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Homes under the Hammer - Ashby style

Given the superb sunny weather for our May meeting, it was more like a Place in the Sun. This was organised by Chairman Andy and involved teams of two evaluating a number of factors relating to a house for sale. These were: problems identified, essential repairs and possible developments, with an estimated sale price before and after all necessary work. We can see the teams in action below:


Apparently, this was the real estate agent organising the evening:

But we reckon it was really this guy in the suit:

Following this exercise, we all adjourned to Bengal Spice for an excellent curry and Cobras, where Andy proceeded to quiz us on our results. Interestingly, some had considered that the property wasn't worth doing up, and indeed this had been the real-life result, with it having been sold for cash to be lived in without significant modification.

Thanks to Andy for an enjoyable evening, and I'm sure he can be relieved that there are no hidden estate agent talents in the club!

And we didn't even know it was there

June's meeting, courtesy of Mark Parnham, was a visit to the Statfold Barn Railway. Located only a 20-minute drive out of Ashby, yet most of us never even knew it existed. The site consists of a large number of narrow-gauge locomotives and road transport vehicles, spread out in large sheds over the area of a former farm.


There is an approximate 2-mile return track layout, heading out into the fields, and we had a very pleasant ride on a warm June evening. You can ride on the open platforms at the end of the carriages - - just like the Wild West!


On our return trip, we stopped off to view more locomotives and vehicles in further huge sheds. The highlight here was the last remaining tramcar from the Burton and Ashby Light Railway, which had resided in Chicago for many years before being bought at auction and returned to the UK. A magnificent restoration is nearly complete and Spring 2017 should see the tramcar displayed in the principal towns of the original route.

All in all, a fantastic evening, rounded off by a Ploughman's meal (and a beer) next to the tram. Thanks to Mark for organising and especially to the owners for giving up their evening to show us around. I'm sure many of us will return on one of the charity open days held there each year.

2016 AGM


A clearly delighted Andrew Johnson is shown receiving the Chairman's gong for the coming year - congratulations, Andrew! Greg seems equally pleased to be receiving his Past Chairman's medal. Ashby 41 Club's Annual General Meeting at the Wong Kwei Chinese restaurant on 4th April was a great evening, with some 24 in attendance, including outgoing Table Chairman Kirk and incoming Table Chairman Mike. Also very good to see Steve Kay and Geoff Bibby joining us for the evening and we look forward to seeing them at many of our meetings this year.

Secretary and Treasurer roles for the next year will once again be filled by Pete Borrell and Hugh Milward respectively - thanks to them for continuing to provide such an excellent service. It was also nice to have a Vice-Chairman elected this year for the first time for several years - congratulations and thanks to Paul Dumolo!

We must also mention Alan Bonser, who has decided to retire from 41 Club after quite a number of years (we'll confirm the exact number with Alan and post it later!). Alan must have been one of the most regular attendees at our meetings and is still remembered (by your webmaster at least) for his overwhelming success at the clay pigeon shooting a couple of years ago. Enjoy your retirement, Alan!     

Ashby Round Table's Charter Night a big success!


The joint Chart Night on Friday 5th February celebrating 60 years of Ashby Round Table and 40 years of Ashby 41 Club was a very successful event, with a capacity crowd of around 120 squeezed into the Lyric Rooms. The food was excellent (what's not to like about steak and ale pie followed by bread and butter pudding with custard?) and the drink flowed (mind you, your author probably had a bit too much of the port circulating after dinner!).

There was an impressive roll call of visitors from other Tables and 41 Clubs, including our own 41 Club National President Terry Cooper. An effort had been made to secure the attendance of as many former Table Chairman as possible, which most importantly included founder member Chris Yeomans (Chairman 1961-62). Also present were early Chairmen Peter Sylvester (1962-63) and Arthur Morris (1963-64).

The pre-dinner musical entertainment provided by Liquid Brass was as good as ever, and the evening's response by former President of Round Table International Gerard O'Herlihy hit just the right level.

Bringing it all right up to date, three new members were inducted into Ashby Round Table on the night, so congratulations to them and we wish them all the very best in their future Tabling career.

A big well done to Chairman Kirk and his organising team!

Simon the Viking

On Monday 7th December, we were treated to a demonstration of Viking weaponry and told how they really lived, by two lady Vikings (well, that was different). I'm sure you all agree that Simon makes an excellent Viking warrior!

Thanks to David Southward for organising the event and to the Beeches pub for the excellent Christmas meal. After complaining that the beef had Yorkshire puddings, but the turkey meal didn't, the staff relented and provided extra Yorkshires all round!

Wilderness Evening

Following a Gala Dinner to raise funds for the Alex Grose Memorial Trust, five members of Ashby 41 Club, having coughed up £25.00 each for...

Region 10 Cluster Meeting

Six members of Ashby 41 Club (Greg, Goody, Kevin, JR, Woody and Ian) and one from Ashby Table (Crawfie) attended the 2015 Region 10 Cluster dinner...


The Ashby 41 Club trip to Riga, Latvia was a great weekend, see the report with photos now on the News page.

Great walking weather for October

The annual Ashby Round Table Country Walk took place in October - see news page for a report and pictures.

Five go camping!

Read Hugh Milward's thrilling account on the News page of the boys in the woods!

A smashing time

This was the challenge for October's meeting - position a block of wood between two concrete blocks and smash through it with your bare hand!

Steve Kaye, former member of Ashby Round Table and now drifting back towards Ashby 41 Club (I'm pleased to say) showed us how to mentally and physically prepare for such a challenge. Relax and get into the right mindset, perform some practice blows without the wood in place and concentrate on the accuracy of your final blow.

After Steve had demonstrated the procedure, the floor was open to volunteers. People were a bit slow on the uptake, so your Immediate Past Chairman Ian stepped up to the plate. After an arm scrape against the concrete block(!) and a failed first attempt, on the second attempt, the wood was split into two. There is a slow motion video of it (thanks to Paul Dumolo), but there doesn't seem to be a way to upload the video to this website, so maybe this link to my Facebook page may work.

Having given everybody the opportunity for a bit more observation, others then had a go with similarly successful results. A few shots below:


  Andy Johnson's best side, some say.

Namibia Mission

November's 41 Club meeting was supposed to be a sort of Ashby-does-X-factor event (sounds terrifying) but the voice coach (or whatever her proper title was) cancelled about an hour beforehand (we should post her details, so you know not to book her!). Fortunately, organiser Kevin McHugh had a plan B. Kevin's son Luke was present to tell us about the trip that he and 25 other students from De Lisle College in Loughborough had made to Namibia during the summer to help at a local school. Ashby 41 Club had made a modest contribution to Luke's sponsorship for the trip, as had Hastings Rotary and the Alex Grose Memorial Fund. De Lisle had raised £10,000 to fund their trip and help the school, a fantastic total, with Luke himself raising £1000.

It was very interesting and quite sobering to hear how the local schoolchildren had so little, but were always smiling. Luke and his fellow students had undertaken several aspects of work at the school, including painting (with lots of enthusiastic help from the locals!), installing new toilets and supplying mattresses.

At least Luke and his fellow students were able to visit a safari park before their return, a suitable reward for their efforts. Well done to Luke for undertaking the trip in the first place and for telling us all about it.

An evening's gore in Swadlincote!

September's meeting consisted of a visit to The Biz Media Makeup company in Swadlincote, where the art of applying serious-looking flesh wounds was demonstrated. A fine job was done on Peter Good and Greg Clark, as can be seen from the photo above. Some might say the result of a normal night out in Swad.

There was the opportunity to apply your own self-inflicted wounds (so to speak), and the pictures below show a few more examples. Hopefully, there will also shortly be a video, which is not for the squeamish! Fortunately, none of this put anybody off their food and drink afterwards at the Tall Chimney pub. Mind you, we have discovered a whole new use for Weetabix.

Many thanks to Jennifer and Karen for showing us how it's done and for letting us make a mess of their premises, also to Mark W for organising the evening.



Treasure Hunt around Ashby!

July's meeting was organised by Paul Addison and consisted of a treasure hunt around Ashby. Those present were divided into two teams, with each team having to find 100 things from the list given to them (all teams having the same list). This included such diverse items as a pair of false eye lashes, a balloon, a 'Get out of jail' card, a chicken and an item of ladies underwear! A number of selfies of team members were also required, for example with a pizza, a red telephone box, a traffic cone and a lift!

Everybody rose to the challenge, and the teams adjourned afterwards to the Bull and Lion at Packington for scoring, food and of course some liquid refreshment. Paul awarded extra points for initiative and general blagging, but each team probably thought there were still some dodgy decisions! 

The winning team comprised Hugh, Coops, Pete B, Pete G and Mark P. A bottle of wine each was their reward.

This was also the first meeting where most people were wearing the new 41 Club polo shirts and these looked very smart.

Many thanks to Paul for arranging an excellent evening of fun and fellowship. More photos below!



Quad biking!


A number of 41ers joined Ashby Round Table for their event on Wednesday 15th July. This involved quad bikes, the first activity requiring the competitor to pull a trailer with a bucket of water in it around an obstacle course, including reversing into a garage, with at least some water remaining in the bucket at the end of the course!

The second challenge was to balance a quad on a set of ramps, with both ends of the ramps of the ground - trickier than it sounds. But as you can see above, Andrew Woodhouse was determined to give it a good go, with or without external assistance!

Some fared better than others, but overall a great evening's entertainment was had in the summer sunshine before adjourning to the Shoulder of Mutton for food and drink. Well done to Ashby Table for organising the event and for once again allowing 41 Club to be part of it.


Wannabe Robin Hoods!

The 41 Club meeting for August combined with Round Table's meeting on 12th August to try out archery. It was a perfect summer's evening, with no excuses for the wind blowing the arrows off target or complaints that they couldn't see the target for the rain! The turnout of over 20 people was divided into two teams, nominally Table and 41 Club, but the membership of each team was a bit flexible. The 'Table' team won, but more to the point, an excellent evening's entertainment was had before adjourning to the Bull's Head in Ashby for some food and drink.

Safety considerations prevented me from getting any better photos, but a few more pictures are below, including one of JR being touched up by a lady! Our thanks go to Ivanhoe Archers for hosting us and showing us how it's done.



Victorious Ashby Round Table team on Ivanhoe Way walk!

Congratulations to the team from Ashby Round Table who were first to finish the 37-mile Ivanhoe Way Challenge on Saturday 20th June. And don't they look smart in those new polo shirts?

[Apologies for 'borrowing' the photo from Facebook]

Mobility Scooter Slalom

A selection of photos from this evening can be seen on the News page here.

June's meeting was organised jontly by Chairman Greg and Table Chairman Kirk. It was to be a 'motorsport' competition using mobility scooters kindly provided by Kirk Leverett, from Ibstock Mobility. A slalom course was laid out in the grounds of Rotherholme Dental Practice and pairs of 41ers were pitted against each other over this course.

An hour or so's competition was probably envisaged, but the June weather put paid to that idea. In lashing rain and cold winds more reminiscent of October or November, everybody had just one go each (and a good laugh!) before deciding to adjourn to the nearby Rickshaw restaurant for an excellent curry (and of course accompanying Cobras).

In the circumstances, winning the competition was not uppermost in people's minds, but for entertainment, and for collecting the most cones, the nominal prize goes to Alan Bonser!

Many thanks to Greg and Kirk for organising the event.

Search and Rescue Evening

A selection of photos from the evening is included on the news pages here.

Our meeting for May was a Search and Rescue evening, when two of the volunteers from Leicestershire Search and Rescue (LeicSAR) brought a couple of their vehicles along to the Beeches public house for inspection by the members. As many already knew, Ashby 41 Club's Chairman for 2014-15, Ian Silver is a volunteer himself for this organisation and had missed two 41 Club meetings during the last year due to live callouts, so had organised the evening to let the club now what it's all about.

Ian was in civvies tonight, with Brian and Simon from LeicSAR showing people around the vehicles, and providing a short presentation after the pub meal. The unit is activated by the police when its assistance is required to search for a high-risk missing person and is available 24/7. All team members are fully trained in areas such as search techniques, missing person characteristics, first aid, navigation and communications.

As a voluntary organisation and a registered charity, LeicSAR receives no public funding and relies entirely on voluntary donations and sponsorship. It was particularly gratifying therefore when a collection at the end of the evening raised £120. Ian and LeicSAR thank Ashby 41 Club for their generosity!