The American Visit from Fort Worth

[Update 27 July 2003]  We have received a cheque for the Benefice for £9908 as our share of the profits. We are dividing it on the basis of beds provided, as below -

Quarley = 4 beds £1585.28
Monxton = 2 beds £792.64
Grateley = 6 beds £2377.92
Amport = 13 beds £5152.16

One minute they were here and then before we knew it, they were on their way to London for the second half of their holiday. The anticipation, will they cancel won't they cancel - of course they won't they were coming to ‘Our Benefice' and they did and they loved it all and we made good friends both in America and in our benefice.

Quarley Hall Party

Quarley Village Hall provided a perfect venue for the initial reception and on Sunday Amport Church was full. What a wonderful service it was, the flowers, the choir, the singing, the refreshments and the weather. From there we moved on to splendid traditional Sunday lunches with new hosts (most of us were asked whether we always had roast Sunday lunches and answered, No!). Then there were visits to beautiful Monxton gardens and cream teas, though some went flying and others went to church in Quarley.

The week sight-seeing then followed to Portsmouth, Bath, Salisbury, Chichester and the New Forest, with dinners at various hotels and restaurants in the evening. How they all coped I will never know, but they did and they remained cheerful and uncomplaining all through the week. Even Andy the coach driver remarked on it.

Service in Amport Church
Flying Demonstration - Hawks Conservancy

Supper - Hawks Conservancy

The highlight I think for them, and certainly for us, was the last evening at the Hawk Conservancy, with a night owl flying display by Ashley and Maurice followed by John Robinson and Wilf Soper with a sumptuous Hog Roast. However we mustn't forget the vast amount of salad that was consumed and the spectacular display of puddings, all of which were contributed by many talented cooks from the four villages. The bar was well manned by David Pritchard and Graeme Leslie, not forgetting young Piers who is destined to be a wine waiter par excellence. It was good to see a number of young at the hog roast - we were about 100 in all.

The most important factor of the whole visit was the mixing of the four villages and helping to cement the Benefice although there was an ulterior motive and that was fundraising. As yet we do not know how much money was raised, and therefore how much each of the four villages will benefit but we will publish the figures as soon as we know them and notify you in the September issue of the Parish Magazine but should we know earlier they will be on the various village web sites.

And finally "watch this space" in about two/three years time because all those most heavily involved think it would be good to do it again! ! In between, we must have splendid fetes. - C M

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