Monday, April 2

Minutes of the 960th meeting of the Paddock Party Committee

Minutes of the 960th meeting of the Paddock Party Committee


Held at Primrose Cottage on Saturday 24 March 2012,
allegedly at 7pm.



Graeme in the chair

Maggie at the range



Sarah D

Stationmaster Steve




Minutes Secretary



Sarah B was reported to be rather under the weather. Adrian advised that he had been provided with ample instructions however prior to departure as to what he should or should not agree to in her unfortunate absence.

The word unfortunate was also referred to in Adrian’s indication that he didn’t seem able now to locate said instructions.
AP to send everyone’s best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Minutes of the previous meeting


The last meeting was so distant, being sometime in August 2010, that no-one could really recall whether what had been recorded as having been agreed bore any resemblance to what was actually agreed and for this reason, as well as there being none to refer to anyway, it was agreed that they may as well be approved, taken as read and all that jazz.
AH to see if there were any minutes in August 2010 and to invent them if necessary.

Which one is it?


There was some discussion as to whether this year’s event would be Paddock Party 8 or Paddock Party 9. the Minutes Secretary seemed to think that there had been a PP8 but no-one else did. That either meant that everyone had been so inebriated that no recollection of the day had been retained or the Minutes Secretary was talking nonsense again.

A unanimous vote concluded that item.

A date

The Chairman asked the Committee for a date. It seemed like quite a sensible thing at the time – you know, we’re planning to have a big party, invite people, make food and the like, so it makes quite a lot of sense to agree a day when all this might take place.


“Agreeing just one day is also a good idea as having several days could be confusing,” said Richard, as he attempted to spear a baked potato skin.

“Absolutely right!” announced Kathie, looking up for a moment to watch Richard’s baked potato skid across the plate and suspend itself momentarily in the air before descending in an arc of pre-mash towards the carpet.

Stationmaster Steve shuffled in his seat to make room for Richard, who was now crawling between his legs to regain some degree of control over the destination of the now rolling baked potato. “I have always made a point,” he began, shuffling once more as if practising a particularly complex Square Dance step, “a point…” he reiterated, “of deciding a date at an early stage in the proceedings. Indeed, in ine Inchon Invasion in September 1950, the matter of fixing a date was crucial to the success of the US forces in isolating their North Korean opponents…”

At this point he was somewhat unsettled by a movement beneath him as Richard, oblivious to the fact that a chair bearing the nether regions of the Stationmaster was immediately above his head, and having retrieved the baked potato duly stood up, or made an effort to.

“So, how are we doing?” questioned the Chairman, twirling a shiny fork in his fingers most adeptly.

“We’ve, er.. we’ve agreed that we should have a date for the event,” advised the Minutes Secretray, checking his notes and erasing the rude cartoon that Adrian had drawn on them.

“Good!” boomed the Chairman. “What is it?” The fork glinted, now stationary.
“Oh, nothing, Just some old sketches…” said the Minutes Secretary
“No. I meant what is the date?!”
“Ah. That must be, er.. let me see, yes, that’s the next item on the agenda…”
“Have we got an agenda?” asked Maggie, “More raspberries, anyone?”

The date

Stationmaster Steve announced that he and Sarah D had two weddings coming up. The Committee extended their congratulations and wondered why he was marrying Sarah D twice more but concluded that it was probably just an excuse for some honeymoons.

August 11th was the preferred choice when it appeared that everyone would be available at least on the day itself and Sue was instructed to speak in her firmest tones to the Weather Department people to ensure that all would be fine on the day.



The Committee considered whether the event should be modest or along the lines of previous occasions. There was some feeling that the 2010 event had been a little less ‘friendly’ in that groups arrived and shot off to far corners of the tents where they often steadfastly refused to budge, even when they saw Sarah B approaching from the West with a bottle in one hand and clutching a book of raffle tickets with the other.

Penny suggested that there probably wasn’t much one could do about that as people did like to sit down to eat and, whilst the youngsters were happy on hay bales, there was a natural tendency to ‘reserve’ tables as soon as the arrived.

The Chairman said that we might try making things a touch more intimate by bringing in the tents a little closer, as they had spread rather over the years. Generally, though, it would remain an event for us, our friends and locals in and around Shoemaker Close who couldn’t really avoid it.

Assuming similar sales to previous years, it was reckoned that we should work on 170 attending in total.



The Chairman said he’d make enquiries about the guitarist’s availability – he had been very popular last year.

The jazz band would be keen to be involved again, although there might be a case for slightly shorter sessions from them, there being some views that they had ‘gone on a bit’ at some points last time.

The Committee were encouraged to enquire whether anyone else reasonably good might be interested in performing too. Music is an important part of the evening but careful selection is needed to keep the older people content whilst not alienating the youngsters. Later in the evening, of course, the selection of mp3s would be fine and no doubt Sarah B will ensure an adequate opportunity for renditions of Aretha.

Adrian advised that it would probably now be Adele.

GF to get licence forms and confirm Jazz Band available

All to advise if any other performers available



The last hog had been delicious and there was agreement that the same supplier would be fine. The Chairman did say that they had an option whereby they delivered the thing and left us to carve it.

It was a considerably less expensive option, the supplier saving several hours of staff costs and being able to get away to any other occasions planned for the same evening more quickly.

The Committee would consider this at a future meeting in more depth. Whilst the cost saving had advantages, it would entail one or two people being fully occupied with the preparation and serving process  which could detract from their enjoyment of the event and the saladeers would already have put a lot of effort in during the preceding hours.

This did remind Penny, in her role as Chief Saladeer, that salads do need to be made as close as feasible to the start and that, if anyone asked what they might contribute, then salads are what we should request.

GF to provide cost options



The Chairman seemed to think that the usual barrels of Frog Island specials would be in order.
GF to think about beer



The Chairman would check the availability of the Scout tent

Richard, who had now completely recovered from his expedition in search of the baked potato, wondered whether the three large gazebos would actually survive another year. They had been quite tricky to put up last time and we had been fortunate in not being much affected by wind in 2010.

The Committee reckoned that they ought to make it through another year but if anyone spotted some particular bargains they should let the Chairman know. Whilst we wouldn’t want to buy any more at full price there is a lot to be said for a couple of new ones if the price is right – and sometimes they can be on offer at very low prices and be worth getting.

GF to check scout tent



No discussion took place about a hamper at this point but it was agreed that all profits would go to the Air Ambulance again. This was agreed by all to be a good cause and worth supporting and relevant to our area.

Any Other Business


The Chairman said that we should ensure there is good protection against people falling into the pond, there now being two, especially as The Oak Gazebo is likely to be a focus of the layout this year and is positioned right between them.

The Committee also thanked Maggie and Graeme for the excellent food and refreshments during the evening, as well as Penny, Sue, Sarahs D and B for their contributions to the feast.

The Committee were also reminded that Maggie has a Big Birthday approaching. Whilst she would be away from the village on the day itself, plans were afoot to ensure the occasion would be suitablymarked upon her return or shortly afterwards.

Date of next meeting


Saturday 14 April – a special venue to be announced to celebrate Maggie’s birthday in between agenda items. Or, probably, the other way round!

UFO in the village Pt3

Oh it came out of the sky, just a little North of Towcester...
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UFO in the village Pt2


Strange constructions have also appeared in the playground, a couple of alien creatures descending by various odd means after a lengthy discussion as to how they might best communicate resulting in a possible salute of some sort
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UFO in the village Pt1


Not only the gnome but also the hens appeared unfazed as an unidentified flying object hovered above them for a brief moment on Sunday afternoon.
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