Visit to Sheffield 8, 1st July 2010

Once more President Karol Grabowski hit the road for an event that has been a feature of our calendar over the last few years. The July meeting of Sheffield 8 is a Ladies’ Evening, starting with Mass at the Padley Martyrs Chapel in Grindleford and as a result it usually attracts brothers from across three Provinces – 3 (North and South), 15 (our own) and 17 (the one based across Cheshire). Last year three of us went from Mansfield, but for a variety of reasons, Karol ended up going on his own this year. That’s not as daunting as it may appear, since he have many friends across Province 3 from when he joined in Scarborough (3N) and his days as a joint member at Barnsley (3S).

Padley Chapel interior and exterior (l ->r)

True to form, there were quite a lot of people Karol recognised, starting at the Padley Chapel door where he was spotted from some distance away by Vince Donlan (this year’s VP and a joint brother at Barnsley)! The walk up from Grindleford village was very peaceful – a gentle balmy breeze just rustling the leaves and the peace of the countryside putting me in the right frame of mind for Mass.

After Mass, we all trooped back down to the village and gathered at the The Maynard where a short meeting was held before supper. As we gathered for the meeting, Karol had the chance to chat with Tony Deighton (his former Chair of Governors from Barnsley) who is now VP at Barnsley, and his cousin Pat Horbury who is Barnsley’s current President. We will have to organise a group to go up for the Barnsley Chop so our Circle can support both of them with a visit. Later in the evening, Karol was also chatting briefly to former Grand President Joe McNally, someone from Harrogate and someone from Reigate. When it came to the award of the prize for furthest distance travelled, the brother from Reigate won hands down!

The Maynard [exterior and oak panelled “wedding room”]

After the meeting, we moved upstairs to a room that is oak-panelled and arranged ourselves for the meal. Whilst waiting to go up for the buffet our table exchanged the usual pleasantries. The man from Reigate turned out to be Irish, with a Polish wife. He is currently working on a contract up in Sheffield so is happy to make visits to the surrounding Circles when he has the chance.
Sat with Karol was one of the older brothers from Sheffield 8 who has a colourful history as an engineer and academic, with one posting in Zimbabwe that allowed us to share experiences of the country. We hope that he will be able to come down to visit us sometime with a couple of his Circle, when we can guarantee the attendance of Peter Crowe and Frank Barrett who are closely linked to two of the Sheffield 8 brothers. It would be really good to try and find an opportune time to visit them at their normal venue when we can take Frank to meet his old school pal Tom Doherty, and Peter to meet his uncle Frank Murphy. We shall have to see when they are both available……
Overall it was a really enjoyable evening with a beautiful drive up and back on a warm summer evening. What more could you wish for?