Society's 2023 New Year Party

After a ‘Covid break’ of two years, the Society held its annual New Year Party on Friday 6th January – this time, for cost reasons, in the Cavalier hall adjoining the historic St Stephen’s church.   Nearly 90 members attended, for a most enjoyable and convivial evening.

Our president, John Morewood, gave a speech of welcome with thanks to all our volunteers, and this was followed by St Albans mayor, Cllr Geoff Harrison (in fact a member and a clockateer to boot) who made an impassioned request for the Society to use its influence to have a statue of Samuel Ryder installed in the centre of the city.

As always, we were indebted to the generosity (and culinary expertise!) of our members who brought plates of either sweet or savoury (collated by the indefatigable Val Argue with able assistance from Caroline Howkins) to adorn two large trestle tables at the centre of the room.   The bar, with a wide selection of wines (including the much in demand ‘mulled’ version) supplied the liquid refreshments.

St Stephen’s church was open for viewing by all who wished, and the musical accompaniment was provided by St Stephen’s bell ringers, for whom Friday night is practice night.   Part way through our evening, Alison Macfarlane gave us a talk about just some of the many intricacies of bellringing – we don’t think she had many volunteers taken from our number that evening!

Andy Lawrence kindly provided a really intriguing photographic quiz about St Albans buildings and Bryan’s usual (“hopefully not too fiendishly difficult”) quiz was won by Paul Jellings – but was this year’s even more fiendish that previously? If you’d like to check the answers, open the file at the bottom of this article.

As always, the evening was supported by a good number of ‘behind the scenes’ volunteers who helped before, during, and after the event – too many to mention here, but without whom the evening would never have achieved its success.   Our thanks to all.