The annual Christmas meal for the Taunton Group was held at the Walnut Tree Hotel in North Petherton and 17 couples attended. It’s a great venue with delicious food, conveniently situated near the M5 junction for those driving from Torbay in the south and Weston Super Mare and Bristol in the north.
Unfortunately the weather was against us and the original route was abandoned due to flooding on the Somerset Levels.
Richard and Michelle kindly agreed to lead the ride using plan B.
Coffee was served in the Hotel, fancy dress was judged, seven tandems and 2 solos set off but the rain came down. Fortunately the weather improved and after a shortish 20 mile ride through Enmore, Durleigh, Chilton Trinity and Bridgwater, everyone assembled at the Walnut Tree for lunch.
Firstly there was a round of applause for Grace who had recently been in hospital and everyone was pleased to see her. The quiz sheets were handed out and the food arrived. Later on, presentations were made: The prize for the best Fancy Dress costumes was awarded to Andy and Anita. The trophy is usually awarded to the couple who attend the most rides during the year. This year both Vicky & Jeff and Hannah & Rex had attended 10 out of the 12 rides so they will be sharing the trophy - 6 months each! The quiz was won by Vicky and Jeff.
Ian rang a bicycle bell and handed out song-sheets for his alternative version of Jingle Bells (aka Ring your bells) and another version of In the Bleak Midwinter. As always, our singing was accompanied by Nick on the mandolin plus Grace and Michelle playing percussion (reindeer hooves and bells).
Another year of The Taunton Group was over. Rides are already planned for every month in 2024, many of us have booked to go to the International Tandem Club Rally and many will be attending the National Rally too – a lot to look forward to in 2024!
Lisa & Ian Warren