) as I went caravan visiting.
I didn't quite make the Aqua Aerobics but Clare and Katie were in there
were all impressed with Peter's gourmet cooking with fresh vegetables,
sausages, etc. but I must say he needs a bit of training on the washing
up ! I just had trusty fish and chips one night.
We all went out for a birthday meal for Emilia which was lovely apart
from an overload of prawn cocktails being delivered to our table. This
was because they weren't crossing them off their list of things to make
next. Then it was the turn of the garlic bread but without the cheese on
top. It was really funny - we couldn't believe it.
went to the venue afterwards for some dancing and bands then went back
to a caravan taking my unfinished bottle of Woody's with me. We went for
our usual karaoke trip to the venue on Saturday afternoon where I found
a partner to perform a duet with. But I was upset that even I alone didn't
get on the stage. Lucy from Watford 18 Plus was a bit luckier though and
sung "Hot Stuff".
I struggled out of bed on Sunday after another late night and watched
Eastenders (yes it's true) before walking along the sea front to the comedy
show. The show was OK except for the usual avalanche of falling sweets
from above. We ventured back afterwards for the sad final night of WASH
but we did have an enjoyable time dancing and watching a few bands. One
was called 'WildBoyz' and I thought they were quite good.
morning I didn't break my tradition of being last out of the caravan due
to a few hold-ups such as returning some cups that had ventured out of
another caravan and Lucy turning up to say her goodbyes. There goes another
excellent weekend although we did meet a fair amount of 18 Plussers in
the Little Chef on the way home.
Roll on WASH 99 !
Barnet 18 Plus
|This issue is dedicated to the memory of both Johanna Winfield
(nee Ives) and Ian George.
Johanna lost her fight against cancer on 17th September 1998. Johanna
was a former North West Area Chairman and the Plus News Editor 1987 - 1988.
She is survived by her husband Stephen and two daughters Annabel (8) and
There is a tribute to Ian later in this issue.
Thanks to everyone who submitted something for this issue. In particular
I have to thank Andy Bond for finally letting me get a photo of him looking
silly ! He generally looks far too sensible for my liking !
As I sit here writing this small missive I look out of the window at
the lovely moist weather and I am reminded of a holiday famous for weather
of this nature. I speak of course of TAG. I was heartened to see that this
year bucked the trend and that the sun did indeed shine for more than the
usual morning of when everyone packs up to go home. I am unfortunately
one of the sorry individuals who did not go to TAG, nor have I ever been
to this blessed holiday. Rest assured that the National Chairman will overcome
his dislike, nay abhorrence, of all things canvas related and will attend
TAG 99 along with all the TENT PEOPLE.
On a more serious note, at the last NEC meeting (held in October) many
items were discussed, not least of which was a National Plan for 1999.
The plan which involves all three tiers in the Federation - Groups, Areas
and National - will be put to you the members for approval at your respective
Area Conferences in November. Within the plan are mentioned two new bodies
- a Success Council (to be made up of representatives from all the holidays
and from those groups who have over 20 full members as at 31st December
1998) and a Special Projects Team (to be made up of nominated volunteers
throughout the Federation).
What is the purpose of having these two bodies you might ask.
Success Council will be, as the name suggests, the place where good ideas,
quality and success come together. The purpose is to learn from our successes
and to replicate them throughout the Federation. The representatives for
this body will be the movers and shakers, the people who have built their
Group or Area up to a successful and quality level. They will not be the
people who sit idly by watching the world pass.
The purpose of the Special Projects Team will be to undertake long term
projects which, for whatever reason, are outside the remit of Area or National
Officers but which nevertheless need to be carried out. This team will
be made up of nominated volunteers - people who are of good standing and
are ready, willing and able to work on projects, such as the updating of
ALL job descriptions in the Federation. Other projects could be the creation
of job descriptions and a criteria for a National Activities Officer and
an employed Sponsorship and Development Officer.
If you would like to be part of these wide ranging teams then make yourself
known to either your Area Chairman or myself. Just remember that you do
not have to be an active member, just a person who is ready, willing, able
and hard working.
|The elections for the TAG 99 committee and the NGOOT (Now
Get Out of That) 99 Co-ordinator are to be held at the January NEC meeting.
The deadline for nominations is 25th January 1999.
Links: TAG, NGOOT
San Miguel, 'Rumours'
and the Explosives - Spain '98
|I had my passport, my currency, my beach wear, and I'd checked
the tickets were still with me for the 27th time in half an hour. We were
off to Nerja, Costa Del Sol for a week of sun etc. etc. - what could go
Well first, the rude and unpleasant lady at Letchworth BR station told
me that I couldn't stay a week and instead had to be back in 5 days! After
my vehement protests and some further incompetence by her, we were on our
way to Gatwick. But at Gatwick, the excitement began right away as we almost
missed our plane. Colin Rumford decided to buy some 'duty frees' just before
we were supposed to be boarding. The till broke down, the rest of us were
panicking and we ended up running for our lives to the furthest gate in
Now if you think that the take off is one of the highlights of travel,
spare a thought for Paul Davis who clearly felt otherwise. He was seen,
according to one observer, looking 'a whiter shade of pale'.
Once in Malaga the 16 of us took our coach ride to Nerja while Dave
from Manchester tried to chat up a local Spanish girl even though he speaks
not a word of Spanish. To make up for this rather unfortunate handicap,
Dave tried his hand at his rusty French. Sadly, she spoke as much French
as Dave could Spanish. All I could do was roar with laughter when I heard
the following line: "Tu es belle! Tu es belle!" answered by "Ah, merci,
merci", but this was as good as it got for she had to get off at the next
We arrived at our village after a long exhausting walk up a hill in
the pitch black with our luggage and soon realised just how big the site
was. Our key for villa 25a wouldn't fit in the lock and it took us
more than half an hour to discover that there were several 25a's on the
site ! If we were all in better moods, it could have developed into a fun
The next day Dawn Pegram, Dave, Suzy Seddon and myself all strolled
to the beach, drank San Miguels, sat by the pool, and went to Rumours,
the karaoke bar. This was to become a very relaxing routine for the week.
The town of Nerja has its own set of caves which are a major tourist
attraction, but Dave and Darren Smith chose to explore their own caves
which were much smaller, and free. Unfortunately, and at precisely the
same time, so did a mugger who was being sought by armed police ! Dave
and Darren emerged from the darkness as suspects until they were given
an alibi by two passing tourists.
was the 'Balcony of Europe' which I had bothered to read about in
my Costa Del Sol guide book, and so told everyone who mentioned it the
full history whether they were the slightest bit interested or not. It
has now been painted with a dreadful EU flag. I don't know about you, but
when I go abroad I want to feel abroad, to use foreign currency and to
mix in a different culture - the rotten EU does its bureaucratic best to
make us all the same.
Next day, after a hard session lying by the pool and wondering what
the strange 'bangs' were, Darren and I could no longer resist the lure
of the Sierra Nevada mountains behind us. So we eagerly asked at reception
for the best way up and were told that it was 'impossible'. We set off
anyway ignoring the fact that he may just have had a point as we were soon
We jumped into a field that really belonged to a horse, so quickly escaped
via the other side and continued up. Now if you've ever had that feeling
that you weren't really supposed to be somewhere, then that is how we soon
felt. We spotted a path and saw a sign that read '3 Hoots - Blast Imminent
- Evacuate area immediately !' Not only did we now know we should definitely
not have been there, but the reason for the strange bangs dawned on us
- we were stood in a site surrounded by dynamite !
That evening was Paul's birthday celebration and we spent so long trying
to find the 'right' restaurant that most of them had closed. Eventually
we found one, had some San Miguels and went to Rumours Karaoke bar where
Tracey Norris was to sing her way to 'Singer of the Week', and afterwards
to Coconuts, the nightclub which closed at 6am.
The next evening we went back to the centre of Nerja to eat, but didn't
need a map as the lines on Darren's hand were spookily similar to the road
layout even including the intersections ! It was as though it was his destiny
to come to Nerja.
Afterwards we went to the fair which closed at 7am ! Suzy, who had won
at darts earlier in the evening, won a cute dog at fairground darts. We
all finished the night on a terrifying ride, like being on an upside-down
saucer that moves in every direction at great speed. Suzy's legs were seen
in a position that not even the Kama Sutra knows about !
And so as we came to the end of the holiday we were all short on sleep
but obviously none more so than Paul - he tried to pay for his 'Duty Frees'
with one of his nude playing cards. It was a great holiday, and North Thames
& Chiltern Area are already organising another for 1999.
North Thames & Chiltern Area Chairman
Nicholson House Officer
The sale of Nicholson House marked the end of an era for 18 Plus as
a whole. But it was also the end of an era for Vaughan Wonnacott, who was
Nicholson House Officer at the time.
Vaughan was elected as Nicholson House Officer in July 1993. He invested
a considerable amount of time and effort in the upkeep of the property.
Much of the decorating and minor maintenance of Nicholson House was done
by Vaughan himself, with the assistance of his wife Sarah. During the five
years that Vaughan was in the post he also succeeded in getting the new
archives built and was permanently looking for ways to raise money for
the disabled wing. However, Vaughan would probably say that the achievement
that gave him the most satisfaction was finally evicting the doves from
inside the roof of the Carnegie Room !
Despite all his work on Nicholson House, Vaughan still found the time
to be a full and active member of the General Purposes Committee, both
in the day-to-day management of the Federation and in the organisation
of three Annual National Conferences. He provided an often needed common
sense point of view when debate got rather heated and could always be relied
on in an emergency.
The GPC would like to thank Vaughan and Sarah for all their hard work
over the years. Although the role of Nicholson House Officer ended when
the building was sold, Vaughan's contribution continues - his last task
was to find our new premises and move the offices over with the least disruption.
Vaughan and Sarah currently have their hands full with their family
(Stephanie and twins Jordan and Laura) but we hope they will keep in touch
and continue to get as much out of 18 Plus as they have contributed. A
plaque has been put up in our new offices as a permanent reminder of Vaughan's
National Finance Officer
|It is with regret that the Spring Holiday, which was due
to take place at Seawick in March, has been cancelled. We feel that an
explanation of the background to the event would be of interest to members.
After the 1997 Easter Holiday was held and announced to be the last,
the then Chiltern Area groups asked Colin Rumford to investigate the possibility
of promoting a replacement event.
Colin made extensive investigations and found two possibilities - a
holiday camp and a hotel. The hotel was situated in the south west of England
and was thought to be too far to travel to. The holiday camp, in common
with others which Colin approached, wanted guarantees of attendance thus
requiring many thousands of pounds to back the event.
After further discussions, we resolved to search for a site that was
reasonably accessible, required no guarantees of attendance, and for the
weekend to be at or near Easter. Eventually a site at Seawick, near Clacton
approached which met all our requirements.
In the intervening period the sale of Nicholson House took place and
it was thought that the NEC might be prepared to financially back a Spring
Holiday proposal. Such a plan was put to the July 1998 NEC meeting. Various
criticisms were made, principally the break even attendance and the lack
of equity in the proposal.
Revising the budget, Colin realised that a smaller event could be promoted
using investments of just a few hundred pounds from groups in North Thames
& Chiltern Area without requiring help from 'National'. Some groups
were indeed approached and offered to help, and to maximise publicity for
the event posters were sent to all the groups.
However, at the October 1998 NEC it was agreed that we could not proceed
with the event unless certain changes were made. Most objections and concerns
were very valid and could easily be rectified. However the principal objection
which was that the event shouldn't be held in Eight Rivers Area was one
that the organisers didn't feel they could overcome within the time limit.
It was argued that the holiday would have a negative effect on AMMO and
that Eight Rivers groups do not want another holiday on their doorstep.
As the only viable location was in that Area, we had no option but to cancel
We would like to thank Colin for all his hard work on this project which
he sadly did not see through to fruition.
|As many people in Eight Rivers Area know, Ian George of
Castle Point/Rochford 18 Plus was tragically killed in a parachuting accident
at the end of September, less than a week before his twenty-fourth birthday.
Ian was a kind and thoughtful person who was well liked and respected
by everyone he met. Many people have described him as a true gentleman
and a true friend. To Ian friendships were a lifelong commitment and not
a five minute wonder. Even though he lived his life to the full and was
always off doing something, he always found time to visit someone or phone
them and he never forgot anyone's birthday. It was impossible to dislike
Ian, he never did a fellow human being wrong in his whole life. Quite the
opposite in fact - he was frequently there for people in difficulty, helping
them to sort out their problems.
At his funeral there were twice as many people as there were seats at
the Basildon Crematorium. Several people including his old headmaster got
up to say good words about him. We cannot help but feel aggrieved at his
loss. Even though Ian jokingly said last year that he wanted his funeral
to be a party occasion, many people shed copious tears at his funeral.
Ian leaves behind his parents and a brother who will miss him most of all.
Many have said that it was a fitting tribute to Ian that he died doing
something he wanted to do. He was so determined to live his life to the
full and not to let fear get in his way. It will take time to get over
his loss in our Area. Members will miss his warmth and humour and his most
popular catchphrase "Let's Party". We know his wish would be for everyone
to pick themselves up from this and start enjoying themselves again as
soon as possible but while we may do that we will never forget him.
At the beginning of October, at the disco of Thurrock 18 Plus, the raffle
profit was donated to a suitable charity in Ian's memory. That, together
with a collection on the night, raised £130 for the premature baby
unit at Southend Hospital where Ian was born. Hopefully others will be
saved like Ian was 24 years ago (as he only weighed 1lb 12oz at birth)
and will be given a chance of life because of this donation. Ian certainly
made the most of his life and lived more in 24 years than many do in 74
So long Ian, you will be greatly missed.
Written by one of Ian's many friends
Goes To War
|On a cold chilly October morning 26 members of 18 Plus gathered
to discuss how best to wipe out the enemy. With pump action rifles and
smoke grenades we knew it was going to get messy out there. But luckily
the paint wipes off and it was their camouflage gear anyway. Yes we were
paint balling in Billericay. Various members of Billericay, Brentwood,
Redbridge and Romford had got up at some unearthly hour to join in a day's
fun organised by Dave Carpenter, the Romford Chairman. Thankfully they
kept all the Plussers on the same team, as I feared one or two "friends"
might try to hunt me down (including the wife).
The woods are set into various game options such as Alamo, the village,
etc. The general idea is you have a rifle, paint pellets and a camouflage
suit and in your best Rambo mode you literally shoot down the enemy. The
paint pellets come out at a fantastic speed and could hurt someone, so
all possible precautions are taken such as face masks, padded hats and
rules of where you can take the guns, etc.
In most of the games when you have been shot you are out but as the
games only lasted around 15 minutes you weren't out of action for long.
The highlight was in the Alamo game. The idea was that you took it in
turns to defend or attack the flag. The defending team were holed up in
the fort and if you were shot you were out. The attacking team could come
from all angles and if they were shot they just returned to base, brushed
themselves down and came back to try and grab the flag.
We attacked first and despite some fierce resistance managed to get
the flag. When it came to defending we outshone General Custer and Michael
Caine (Zulu) by keeping our flag and winning the game.
We were the easy winners at the end of the day and showed once again
that 18 Plus are a force to be reckoned with. I look forward to the next
event and hope that someone can add it to their options for one of the
Redbridge 18 Plus
|Adopt A Jelly
|Give a jelly baby a home to help the homeless
In the last edition of Plus News I wrote about the National Adopt a
Jelly Baby Campaign. Since then I am pleased to report that Jelly Baby
Fever is spreading throughout the Federation. Plussers have been coming
up to me with fund-raising ideas and lots of questions. Here are some of
the ideas and one or two answers.
Various ideas which have been suggested include:
Dressing up as jelly babies
Fancy dress pub crawl
Challenging local radio/TV personalities to a jelly eating contest
A jelly baby auction (no I'm not suggesting selling jelly babies into
Jelly baby treasure hunts
Tombolas (£150 was raised in 2 hours at WASH)
Although the official dates for the Adopt a Jelly Baby campaign are
the 23rd/24th January 1999 you can run events prior to this providing you
have your ID cards. ID cards are being provided by Shelter to confirm that
we are collecting on their behalf. It is very important that you carry
your ID card when doing any fund-raising event for Adopt a Jelly Baby.
Shelter have asked me to take responsibility for issuing ID cards so can
you please let me have names as soon as possible. The cards will have to
be returned to me at the end of January.
are providing stickers, balloons, posters, leaflets, tins and tin seals.
All these are being sent to me and I will send some to each Area - see
your Area PRO or Area Chairman.
Although some venues are being organised by National please feel free
to organise your own events. Whatever you decide to do it will be necessary
to contact your local media to get as much publicity as possible for ourselves
The leaflets provided by Shelter can be folded in two and 18 Plus leaflets
inserted. A leaflet will be provided by National which can be photocopied
and used. However you may want to use a leaflet that has your local group
information on it, providing it is up to a professional standard, has current
information on it and has the National logo on it.
The jelly babies will be provided along with adoption certificates nearer
the time. All monies raised will need to be paid by Monday 8th February
1999. Group or Area cheques should be made payable to "The National Federation
of 18 Plus Groups" with "Shelter Collection" clearly marked on the back
of the cheque and sent to our head office.
A cheque for the overall amount will be presented to Shelter, hopefully
with TV cameras and plenty of photo opportunities. It's up to us to make
the most of the opportunities that will come our way during this campaign.
If we all pull together we can help the homeless, save some jelly babies
and help ourselves - and have fun doing it. So let's get out there and
spread Jelly Baby Fever throughout the land.
National Public Relations Officer
Letter to the Editor
|May I echo the words of Paul Walby in 'Plus News'. I too
treasure friendships made 40 years ago in 18 Plus; indeed, a past National
Chairman, now 120 miles away, called in to see us only last month
and we exchanged news about other members from our time in 18 Plus. The
key to this and to the resurgence of the Federation is 'commitment' to
the Federation and to our friendships within it.
We have been in the position before where National Conferences were
not as well attended as regional/area ones, particularly when national
meetings all took place in Manchester and involved some of us in a 400
mile long round trip without motorways. In those days there were
only 500 or so members nationwide and some 20 groups. That the Federation
grew to its later size was due to the dedication and commitment of a handful
of members, mostly but not exclusively in just one strong group.
As Terry Drake points out, it is groups that are the key to the success
or failure of the Federation, but his view that there is a need for the
more experienced over-age member is incorrect. If older members take
positions of responsibility, then younger ones will not have the opportunity
to experience the trial and error which is part of learning,
their posts will already be filled. The old method of keeping these experienced
members involved was to make them National Advisers or Life Members where
they could help, advise and counsel but not actually fill posts. The Federation
did not lose their experience but they could not interfere in the running
of the Federation unless positively called on to do so. After a number
of years, even these advisers became 'out of touch' and needed replacing
which is why I remain,
Former Area Chairman and National Adviser
but still Honorary Life Member (1964)
Rivers Goes Exploring
|On Saturday 26th September 1998, 30 members of Eight Rivers
Area embarked on their annual 4 day trip exploring some of the more northern
rivers in the area - collectively known as the Norfolk Broads.
There were 4 boats, consisting of members from Billericay, Brentwood,
Castlepoint, Redbridge and Thurrock. Our boat was the smallest with
only 4 crew members - Andrew "Skipper" Bond, Skipper's Mate - Ruth Bowers,
Chief Navigator - Julia Faulkner and Bottle Washer & Sleepyhead - Vivienne
We started off well, with a fire on the boat before we had even left
the boatyard, and after some minor repairs departed for Acle where Norwich
Group had organised a disco for us. After mooring in the tightest
possible, we alighted to terra firma and following Jeff Carter's
directions headed for the disco venue (approximately 15 minutes down the
After 45 minutes, and a complete tour of Acle village, we finally found
the venue. On arriving we questioned Jeff on the reliability of his
directions, only to find that the all important crossroads where we should
have turned right, had been a T junction all along. A double brandy, 2
pints and a lemonade later, Jeff was finally forgiven.
After a good disco, and 15 minute walk back to the boat, we tried to
get onto our boat - only to find that the door had jammed shut from the
inside. Sean from Billericay, was either small enough or drunk enough
to climb in through the hatch and let us in. We then settled down
for late night munchies and hot toddies, whilst listening to the antics
of the slightly inebriated. Some were worse for wear than others
(having drank lager, Guinness and a bottle of Baileys) and had to be helped
to the bushes !, fell face down in the dirt, then got pulled backwards
and kicked another member of the trip in the head and eventually had to
be escorted back to his boat. Ring any bells Matthew !
The following morning dawned bright and early with a chorus from the
ducks - I'm sure they migrated from WASH to join us. We left without
incident, except for one of the Redbridge boats managing to ram their back
end into another boat, whilst its occupant was having a shave ! Brentwood
passed us, brandishing a pump-action water gun, and decided to soak the
National Chairman and his crew whilst they were eating breakfast - big
mistake ! Later on in the evening, we met up again with Brentwood, who
after apologising, regaled us with stories (both old and new) of previous
18 Plus boating experiences such as a boat ramming a deep sea trawler,
another losing its canopy under a bridge, and another ramming the Reedham
Ferry. One member of the Brentwood boat was conned into buying some
raffle tickets on the promise of alcoholic prizes, and won a local Folk
band music tape - nice one Anthony.
Day 3 again started off sunny, and we waved goodbye to our other boats
who were going to explore other rivers to us, and headed off north-west
towards South Walsham Broad. It was a peaceful journey, and we moored
up for a while. When it was time to leave for our overnight stop,
Chief Navigator Faulkner, stood her ground (as much as one can on a moving
boat) and explained to Skipper Bond that no he could not go exploring the
other part of the Broad as we did not have time. Later that evening, after
Julia and Andrew had settled their earlier disagreement by practising their
pirating skills against each other, we went ashore, raided the local pub's
pool table and held it captive all evening. On our return to the
boat, Skipper issued us with our orders for the morning:
Chief Navigator: wake everyone at 6am
Skipper's mate: to fill up the boat with water at 6.10am
Sleepyhead: to wake up with a sunny disposition
Skipper: to ensure crew carried out their duties
The following morning we all carried out our orders: CN managed to wake
everyone up, SM filled up with water and then went back to bed, and as
for Sleepyhead, she did wake up with a sunny disposition, pointed out to
Skipper that her remit did not require getting out of bed and promptly
turned over and went back to sleep.
After an early morning start, "Brunch" was taken at Dilham, the most
northern part of the Broads - too small to house an 18 Plus Group - followed
by a lazy sail back towards Wroxham and the boatyard. We again caught
up with Brentwood, still brandishing that Water Gun ! They tried to get
us again, but we were ready for them, and then they stopped for ice cream
- from the ice cream boat (complete with jingles).
Back at the boatyard, we caught up with the other boats, who told various
stories of what they had been up to, including Gary Silver (Redbridge)
zigzagging across the Broads and earning the name of Polly Zig Zag, Brentwood
ramming another boat and losing a fender and the other Redbridge boat ramming
into some railings and managing to pull them out of the ground - how they
didn't sink I don't know.
Thurrock 18 Plus
5 Things You Never Knew About...... Donna Verrall
London & South East Area Chairman and Deputy National
1 Stood for her group's committee on the night that she joined 18 Plus
in 1993 and has been on a committee ever since.
2 Nicknames include 'Detox', 'Dominatrix' and 'Kebab'.
3 Favourite records at discos include 'Saturday Night', 'I Am The Music
Man' and any drunken formation dance. Refers to most other contemporary
club tunes as 'drugs music'.
4 Whilst at an NEC meeting she decided to rearrange all the pictures
on the walls of the Red Lion pub by hitting them so hard they ended up
crooked. She was hastily followed by slightly more sober people who straightened
them again !
5 After a friend's wedding, she ended up sitting on the loo at a service
area singing 'Take Me Home Country Roads' in full bridesmaid's regalia.
|What a TAG-Tastic weekend ! It certainly was an 18 Plus
holiday to remember. I have not been to a National event for some time
that oozed the atmosphere that the members created over the August Bank
Holiday weekend earlier this year. It thoroughly impressed me to see that
the only thing on everyone's mind was to party and enjoy themselves.
Even though the attendance was down slightly on the previous year the
whole theme of the weekend seemed to be just to get stuck in. This was
certainly evident with the daytime activities with a higher number of members
booked in for the available water sports and many more teams participating
in the 5-a-side football and volleyball competitions. Even the spectators
were intent on having a laugh with weird alcoholic concoctions being filtered
through to the thirsty players for sustenance and the "Screaming Banshees"
making a welcome return from their adventures at AMMO.
Evening entertainment this year was spot on. The highlight for me was
Saturday night with a debut appearance from 'Buster' who were absolutely
magnificent. They played a variety of covers spanning the whole spectrum
of taste from "Millennium" by Robbie Williams to "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van
Morrison. Their performance was enthusiastic, energetic and powerful -
the best I've seen for a long time.
Finally I send my regards and thanks to a committee that worked very
hard during the weekend. It is so nice to come away from a National holiday
knowing that it was QUALITY and not QUANTITY that counted. Keep up the
good work - may TAG live long and prosper !
Midland Area Chairman
|24 members went white water rafting and quite a few fell in but Simon
Frith of Romiley managed to go in the Trent twice. Sunday afternoon, whilst
the majority seemed to be on the real ale trip to the Brunswick at Derby,
the sporty types on site commandeered the badminton hall for an afternoon
and also played petanque on the front lawn. The sporty pairs competition
was delayed until the Grand Prix was over when the pairs assembled for
frisbee throwing, football dribbling, ball rolling, tennis serving and
batting and catching games.
5 a side football 1st Cheadle Eagles
2nd Sutton Coldfield
Volleyball 1st Cheadle Champs
2nd Scratch n Sniff
TAG treasure trail
lst Coventry & guests (Mark, Dave & Gordon)
2nd Luke & Fiona (Solihull)
Petanque 1st Julia Faulkner
2nd Dave Filer
Sporty pairs 1st Julia Faulkner & Dave Filer
2nd Claire Williams & Gordon Higginton
Pop quiz 1st Solihull Bricks
2nd Solihull Pissheads
The Saturday evening barbeque, superbly prepared by the Water Sports
Centre chef and served by Loren, Seth and team, was a bargain at £2.50,
as much as you could eat !
What They Do In Newent!
Newent is of course where our National Headquarters ("the office")
are situated. It is staffed by Christine George, Administrative Officer,
and Sue Swan, Administrative Assistant. Then of course there's Maureen
who is our cleaner.
has worked for the Federation for eleven and a half years and Sue (look
in the May 1998 issue to see what she looks like) for one and a half years.
They went through a lot of upheaval and change recently when they moved
from Nicholson House to our new offices. They are now happily settled in
and getting used to having "neighbours" and hearing other people about
Christine is responsible for the smooth running of the office and making
sure that deadlines are met. She deals with the financial side - the daily
banking, petty cash, paying and issuing invoices, writing cheques for signature
and keeping the monthly accounts. Then there's providing administrative
support for all NEC meetings and ANC's and for other NEC members as required
(eg printing, ordering food for training weekends, etc.). Also photocopying,
updating the National Diary, keeping the National Charities book, and maintaining
stock and stationery levels.
In conjunction with the Finance Officer and the Honorary General Secretary
she is responsible for the Federation's insurance policies and the upkeep
of the office and its equipment. For example one morning in October Christine
spent time with the Planning Officer regarding the erection of two "18
Plus" signs outside the office.
Sue deals with the management of the membership system - recording memberships
as received at the Office, updating members record cards and issuing of
membership cards. She also issues blank membership application forms to
groups and produces lists of group members as and when requested. Most
importantly perhaps she deals with external enquiries about membership
of the Federation. There's also dealing with incoming and outgoing mail,
maintenance of the franking machine and keeping the daily post log.
Together they compile the National Directory, update mailing lists,
distribute bulk postings to Groups, operate the Award Scheme and generate
extra income by providing a printing service for members of the public.
They both also answer the phone and enjoy chats with members, keeping
up to date with what is going on out there in the Federation !
Although they have job descriptions their duties can vary from day to
day, which they say makes their employment with the Federation interesting,
and jobs do occur which are not listed but have to be carried out. These
include going out with the Finance Officer into Court Lane (whilst still
at Nicholson House) armed with a loo brush and rubber gloves, getting down
on hands and knees to lift the lid from the water meter to take a reading
(the loo brush was to clean the meter glass !)
Pleasanter things include being invited to represent the Federation
at an evening reception at Barclays Bank to meet the new Branch and Area
Managers. They also lay a poppy wreath on behalf of the Federation every
year at the Annual Remembrance Service in Newent Church.
So now you know what happens in Newent - rather a lot !
|Romance seems to be in the air. First Tom Seddon (North Thames &
Chiltern Area Chairman) married Suzy Sampson (of Welwyn Garden City
18 Plus) on 5th September 1998. Their honeymoon was spent on safari
in Kenya and then in the Seychelles (very exotic !)
just a couple of weeks later (on 18th September) Keven Woodhead and Jo
Shaw (National Executive Officer) tied the knot and then went off to Zakynthos
(an excellent place for a honeymoon as I can testify).
I was at both weddings and can honestly say that they all looked lovely
(especially the brides !) I even have the photos to prove it but unfortunately
not enough room to print them in this issue.
Congratulations to all of you.
|Web Site Warning
|I believe that Southampton 18 Plus have had a problem with their web
site, namely after spending nearly £800 on it the company and site
just vanished. It would be a good idea for groups to remember that there
is a free 18 Plus web site of a less than fly by night nature already existing.
Southern Area Chairman