On Saturday 22nd June the Association again took advantage of its annual visit to the Rose Garden of King Charles 1 School to hold another excellent barbeque shared with members of the Kidderminster High School Old Girls Association and the Old Elizabethans.
For months we have had to endure political reverberations which have shaken our social structure to the foundations. We have had months of division in Parliament and in Europe. Teresa May, and others, have lost their jobs as a result of political parties failing to agree on anything. The rest of us have been shouting from the shires and cities, “Just get on with it.” And now we have had the long drawn out saga of two candidates repeating the same mantra across the country and on the airwaves. It isn’t as if we haven’t heard it all before and as if we are slavering to glean something different from the repeated arguments and self -congratulatory messages. The weather recently has been poor too and to dedicated Barbecue attenders, the weather is everything. Days of rain came and went. There were floods in Lincolnshire and the usual flooding on the New Road County ground. Then, suddenly, on the Saturday, the skies cleared, the sun emerged and we enjoyed a temperature of 70 degrees – a Barbecue made in heaven.
Early in the morning a quartet of Peter Picken, Colin Lloyd, Peter Guy and Roger Perrin performed stirling work erecting the essential awnings while David Slater provided the chairs and tables ( and tablecloths ) essential for the atmosphere under the covers. This was the best attendance for many years as well over 50 people, Old Carolians, Kidderminster High School Old Girls, Old Elizabethans, their families and friends, enjoyed the food, the weather and the conversation. The barbecue team of Peter Picken, Dave Laverty and their wives cooked a real feast of tomato sausages, chicken and beefburgers from our usual supplier in Brierley Hill, while the delicious accompanying salads and sweets were provided by the wives of Committee Members. It was also noted by Carolian foodies that there were two new barbecues to cook the feast to perfection. They must have made a difference to the aroma and the efficiency of the whole exercise. The chefs are too modest to claim any credit for the finished meal so I will give that to their expertise at the new gleaming charcoal burners. In the background could be heard the musical accompaniment provided by Colin Lloyd. This was A hundred and One Tunes, certainly much more appreciated by the assembled throng than the wailings we hear from so called singers on the airwaves these days. Where is the latest Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald? It was also worth noting that President Arthur Miller, a splendid mine host for the evening, brought along enough bottled and boxed wines to satisfy a battalion. What a splendid and well received generous gift. The Raffle raised £139 for Old Carolian funds which was an excellent achievement and above par. The only sad note to report is that I failed to win even one Raffle prize, despite my expensive outlay. It sounds like the usual weekly refrain when I fail to win a million pounds on the National Lottery. Why did every prizewinning ticket begin with the digit 3 when all mine began with the digit 2? Of course I would not dare to suggest that there was any skulduggery going on. After such a splendid, well prepared evening, I could not possibly suggest such a thing.
Peter Vaughan: Old Carolians Catering Correspondent