We are a social group for men who work from home or are partially or fully retired and most of us have some link to St Mary’s. We first met as a group in 2000 and we organise various activities, including our monthly lunches which we take turns to host in our homes or sometimes at a pub. Our lunches are a way to regularly get together and enjoy good company. They are simple affairs and we all contribute food or drink to share the load.
We have visited historical buildings, gardens, galleries and museums and been to markets, theatres and concerts. We sometimes eat out or go on a boat trip. We are joined by our wives and partners for these activities.
Many of us walk our best known paths together, like the Thames Path and the Ridgeway, in a series of stages – not all in one go!
For up to date information on this month’s planned activities, please read our NEWSLETTER.
About once a month a men’s lunch is held at a member’s house. The host provides bread, salad, glasses, plates, cutlery etc and those attending bring wine, cold meat, cheese, fruit, pate etc. Sometimes the host might provide something in addition eg soup, lasagne or a pudding. This is not essential and the whole idea is to keep the lunches simple, otherwise some members might be put off from hosting a lunch. Occasionally, particularly in the winter when we are not able to move out into the garden, the lunches are held in one of the local pubs.
In addition to the lunches we organise a wide variety of activities and our wives join in most of these and probably the highlights of these have been our walks of the Thames Path – 185 miles, the Ridgeway – 87 miles and we are now nearing the completion of our walk of the North Downs Way – 153 miles. These walks and the associated lunch venues have been most efficiently planned and organised by Brian and Janice Turk.
Over the years we have had a number of other walks, mainly around London and in Surrey. We have visited Oxford, cathedrals, churches, gardens, markets, museums, art galleries, theatres, concerts, historical houses, eaten out at number of local restaurants, had a number of boat trips and summer drinks parties. Our wives have joined us on all of these activities. For the last three years we have had a Christmas lunch, two of which have been held at San Remo in Castelnau and last year at the recently refurbished King’s Head in Roehampton.
Each Autumn we organise a work party to clear rubbish etc at the back of St Mary’s and Kitson Hall and assist in the preparations for the Christmas Fair and from time to time our members act as stewards and bar attendants at the various events held at St Mary’s. For several years we have supported the charity Combat Stress and have contributed over £2,000 to its funds and for the last two years we have held a Coffee Morning in aid of the Under Tree Schools in South Sudan.