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On Thursday 21st November at 10.30 Paula Morris took part in a sponsored charity abseil in aid of the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB). The abseil took place down the 150ft high (14 floors) Fountain House, on Fenchurch Street in the City of London. It was very cold, windy and raining when Paula began her training on the roof of the building. Paula Says: ” There were over 260 of us taking part over two days, we were very lucky as the weather had been horrible with strong winds for the previous couple of days, I thought I might get blown off the side of the building!. Initially I was very nervous, I had trouble sleeping the night before and was feeling quite sick with nerves. I was very surprised. When I got to the top of the building, my nerves disappeared! I had about 10 minutes training in the equipment and how to manoeuvre down the building. I had done one abseil before, but I was only ten at the time, and that was down a purpose built 20ft high wall, so climbing 150ft down the side of the building was a completely different sensation. The journey down the building took me just over two minutes. It was a bit slippery because of the rain, but was really great fun. I kept stopping to take advantage of the amazing views across London. Paula raised over £650 for the RNIB and her firm very kindly gave her a cheque for £500 to give to a charity of her choice in honour of her hard work and bravery. Paula chose to give the money to Bexley Deaf Club where she has been coming for nearly two years with her boyfriend Graham. She says: ” The Deaf club have been very supportive of me since I started, many members feel like family. I gave the money to Deaf club to buy some games and equipment for the children.

Belated Golden Jubilee BBQ party held at Whitehall centre on Saturday 6th July. About 90 people enjoyed the BBQ party. Peter Brown the BBQ Chef cooked all the meats and chicken for 90 people with help from Carol Beecham. The children enjoyed the games after they had the BBQ foods, and also a game for adults called Mr & Mrs, which was great game by asking 10 questions to the couple who can’t see each others and then need an answer from other to see if they give the same answered to gain a point. We also had the similar game for the children who had brother and sister. This time we had no trouble with DJ equipments (Thank God!!) after we were having a problem last time in February for Valentine Disco and the New Year Eve Party.

Oh what a night it was! Everybody thoroughly enjoyed themselves at the festive party here in Whitehall Centre. There were few of us dressed up as 'Cowboys' and one bravely came along as an Indian! Thanks goodness there were no gunfights on this night! Mervyn Wright won the male best dressed cowboy with his hilarious sense of humour costume, Veronica Savory won the female adult, whilst Daniel Clements won the boy best dressed cowboy and Sara Osbourne won the girl best dressed. Amazingly not many of us were dancing on this night all too busy chatting with each other! There were raffles being drawn with so many eye-catching, mouth-watering prizes. Thanks to Sarah Shering for organising the raffles. The bar was very busy as there were many of us wanted to drink merrily! The feast was absolutely 'yummy' with cowboy-themed food such as baked potates, chicken, baked beans, bangers, etc together with some thirst-quenching gateau. A very special thanks to those who worked really hard on this night making it a successfully New Year party ever. Let this year's party be a biggest and better one and hopefully we will have a night to remember. Watch out for this space coming near you later this year…. We wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year for this forthcoming 2003!

On Sunday 28th April 2002, we had a ramble at Westerham in Kent. We were very lucky to have a mixture of weather, it being with sunny and then cloudy but no rain. 13 people and two dogs turned up to join the ramble. We started out at Darenth car park, sharp at 11.00am. We walked through the church courtyard and then through into Westerham Town Centre, and saw the statue of Winston Churchill where he used to live near there. Then we walked through the middle of the terrace house, which was a short cut to the countryside. Then we walk up the hill and stopped to see a beautiful view at North Downs way. Richard Monk was the ramble leader, but unfortunately we were lost after one mile. So we stopped and asked the farmer who own the land to find out which way was to Crockham hill. He started to laugh at us because we were lost. We explained him that we want to go back in a different way to join the footpath. We found it after the farmer gave us the direction but it was nice walk thought. It was good for us to get some extra walking when we were lost. It was interesting to see the wild animals and birds. After all, we walked on to the footpath through the woods, which was lovely and full of green leaves, shrubs and trees. We walked across the road and carry onto the footpath in a very large wood. We walked about one and half hours until we found a pub then we stopped for a break. Everybody had a nice drink, some had pints of beer and a hot meal from the pub, and some brought their own foods and drinks. After about an hour break, we started out on our walk again but in a different way onto the footpath where we found the road and it was a shortcut back to Westerham Town Centre. It was lovely old town by the stream, and then we stopped at a pretty cafe for cup of tea or coffee. We were there for about half an hour before we set off home. It was really a great day out, and a wonderful walk.

On Saturday evening 13th April 2002, 30 adults and 12 children enjoyed 2 games of 10 pin bowling centre at Bexleyheath. The winner for men is Peter Brown who scored 309 for both games.The winner for women is Alison Lanaway who scored 234 for both games.It was lovely evening and the atmosphere was great till about 11pm. See the first picture, I thought he was going to hit me with his fist instead of play proper bowling!

Harvey Clements organised a trip to Southend-on-Sea for the day by a coach of 36 people. About half each of 36 people went to an Adventure Island and Sea life Centre. The Sea life Centre has all various of large and small creatures, which was quite interested. Unfortunately, the great white shark was not in the mood to eat Peter Culver! The other half of us went to an Adventure Island, which was good fun especially lovely weather. The children enjoyed all the rides and there was no long queue to wait for a ride. The coach had to leave car park at 5.30 so we had a few drinks in the back garden of the pub in Bexleyheath until late evening.

46 Deaf people including children met up outside Crook Log Swimming pool at 5.30am on Saturday 2nd November 2002. We left at 6am and arrived at Folkestone ready to catch the Euroshuttle to France. We had 30 minutes free time to grab a cup of coffee and some breakfast. While we were waiting, we were given free bags of Harry Potter Sherbet sweets. These were magic ones where the colour of your tongue changes. Then it was soon time to return the coach. The coach drove through passport control and then onto the shuttle train. It was a moving experience, watching the driver drive into the shuttle and park up. We were allowed to get off the coach and stand in the carriage that we was in and chat during the journey to France. For many deaf members it was their first time on a euroshuttle. It was a fairly smooth journey, and it lasted 35 minutes. The train travelled in the dark tunnel for about 20 minutes. We chatted and took some photographs. Upon arrival at France we drove to Citi Europe to do our shopping. We had until 3.30pm to do our bit of shopping. Some wandered off in groups and some with their own families. Many people bought wines and spirits, and foods from the hypermarket 'Carrefour.' The shopping centre was crowded with shoppers from the UK and France. The staff of the hypermarket wore Halloween costume, and it was really nice. Upon returning back to the coach, the driver drove to another shop so that some people could buy cigarettes and tobacco cheaply. By 5pm we were on our way back to the Euroshuttle. Again, we had half hour free time, and we were able to any last minute shopping in the tax free shop. Another freebie was given out… Free sports bags if you bought something from the tax free shop! Our journey back was lovely with more photographs taken and to sing 'Happy Birthday' to David Foot who turned 21 again. He blew out a lovely birthday cake of a football pitch. We returned back to Crook Log Swimming Pool by 8pm.

Harvey Clements

Trip to France – City Europe On Saturday 2nd November about 40 people went to the France trip to City Europe in Calais. We all met at Bexleyheath in the early hours of the morning and travelled to the Euro Tunnel by coach. We then took the train into France. For many people, it was their first time and they were amazed how quickly it took to load the coach and arrive in France. When we arrived in City Europe, people went their own way to do what they wanted. Some people went straight to the drinks! Others went for some lunch or began shopping. After a few hours of shopping, the coach driver took us to the village of Calais, where we were able to buy some cigarettes and stop off for a cup of coffee. Then it was home time so we went back on the train. However there was one more surprise – David Foot was surprised by his family with a 'football' birthday cake to celebrate his 36th birthday. Happy Birthday David! Finally, I and I'm sure the others would like to say a BIG Thank You to Harvey Clements for working hard to arrange such a fantastic day!

Karen Wright

On Sunday 29th September 2002, At the beginning of the day, everyone was worried about the trip as there was a heavy fog casting across London. However, within the hour, the fog had gone and the trip turned out to be a great day, filled with lots of bargains! Most of the group met at the Greenwich Pier, whilst a few others met at the London Eye, near Westminster. From the Greenwich Pier, the group took a boat trip along the River Thames to Westminster Pier. We were lucky enough to get the boat fair reduced. We all sat at the top of the boat to get the best view. The sun was shining and was surprisingly warm. We managed to see many famous landmarks of London such as the Cleopatra's Needle, Tower of London and London Bridge. When we arrived, we all walked along Westminster Bridge, where the London Eye was. At the London Eye, we had disabled access; therefore we did not have to queue for long. The London Eye is 442 foot high and it takes about 30 minutes to go round. At the top, there was plenty to see, as you were able to see for 20 miles! We all had fun trying to spot buildings and guessing where landmarks were. On the way down we missed the photos because we could not hear the announcement. So we all decided to complain, and got to go on the London Eye again later in the evening, for free! So we all went our separate ways, some decided to have lunch, the children (and some adults!) went into the arcades and some went shopping. We all met and went up the London Eye again, this time remembering to stand at the right places, and got a brilliant photo! At the end of a long and tiring day, we all walked back to Charing Cross station and made our way home.