One Ordinary Year

It all started with a fund raising gymkhana and then I was opened all those years ago 1956 all shiny and new. I am very old now. Let me share just one ordinary year with you. It starts with “Auld Lang Syne” and a new year begins. A mother brings her baby to the hall which acts as a clinic once a month. She is so proud, meeting up with other mums, chatting, sharing New Year gossip. They leave together for a cup of tea at her house and arrange to meet at the toddler group the next week. This is great fun for the toddlers and for the mums, as the older ladies from the village come up to make the coffee so mums can get on with chatting. A teenager’s party is arranged I think it’s going to be a disco where no one really dances but stand in a circle shaking their heads, but they love it.

We move into Spring. Committee meetings commence. Does it really take that long to decide on the colour of the curtains?! The W.I. is very busy planning a play, I hear a pantomime being discussed (I know ‘cos I heard it in Gwyneth’s shop!! Sorry in-joke) and Nature Club is planning an outing. The grass mower appears so I know cricket is about to start. Most Sundays we hear leather on willow and shouts of encouragement from the patio, which is full of village folk cheering on the home side. Screams of laughter come from the kitchen where the wives, daughters, partners etc are all preparing sandwiches and cakes ready for the tea.

Another Sunday sees the pony club at the hall where long-suffering Mums run exhausting races on the end of a lead rope while the child, sat on the pony shouts ‘faster faster!’ Older children practice gymkhana on their well-loved ponies while the dads open a can or two! Was the sun always shining then? The school sports day is held but that is just practice for the Village Sports Day where everyone competes. The most important race is the men’s and women’s mountain race – you have to be fit to run around the Garth and be back first to a cheering crowd on the hall field. What a good day!

The summer moves to September and still the weather is good when the Country Fair is held. Great competitive spirit abounds for vegetable, flower and cake competitions. There are stalls and displays, clowns, ice cream and loads more all ending with a dance in the Marquee. They look too tired to dance. The clocks go back and the hall is full of the smell of fruit and veg as the tables are laid for the harvest supper. Everyone comes in from the church service and a great meal is eaten then there is the auction of produce. If you blink you have bought a bag of cabbages for an enormous amount of money but it’s for church funds so nobody minds.

The bonfire is built and excitement is shared as the children watch it get bigger every day as they walk past the hall to school. Guy Fawkes arrives and the magic begins. The Christmas season starts and I am very busy with the children’s parties. Who is Santa this year? The Ploughman’s Supper is held and as the last candle is put out the hall will go quiet until “Auld Lang Syne” is sung again and another year has ended.

This was just an ordinary year and there have been more memorable events: Charles and Di’s’ wedding, the Golden Jubilee, the performance of the pantomime, the Nature Club play, the millennium party and burying of the time capsule, wonderful gigs performed by our own musical talent. There have been Welsh nights, Greek nights, Italian nights, French nights the list goes on and on. So many happy memories have been shared between these walls, but I am very old now.

The baby will go to toddler group, the toddler will go to school and the teenager will leave school but they will all visit me again when I am all shiny and new.

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