GATHERERS September 2012 – March 2013

Two weddings, a Christmas Party at “Castle Howard”, a day in York … these are but some of our activities over the long drawn-out winter months. As I put pen to paper, we are still seemingly in the grip of winter – outside the world is covered in a blanket of snow.

Our programme opened at Saltaire on a mellow autumn day where some of us enjoyed a Day of Dance at Victoria Hall and others walked along the canal towpath. A few of us were back in Saltaire a month later for the Peace and Crafts Fayre (H, from Interlink, ran a stall – Isabella’s Attic).

G and P  (whom we saw together at the Jubilee party last June) were married at St James Church, Doncaster on 27th October and are setting up home at Consett, County Durham. They both hail from the North East.

D and S’s wedding took place at Bierley Bethel in Bradford on 30th December, followed by a Chinese buffet at Halifax. Several Gatherers were at both these joyful occasions.

12 of us were at “Castle Howard” … the residence in Leeds, for a Christmas party. The banquet over, we were given a very cryptic quiz of towns in Yorkshire to solve – which tested even the most lateral thinkers to the limit. Several of us also celebrated New Year over two days with our Sheffield friends.

We braved a wintry January evening to sample Turkish food at the Istanbul Mangal Restaurant in Roundhay. The staff were very friendly and gladly recommended dishes to sample. Lamb casserole was very popular. Thanks to R for suggesting this splendid place.

C’s Jorvik trip drew a good turn-out (including several first-timers). We visited Barley Hall, a renovated medieval building with a most impressive Great Hall. There was also a historical costume exhibition on the first floor – many of the exhibits had been worn in films. Some of the ladies tried hats on.

The Jorvik took us further back in history – especially our tramcar ride that gave us a glimpse of Viking communities. Sights, smells, shops and conversations of 1200 years ago. We witnessed an argument between a couple over whether they should eat meat or fish on a particular day.

There was time to walk round the Shambles (or stop for a cuppa) before we had a meal at a restaurant in the shadow of Clifford’s Tower.

Events have also included:
A visit to Cineworld at Castleford, to see the new James Bond film “Skyfall”
A weekend at Shrewsbury (of which a separate account has been written)
A vinyl evening at L’s in Otley. A chance to listen to favourite old records. Thanks to L for a splendid meal and a 30 question quiz of tunes to guess, in teams of 6.

Now it’s time to bring food and ideas to share at C’s, as we think about the summer months. Let’s hope there will be some sunshine and warm days to enjoy, at barbecues and other outings.