Friendship Club








Photographs: Top row, left to right: Kath Reynolds talking on ‘Food, glorious food’; Doris Goodwin cutting the 59th Birthday cake at the birthday party; Carrie Ross holding her certificate for completing her walk on the pilgrim route to Santiago de Compastela.  Middle row, left to right: watching a narrow boat enter the lock beside The Lock House restaurant at Great Haywood; enjoying flowers and chickens in the garden at the Emma Bridgewater Pottery;  the tractor and trailer ride at Highfields Happy Hens; watching a demonstration at Masson Mills Working Textile Museum.

Everyone is welcome to join the Club, which, contrary to some people’s ideas, is definitely not just for old people!  We also welcome non-members at any of our meetings or outings, so why not come along a give us a try?  We have a very varied programme each year.  From late March until early December, we meet on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month, either at Alstonefield Village Hall or to go on an outing.  A coach collects people from many surrounding villages for the outings, and members collect those without transport to bring them to meetings in their cars.  Every time we meet there is good food on offer, as well as plenty of laughter, plenty to make us think and to entertain us, and wonderful friendship.

Membership costs £4 per year, afternoon tea at meetings costs £5, the coach for outings costs £6, transport to meetings in a car costs £1.  We bring items for a grocery raffle to each meeting and have a ‘bring and buy’ table at each meeting, and also hold a raffle on each outing.

For more information, please ring Lorraine on 01335 310353 or Ann on 01298 84394.


(outings are in red)

22nd March       2.30pm  First meeting, including AGM and cream tea

12th April           Lunch at The Egerton Arms, Astbury, visit to Astbury Meadows Garden Centre

26th April           2.30pm ‘Wills, LPAs, Inheritance Tax & Long Term Care’ – Rachael Holmes B&B

10th May            Lunch at The Ashbank, visit to Emma Bridgewater Pottery Outlet & Cafe

24th May            6.30pm ’16 in the ’60s’ – Bill Durose B&B

14th June            6.30pm Fun Night – Beetle & tombola

28th June            6.30pm ‘My family & my extended family’ – Judith Akers

12th July              Visit to The Trentham Estate

26th July               6.00pm Birthday Party

9th August           Lunch at Hotel Rudyard, visit to Bridge End Garden Centre

23rd August         6.30pm ‘The Leek & Manifold Light Railway’ – Maggie Risby B&B

13th September  Lunch at The Moorlands, Owler Bar, visit to Peak Village

27th September   6.00pm Harvest Supper

11th October       2.30pm ‘Walking to Santiago de Compostela’ – Carrie Ross B&B

25th October       2.30pm ‘Food, glorious food’ – Kath Reynolds B&B

8th November     Christmas shopping at Burton-upon-Trent

6th December     Christmas Lunch at The Bentley Brook, Fenny Bentley

B&B = bring and buy table




Our first meeting of 2016 was on Wednesday 23rd March at 2.30pm in Alstonefield Village Hallwhen we caught up with the news since we last met, chatted with friends old and new and  made plans for the coming year.   As usual, there was a quiz and a grocery raffle and a delicious afternoon tea.

Our first outing of the year, on 13th April, was a repeat of an old favourite, and included a carvery lunch at The Boar’s Head, Sudbury, followed by a visit to Byrkley Park Garden Centre.  Two weeks later, the speaker at our meeting was Marion Baldwin, whose talk entitled ‘Hats make the character’ kept us very entertained.  This included reminiscences from her Devon childhood, stories of her time in the theatre and some very funny stories about mistakes she had made – each story enhanced by an appropriate hat.

On 11th  May we paid a return visit to The Wren’s Nest at Glossop for a carvery lunch, and then went on to Eyam where most of us went to the Eyam Plague Museum, which was absolutely fascinating.  The morning’s rather dismal weather changed at the right moment so that we could enjoy tea and cake outside in the sunshine at the delightful Eyam Tea Rooms.  Lovely scenery on the journeys added to the pleasure, making this a very popular outing.

On 25th May we enjoyed a regular feature of the Club – a Fun Night, with progressive beetle (much more fun than it sounds!) and a tombola.

On 8th June we visited Masson Mills at Matlock Bath, for lunch in the restaurant and then a choice of a guided tour of the Working Textile Museum, which was fascinating, or just tea and/or shopping.

Our July outing, on the 13th, was a return visit to one of our favourites – The Lock House restaurant at Great Haywood, which is, as the name suggests, right by a lock on the Trent and Mersey Canal.  We crossed the canal on a hump-backed bridge and then walked across a causeway to another bridge over the River Trent and onto the Shugborough Estate.  Fortunately the weather was very kind!  On the way home we stopped at Doveleys Garden Centre for tea and cake and a spot of shopping.

On 27th we held our Birthday Party, with a lovely home-made salad and dessert produced, as ever, by Pam Nadin and her team.  We were entertained by the ever-popular Michael Partridge, who had us roaring with laughter, and then almost in tears with his beautiful singing.  This is always a really enjoyable evening, and this year’s party lived up to all our expectations.

On 10th August we had a carvery lunch at The King’s Highway, Derby, and then went on to Meynell Langley Gardens at Kirk Langley, where a good number of plants were bought and a good number of lovely cakes eaten.

Our speaker on 24th August was local lady Sue Prince, whose beautifully illustrated talk, ‘Painted Tales’, covered all aspects of her life, from when she and Terry moved to Beechenhill Farm in 1984, including the beginnings of their tourism business, which has grown and grown, and the move into organic farming.  She also talked about how and why she was awarded and OBE and made a Deputy Lieutenant.  Sue has always been an artist, and she talked especially about the style of folk art she discovered in Sweden and has used to produce some wonderful paintings.   To find out more about Sue’s paintings, go to her website:

On 14th September we paid a return visit to The Railway Inn, Shottle and then went on to Belper for visits to the Derwent Valley visitor centre at Strutt’s North Mill or, in some cases, retail therapy.  Our Harvest Supper is always very popular, and this year’s event on 28th September was as enjoyable as ever, with a delicious meal served by Pam Naden and her staff.  As usual, members brought along a wide variety of produce which was auctioned with great enthusiasm and humour by our old friend Keith Morris.

Another return visit was lunch at Sudbury Prison’s Secret Diner on 12th October, followed by a visit to Denstone Hall Farm Shop & Cafe for tea and cake and browsing or shopping.  On 26th     October, our last meeting of the season, local couple Carrie and Jon gave us a fascinating illustrated talk on Funwe Farm, Malawi, with which they have been involved for many years.

This year’s Christmas shopping trip on 9th November was to  Chesterfield, when we managed to buy a good many presents!

Finally, we had yet another wonderful Christmas Lunch at The Bentley Brook, Fenny Bentley, and are already looking forward to repeating this again next year!



This page is maintained by Lorraine Hawkins