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VISIT TO ARUNDEL CASTLE AND SWANBOURNE LAKE
Sunday 31 August 2003

This two part event seemed to meet with everyone's approval and, coinciding as it did with the culmination of Arundel Festival week, there was more than enough to see and do. I was pleased to find that a number of members had not previously visited here and their enthusiastic response was reward enough for running such an event. They found the Castle a fascinating place and, positioned as our cars were, these ancient buildings created a fantasic backdrop to all the beautifully prepared Rolls-Royces and Bentleys neatly arranged on the southern slopes beneath the Castle walls. With much of the Festival activities still taking place in the town, plus the tours of the Castle itself, members were indeed spoilt for choice so there was never a dull moment.

As many of us were moving on in the evening to Swanbourne Lodge for our main meal of the day there was not the usual elaborate preparation for picnic lunches that we are accustomed to and generally speaking, were light affairs albeit, enjoyed in very welcome sunshine! Members who were booked for supper at the Lodge were allowed to delay their departure from the Castle until 5.30pm and then made their way, led by none other than our very own secretary extraordinaire (Ted to you) in convoy to our evening destination by the Lake where eighteen cars were lined up once more, here overlooking the water in this attractive setting. How lucky we were to have it warm and fine as we were able to enjoy a drink (or two) in the sunshine before being called for supper.

We had a choice of roasts and sweets, all pre-booked and efficiently and quickly served by Charles and his staff. A most enjoyable meal and appreciated by all for its quality, and what better way to end a great day... well, not quite the end, we had one more mission to accomplish!

Someone had the bright idea (guess who!) of watching the fireworks display which was in effect the Finale to the Arundel Festival week. At 8.15pm we grouped up and marched off, torches bravely borne to a point known only to yours truly, along road and woodland paths to a convenient viewing point and there we waited expectantly. Of course, by this time and with whistles well wetted, we were in danger of becoming somewhat boisterous. but with the customary fortitude with which all our members are endowed (Ho! Ho!) we patiently awaited the display. It started with an enormous bang which, in turn, prompted a large herd of cows in an adjoining field to take flight thereby adding much to the entertainment value of the occasion. Those members who indulged in overstated merriment at this stage shall remain nameless until such time as I find it beneficial to relate such 'goings on' in public! What a blessing that we had those torches to light our way back along the somewhat precarious pathway, and so safely back to the cars. Then hasty farewells and back to the real world and home.

It was nice to see many new faces and we hope you all enjoyed the day.

Ted Meachem and Doug Groves


Arundel Castle   Splendid display area
Swanbourne Lake
The swans   Drinks before dinner
Good weather, good company and splendid settings were some of the ingredients of a very enjoyable day out. right: Kanchu McAllister,
Dorothy Groves, Ted Meachem and Mo Lewis having a laugh and drink before the meal.   Photos: Ian Burt and Kanchu McAllister