December Clubnight Report

By Bob Merrifield (Competitions Organiser)

The Club’s December Evening Meeting dawned brightly and a good turnout of members was greeted by Chairman Stephen Long who introduced us to the first of the two Fun Competitions of the evening – A Christmas Tree turned against the clock. There had previously been some debate in Committee as to whether this should be called a ‘turn off’ or not! In the event it was well supported and 13 members competed in droves to turn a tree within the 10 minute time limit.

The range of experience involved was wide: Liah Gover, new member and self-confessed turning novice, against the likes of Adam Cornish who turns and sells Christmas Trees for a living. In the first wave of four, Adam scraped away at his piece of Oak (Quercus robur) and Sue Vincent spent a measurable time chasing her tree round the Hall floor. The second wave saw Barry Westaway disqualify himself for undisclosed reasons, although it could have been because he failed to turn anything remotely resembling a tree in the required time. The third wave was relatively uneventful by comparison, and the fourth saw Mike Sherlock competing with himself. He managed to turn his contribution in 6 minutes and spent the rest of the time cleaning up the Record lathe.

Judging was kindly carried out by member Liz Cherrett (No fee involved) and results were as follows:

1st: Peter Johnson
2nd: Adam Cornish
3rd: Roger Hutton

Peter and Adam both received a voucher for £5.00 towards Club-sold abrasives.

Competitors not so far mentioned were, in alphabetical order, Tony Bennett, Bruce Crisp, Peter Gradon, John Haxell, Stephen Long & John Rockey.

A good time was had by most and some of the turned items looked vaguely like trees, too.

The second competition saw five supposedly sane individuals trying to catch a ball in a cup resembling a hand bell without the clapper, both cup and ball having previously been turned by them. The results were based on the ‘best of ten attempts’.

Since no rules had been laid down, there were some interesting interpretations to deal with. The ball is supposed to be tethered to the cup by a piece of twine of suitable but indeterminate length and the cup is supposed to be ‘a bit’ larger than the ball to enable the catching to take place. Keith Wilson, cunning old so-and-so, had rigged his offering so that the string passed down through the handle of the cup, thus enabling him to achieve 100% success by pulling the ball into the cup using the string! Another competitor’s ball detached itself from the cup during the first attempt. Tony Bennett’s technical infringement involved a cup the size of a bucket and a ball the size of a pea. How could he fail? OK, I exaggerate slightly.

After Keith’s ball had been attached correctly to his cup, the results were as follows: 1st – Tony Bennett with 8 successful catches, 2nd – Keith West with 7 (Both received a voucher for £5.00 towards Club-sold abrasives), 3rd – Stephen Long with 5. The remaining two competitors were Keith Wilson and Richard Bradford.

Well done, and thanks, to all those who obligingly took part in either of the fun competitions.

Final congratulations go to Thomas Smith for winning Competitor of the Year 2017!

The evening was finished off with mulled wine and other, less intoxicating, beverages supplied by John Guilfoyle and his band of kitchen elves, too numerous and disreputable to mention. Many thanks to all of them for their sterling work. Thanks also go to all the bods who set up the lathes and cleared up after the meeting, and to all those involved with the usual monthly sales and activities.

Here’s wishing everyone a successful 2018.

Many thanks to Keith West for the photographs. Click on any photo to start slide show