Virtual Christmas Drinks 2020

Christmas Drinks 5:30 pm 13/12/2020

This year’s Christmas Drinks party was quite different, and at least it didn’t mean a discussion about who was going to drive home.

Janet John acted as the technical host of the Zoom-based event, with Gwyndaf sending out invitations and Janet controlling the meeting in the background. We all signed in and soon saw 25 other screens looking back at us with about 45 members present.

David Powell welcomed everyone and explained how the meeting/party was going to be organised.
As a group we heard from members from their own rooms and were particularly pleased to see those who had not been able to make recent events (i.e. a year ago) or had moved away from the area.

Peter and Pat Chapman spoke from Brecon about the joys of living in the country and the fear of the rising river level!
Elan & Robin Preston-Whyte joined us from Englefield Green and we had a quick glimpse around their new flat.Group Screen shot

It was great to see Bridget Murray (with a backdrop of outer space) and Helen Hall again, who had both had issues attending previous meetings and new member Ruth Huckle introduced herself from Maidenhead.

Founder members, the Owens and the Broombys also gave their updates.
Colin and Di Thomas said that their house was a lot quieter this year than when they hosted last year’s get together!

Janet and Gwyndaf then randomly assigned us to ‘break-out rooms’ where we met in groups of 6 or so, so that we could chat informally amongst ourselves. This worked surprisingly well and it seemed no time until Janet called us all back into the main room and then assigned us all to different groups with new people to talk to. These sessions lasted about 8 minutes each.Break out

After 3 rounds of these chat rooms, David spoke about events planned for 2021.
These are currently ‘virtual’ events with a quiz night on Friday 22nd January and a virtual St David’s Day on 26th February with speaker Lord Williams of Oystermouth, better known as Rowan Williams. Born in Swansea, he was Bishop of Monmouth, the only Archbishop of Canterbury not to be a member of the Church of England, Master of Magdalene College Cambridge and is a prolific author and poet.

Depending on the level of restrictions, we may be able to hold a socially distanced Spring Walk and the AGM, but under current conditions, this looks unlikely. Unfortunately, there won’t be any trip to Wales this year.

After these notifications Jonathan Pegler then took over as master of ceremonies. Everyone’s microphones were muted (apart from Jonathan’s) and Jonathan played a selection of carols with Janet showing us the words on the screen. In effect we were all signing duets with Jonathan!

Finally, Jonathan played the National Anthem and we said our farewells to each other at about 7pm.

I think that everyone thought that the event went well, and our thanks go to Janet, Gwyndaf and Jonathan for making the evening go so smoothly.

Christmas Drinks 2016

On a bright, beautiful  December morning we gathered for our yearly Christmas drinks.

We were warmly greeted by our Chairman Kay Day and our hosts Di and Alan Longshaw at their home in Chalfont St Peter.img_0047

A warming glass of wine enjoyed with delicious canapes prepared for by *To Dine For*  As usual the atmosphere was convivial , guests chattering together  – Christmas preparations- activities with friends and families.

Some had attended the London Male Voice choir at the Albert Hall, others to the Christmas concert at Jewin chapel where Huw Edwards was the host. Excitement at learning Huw is to be our guest speaker at next year’s St David’s Day Dinner.

With warm sunshine , the conservatory doors were opened, guests spilled out into the garden and admired the beautiful coy carp in the garden pond.img_0052

Later, before it was time to leave Jonathan Pegler organized the carol signing, unaccompanied this time but the pure Welsh voices  were a delight to hear.

Kay thanked all that had made this event so enjoyable and as we left we picked up our copy of the newsletter.


Liz Seely

Christmas Drinks 2015

This year Bill & Dilys Dover kindly allowed their lovely house in Gerrards Cross, to be taken over for our Christmas do.

The Committee had been worried – would enough people turn up? The committee were worried – there were too many people accepting invitations, how could they explain the mass invasion to the Dovers?

In the end it worked out fine about 60 arrived – not too many, not too few.

The caterers, ‘To Dine For’ turned up promptly and took over the kitchen, working expertly to create a variety of canapés.

Guests starting arriving at 12:30, several waiting in their cars until the due time, as they had arrived too early.

Bill & Ann

Bill & Ann

The Dover’s house is ideal for such a congregation, and most people descended on their large conservatory with the lovely views of the garden, to catch up and discuss important society gossip matters.

Pam Britton asks treasurer Graham about annual fees

Pam Britton asks treasurer Graham about annual fees





Our Treasurer, Graham Beavan, descended gleefully on newcomers to welcome them and demand a token fee for the proceedings.





The ladies looked stunning, and many a comment was made about Jayne Pegler’s lovely blouse.

Dinner is served

Dinner is served

The canapés came round and were appreciated by all. Just when you thought you were quite full, another really interesting plate came around, which would be a shame to miss.




Kay looks for the hosts

Kay looks for the hosts

Our Chairman, Kay Day, rounded up our hosts to thank them for their generous hospitality and present them with a token our appreciation.







Chairman Kay thanks hosts Bill & Dilys

Chairman Kay thanks hosts Bill & Dilys







Jonathan prepares for the carols

Jonathan prepares for the carols


Around 4pm as the light began to fade, and people drifted towards the living room where Jonathan Pegler was ready at the keyboard to orchestrate the carols and singing of Welsh favourites.

Hugh singing quietly

Hugh singing quietly