One good turn deserves another

David and Maureen Chambers on the left with the Chernobyl children and host families in front of the repaired inflatable castle
David and Maureen Chambers on the left with the Chernobyl children and host families in front of the repaired inflatable castle

Morpeth Lions Club

The club is always happy to give and June was no exception, although it was the receiver on two occasions.

Every year the Lions members entertain their wives and partners to say thank you for their support and work, without which the Lions could only achieve a fraction of what they do each year.

This year’s ‘Ladies Night’ was held at the PepperPot restaurant in Oldgate. After a very enjoyable meal, Lions President Geoff Bushell presented owner Brian Scott with a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of his assistance in this year’s fund-raising activities.

Members were out in force on Fair Day. Part of it is helping to man the traffic barriers in Oldgate, but it is mainly a major fund-raising opportunity.

For the past few years the Lions have been raffling a wheelbarrow full of groceries. The winner not only receives the groceries, but also the wheelbarrow.

This year’s winner was Mrs Simm of Loansdean, who was delighted with her prize. However, among those buying tickets was Victoria Gallagher, who was after the wheelbarrow for a community gardening project sponsored by the Community Development Trust in Ashington.

She thought she was unsuccessful, but when Lion Adrian Barnes heard about this, he donated a wheelbarrow which was surplus to his requirements.

But it was not all giving by the Lions.

Member Chris Offord organised the summer walk from Bolam Lake to Shaftoe Crags. On the way, members stopped by a walled garden within which Matthew Scouler hopes to create the most northerly vineyard in England.

He kindly took time out from his work to show the walking party round his project, including the newly planted vines which may yield grapes for wine making in a few years’ time.

Finally, the Lions hosted the Chernobyl children during their annual visit.

Jennie McLean, partner of Lion Simon Pringle, organised a craft and games day at her house. She was helped by Lions wives Joy Offord and Anne Gray and Rotarian Rhona Dunn as well as a couple of Lions.

Later in their stay, the children were invited to an afternoon of fun at David and Maureen Chambers’ house. The main attraction of the afternoon is an inflatable castle.

Everything was going to plan until the day before their visit when Mr Chambers came to inflate the castle and nothing happened. On closer inspection, he found it had been ripped whilst being stored in his barn.

Frantic telephone calls resulted in inflatable castle manufacturers Blo-Op, of Ashington, coming to the rescue. When Dave of Blo-Op heard of the dilemma, he came out immediately with his repair kit and made the castle as good as new.

He did not ask for any payment as he was just happy to play his part in making sure the children had a fun afternoon. Now that is true service and it was very much appreciated by the club.