High Lane Logo CHRISTMAS PARTY 2011
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The room for this year’s party was laid out attractively for almost 130, with plenty of tasty nibbles, and hot sausage rolls and mince pies to follow, but it had a different format to the all-musical 2010 party. Instead the extrovert Siddington “corn dolly” farmer Raymond Rush had come to beguile us with his fascinating knowledge of Christmas customs and traditions, particularly the strange and sometimes ghoulish origins of everyday phrases.  We will all think twice now at holly, yule logs, Christmas cracker hats, and May Queens after this talk.  Nobody dared sneak a glance at the tricky quiz questions whilst Ray was speaking!  He had such a command over his audience, and little need of a microphone.  And afterwards his array of hand crafted corn dollies proved too tempting to resist for some of our members.  

He then “put on a different hat” to judge our hat parade.  Last year had seen an overwhelming array of hats, but this year’s Olympic theme attracted only a modest dozen or so entrants, but all of high quality. In many ways it made a better spectacle, as chairman Steve led the behatted parade twice round the room in front of enthusiastic watchers, and Raymond Rush showed his mettle by inviting audience reaction, and making impromptu pithy and witty comments, for each of the hats.

Finally, June Gibbs was judged to be a worthy winner with her swimming outfit, with an Olympic flame hat and a Pole Vault hat second and third.

The quiz questions proved somewhat testing perhaps, particularly the Olympic posers, but forced a tie-break to decide the second prize winners.  A brief singing of White Christmas kept us in party mode after an enjoyable afternoon, and concluded the 2011 monthly events.  Next year, perhaps no hats, and some music again, who knows?

Walter Mason