Rally Report by Lorraine
We arrived at 5 on the dot, just in time for the promised cocktails from Jane and Mike. The cocktails were delicious and I don’t think I was the only one who was a bit squiffy. Canapés were also provided and Jane had gone to a lot of trouble to make intriguing little titbits.
The club has a new gazebo. Many members have already seen the hexagonal one we bought a couple of years ago. We found out that it has a bigger brother which, with the smaller rallies we seem to be having, seemed the ideal solution for inclement weather. Barrie found one on eBay, unused and at a bargain price, and we collected it on our way back from the Aberystwyth rally. The gazebo has now been christened and we all sat in it for the evening having a chat.
Bexhill was holding a Great Gatsby Fair all over the weekend. There were stalls and street food all along the seafront, marquees with 1920’s entertainment and all over town you could see people dressed in 20’s style clothes. I’m sure that a lot of it was authentic. In the evening, 6 of us (Mike and Jane, Eric and Margaret, and us) had booked for the Gatsby Ball on the seafront so it was on with the gladrags and off to the ball in the marquee. The band and singer were excellent. The dancers were brilliant and the costumes, male and female, were a wonderful sight. Jane certainly looked the part in her “little number” complete with peacock feather!
We went into Bexhill to more Gatsby Fair. This time, in the marquee was more big band music and a demonstration of the Charleston. This was followed by a lesson on Charleston and afterwards the learners took part in a contest. We declined to join in! We later learnt that Rose and Pete also went but we didn’t see each other. There were competitions for the best dressed male, female and child.
When we all got back, Jane and Mike had laid on delicious cream teas which led very nicely to our night out among the stars. One of the events that Mike and Jane had researched for us was a themed evening at Herstmonceux Observatory and a group of us had pre-booked for it. We went for opening time as Jane had told us there were lots of science toys to play with. Then we went for the talk about the Apollo Moon Landings and because we had pre-booked we had priority seats in the second row! Robin Mobbs talked for about 90 minutes and not for one moment were we bored. The talk was filled with bits of information you might never have thought of – like how the astronauts go to the loo!
After the talk, and once it was dark, we were allowed to go into the different domes and use the telescopes – it’s actually not very easy and you have to get into all sorts of contortions to see through the viewfinders.
There were also at least a dozen amateur astronomers on the lawn. They had brought their telescopes, large and small, and were very keen to let people look through and told us all sorts of interesting facts.
Among other celestial objects, we were able to see Saturn and its rings really clearly, an excellent view of Jupiter and four of its moons, a fantastic view of the moon with its craters in sharp relief, and a binary star which clearly showed that the two stars were one red and one blue. The guide explained that this meant that one was hot and one cold but the opposite way round from what you’d expect.
We had flag and we were very surprised to receive our 100th rally plaque.
After flag, we went into Bexhill with Pete and Rose and sat in the marquee listening to more big bands and watching the dancing. There were contests for the best 20’s outfit and best Peaky Blinders outfit.
We all had some interesting South American street food which was quite tasty.
Sadly Jane and Mike had a very busy Monday to get home for so they were not able to join us for the meal in a pub up the road.
All in all, a really good rally. We were lucky with the weather and our rally marshals had worked really hard to make it fun and interesting. The trip to the observatory was inspired and the Gatsby Fair was great fun. Thank you to Jane and Mike for a brilliant rally!