Looking forward to Spring and Summer

Having had a break for Easter we had plenty to talk about, but the main focus of the evening was looking forward to the events of the Spring and Summer.

Particular highlights of the Summer will be our return to Avon Tyrrell for another holiday there, and PhabFest at Parallel Windsor , where we hope to meet up with friends from other clubs, and also arrange to be sponsored as individuals or groups as a fundraising activity.

We are also looking forward to our trip to see 42 Balloons, at the Lowry Theatre in Salford. This musical by Jack Godfrey is based on the story of Larry Walters, who really did use a cluster of weather balloons to fly high into the air in a lawnchair. The musical has received very positive reviews, and an article on the BBC website. This is particularly exciting news for us as although 42 Balloons is performed by a very talented professional cast Phab members have appeared in some of Jack Godfrey’s earlier musicals, including Amazing Love.

Easter Bingo

Once again members were very generous in the prizes they brought to our Easter Bingo – the beautifully wrapped mugs with cute teddies and bunnies made by Tom’s mum were particularly admired and eagerly sought as prizes.

As we usually do, we play a rule that people who have already won a big prize pick a small prize if/when they win again and we play until all the prizes have been won, so nobody goes home empty handed (unless they ate their prizes on the night!)

Tom did out bingo calling, with assistance from Libby, who informed us of notable events from the twentieth century which the number which had been called, such as 14 – 1914 – Start of the First World War.

Eyes Down for a First Line

Church Party and Barn Dance

Wesley Memorial Church invited Oxford Phab to join their Church Party with Ploughman’s supper and Barn Dance.

Some Phab members arrived early, and helped set up the Hall and John Wesley Room, lay tables, cut bread and cheese, prepare drinks, put out snacks and the multitude of other tasked needed for such an event, with over 80 attendees to be a success.

There was an urban railway based quiz before the supper, with pictures of trains, trams and buses from all over the world, and city transport maps all round the walls of the John Wesley Room. These gave an alternative activity, and conversation point, though many people were content to sit and chat.

The Ploughmans supper had not only a variety of breads and cheeses, salads and chutneys but also some delicious home made hummus. Following this were a wide selection of contributed deserts, from chocolate cake to crumbles.

The evening was rounded off by a series of Barn Dances, organised by Derek, our experienced and patient caller.

Some Phab members were among the kind people who stayed on to clear up and set the rooms straight for the following day.

Looking forward to 2024

Our first chance to meet after Christmas having been delayed by floods, we were glad to catch up. We also eagerly anticipated an exciting programme for 2024, including not only a return to Avon Tyrrell in July but a Phab Fun weekend in Bournemouth in November. Although this may seem a long way ahead places are limited, so member should book, through the club, as soon as possible. There is a regular payments plan available to spread the cost.

Filling in forms and diaries for the upcoming events

Wesley Memorial Candlelit Carols

After the high energy excitement of ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie‘, some of us moved to the more tranquil setting of Wesley Memorial Church, were we listened to and participated in a mixture of tradition and modern Christmas Carols.

It has been a difficult year for many, so it was good to have the last opportunity of 2023 for Phab member to gather together as a time of uplifting music and words of hope.

Oxford Phab Christmas Dinner

Many people beyond our regular member help to keep Phab operating, and our annual Christmas Dinner gives us an opportunity to thank some them by inviting them to eat with us. We had our turkey and all the trimmings, with a tasty vegetarian alternative.

After a eating and chatting there was enough for those who still had room to go back for second helpings.

Wednesday Coffee at Wesley Memorial

Wesley Memorial has been running a Wednesday Coffee morning for many years, welcoming regulars and newcomers alike. As not all Phab members can make it into town on a Friday night we have some Wednesday mornings when some of the committee make a special effort to be there to meet up with any members who are able to come.

The members who came enjoyed their coffee (or tea) and biscuits, and a relaxed chat, amongst ourselves and with friendly members of the public.