Christmas Evening 2019

The Augustinian Christmas Evening is about fun and friendship. We had poetry, childhood reminiscences, amusing reports, and a picture quiz.

Between introductions the master of ceremonies, our Scribe Bro Garry Sunley, amused us with jokes and some interesting Christmas facts he had found in an edition of the magazine “Reveille” from the 1940’s.

In the year that Sarah Thomas swam the channel four times non-stop, Ann Hudson recited the Marriot Edgar comic monologue of our own intrepid channel swimmer, Joe Lee, who after a series of mishaps ended up near Blackpool.

Ann then amused us with Harvey Ehrlich’s poem of a politically correct Christmas. After the staff rebelled and all toys were deemed unsuitable in one way or another, the only gift left was Peace on Earth.

Carol French recently helped her Mum retrieve a suitcase from the attic. Inside were two well written poems by a Mr Appleyard who spent holidays with her family when Carol was a child.

The first took us on a walk from Wilsthorpe, along the Bridlington seafront and on to Flamborough Head. The pleasures on the route were enthused about. The second short poem highlighted the Floral Hall and the popular music of Edwin Harper and Bobby Fisher.  This gave us a clue as to when the poems were written.

To our Prior Maureen Bell the number 53 bus in London was a magic carpet when she was a child. She described some of the joys on the route. A highlight was putting on her pixie hood (remember them?) and going to see the Christmas lights and the tall Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square, a gift from Norway.

She remembers chestnuts being roasted on coke braziers. This was in the early 50’s though, when we still had post war shortages and smog. But she remembers clearly, sated with pleasure, walking down Whitehall to catch that bus home.

Chris Gatenby amused us with some real church notices such as “Don’t let worry kill you off.  Let the church help” and “Weight Watchers – please use the large double doors”.

Chris also gave some press reports of Christmas parties. The librarians were very quiet. The playground party went with a swing, and at the bell ringers’ party everybody pulled.

Michelle and Frederick Stephens then teased us with a picture quiz. Twenty diabolical questions where you knew you should know where the pictures were taken, but couldn’t quite remember.

The evening ended with mince pies, drinks and a chat with friends, and the Prior Maureen Bell thanked everyone for coming and particularly those who entertained. She wished everyone health, wealth, and happiness.

We, at the Bridlington Augustinian Society, extend that wish to you all.