The May 2008 Reunion
At Cheriton Bishop,
Message from David Mitchell the organizer & host of the Reunion.
This is to let you know that all went well over last weekend. Everybody arrived in the course of the Friday afternoon. Peter, by himself, was the first to arrive, followed by Iris and Ralph. Last of all were Roger and Jean and Michael who came from London on the same coach.
We had intended to initiate the proceedings in our garden where we had prepared everything re chairs, table, bench etc., not to mention my lovely flowers and a newly cut lawn. But the weather was awful, and so we congregated in our lounge where we enjoyed some champagne and tidbits that Lynne presented. Unfortunately, Lynne was not too well and she sat quietly in the background. Since then she has worsened and is now in bed. But it was very nice and everybody had a good time until it was time to return to The Mulberry to have a short rest and freshen up before dinner.
That evening we dined at The Mulberry and it all went very well with lots of conversation going on through the evening.
Sam, the proprietor of The Mulberry kindly invited Lynne and I to attend breakfast with the rest. I took advantage of this but Lynne, understandably, did not. And so on Saturday, after breakfast, we set off to Plymouth to find The Hoe. We did get a little lost as we tangled with the Plymouth traffic but we eventually found it OK. Sadly the weather was atrocious - it wasn't a day to be trudging around. But we were all in high spirits and despite all we were enjoying ourselves. When we had finished at The Hoe we tried to find the Kingsbridge Road - succeeded but only to be thwarted by bad placing of road signs. For example, I was in the lead and there were 8 cars behind me, including Ralph, when suddenly we came to a right turn to Dartmouth that we should have taken - but the sign was actually in the beginning of the road. If I had braked suddenly I think I may have caused a pile-up. It was safer to drive on and my guide (Jean) watched out for another road that might take us back - but it went on for miles and miles with no such road. We stopped for instructions but we had gone quite a way North East instead of East and so we missed Torcross and Slapton Sands completely. However we did find the Dartmouth ferry across the estuary, took it, and before long we were climbing towards The Berryhead Hotel where we were to have lunch. We found that with little difficulty and everybody thought it was terrific there with good food and a nice ambiance. After lunch I suggested we go back to Cheriton Bishop via the fast route rather than across Dartmoor and everyone agreed. So we got back home at a very reasonable hours and, would you believe I was able to see the last 40 minutes of the Cup Final at Wembley ! That evening we went to The Old Thatch Inn for dinner but it was very busy there and although everybody ate well we had to wait too long. Too many customers - not enough staff! Lynne came but she had to leave after an hour or so.
On Sunday morning we gathered for breakfast after which Jean went off on her own to investigate the surrounding countryside and the rest of us strolled around the village studying our 13th century village church and the graveyard which contains gravestones going way back when including one where in olden days the farmers used to use a large flat stone casket to pay out their workers after church, speaking to villagers as they passed by, the deer farm, and then back. We met up again for lunch at The Mulberry and that was very enjoyable although, once again, we had a long waiting period. I treated everyone to wine during the meal and it was enjoyable. Ralph invited Iris's brother and his wife to this meal and so they joined us. We went on until quite late in the afternoon and, as nobody was interested in yet another meal in the evening we all decided to end the day at that point.
On the Monday morning, we gathered for breakfast after which everybody prepared their things for departure. I think we were all a little sad that it had come to an end. Ralph, Iris, and Michael were the first to go, then Roger & Jean's bus arrived and we waved them off. Peter wandered down to the Post Office with me and then he was gone too.
Overall, it was a very nice get-together and I think everybody had a good and interesting time. The weather did it's best to dampen our spirits - but it didn't succeed! It was a pity our numbers were not greater because, as I explained, if they had been greater then I think others things might have been organized, e.g. interviews by the Express & Echo, maybe even by Radio Devon, and perhaps by the Local Council here. But when I spoke to all of these, as I did, the question was HOW MANY ARE COMING FROM ABROAD? And when I replied just four, I am afraid interest ceased at that point.
Never mind - the main thing is that it went well.
Bye for now
Report from Peter Branchett (Pedro) Sadly, our pal Pedro passed away just a few weeks after the Re-union.
The arrival, I left home early to beat the rush on the M25 car park and the M3 and stopped for breakfast at the first little Chef. As I was going to pass Stonehenge I decided to stop and have a look. I turned off and then found that the car park was closed, (I was too early). Picking up the main road again I was forced to turn East for about 5 miles before reaching a roundabout to allow me to travel West again.
I found David's village early and knowing that I might be asked to pick up Roger and Michael; I turned around and went to Exeter to find the Coach station. Having done this I then returned to the village and booked into the Hotel.
After booking in I then made my way to David's House armed with an e-mail giving me his address. I was faced with 8 houses and the e-mail only gave me the name of the road and not the number. So it was back to the car where I found the number. David opened the door and he looked just as I imagined him from his writings to the group. Not long after this Iris and Ralph turned up and the talking began.
Soon it was time for me to go and pick up the rest of the group, and I eventually arrived at the coach station, after parking the car I then went to the station and was told that the coach had not arrived. I was at one end of the station when I saw the coach arrive at the other end. No Roger and Michael. After 10 minutes I picked up my phone in the car and rang David. They had arrived and couldn't find me. Was I at the right station and was I in Plassy road. 2 Young girls were walking up the road so I asked them if this was Plassy road, they didn't know but as I was talking to them I spotted Michael standing in the station.
After booking in to the hotel we all ended up in David's house for Champers and nibbles. In the evening we all sat down to dinner at the Mulberry.