Our celebration was somewhat muted by ongoing health concerns, but those of us who did manage to get together had a very pleasant evening. Seasonal literary contributions ranged from lighthearted to deeply reflective.
The most important order of business was the awarding of the President’s Cup, won this year by Peter. As Joe was unable to be with us, Maggie did the honours.
The Chairman’s Challenge exercised our little grey cells.
Denis and Sheila were the very worthy winners.
Everyone contributed to the buffet and the evening was rounded off by selections from the Secret Santa table.
Ripon Writers’ Group would like to wish all members past, present and prospective a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
With no possibility of a festive get together this year, a few of us took part on 10th December in a short but sweet meeting organised by Susan and held via Zoom. Everyone agreed that it was good fun and we hope to repeat the experiment during the coming months.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all connected with RWG in any way and others who wish us well!
Although it was a shame that so many members, including Daphne Peters who founded the Group, were unable to attend this evening, those of us who made it marked the occasion with a heartfelt toast.
The theme for the meeting was ‘vision’, with an eye (sorry!) to the Swanwick competitions mentioned at the previous meeting. It would be wonderful if RWG came up with another winner!
PS As no one was available to take a photo of us all together, Christine and Maggie took it in turns.
The Royal Oak on Kirkgate was a very welcoming venue for our first social event of 2020. Members and guests enjoyed a very convivial lunch and plenty of good conversation.
The President’s Cup being temporarily unavailable, Peter presented Sheila – the clear winner – with the next best thing. Watch this space for an update!
Members also enjoyed Christmas readings, a quiz, a dip into the Secret Santa basket and some delicious cake (thank you, Ella) to go with their teas and coffees.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE!
PS Sheila did receive the actual President’s Cup from Peter at the earliest opportunity.
Our adjudicator, Anne Carrick, began by saying that she had enjoyed all the pieces and that one had even taken her back to her misspent youth in Northumberland. She went on to suggest that her credentials to act as an adjudicator rested on her experience as a critical reader. What she was looking for was something that had a striking beginning and an ending that rounded things off. She reminded us that every word must count and that proofreading before submission was essential. The need to consider the target audience, be it academics, newspaper readers or whatever, was also important.
Anne concluded her introductory remarks by saying that she had found a strong streak of feminism in many of the stories. She then went on to give her thoughts on each of the ten entries. Finally she announced the winners in reverse order as follows:
• 3rd place – ‘A Show of Hands’ – Sheila Whitfield
• 2nd place – ‘Dancing Feet’ – Maggie Cobbett
• 1st place – ‘A Picture Telling Many Stories’ – Phil Cook
Anne presented the trophy and this was followed by Phil reading his winning entry. It concerned the pleasure he had got from a print, bought for £5 at a boot sale, showing a Vienna streetscape painted by Herta Czoernig (1886-1970) above a few bars of Beethoven’s Appassionata Piano Sonata.
Maggie then read ‘Dancing Feet’, which explained how one look at a professional ballerina’s feet, scarred by her years en pointe, had killed any childhood notion of following suit. She had gone on to explore other dance genres, though, finishing with a love of salsa.
Sheila, inspired by the Group’s 2019 outing to Littlethorpe Potteries, had begun with the importance of hands to the work of the potter and continued into a reflection on the complexity and dexterity of hands in general and their place in both art and culture. She then read Malcolm Glasby’s entry, ‘A Personal Collection’, which described some of the artists from whom he had purchased original work and also the role of his wife Margaret’s own work in their art collection.
Finally Joe Peters read his entry ‘The Sound of Music’ which described how he came to be interested in and active in the world of folk dance – in particular Scottish, Irish and Dutch – and song, meeting Daphne at Scottish Country Dancing when living in The Hague. Today he finds watching Morris Dance very moving while he and Daphne have a large collection of traditional and folk dance music.
Malcolm and Phil are both retiring from the Group and Maggie paid tribute to the great contribution that both have made over the many years of their membership.
Finally, Maggie thanked Anne Carrick for her very positive and thorough adjudication and presented her with a token of the Group’s appreciation.
Some changes to the Group’s constitution were approved, relating mainly to the committee structure.
After three years in the post, Sheila Whitfield stood down from the Chairmanship and was thanked for her services. Maggie Cobbett was elected as the new Chairman with Caroline Slator continuing as Treasurer and Peter Page as Secretary. Janet Barclay, Carol Mayer, Susan Perkins and Christine Summers complete the new committee. Peter Hicks will be President.
The committee will meet soon to begin drawing up a programme for 2020. Watch this space!
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