The star of the show...

Where to start...?

I suppose I could just say something like 'AGM XXXV took place, as planned, at the Tanfield Railway last Wednesday and a great time was had by all'.  But that wouldn't go anywhere near to describing what a splendid AGM it was.

It's not as if there was a huge turnout, either.  Unusually, when I arrived there was no-one else there at all; and I wasn't expecting anyone else to arrive, either.  The weather was atrocious - deeply overcast, wet, drizzly, windy and cold.  Not really AGM weather, then...

Hildie was the first to arrive after me.  And let's face it - it's always good to see Hildie.  She's not only a mainstay of AGMs, either.  It's largely down to her enthusiasm and positive frame of mind that the Honourable Company of Truckshunters has survived all this time.  Isn't she an awesome Company secretary?  Without her, we would all have gone our separate ways years ago - and I'm so glad we didn't.

Thanks, Hildie.

Vivienne was next.  She became the Company's official photographer and resident mystic ages ago - and gets better and better in both roles.  Most of the photos on this posting are hers - including a couple of the ones she's actually on.

Vivienne, too, is now a mainstay of AGMs and they're all the richer, more enjoyable - and much better photographed - because of her presence.

So thanks, too, to Vivienne.

Linda was the third truckshunter to arrive.  She and Keith have had a really difficult year so it was especially good to see her at Tanfield.  As it turned out, it was her irrepressible good humour and determination to enjoy herself that made this AGM so special for all of us.

Thanks, Linda.
I love this photo - i really do...

So what actually happened?  Well...

There was the obligatory train ride to the Causey Arch and East Tanfield - so full of anecdote, jokes and tittle-tattle that we hardly saw the sodden scenery passing us by.
 The lovely picture Vivienne took at the Causey Arch

Fits of genuinely uncontrollable laughter are far too rare in this unhappy world and the tears of giggling, the endless wisecracks, the tomfoolery - all interspersed and overladen with real affection and care - made me realise, yet again, what a unique bunch of friends we all are and how lucky I am that a few ex-BBC listeners think it's worthwhile for us all to stay in touch, even if we can't always get to AGMs.
I can't help wondering what the little lad is thinking...

Our collective thanks for a typically splendid time must go to the stars of the show - the Tanfield Railway itself and its accommodating and understanding volunteers, one of whom is the wonderful Neville Whaler, who has now organised our Tanfield AGM for three years.  Who would have thought we'd all still be together after all this time?
A very big Thankyou to Neville - and his colleagues - for once again hosting such a wayward group of people so generously.

You can follow the Tanfield Railway blog here:  tanfield-railway.blogspot.co.uk
Being photographed photographing

And a similar Thankyou to Mick and Christine at Birkheads Nursery, to which we all repaired for a warming posset afterwards.   They selflessly allowed us to behave raucously and completely without regard for the comfort and safety of their other customers, who must have been wondering deeply...
A tango...
...and a plank

It was at Birkheads that we finally got round to dealing with two agenda items that have been hanging around threateningly for months; tango and planking.

Needless to say, Linda was involved in both, although I'm sure she would agree that neither was what you would call a complete success.  I swear I danced the tango as best I could but ended up needing as much help as Linda did when she planked.

I never thought I'd see the day....
Once again, a big, big Thankyou to Linda, Vivienne, Hildie and Neville for giving me a day to remember - for all sorts of reasons!


Post comments on this blog or email me:  truckshunters@googlemail.com


Ellie said...

Drat! I missed a splendid day, didn't I?? Not that I could help it but I really wish I could have been there.........lots of love to you all, Ellie x

Sid said...

'The star of the show' a great caption and photo to go with it.
Well done and thanks to everyone else, it just wouldn't be the same without them.

Hildie said...

I had such a good time ..... AGMs are great fun. Thanks so much, Neville, for all you and your colleagues do so well .... we are made to feel so welcome at Tanfield. Ian, thank heavens you had the good sense to come up with this AGM idea in the first place!

Bentonbag said...

Glad you had a good time.
As you can imagine I had a somewhat different time at Uncle Laurie's funeral.
But I did get to see all my siblings and maternal cousins, and cousins once and twice removed. I only seem to see Cousin P (who lives in Whitley Bay) giving him lifts to and from funerals, which is a shame as he's got great conversation. Mind you Mum's funeral was down in West Wales so we had plenty of time for chat that time.

Vivienne said...

Hi Folks,

I really enjoyed our trip to Tanfield Railway and Birkheads on Wednesday. Many thanks yet again to Neville. Sorry many of you weren't able to join us.

Just ran into (not literally) J Arthur Smallpiece and Hilary and their dog at Gibside today. It was lovely to see them, and a relief they didn't start planking on the tables in the Beer Garden, as I'm well known there and wouldn't be able to show my face again!!!