Reporter: Anne Grimshaw
About 70 people enjoyed the Society’s Christmas event – cheese and wine and a quiz on 12 December. The room in the Masonic Hall had been beautifully set out with coloured tablecloths, pretty table decorations, bottles of wine and crackers. The food was laid out on a side table, the raffle prizes on another and the quiz scoreboard stood waiting.
Lorna Hoey, the Society’s new Chair, welcomed everyone and explained the plan for the evening before handing over to Rod and Lyn Gray who were the quiz master/mistress and scorers. Each team chose a name and then we were off with the quiz rounds. Meanwhile, each table had a ‘marathon’ to be worked on throughout the evening – the answers to cryptic clues were London tube stations. Very clever and original For example, “A rough Channel crossing would…?” Answer: “Turnham Green”. Groan! Groan! More groans greeted the usual cracker jokes “What do you get if you cross Santa with a duck?” Answer: “A Christmas quacker!”
Putting a quiz together requires a lot of thought (I know because I am working on one for the Suffolk Family History Society). You can’t have too many difficult or obscure questions as people get discouraged, you can’t have too many really easy ones as it’s boring because everyone knows the answers. You can’t have just topics that you are interested in. You have to pitch it to the participants. Rod and Lyn got it just right.
When all that was over the raffle was drawn using a speeded up method which was much better than the often long, drawn-out procedure of drawing numbers. One of the prizes was a copy of Peter Thorogood’s new book Inns to Ashes (about Sudbury’s two main hotels – the Rose and Crown and the Four Swans) and a copy of David Burnett’s excellent book Sudbury: the Unlisted Heritage. Peter then acted as auctioneer in disposing of the left-over cheese with the proceeds going to Gainsborough’s House.
A big thank-you to Rosemary Woodward, Tina, Read, Lorna Hoey, Sue Ayres, Rod and Lyn Gray, for all their hard work in the preparation and catering and to Peter Thorogood for use of the Masonic hall at no charge. (I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone there!)