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December CHRISTMAS Challenge

13 December, 2019

The  Christmas  Quiz  night  and  Annual  Competition  was attended by 36 members and 11 guests, including Les Thorne who is our honorary member, giving a total of 47 on the night. The evening consisted of the usual general knowledge Quiz of eight subjects, the Raffle, a magnificent spread of food created by Susan  Barnes, and the  Club  Christmas  Challenge.  The subject of this year’s challenge was “Something powered by Wind” with prizes going to the ‘Most aesthetically Pleasing’, and the ‘Most Functional’. The wind was provided by a Hair Dryer and / or a fan. All Competition entries were placed on the display table at the beginning  of  the  evening so  members  and  visitors  could examine and check them over at their leisure. The quiz this year was compared by our very own Mike Dutton(who also doubles as our HWA Treasurer) who took to the stage to quell the rebellious hordes should there be any dissent from the members, and to host the evening. Members and their guests arrived and took their places at the tables (some armed with alcohol from the bar). There was a total of six teams who each gave themselves some pretty bizarre Team Names.

The rules of the evening were explained by Mike who basically said that the Compere is always right if there is a contested answer…!The subjects of the quiz were “Christmas”, “Connections 1” and  “Connections  2”, followed  by  the “Picture  Round”, “Movies”, “Who am I”, “Sport” and “General Knowledge” rounds.

After Round 4 we had the break for the Fabulous Festive Food that was very kindly, and very professionally, prepared by Susan Barnes, with free Tea and Coffee, produced by our famous Tea and Coffee makers. During this half-time break our illustrious Chairman Dave Gibbard invited all the five (5) members who had produced items for the Competition to “Display their Wares”. Unbeknown to most of us Dave Gibbard had secretly recruited some select members of the congregation to act as Judges for the “Most Aesthetic” aspect of the Christmas Competition entries. These covert judges had done their work and reported their findings back to Dave, who then invited the entrants to take their creations up to the stage where the electric hairdryer and fan were waiting. The winner of ‘The most Functional’ aspect of the challenge was to be decided by the volume and longevity of clapping from the crowd, with Dave G being the adjudicator.

The first entry was a set of beautifully turned ‘Christmas Trees’ made by Brian Eyley. Brian had  turned  a selection  of  trees, each tree was a different size, but each had a rounded base  so  that it freely wobbled. The trees were randomly placed on  the table by Brian who then selected and  turned  on the hairdryer,  they all realistically  wobbled and  swayed  in  the  breeze  from  the hairdryer and looked great. An effective and lovely piece to grace any Christmas display.

Next  up  was Tom James who had made a very nice but rather rude “Santa on skis” towing a sleigh filled with  toys  and  food  that included some Brussel sprouts…!! Tom removed Santa’s hat and raised him to his mouth then turned Santa face down, he placed one of the Brussel sprouts near poor Santa’s bottom and as he blew into Santa’s neck the Brussel sprout was blown upwards as if by a giant ‘fart’. This raised a tremendous laugh. On a trial earlier Tom had  ‘Santa’s  Sprout’  hovering  on  an  invisible column of air causing it to spin and dance.
After that was Keith Barnes and his very well turned and expertly painted “Seagull” on a spike. This beautifully made Seagull with its well balanced and  free  moving contra-rotating  wings  ‘wind-milled’ like crazy when the hairdryer was  directed  on it. The Seagull looked very good and was also  very  impressive when in full flight.
Then came Dave Gibbard’s masterpiece a “Boat on a sea scape” which was resting on wheels. She was a hollowed-out hull with a topical HWA logo. With the hair dryer blowing straight into her billowing sail she raced across the table and was only narrowly saved  from oblivion and falling off the end of  the earth by the lightning fast reflexes of Mike Dutton who caught it before it plummeted. Dave’s boat had a turn of speed to match the Cutty Sark… and earned itself a goodly round of applause.
Lastly up was a “Whirligig” by Dave Simpson. It depicted a man at a lathe turning an ‘off-centre’  bowl.  When the hairdryer wind hit the large propeller blades  the  ‘off-centre’  bowl  on  the  lathe turned, and caused the woodturner-man to swivel, and his arm holding the gouge to move back and forth. According to the Chairman’s  ‘clap-ometer’ this entry was deemed to be the winner of the “Most Functional” aspect of the competition. It was also selected as the “Most aesthetically Pleasing” of the five entries by the secret judges, and so has the honour of being the first ever Christmas Competition entry to win both elements of the competition.
Steve  Jones then took command of the microphone and commenced the Christmas Raffle, which was full of seasonal treats and some obligatory woodturning prizes. There was a great selection of items for the raffle winners to choose from, including some homemade Mulled Wine syrup made by Steve’s wife, and I was lucky enough to have the winning ticket and my wife Gail chose this. It was delicious. Thank you for a very seasonal and upbeat Raffle Steve. The second part of the Quiz evening started after the Competition Prizes, and Raffle Prizes had been claimed, and the collective brain cells of the members and their guests were further tested by remaining quiz rounds.(see the Quiz Results sheet at the end of this write-up).The evening was enjoyed by the participating Club members, their guests and the competition entrants. The Christmas Quiz and Challenge event is a well-established part of the HWA calendar, and is a fun and very sociable evening.
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