21 March 1997

Weekend to cherish in super Winchester

ON the first evening of the FWC weekend at the Royal Hotel in Winchester, mulled wine was served before dinner and the sound of everyone chatting to each other was music to my ears.

We had a wonderful dinner in what seemed to be a converted hay-loft, the only problem being with 118 people and red hot plates, it got rather warm. After dinner, many of the guests spilled out into the road to cool down and caused some interest to a local police patrol!

On Saturday morning the street outside the hotel was blocked again, this time by members and their husbands awaiting the guides to take them on a tour of the city centre.

The Society Swing jazz band played after dinner on Saturday night and many guests danced the night away.

A Sunday morning walk across the watermeadows was pure delight for me. Winchester is such a beautiful city with such lovely surroundings. Many of our group attended a cathedral service in the morning although I waited until the choral evensong to enjoy the music of the fine choir.

There were three competitions run throughout the weekend, the first to see how many counties were represented. Most people failed miserably to name the 30 required. They did a bit better on the quiz and Betty Creed of Somerset sent runners all over the city centre to identify the photographs displayed at the hotel.

My biggest worry was the fact that people have such high falutin ideas these days and were expecting trips abroad as prizes. I hope that Mary Smith of Devon and Mavis Mew of the Isle of Wight were not too disappointed with their token prizes!

Jean Howells

The old buildings of Winchesters Cathedral Close are a delight to visit.