Words Jeffrey Whitehead. Photos by Jeffrey Whitehead, Chris Dunkinson, and Paul Hollingworth.
The day started with the pre-meet at the Diamond Valley miniature railway which didn’t open until 11:30 but we met early and Gordon provided tea, coffee and biscuits. Oh, and Mike provided the most scrumptious homemade savoury pastries. It was a good catch up and some rushed off with Matt in his magnificent Silver Spirit to grab some brekkie.
We did meander over to look at the miniature locomotives gearing up for their day’s run and then headed off to the Panton Hill Hotel hoping to get inside to warm up from the cold. When we got there, they weren’t opening their doors until 11:30 but fortunately the sun was beaming and we enjoyed another chat about this and that in the carpark.
Once inside we were ushered to a new rear dining room and enjoyed their wonderful food at a good price. The business there has vastly improved over the years and everyone enjoyed their dinner and service.
Due to the restricted space in the rear dining room and the deck renovations, we chose to relegate ourselves once again to the car park in the sun for the Kris Kringle spectacular with the mistress of ceremonies, the one and only Mary Christmas. It was the perfect setting amongst our cars in the sun and everyone was waiting for the special moment. As usual, Gordon disappeared again and his sister appeared out of nowhere with legs up to her armpits in lacy black fishnet stockings and a pair of sparkling red heeled shoes.
As many of you may remember, Mary had COVID-19 last Christmas and was held in quarantine at the North Pole. Well thank goodness Mary made this day in her brother’s Swedish slay as she, one by one, brought us up to receive a Kris Kringle with the help of two lovely and helpful elves, and extracted secretive information from each and every one of us, as she always does. Mary always makes the most of this special opportunity for all of us to all get to know one another, and always brings a smile to everyone’s faces, and we love her.