A review of the year and something to look forward to in 2014!

The year started quietly for the Newport Pagnell and Olney Lions in 2013. However once we have shrugged off the chill of the early months, then “Spring was sprung” and it was all systems go.

In Olney, in June, there is a well expected, anticipation by the “motor heads” fraternity for the Lions “Motorama”. This year 150 immaculate vehicles plus, it must be said, well scrubbed up owners, descended on the Market Square. The highlight of the day was the wonderful collection of Model T Fords, some even older than the writer!

The following month it was the annual Newport Pagnell Carnival and whichever way you looked on the Riverside Meadow, you saw the yellow “hi-viz” jackets of the Lions Club members. We were delighted to help out the Carnival Committee on what must have one of the hottest days of the year. Four entrances, 16 Lions, more than 4000 people. Wow.

Our three new events, held at the delightful URC Hall in the High Street, seemed to catch the imagination of local folk, of all ages. Just another way of saying “here we are, how can we help you”. Wherever possible our exhibitors were local, their products the result of their own labours.

That applied especially at the well supported food and drink fair in October. Local ciders, local honey, local jams, chutneys, chocolates and delicious cakes helped fill the hall. With wine tastings, samplings and cookery demonstrations, no wonder the public were saying “when’s the next one”?

Finally, as the year approached its close, 90 craft folk crammed into the three Lions venues for the fantastic “Dickens Day” in Olney, possibly the busiest in 18 years! The following week saw us all wind down for a “last minute” Christmas Fair in Newport Pagnell. Thanks to the generosity of our visitors and the support of our exhibitors, the three events at the URC, raised more than £1200 for the Lions fundraising efforts. Thank you everybody.

Now, if the Editor will allow me space, a question for you, dear reader. “How can we help you or a friend or your local charity or group”? The Lions Club does not support any one cause. Over the years we have contributed to schools who were planting a vegetable garden, we planted thousands of young trees for the Queens Jubilee appeal and we even sponsored two very adventures ladies cycling to Africa!

Last year we raised £18,000 for good causes. We could not do it without you. We are now planning our programme of events for 2014. Watch this space. To find out more please look at our website: www.npolneylions@btck.co.uk.

Thank you.