2004 Pilgrimage Reunion - DABCEC, Crawley - 5 to 7 November 2004
A select group of pilgrims gathered on Friday evening, and took refreshment at the Irish club before bedding down in DABCEC. The snoring reached 8.7 on the Richter scale, necessitating a move by Bridget to bring the decibels below the threshold of the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Saturday morning we rose, breakfasted and were joined by further pilgrims as we headed out on our reunion walk.
The backmarkers were cheeky as ever.
Bill, our host for the weekend strides out with his son and future daughter-in-law.
At the first pub we passed the picnic tables were hibernating
Then we headed into Goffs Park
Alongside the railway (no trains - sorry Jules)
Over the main road
And down the side
Then the going got more countrified
as we headed towards Ifield
Here we stopped at St Margaret's Church for a Eucharist
Followed by coffee
The lectern hanging looks like a candidate symbol for our next pilgrimage, from Canterbury to Winchester dedicated to the Holy Spirit.
The Rector made us very welcome
Back on the paths, our route took us past the end of Gatwick Airport.
And so the Half Moon at Charlwood where tables were set out for lunch, and Ann was looking for love (she found Maurice)
Meanwhile Patrick peed in my Guinness!
The backmarkers stayed for desserts.
We headed to the adjacent church of St Nicholas.
Sue led a reflection, linking last years pilgrimage with next through readings from the death of Moses and the commissioning of Joshua.
The Rector told us the history of the church, including the ancient wall paintings (this panel showing St Nicholas rescuing children chopped up by some butchers).
The weathervane shows St Nicholas' pawnbroker's balls (the bags of gold he gave to 3 girls to form a dowry) and mitre.
On the walk back we passed a windmill
And picked up a lost dog
Then headed back in drizzle and failing light
Though we did (just about) see a train for Julian
And so, back to DABCEC for tea, biscuits, and a slide show by David.
There followed an excellent supper cooked by Frances and her helpers - one advantage of not having a band booked is that there's no rush to clear away, so we sat and chatted and imbibed.
Monica and Bill caught up on old times...
whilst Maurice mellowed...
But peace and quiet must come to an end, and the musicians started a sing song (which is quite a traditional pilgrimage evening activity)
though viewing it over the laptop is perhaps a newer thing!
And the laptop distracted our percussionist and singers - the three colleens admired their pictures (see above), though Pauline hurried off in search of support, and John and David reflected on last summer's walk in a more conventional manner.
With the clock well past midnight, we slipped off to our beds.
Next morning we were mostly up in good time, but Jonny was unwise and stayed in his sleeping bag. He was therefore "Patricked" - carted off bodily and buried under the furniture - a shock for Louise as she tried to leave the Ladies.
Still, even Jonny was up and we enjoyed a good breakfast before we dispersed - some to the Friary for 9:30 Mass, others homeward, with memories of a happy and fun reunion. Well done Bill!
Pictures by Aidan Simons & John Chenery