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- A Hobby for Life
recipient of a good musical grounding, I had the good fortune to chair the WFSO
for several years. This carried responsibility as well as pleasure. During my
time the orchestra expanded, with players drawn from around the county, enabling
us to move from the classics up to the 20th century. At £1000 a
concert, a good programme is essential, an empty house meaning an early night
and nil in the bank. Recently there have been some disappointing attendance
figures, and the fresh officers have to learn these lessons all over again. Put
on popular works and you get an audience, but try the abstruse and you lose them
and go in the red.
learned too the value of wordy programme, with pictures, for our public to read
in the boring parts until the interval drinks. The policy has generally kept
their interest - apart from the pre-terminal and the profoundly deaf, who, as in
the viola section, can be found asleep on the back row.
years ago four of us formed a string quartet, and real practice started. Many
years later I joined the part-time but excellent Chandos Symphony Orchestra.
They specialise in the unplayable. After further hard work the rudiments of a
decent player emerged, much to my delight. So now I have a hobby to carry into
retirement, and in which I continue to make new friends.
There has been
the doctoring too, but this life is familiar to you all. I did 28 years in
my BA years were in retrospect meaningless, I look back with great satisfaction
at my years in GP. We are so blessed to have the position, respect, and security
that so many others lack.
the recent Medical Society dinner I was struck by the friendship I received, and
not only from my contemporaries. A whole class of superb young doctors has
emerged, from whom I also received great warmth, and whom I greet sincerely. The
profession is in fine hands. I thank all
my colleagues old and new for being such good friends.
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Medical Society Dinner
must have been the audience from hell – 110 scientifically minded, trained
clinical observers subjecting our magician entertainers to intense sceptical
scrutiny! Nevertheless, the most overheard phrase of the evening was “How did
he do that?”
always, the opportunity to don glad rags and meet en masse was clearly welcomed
by the many guests, all trying to make the most of the annual dinner to catch up
on old friends – in the initial bar crush beforehand, at the packed tables for
the formal meal, and general circulation afterwards.
The excellent food – Spring Grove up to standard yet again – was enlivened and enhanced by small group entertainment from our strolling conjurors, Jay Dizone and Chris Priest. Coffee was followed by an outstanding climax of a “cabaret” style finale. Jo Stanley and Tony de Cothi were “volunteer” victims, with fixed grins and tightly crossed fingers as her watch disappeared and his jacket was (apparently) slashed and burned. One performer tease a 6” nail up his nostril, and the other spectacularly consumed fire – which certainly felt very hot from where I was sitting! – to the consternation of many. Martin Porter’s face in particular was a picture.
huge turnout and wonderful atmosphere reflected the successful social calendar
this year, which has benefited enormously from the combined efforts of our
energetic social secretary, David Malcolmson, and enthusiastic President, Jan
Meggy. A superb nights entertainment - magic stuff indeed!
Andrew has recently become a Partner
at York House in Stourport and Nicola is a Part time Salaried GP at Great Witley
Surgery with a few extra sessions in the
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the British Army's crack regiments use them as a notoriously tough training
base, it would seem two tom hamstrings and one case of hypothermia were a
bearable price to pay for Kidderminster Medical Society's weekend trip to the
Welsh Mountains. Yes, blame it on the Brecon Beacons.
enough, the casualties had nothing to do with mountaineering. There may have
been a few aching limbs to follow, but the Society's main mission to scale Pen Y
Fan was accomplished without a hitch, a muscle strain or a grumble from little
ones and veterans alike. The leg injuries were sustained at ground level as a
result of nothing more dangerous or daunting than a game of rounders! Stand by
for more of that tale, plus how young Andrew O'Hara was reduced to a shivering
wreck on the river Wye.
For some of the medics and their families, a memorable weekend of climbing, cricket, rounders and canoeing began at Brinnich camp site on the Friday evening. What a pleasure it was to be welcomed by the balm of a cold beer from Gordon in the barmy August twilight. Tents were erected before darkness fell, and a good night’s sleep was enjoyed in advance of the assault on Brecon's highest peak the next day.
of the climbing party arrived on the Saturday morning, and what a veritable
procession they made up the mountain in perfect weather. The ascent and descent
were achieved in a leisurely four hours, giving ample time to take in the
spectacular scenery and tuck into a hearty picnic on the mountain top.
evening, the intrepid climbers were ready to replenish the lost calories by
tackling a sumptuous barbecue in the camp site; the appetiser being a game of
rounders in the adjoining field. All was well and on course for a winning
result, until Gordon Cox tore his hamstring; doubly painful when he was in sight
of a home run that would have secured victory for his team. Ike George
identically pulled his hamstring in a dash to first base, and it was a credit to
both limping diehards that they stayed the course to see the two sides contrive
an honourable 9-9 draw.
morning dawned with Jan and Gordon treating their fellow - campers with
egg–and-bacon butties, and after a light lunchtime picnic the Brecon bravados
were all set for their six mile canoeing sojourn down the tranquil, unspoilt
waters of the Wye. Again, all was well, until Andrew O'Hara's boat capsized him
into the icy river, not once but three times in rapid succession! Help was
readily at hand in the shape of several spare fleeces and towels, and being
Andrew, the embattled boy, smilingly endured his ordeal.
a highlight of the weekend would be as daunting as scaling every Brecon peak in
one morning, but the canoeing must be a strong contender. Who needs the Dordogne
thanks to Jan, Gordon, Dave and Liz for the excellence of their logistical
planning and general organisation. And also to Tom and Oliver Cox for
entertaining the young children so well.
society weekends go, this was about as good as it gets.
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Next priority was to ‘borrow’ sunscreen from those wise enough to have brought some i.e. Fiona Parsons, or even to retreat into the shade, relax and soak up the atmosphere. What bliss! Happy children splashing in the pool, inebriated adults in the sun…. and a bouncy castle for those feeling energetic.
By 2.00 the kids were being fed and watered and were then ready for the next stage of entertainment - the magician. It was reported that he was given rather a hard time by some of the younger boys, who were keen to demonstrate their knowledge of how each and every trick was done….. but he coped admirably and ended his show with a fixed grimace on his face and obvious relief
While the magic man worked his trade the adults could dive into the delicious fare. Spicy chicken burgers, lamb chops and wonderful homemade sausages were amongst the offerings from the Bewdley butcher, accompanied by troughs of fresh salads. Any ideas of self-restraint vanished as my plate was piled high and later refilled. We sat at tables in the garden with magnificent views over Bewdley and again you guessed it, Gordon was there again, tempting us with ‘white, red or soft’
A tour of the garden showed us the prospective goose house/run and the fine vegetable patch, and by this stage the children were ready for yet another swim or more activity in the games room. The adults were now feeling even more relaxed, apart from the Millers, who were wondering how they would ever manage to cycle home to Sneads Green, let alone play tennis that evening
As the afternoon came, an end, heavy clouds built up in the sky and the odd rumble of thunder and drop of rain reminded us all that, perhaps it was time to be getting home again.
really delightful event. Many thanks to Jan and Gordon, who are surely the most
relaxed and welcoming hosts out, for staging a wonderful day.