Members of the South Eastern Group, along with their wives, partners, families and friends, enjoyed another excellent weekend away in the historic and attractive city of York, taking residence in the excellent and very comfortable Wheatlands Lodge Hotel just outside the city centre, handily placed a short walk from all the attractions.
This is an annual event, which is usually organised by the remarkable Peter Beswick, although he declared that this year would be the last one. However, after gentle pressure was applied by all present he eventually relented, agreeing to organise the weekend once again in 2018.
This year’s booking accounted for a high percentage of the whole of the hotel complex on both Friday and Saturday nights and those who braved the North Yorkshire highways and by-ways all experienced reasonable weather conditions and an excellent weekend away resulting in monies being raised towards the South Eastern Group Fund.
The group began congregating on Friday night, being rewarded with an excellent meal and a very jolly evening sampling the produce from behind the hotel bar. All concerned claimed to enjoy the weekend despite the manic crush of the York Christmas markets with the ladies indulging in a weekend of Christmas shopping, ably assisted by their gents similarly taking in the pre-Christmas buzz, sipping mulled wines or the odd few beers, and wearing down copious amounts of shoe leather throughout the city of York and its ‘must see’ tiny streets, alley ways and the magnificent York Minster.
After many a mile being walked around the city walls, as well as through the city centre, there was a well-deserved Saturday evening dinner complete with wines and later, amid a very lively atmosphere. Peter again presented his very famous ‘annual group quiz’ which was punctuated at half time by entertainment from the excellent ‘Blue Kazoo’ Marching Band.
Blue Kazoo were followed by a raffle, which raised a grand total of £420 also supplemented, when the Masonic ring, which was won by a non-Masonic lady, was donated back and auctioned raising a magnificent sum of £65. The quiz continued and was won, after some debate by Denis Tierney and his team from Flixton Lodge No 4869 with two teams from Hand and Heart Lodge No 4109 in joint second place.
Over the course of the weekend most people took in the cultural sights of the city of York including the rich sights (and smells!) of the Jorvik Centre, the Shambles, complete with Harry Potter memorabilia shops and the National Railway Museum in which the Flying Scotsman resides.
After breakfast on Sunday morning most paid a last visit to the (slightly) less hectic Christmas markets or simply walked off the previous nights’ meal in preparation for an excellent Sunday lunch before bidding a fond farewell to the hotel but vowing to return once more, next year!