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Your ‘Active’ 18 Plus magazine

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National Spring Holiday Kos 2001 ANC National Skiing Holiday London Treasure Hunt Solihull 25th Birthday

2 Editor’s Column

Hello again and welcome to the ‘new look’ Plus News. First of all, I owe the members an explanation as to why the magazine has become more rare than a meeting of the Outer Hebrides 18 Plus group (check your directories). Let me say I have suffered sleepless nights over production worries, lack of articles and photos, hassle from people wondering when the next issue was due out, and more. Some might think I didn’t care, or wasn’t bothered. That was not the case. If it had been, I would have resigned ages ago. Perhaps in trying to make a magazine with extra ‘style’ other things, most importantly frequency, accidentally got sacrificed. But equally important is input from members and that has not been as forthcoming as required. Remember: you write Plus News, not me, and I can’t bring it out if you don’t help. It may be that some would be contributors have lost confidence in the publication. I’m asking, from this month, for that confidence to be renewed, by drawing a line under the troublesome recent past. True, Plus News doesn’t look as flashy as previously but at least the wait hasn’t been as long. So enjoy this issue, please write and photograph, and send it all to me by Friday 2nd August.

Contents ANC 2002 National Chairman’s Column London Treasure Hunt National Spring Holiday 2002 Kos Solihull 18 Plus 25th Birthday National Skiing Holiday National Activities Acknowledgements Contributions in this issue are from: Ed, Adrian Barnard, Tom Seddon, Joan Clifford, Jo Bailey & Mark Hewson.

PLUS NEWS is YOUR magazine. Without you, it’s nothing! Please send your articles and photographs to: Peter Sharples 4 Michelle Close Kings Heath Birmingham B13 0PR Telephone: 0121 684 0333 E-mail:

National Federation of 18 Plus Groups Church Street Chambers, 8 -10 Church Street, Newent, Glos. Gl18 1PP Tel. 01531 821210 email

National Chairman’s Column


This close to an ANC this is likely to sound much like anything delivered at said conference - indeed it may well be delivered word for word! A review of my year at the top is perhaps in order. Plus News as you might see is now somewhat more regular than it has been and should become again the national magazine you want for your organisation. VAT - sorry all, but our turnover moneywise is still nearly double that than is required to de register so we are still considered large enough by the tax office to pursue. After a hiccup, or indeed perhaps protracted indigestion, the national video is back on track again with a new camera, repairs to the breakdown of the old one costing more than half that of the new one of far superior quality. Any events you want catalogued please invite your national development officer to attend, he will do his best to do so. Figures wise numbers have still decreased overall however new groups have opened and new members have also joined, a greater variety of events are available. The 18 Plus web site and Yahoo Groups have continued to expand offering members this ever increasing choice. It is going forward with this and a positive attitude that builds on what we have. My successor whomsoever they may be (at time of writing I do not know of any) has an excellent team in place to continue the process and I also intend to remain to offer my abilities and services to any requiring them. I have enjoyed my term as National Chairman and recommend it to any. Regards, Adrian

Annual National Conference 2002 Your Chance to Have Your Say About Your Federation The Annual National Conference (ANC) is here again! The 61st staging of the most important event in the 18 Plus calendar takes place for the third consecutive year at the Britannia Hotel, Coventry, on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st April. The conference will take place in the Connaught Suite on the first floor of the hotel. It will start at 1:30pm Saturday. As well as plenty of lively debate, there will be a dinner dance on Saturday night with a ‘magic’ theme. It includes live band Northern Xposure who will be entertaining you with 70’s disco and soul and more up to date dance and pop. DJ Gary J will keep you dancing the rest of the time. The Saturday night dinner menu consists of Terrine / Avocado Orange & Grapefruit (v); Supreme Chicken / Aubergine & Vegetable Bake (v) and Chocolate Cup & Orange Cream. Those attending the dance only can arrive from 9:00pm. No tickets are available on the door. Strictly no children. Luggage can be stored until after the conference if required. There will be an ANC desk in the hotel foyer and when the conference starts it will be moved to the rear of the


conference room. Membership details will be checked prior to the start of the ANC – anyone not an 18 Plus member at the time and without a valid membership receipt will be surcharged a partly refundable membership fee. They will however still have to pay to join 18 Plus. The Britannia Hotel has excellent facilities and is well used to hosting events such as the ANC. As it also has 190 en-suite rooms, so all delegates will be able to stay in the same hotel. The bedrooms are spacious and finished to a high standard. Most have twin beds, but there are also a small number of double and single rooms. The hotel bar will be the meeting place for those arriving on the Friday evening. It will stay open as long as people want and this will also apply after the dinner dance. Bar lunches on Saturday will be discounted for members. Carlsberg and wine are just £1.50 on Saturday evening. The Cavendish Suite will be the venue for pre-dinner dance drinks and also where you can order wine to have with your meal. If the hotel has a lot of other guests in on the Saturday night it is likely that Sunday breakfast will be served in the Three Spires Suite. A Sunday lunch of Jacket Potato with choice of fillings and fruit tartlets will be available. Parking is opposite the hotel entrance in pay and display car parks. The cost is £6 per 24 hours and 50p for Sunday. There’s plenty to do in Coventry to occupy your time. Both the Cathedral and the National Motor Museum are within easy reach, as are the shops! For the more energetic, the sports centre is next door, offering swimming, badminton, squash and a gym. Within easy travelling distance are Cadbury World and Warwick Castle. Have a great time!! ANC COMMITTEE 2002 Chairman – Sandra Cawthra; Bookings Officer – Jo Woodhead; Treasurer – Linda Burgess; Publicity – Andy Deeley

18 Plus Web Sites

London Treasure Hunt


Mid-afternoon on February 2nd, Plussers congregated at the 'Hamilton House' pub on Liverpool Street. The time had approached, especially for avid fans of the well-known board game Monopoly, for the race, organised in aid of Little Haven Hospice by Donna Yates, with the help of some Area Committee members. The groups which took part were Romford, Bishops Stortford, Brentwood, Barking and Dagenham, Hunts and Redbridge. Who would prove to be the best team would be found by them using their navigating skills by visiting some of London's top attractions. Each group had to answer cryptic clues to solve each question. Attractions included Trafalgar Square, Bond Street, Bank, Tower Hill, Angel, and Leicester Square. Each group was asked to fetch back a souvenir from Piccadilly Circus. For those a bit peckish Piccadilly's famous doughnut shop was the favourite - if Homer Simpson existed in real life he would adore them. There were also souvenir Policemen's helmets and postcards, which in some cases were scenes of London with interesting added features! Late afternoon the organisers were beginning to become concerned as it had taken a long time for the groups to return, but thankfully they came back one by one. There were a few funny moments on the day such as Gavin O'Mahoney getting carried away by misunderstanding one of the clues. It resulted in him counting all 520 of the underground signs at Bond Street! Another funny moment was when people had to answer questions about an aeroplane which was supposed to be displayed in the window of a Travel Agent. The organisers had not expected it to be removed just before the event! Then Jo Bailey decided to mount one of Trafalgar Square's famous lion statues (supported by photographic evidence). Everyone who took part commented on how much they had enjoyed the day, which was ended with a few bevvies. The race was won by Barking and Dagenham, with Romford second and Redbridge third. Jo Bailey, Romford 18 Plus

National Spring Holiday 2002 I would like to tell everybody what a fabulous holiday Brean Sands was. Considering there was plenty to do, I think the best highlight of the holiday was the Stars in your Eyes Karaoke competition which was on Saturday afternoon. Myself, Emma, Angela Timms, Susie and Lisa Horn were contestants in the competition as the Spice Girls. We had been practising most of the afternoon in our caravan until it was time to be introduced by Vi from Coventry group who later became Matthew Kelly. Then after that we went back to the caravan to get ready as Spice Girls. In order: Emma was Ginger, Angela was Sporty, Lisa was Posh, Susie was Baby and


myself as Scary! Then the moment came, feeling rather sick and shaking like a leaf, the song ‘Wannabe’ came out of our mouths. Then after eight contestants had been on, we all sat and waited for the results. Matthew (alias Vi) announced in order the winning three. Which were: 3rd Rob Broadfield (Sutton Coldfield) as Frank Sinatra 2nd Richard Teale (Sutton Coldfield) as Elvis with three legs. 1st Spice Girls (Sutton Coldfield) The prize was £50.00 which we all spent on Saturday night to celebrate. All in all I would like to thank Vi and Wayne Fenton for a brilliant holiday. Joan Clifford - Sutton Coldfield 18 Plus

More from Brean in the next issue. Unclaimed Raffle Prizes 1st Prize - White Water Rafting Experience - Orange 246 (ref HG3M LW4E) 2nd Prize - AIWA Radio/CD/Cassette Remote control Stereo - Lilac 391 (ref DO 992955) If you have won then please contact me prior to the ANC on 07780 957553 or 01707 264638 or by email on, the prize will be available at the ANC.

KOS 2001 43 go to Kardamena, Kos. After a journey of endless delays, we finally arrived on the Greek Island of Kos early one September morning, and met Ismet, the hotel proprietor. During the coming week, Ismet was to give us grief about slamming doors, nude people in the pool, fully clothed people in the pool, vomiting etc. We would retort with stories about his broken-down lift, his cleaners locking us in our rooms, the cold showers, the lights, and the kettles. Luckily he never found out about the watermelon bomb that created a small mushroom cloud of dust outside one of his windows. Thankfully the gorgeous weather meant most of our time was spent on the beaches, bars, and restaurants of Kardamena. There were some fantastic excursions including the tiny paradise island of San Antionio and the very impressive volcanic crater on Nysros. The sunsets from the mountains


were wonderfully atmospheric and the ancient Greek ruins provided the culture for the week. Meanwhile Ismet was warming to us, even if we did wake him from his bed behind the reception desk at all hours of the morning to ask for something trivial. He even offered to take us swimming in his car (eh?? – Ed). It is ironic that despite the time and money spent creating the ‘perfect trip’, what we seem to remember are the misfortunes, such as forgetting / losing one’s passport, being left on an island, or having one’s bag float away in the sea. And then there were the cold showers. Finally it was time to say farewell to Ismet, who retired back to his bed contemplating on a quieter week ahead – only two guests, but no watermelons! Tom Seddon

Solihull 18 Plus 25th Birthday Solihull 18 Plus group marked its own jubilee in style in March, with a 'silver celebration' to commemorate its 25th anniversary. Hundreds of former members joined current ones at Silhill Football Club, Solihull for a special party that saw them catch up on old times, swap memories, and see for themselves how the group continues to thrive. BRMB radio presenter Les Ross, who officially opened the group in 1977, returned as special guest with the Mayor of Solihull, Cllr. Beryl Kellie also in attendance. They helped cut a commemorative cake and there was just enough for everyone present. Photographs and memorabilia were scattered around for people to enjoy or be embarrassed by! There was also a prize raffle. Here’s to the next 25 years! The Editor (and Solihull member)

8 National Skiing Holiday 2002

This year 13 attended the National learn to ski/ski holiday run via Southern Area. Unlucky for some, as we had our first ever breakage! (Mark - hope the collar bone is now better). The hotel was different this year and there was only a free drink with the evening meal. The food however was excellent and varied and the hosts the friendliest and accommodating to date. The rooms were not as good as in previous years but served their purpose, one pair discovering that when you turn your heating on the room warms up! The (frozen over) lake views, especially at sunrise and sunset, were fantastic. Evening entertainment included Austrian Bowling, sleigh rides, Salzburg by night and an opera evening. The Friday had the option of non-tuition skiing or a day trip to Salzburg. Other activities included a mountain hut crawl (pub-crawl in snow), snow walking and cross country skiing. Evenings included various bars and a ‘night club’ in town. Those of us remaining in the hotel Wednesday evening were treated to the additional fun of Leo being locked in the staff toilets for 50 minutes because the key was bent. One broken screwdriver, damaged frame, and splintered door later he was finally rescued! I thought I had been everywhere on and off the piste at the skiing resort, but not so. Lift eight was running this year enabling use of a totally unfamiliar red run. Additionally under instruction we got to go off piste right, out of lift three (not allowed if you follow the signs). Pete had a good attempt at the world land speed record, not by choice, he just found a slope somewhat steeper than his snow ploughing abilities could deal with. He was last seen screaming down the slope shouting ‘How do you stop the b****y things?’ How good was it? nine out of 13 have already shelled out the non returnable interest deposit for next year, same time same place, and the bigger the numbers the better the deal. Deposits of £10 (non returnable) to Leo Glover or Adrian Barnard, payable to ‘SOUTHERN AREA 18 PLUS’ please. Adrian Barnard, National Chairman

National Diary 2002 20 - 21 April, Annual National Conference, Coventry 15 June, National Treasure Hunt, London 21 - 23 June, National Raft Race 20 - 21 July, NEC Meeting, Newent 23 - 26 August, August Bank Holiday Weekend / NGOOT (provisional) 22 September, National Paintball 26 - 27 October, NEC Meeting, Newent 1 - 4 November, WASH, Hunstanton 7 December, National Karting Competition, West Midlands

Plus News April 2002  

Plus News April 2002