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October 2018

A taste for fundraising!

Our BBQ kit was given another jolly good work-out again this year at the annual Taste of Wickham event, which was celebrating its fifth year. As previously, we teamed up with Tull’s the local Wickham butcher (now known as the Meon Valley Butcher), setting up our BBQ stall right outside the shop. The weather was kind and the public once again turned out in strength to support this great village showcase.

The ladies serving up a smileThis year, because some of us really love slaving over a hot griddle, we started an hour earlier than usual, whipping up some delicious, early-morning bacon butties for the village team and stallholders. As the day progressed and the crowds began to fill the square, we picked up a gear and turned to cooking the more familiar sausages and burgers. From 11 a.m. onwards, the pace rarely slackened and by 3.30 p.m. a very tired crew had cooked and served over 600 covers. At one point that amounted to four servings a minute! We’ve done the sums and thanks to the generous support of the Meon Valley Butcher, look to have cleared over £1,000 for charity.

 Photograph: The ladies serving up some smiles!

We also donated the services of the Meon Valley Lions’ minibus for the event, providing a shuttle bus between the offsite car park near McCarthy’s and Wickham Square. Our thanks go to all the Lions and numerous other volunteers for giving up their time and working some long and intense shifts, both at the stall and driving the minibus, throughout the day. Our thanks also to the Taste of Wickham organisers, who once again managed to place our pitch adjacent to the Bowman Ales stall,  thus facilitating some valuable barter-trading.

The BBQ will now go into store for some weeks until Remembrance Day in Bishop’s Waltham when we will be catering at the special service centenary Remembrance Day event. Normally at this time, we would be catering for the ever-popular Wickham Beer Festival, but sadly this year, resourcing the event has proven to be too great a challenge for the organisers and it will not be going ahead. It’s a great pity, because the Beer Festival has raised well in excess of six figures for local charities in the few years it has been running. Let’s hope issues can be resolved to resurrect the event in time for the Spring 2019 Festival.

The WaverleyWhen we’re not volunteering and raising cash, Lions like to enjoy a healthy social programme. In September, 11 Lions and friends boarded the steam-paddle ship Waverley for a memorable jaunt on the Solent. Having been constructed in 1946 and saved from scrap for £1 by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society in 1976, Waverley is now officially the last ocean-going paddle steamer in the world.  That doesn’t stop her putting up a great head of steam and cruising many excited passengers around the coast of Britain during the summer month. Our journey took us to Yarmouth IoW from Portsmouth and while the ship circumnavigated the island, we enjoyed a splendid lunch in the Bugle pub before being picked up four hours later and returned home.

Think you could be a volunteer and broaden your social life and have some fun? Check out the membership section on the home page of our website, to see if it’s for you.