My wife, Mary, and I set off for Haling Dene with a bag of Old Hall in bubble wrap and a list of queries. The essential first stop had to be the tea and cakes - remembered from previous years for their quality and outstanding value! Then a quick search around the sales stalls to see if we could spot a couple of items we particularly wanted - a Mayfair teapot (no luck) and a Balmoral teapot; I had bought a Balmoral tea set for my collection at Mo's Open Day a few weeks earlier but Mary wanted a similar teapot for everyday use (success here).
We then started picking Nigel's brain on a couple of items about which we had previously corresponded by email. With so many people wanting to talk to him it was obvious I couldn't reasonably monopolise his time with my long list of queries so we attached ourselves to two of the other experts - Quizmaster Harry Gardiner and Production Engineer Paul Bakewell. And a very informative and entertaining hour or more this turned out to be. The wealth of knowledge these two guys have is amazing. Only one of my queries was not resolved on the day but Nigel very kindly researched this issue further and emailed me the answer a couple of days later.
Perhaps the most useful other feature of the Fair was the chance to see such a huge range of items all in one place, particularly some which are not what I would call "traditional" Old Hall stainless steel tableware and which I would probably not have looked at twice in a charity shop. I will in future!!
We had also booked the evening meal for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed the excellent food and good company - experiences we will be hoping to repeat in future years.
Thanks for the effort put in by all involved in the Summer Fair and evening meal.
Nigel's note - delighted you both enjoyed the day and many congratulations to Bernard on his MBE awarded for 40 years service as a Health & Safely Inspector
Click here to see some photos of the 2018 Summer Fair.