As we bid farewell to 2023, let's raise a glass to the incredible memories and milestones that defined the year. Before we dive into the highlights, let's take a look at some impressive stats. Over the last 365 days you had consumed:
- 10,679 pints of Madri
- 3,519 pints of Stones
- 2,501 pints of Carling
- 2,512 pints of Coors
- 1,346 pints of Guinness
- 179 bottles and 393 glasses of Prosecco
- 253 bottles of wine
- 3,048 glasses of wine
- 1,677 bottles of J2O
- 2,319 packets of crisps
- 650 bags of nuts
- 575 bags of mini cheddars
- 404 bags of pork scratchings
- 4 Pernod
Well done, everyone (except the Pernod drinkers)!
Highlights of 2023:
The year kicked off with the Chantrey room refurbishment, the most significant change since 1964. Kudos to Steve White for managing this transformative project, resulting in a space cherished by all. Thanks to the staff, members and committee for their support and financial contributions.
April brought a delightful upgrade – a new Pizza oven and the introduction of draft Guinness. Now, some may argue we could end the highlights there, but there's more…
May was an eventful month. May marked the departure of Joyce from her stewardess role. The King's Coronation set a new record for the club's busiest day, creating lasting memories. At the Annual General Meeting, Anne Wilks stepped down after eight years as club president. Our gratitude to Anne, and a warm welcome to Andy Phipps, who became the club's 20th president. New committee members, Daniel Wall and Neil Edwards, joined, succeeding Steve White and Nick Faulkner. John and Brett Naylor organized a successful Gin Night, with a lively performance by Mad About Mandy. May also blessed us with a copyright challenge involving a picture of pork scratchings, swiftly handled with a strong legal response.
In June, the Ladies section embarked on a memorable Skipton Market trip with some getting stuck on a boat and others rescuing a stranded lady who had misplaced her coach.
As the summer went on, you all made good use of the best beer garden in Sheffield before autumn began setting in. We held an open day in September and welcomed 16 new members to the club. September also marked the launch of the membership review - thank you to all who responded with encouraging messages and valuable feedback.
October was another memorable month. The October rain flooded the cellar, leading to a commendable clean-up effort. October brought the sad news of the passing of Eric Shepperd, club president from 2004-2014. We said farewell to Kevin and Joyce, the club stewards since 2018, triggering a united effort from the committee and friends to sustain the club. They worked unpaid bar shifts, took food hygiene courses and put on aprons to keep the Friday night regulars fed. Brett became chief beer cellar manager, front of house manager and perpetrator of the "Naylor effect". Brian spent cold dark mornings waiting for 6 am deliveries and Andy, Adam, Sue and Simon became recruitment specialists. A big thankyou to Peter Tickhill who stepped into his old shoes as a head chef to fulfil a booking. If we weren't busy enough, we also launched the members business directory on the website.
November's EGM saw full members voting in favour of selling the rear car park - check out Right Move if you've got a few spare quid. Dave Bratherton won the first snooker tournament to be held at the club in years. It was a great success thanks to organisers Nick Faulkner and Adam Whitaker. A successful Christmas Market wrapped up the month on a high note with mulled wine and plenty of Christmas joy.
December was mostly spent interviewing for the club steward/stewardess role. We worked through approximately 30 applications and aranged10 interviews. After a couple of no-shows and some strong candidates, we were delighted to offer the role to Hannah Binks. Hannah is being shown the ropes and I'm sure you'll all make her feel welcome.
December also saw our first successful joint venture with Dukes in the Park who put on a fantastic Christmas Lunch. We look forward to working with them and others in the future.
Beyond the Highlights:
Our Social Events are thriving. Bridge club and line dancing were well attended. Thursday Coffee mornings and the Tuesday Tea dance experienced growing popularity. The Northern Soul nights even reached capacity. The ladies’ section had a busy year with a remarkable donation of over £3,500 to the club. We don't know how they do it!
Now onto the thank yous….
Firstly, where would we be without our team. Let's say a big thank you to the 2023 bar staff - Thomas, Grace, Tom, Graham, Lucy, Huey and Ben. And to our cleaning team - Laura, Nicky and Sharon. Thank you to Simon Harrison for keeping the grass mowed to perfection, and Ronnie Mitchell for his grounds keeping and fish pond maintenance.
Finally, a big thank you to the Executive Committee et al. I defy you to find a more friendly and selfless bunch of fellows anywhere else in the kingdom. You're lucky to have them. Take a bow Andy Phipps, Anne Wilks, Sue Moulson, Brian Moulson, Jim Harrison, Joan Harrison, Simon Harrison, Brett Naylor, Ray Corbett, Ron Mitchell, Adam Whitaker, Daniel Wall, Neil Edwards, and last but not least, our accountant, Michael Ellin.
As we bid adieu to 2023, let's express our gratitude to the entire Norton House Country Club community for making it a remarkable year. Wishing you all a wonderful New Year, and we look forward to more fun times together in 2024.
Happy New Year!