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Fifth Column – A Birds’ Eye View of Mendip

One of the brighter aspects of fancy dress parties is that we are sometimes treated to the response of the we-eg at the Hunters when odd members turn up in unusual attire and on the 2nd of July, on the way to a housewarming at Yarley, we were treated to some rare sights, such as Liz in a mattress cover and fangs with Martin in soda sacks and more hair than usual.  Amazing!  They must be saving up for a new car or something.  Then there was Derek Targett, superbly realistic as a werewolf, whilst Tom Gage was a rather black skeleton and Colleen a very presentable ghost from BRI (chains and all - could be described as looking flushed!).  Graham W-J turned up as some sort of extremely warm-blooded sea monster and John Dukes the usual corpse.  Graham, of course, we expect to drape himself from head to foot at the drop of a beret, but it was quite warm and with top coats on all the others looked rather limp when they left.  The actual party, by the way, was a success.

The club has suffered recently from a lack of expeditionary spirit, but cheer up; things are improving. There seems to be a move afoot to infiltrate the Midlands.  Jon-Jon and Richard were recently in Scratching-land, and only last weekend, Barrie and Brenda joined the trekkers.  The Dooleys and Butch now hold the key to this territory and are prepared to issue passports for an appropriate fee in used notes of small denomination.  Barrie treats the whole thing rather lightly by declaring that, although all pubs are on the way to the Hunters, this particular route is rather lengthy.

Some things, never change, do they?  One of our members passing through Sutton on the way to Hunters decided to call in at the Collins residence only to find him in a mildly inebriated state flat out on the kitchen floor with a young lady in his arms (shocking).  Sett was asleep in another part of the cottage and the only survivors seemed to be Sally, Jan and Graham.  I comment on this only because the visit was made in the evening - and it was at lunchtime that all the drinking had been done.  Shame of it was that Sett was seen briefly at Hunters later that day getting carry-out lemonade.  Talking about Hunters, one or two of our older members have been dropping in recently and Maurice Iles has been seen with either a recorder or a shillelagh stuffed into his hip pocket.  Could it be that he is joining the M.C.G. Penny Whistle and Squeezebox Band?  The same weekend saw Chris (Evening) Hall returning to wonder who everyone was, and Sid Hobbs rabbitting on about what we need are very extreme right wingers to resolve a certain industrial dispute. Another rare sight for Saturday night was a brief visit from Alan Thomas but it seemed O.K. for he was chaperoned by Bob Cork.

The recent news of devaluation in Spain has sent a surge of blood running in the veins of a few of our more affluent members.  Of course, Butch is going on an expedition with a neighbouring club, so really he can't be accused of profiteering, especially after his magnificent walk (sponsored) over half of Somerset to aid the trip.  Martin and Liz are off to Costa Fortune where he is going to do some diving.  What a year it will be for postcards!

Finally, I must mention our Hon. Sec. - Mike W who is reported to be going to an Open University Summer School with Maureen (that‘ll cramp her style!)  The subject is drama.  Think what an asset his dramatic fits will be to future committee meetings! - enliven them no end!

Having a page of this B.B. to produce in time to get the whole thing in print, it struck me that it has been some time since anyone broke into verse in the B. B. Reading in 'Fifth Column' that our Hon. Sec. has spent a week at Open University Summer School studying drama, one can perhaps imagine what we may well be in for at the A.G.M. when the report of the Hon. Secretary comes around.

According to the custom of the years
I now must make report upon our club.
Friends! Romans!, Countrymen!, lend me your ears!
To sleep - perchance to dream - aye, there's the rub.
If music be the food of love, play on.
The quality of mercy is not strained
It falleth as the gentle….. wait! tis gone!
That lately in my mem'ry was contained.
I have it - …as the gentle dew from heaven

But what comes now? I swear I lately knew.
(These one week courses should last six or seven)
What comes - no, 'cometh' after 'gentle dew'?
Upon the earth beneath.  It is twice bless'd.
(I wonder why? I'm beggared if I care
I reckon that I'll have to scrub the rest)
So thus I end.  What say you from the chair?
You ask me why no news of club I bring?
Like ruddy Shakespeare says - the play's the thing

(With suitable apologies to Mike Wheadon, Will Shakespeare and all readers)