Wilderness Evening 08-10-2015 Club news: Ashby-de-la-Zouch

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 the highest bid for a Wilderness Evening, were duly ready at 6.00pm on Friday 21st August.

So it was that David Southward, Andrew “Johno” Johnson, Greg “Chairman” Clark, Patrick Maxwell and myself found ourselves in a wooded copse somewhere on the Staunton Harold Estate under the watchful gaze of our host Dave “Posh Bloke” Grose and his son Chris.

Having unloaded the gear, we were told what we had to do before the light faded, namely:- put up hammocks, collect fire wood, get water from the lake and crack open a beer, but not necessarily in that order!

Having cracked open a beer, it was time to be instructed in putting up our individual hammocks and instructed we was! Putting them up was the easy part, getting into them is slightly difficult. First you unzip the bottom, head and body in, turn around, shuffle back on your bum, and lie down asymmetrical (that’s what it says in the instructions!) and the Velcro closes underneath you. Getting out I will leave to your imagination, especially if you want a leak after a few pints!


We collected mountains of fire wood but struggled to light the fire by using just the flint. Eventually, Chris came to our rescue and soon we had a blazing fire to sit round. Water was filtered from the lake using a pump “thingy” for a brew and soon the smell of curry permeated through the woods.

Greg struggled to use his “Leatherman” as it had no bottle opener and then found out alone with Joho that he had no plate, knife, fork or spoon, so sped off home to collect these things and some more beer! Johno had bought along a big bottle of beer that he gave his clients as a gift at Christmas, so it was out of date and tasted horrible!

We had music via a Bluetooth speaker and soon the beer, wine and banter followed late into the night. Johno and Greg moved onto the whisky while the rest of us called it a night and faced the daunting task of getting into our hammocks.

Patrick slept underneath his hammock and David Southward wimped out and slept in his truck. Well, that’s what he said! It rained at 5.00am and I found when I awoke that my feet were poking outside my hammock. Greg came out head first and Johno appeared the worse for wear! It appears that he hit the whiskey hard. This was confirmed when he declined breakfast, but he has since made up for it on the recent Adam Dean Walk! (Ed - see previous news item)

Posh Bloke told us that bacon was not value for energy and time spent cooking, so no bacon! Heated debate took place but we ended up with beans, sausage and “Spanish” scrambled eggs, washed down with tea.

Soon it was time to pack up and head home. A great experience and great banter as usual, but better still that we were supporting a great cause in memory of Alex.

Bear Grylls eat your heart out!

Hugh Milward