The BN National Petanque Tournament over the spring bank holiday
was a great success, with 52 couples competing.
Our local Sunday newspaper picked up on our press release and featured the club, which prompted two local radio stations to ask for interviews. They might have wanted a laugh about playing “boules in the buff” but it was light-hearted publicity for naturism. BBC Look East even wanted to come and film us, but could only manage to attend the day before it took place – talk about being first with the news!!
As we couldn’t supply either competitors or crowds in advance, we had to let this opportunity pass!
July gave us a heatwave and we were all so grateful for our swimming-pool and the shade of the trees to help us cool down. Our kitchen and poolside kiosk are under new management, and the constant supplies of cold drinks and ice-creams that Dennis and Rona supplied over the weekends were welcomed by all.
Our Saturday night communal barbeques added to the leisurely lifestyle we have come to accept as normal in Pippin Wood.
August will bring us our annual Family Week, when the majority of members spend the whole week at the club and take part in socials and sports as well as relaxing in the grounds. We are to be entertained this year, by Calvero, a Charlie Chaplin imitator and dance artist.
In September we will host the BN Fun Run, where the runners follow an all-terrain course through the woods and pathways – some for the sporting aspect and some for the pleasure alone.
As the colder days get closer we are looking forward to the benefits of having installed a wood-burning stove in the clubhouse extension. With a fine wooden surround, crafted by one of our members, it is a joy to sit by and take stock of another year drawing to a close.
The footings will soon be in place for the sauna being built in readiness for next winter. Here at Blackthorns we are always looking ahead and planning for the comfort of our members.
Spring has arrived in Blackthorns and Pippin Wood is sprinkled with primroses and violets and the bluebells are just pushing their way upwards. The undergrowth is getting greener with every sunny day we have and the trees will soon be back to their full glory.
Our Spring Clean weekend saw a flurry of activity and everywhere has woken up in readiness for a long hot summer!
Easter celebrations included bingo, a social, decorated egg and bonnet competitions, and our annual slide show to look back over the years. Its great to see the community spirit portrayed in pictures and the way every one worked together to make the club what it is today. We have a lot to be grateful for of our founder members.
There was the table tennis tournament and of course we hosted the BN National Petanque games over the May Bank Holiday weekend. Results can be seen elsewhere in this issue.
Our personal highlight of year was our wedding and we hope everyone enjoyed the party as much as we did!
The Suntreckers Rally at the end of May included a Wedding Anniversary party too. What a happy bunch of naturists we are! The same weekend involved yet another Petanque competition and Spring Bank Holiday was enjoyed by all.
June heralds Volleyball games and the BN. Eastern Region Petanque tournament and the start of Miniten competitions.
Of course there is also World Naturist Day and I hope to report on a successful Open Day with loads of interest bestowed on Blackthorns and naturism in general.
July builds up to our annual Family Week during the first week of August, when we lay on entertainment and activities for all ages every day of the week and we are pleased to be welcoming the Suntreckers for another rally and their participation to make this week our highlight of the Naturist Year. I can almost hear the splashing in the pool and the laughter and chattering voices around the site as I write this..…..and is that the cry of some rare feathered bird, or the sound of a ring pull?!
Well, Christmas did its annual thing: took a long time coming with lots of work and worry involved and then it was gone, leaving us full of Christmas spirit and turkey sandwiches, turkey curry, turkey pie, more turkey sandwiches and maybe even turkey soup!! For those of us who didn’t get bird flu, turkey flu or ordinary flu, there was time to meet up and enjoy the festive season together and reflect over the past year.
Our New Year’s Eve party went well, with our usual merriment on the dance floor accompanied by party poppers and balloons and a vast selection of food that we all contributed to and then shared. Not a slice of cold turkey in sight!!! Resolutions were made and a whole new year to look forward to.
Our younger members held a Fun Raising Week End at the end of January, and we started February off with another New Year’s celebration, though this time it was The Chinese New Year; The Year of the Dog and we enjoyed superb Chinese food and another of our resident pyrotechnic experts displays.
We’ve since had a busy time working on the pruning of the many trees and hedgerows that make up our Pippin Wood. It always seems a shame to cut back so much growth but under the guidance of our woodsman, we know it is necessary to encourage new growth and aid the maturity of the wood in the long term. The work is very carefully managed to the benefit of the plants and wildlife that share our site.
This leads up to our big Spring Clean Week End in early April when almost everyone works together to give the grounds a good clear out ready for the Spring growth of wildflowers, including our bluebells and then the greenery of the trees that will, hopefully, mark the start of a good warm season for us.
The Easter weekend will bring us all together for another night of music and dance and a weekend of Table Tennis Tournaments and our Annual Slide Show where we get the chance to see the year as captured by our club photographer.
We will be hosting the BN National Petanque event the weekend of 29th/30th April which will include a Dinner & Dance on both evenings.
We have something special to look forward to as we are getting married in May and will be sharing our happiness with a party for all our friends at Blackthorns......our extended family!
At the end of May we welcome the Suntreckers for a 5 Day Rally which will include a Wedding Anniversary party for one of their couples followed by The “Derek Brown Trophy” Petanque games on 28th.....Spring Bank Holiday weekend.
The 4th June is not only the E/R BN Petanque games but also World Naturist and Open Day so you will be most welcome to visit Blackthorns and see what a nice place it is and our chance to enlighten as many as possible that naturists are people too! Who knows, a gentle game of petanque in the sunshine might just encourage them to give it a try!