Food and Friends

Food and Friends have had a very good 2016, we have increased our membership and everyone enjoys our speakers and the dinner which follows.  Since Jason was inducted he has given us some very interesting "Thoughts for the day" which we really appreciate.

In January our speaker was Pat Brown who has given a lot of her time training puppies for "Guide Dogs for the Blind". Pat had recently returned from an expedition to the Arctic Circle to raise money for a new puppy, to be called Otley.  Pat showed us slides of the expedition and also brought one of her dogs with her.

Our speaker for February was Patrick a curator at The Kirkstall Abbey House Museum.  He talked to us about the abbey and brought some items from the museum and asked us to guess what they were used for.

In March our speaker was Sue Woodcock, she was a most interesting speaker telling us about her life.  Her talk was entitled "From Copper to Shepherdess"  Sue was abandoned by her mother and brought up by her grandmother, when she left school she took business studies and then joined the Police, she told us stories of her time in the Police and how she became a Rural Police Officer and learned to ride a motorbike.  After 28 years she retired from the police and came to Yorkshire to Agricultural College, then she settled in a small holding where she kept rare breeds of sheep and goats.  Sue now lives in Pocklington with her dogs and is author of several books and writes a weekly diary in the Yorkshire Post.

In April we had a visit from volunteers from the Yorkshire Air Ambulance who explained the role of the Air Ambulance.  They spoke about the cost of keeping it flying and that the government does not provide anything towards it.  The helicopter that used to be based at Leeds Bradford Airport is now near Wakefield and another one is in North Yorkshire. 

Cathy Padgett visited us in May.  Cathy was born and brought up in Otley only moving away when she married.  Cathy spoke to us about her early life in Otley and about her connections with our Church, she came to our Sunday School and to our Youth Group, her mother was also a Sunday School teacher here.

Our speaker in June was Paul Gosling who is a retired ship's engineer; he took us on a voyage down the coast of Africa.  This month we also celebrated the Queen's 90th birthday, we had a competition for the best crown, and everybody got into the party mood by wearing red, white and blue.  Jennifer made us a special lunch and we had a toast to the Queen.

At our July meeting Pat Osborne spoke to us about the Bronte Family, her talk was entitled "The Brontes behind closed doors"  She told us some interesting and lesser known facts about the Bronte Family.

In September our speaker was Sue Wood from Harrogate Parks Department.  Sue explained the Parks Department also included Cemeteries, Crematoriums, and looking after all the roadside trees in an area which includes Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon, Masham and other villages.  Sue brought some lovely photographs of various parks and flowerbeds.  Sue is responsible for the designs of all flowerbeds, roundabouts etc.

In October we had a return visit from Trading Standards who reminded us to be aware of all the scams either on our doorsteps, through our letterboxes and on our computers.  To get the message home we played a slightly different game of bingo where all the squares were things to do with scams.

Our November meeting was slightly different we started with a short talk by Fred Land about Remembrance; this was followed by a quiz about Yorkshire.  Sally's Army came at lunchtime and sang while we ate our meal.

December was our Christmas meeting, this year we had entertainment from John Wallace which everyone enjoyed.  It was nice to see our members all dressed in their Christmas jumpers; as usual we had a competition for the person looking most Christmassy.  Jennifer and her helpers cooked us a delicious Christmas dinner.

During this year we have lost old friends some are now unable to get to our meetings and we have welcomed new members.  We were sorry to see Geoff and Anne leave from the kitchen and thank them for all the help they gave.  We welcome Jane and Christine and hope the mountains of veg and potatoes they prepare doesn't put them off.  We would love to see anyone who feels they would like to join us on the first Wednesday in the month at 10.30a.m.


We recommenced our meetings in September 2012 when our speaker was Barbara Scholes. She told us the reasons they came to Otley to live, then about coming to our Church and becoming an Elder. Barbara brought a quiz with her , all the answers being some kind of sweet or chocolate.
In October our speaker was Stephanie Ferguson, she spoke about her day's working as a Journalist. She told us about some of the more famous people she had interviewed, one of whom was Margaret Thatcher. Stephanie was fascinating to listen to and unfortunately we had to stop her as dinner was ready.
In November, Mr Wallis came to entertain us, he spoke about the end of the Pier Show. He had many funny stories to tell us and entertained us by playing and singing to us.
December was our Christmas party, we were entertained by the Yeadon Handbell Ringers. They played Christmas music and carols for us to sing along to. This was followed by a scrumptious dinner cooked by Jennifer and her team. We have a lovely dinner at all our meetings but they really excel at Christmas.
Our January meeting was led by Fred who spoke about Happiness, he also accompanied us on his harmonica for a coupe of hymns. We followed this with some poetry and prose from some of our helpers. Then a quiz and a game of bingo was enjoyed by all.
Our meeting on 6th March is about "Sightsavers" an organisation helping to look after the sight of people in poor
countries. If you would like to join Food and Friends for a morning of friendship and to enjoy a lovely dinner please contact the Church Secretary -









Diamond Jubilee Party.

On Wednesday 6th June 2012 we held a party to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.  The hall was decorated with bunting and the tables had Union Jack table cloths and vases of red, white and blue flowers on them.

Our meeting commenced with coffee and biscuits and the usual chatter to our friends.  Following this Sybil spoke about the life of duty the Queen has lived.  Some of our members had brought mementos of various events during the Queen's reign, there were a model of the Coronation coach, some spoons, a crown coin and photographs of parties, we even had a plate commemorating Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, all these items were put on display.

Two of our members told little anecdotes about their Royal experiences.  Doris Porteous told us about her husband, who was in theTerritorial Army, taking part in the Coronation Procession.  He decided to grow a moustache so that his family would be able to pick him out.  Doris said they all gathered round the television to look for him but so many soldiers had moustaches they didn't see him!  They even went to the cinema to watch it but still couldn't pick him out.  Doris brought us a photograph of him and his certificate and medal he received for taking part.  Connie Speak told us about her visit to Buckingham Palace.  Connie and her husband celebrated their Golden Wedding the same year as the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh and they were invited to a Garden Party at the Palace which they really enjoyed.

Amongst the mementos of the Coronation was a china beaker and saucer, these had been given by Mrs Sinclair (Michael's mother) as a prize for the best scrapbook of the Coronation made by a member of our Sunday School.

We had a Quiz about the Queen and the Royal Family, the group who won this were given Diamond Jubilee beakers.  Our entertainment continued with two poems written by school children for a competition for the Jubilee, one titled "The Jubilee Cat" and the other " The Hip Hop Queen".  We then listened to the Jubilee Song and joined in singing 'Land of Hope and Glory' waving our flags as we sang.  Then it was time raise a toast to the Queen followed by the National Anthem.

Jennifer and her helpers had prepared a lovely buffet meal for us, and after saying the 'Jubilee Grace' we all enjoyed the meal.  I think everyone who attended will remember our Celebrations for a long time to come.