Reports
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July 2017
Vintage Tea Party
Picture, Ruth Blandford
Ruth Blandford is the last of our original 'Lay Pastors' set up 34 years ago to assist the vicar in the running of the parish. On Saturday 1st July she was our latest 'Castaway' to share her 'Dymock Island Discs' at our annual 'Vintage Tea Party' held, as in the recent past, in Dymock Church. Clearly she was cast away on a tropical desert island because the weather was unusually hot.

However, the temperature in the church was pleasantly cool as we shared in a vintage style afternoon tea of sandwiches and cake whilst listening to her recollections of a long-running association with our local community, interspersed with her choice of 8 records. (Return to top)
Summer Serenade Concert
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A report will appear here.
Mens Breakfast
Picture, 'Blood Bike'
The July Men's breakfast was later than usual because of holidays. As a result, we weren't able to meet in the village pub as usual but had to meet in the Parish Hall next door and, for the first time in nearly 10 years, cater for ourselves; so we had 'bacon sarmies', with toast and marmalade instead of a 'Full English' fried breakfast.

Our guest was Mr Chris Fairbank, the chairman of 'Severn Freewheelers', a group of volunteer bikers who deliver emergency blood, breast milk and x-rays etc for the NHS, especially 'out of hours' at night, and the weekends. He was joined by one of their drivers who, though on duty, hadn't been called out yet so came on his bike in case he was called during their presentation, which gave us the opportunity to go outside and look at his powerful BMW machine.

They explained that they don't use their own bikes but special 'blood bikes' - with flashing blue light and siren, except as volunteers they have to comply with traffic law so can't break the speed limit. On at least one occasion this resulted in a complaint from the public who wondered why they were waiting at a red light instead of going through! Although they deliver blood, they said the most common delivery is human breast milk from ladies who have excess and provide the source, it's used for babies in distress. Apparently a baby is 70% more likely to recover if fed breast milk rather then 'formula'.

They said the bikes are bought second hand - they cost £14,500 each and only last 18 months because of the high milage they do. They have 6 bikes, largely paid for by voluntary contributions, and put about £30 of petrol in each every week. You have to be over 30 and passed the advanced driving test before you can drive one, although younger people help in the office. (Return to top)