The Adventure Begins
Wildfowling Opening day 2023/24
and oh so much more
By golly that sun was hot when it came up, everything is over grown and needs trimming back, the reins need keetching out and the ponds need cleaning and strimming, were a bit late this year as we're still hay making here.
But Goose and I were just happy to be out and marketing the occasion, I could have called a couple of duck around but they were flappers so I left them be and enjoyed the moment of hearing Thier wings as they took air.
Happy season my fellow whistlers, may I wish you all dry powder and straight barrels.
The day was laid on and hosted by the official light blues club of Somerset, The Adair Club.
The day started off at The Mendip Shooting Grounds restaurant, where everyone tucked into a hearty full English breakfast.
After this Rob Collins the North West Area Rep who organised all of this with the help of secretary Craig Harding, Rob gave a safety brief and laid out the fixtures of the day, Craig gave a talk on The Adair Club shooting competition of the day and score cards were handed out.
We had representatives from other light blues clubs from other provinces too, like Gloucestershire (Porsum Temper) and Worcestershire (Cubit Club), we even had Lady Freemasons from London with us too.
We then headed out for the morning shooting, Rob Collins headed up his coaching team for the novices and those that had not shot before.
Mike Norton The Adair Club Chairman being one of these first time shooters, actually Mike did not like the idea of guns in any form before we started, but under Robs professional guidance and coaching, by the end of the mornings shooting not only did Mike love shooting he was smiling like a Cheshire Cat, there is a video of him dusting clays like a pro, his smile says it all.
The best target of the day was the bolting rat and levelled the playing field even for the most experienced shot, the laughter and banter as the top shots missed these could be heard etching around the shooting ground.
We had Wayne's Brooks (Gloucestershire Mason) son Jasper there with his toy cap gun there dusting clays as was Craig Harding Son Frederick both the boys were treated as stars amongst our group of fine men and masons with partners.
We stopped for a mighty lunch in The Mendip Shooting Grounds and trophy presentation, Craig Harding read out the scores and Rob Collins handed out the trophies.
WBro Ben Maffei Cubit Light Blues Club of Worcestershire took top gun.
2nd place Andy Smith (Cubit Club)
3rd joint place Sam Sheasby (Adair Club) Wayne Brooks (Porsum Semper)
The Wooden Spoon was won by Secretary of The Adair Club Craig Harding, lots of cheers and applause from our group as well as other shooting ground patrons and staff.
A truly wonderful Masonic social days shooting and Camaraderie, the best part we have a couple of men who are interested in joining Freemasonry and would like to know more.
If you would like to know more about becoming a Freemason or coming along to The Adair Club social events and more.
Or Click on the website link to find out more about Somerset Freemasonry www.somersetfreemasons.org
The venue was The Ring O Bells Public House in Nailsea.
So many Brethren and their Wives, Family, Friends and Guests attended from so many lodges across the province of Somerset.
The afternoon started off with Petanque (French Boules) with teams of 3 people, the competitiveness started right from the off, laughter, jovial banter and Camaraderie ensued with cheers from the by standers watching on, we were having so much fun even the pubs patron's joined in with cheering etc.
The Gordano WM WBro Paul Hinkley team reigned supreme, with JD Bro Rob Collins team getting the wooden spoon.
We then had a belly buster hog roast with all the trimmings laid on by The Ring O Bells Public House, the food and indeed the drinks flowed, the rain came and we all retired to the skittle alley for some other pub sports.
First WM WBro Paul Hinkley and EA Bro Jamie Flynn sold raffle tickets and held a bumper raffle that made some much needed funds for the WMs charity the British Heart Foundation.
Bro Rob Collins then organised a Masonic darts match much to the cheers of of the on lookers, Bro Ryan Harman Taylor winning the championship beating Bro Rob Collins in the final with a nearest the bull as they were tied on scores.
We then had a meat draw and a spin the bottle draw laid on by The Ring O Bells.
Bro Rob Collins then organised a Masonic Pool Competition, this really got the brethren going and competitors bantered with each jovially, soon to be initiated Jason Harvey beating Bro Rob Collins in the finals down to one black ball, Jason taking the pot of £1 as the Gordano Lodge pool Champion.
We then convened to the main bar where Bro Jamie Flynn's better half Jesse was set up to entertain us for the evening in her wonderful singing voice.
She sang not only to us Brethren, Wives, Partners, friends and guests but to a packed patron's bar of The Ring O Bells Nailsea.
Some of the Brethren getting up to sing with Jesse too, Bro Ryan Harman Taylor did a UB40 rendition of Kingston Town and Bro Rob Collins did a duet with Jess a classic from Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's Islands In The Stream, all getting a rapturous applause and standing ovations.
The evening was finished off with a jaw dropping performance and you could hear a pin drop, Jesse finished of with several opera recitals, all I can say is there was not a dry eye in the house not even the rough tough rugby boys at the bar, Jesse rocked the joint, keep your eyes out for she is our support artist for our November cabernet evening.
What a truly fantastic Gordano Lodge social event, everyone left smiling, with full bellies and lots of prizes in hand, those of you that did not make it you really missed a fantastic event.
We even have several men wanting to know more about becoming a Somerset Freemason now too.
If you want to know more about becoming a Freemason click on the website link below www.somersetfreemasons.org
Having just attended our awesome Ferret Show I am very proud indeed of my Young Sports Ferret Handlers.
First I must Say a huge thank you and well done to Julia for heading this show up for me and organising everything, I must also extend a hearty thanx to our independent judges Clive and Terry for for judging the show, no easy task as we had some wonderful ferrets and handlers this year.
The normal show classes were great, but for me nothing beats the working classes, that's where you see real ferrets and handlers at their finest, Chris Potter Took the working show Champion and Billy P took the reserve show champion, the working classes get the biggest trophies sponsored by The Ole Hedge Creeper and Really Wild Adventures.
Each of the working ferret Champions as well as the Young Sports received The Ole Hedge Creepers book From The Start To The Heart, this book starts off from the first day at 2 years old when he caught his first rabbit with his ferret Sam, all The Ole Hedge Creepers books are available on the website link below www.theolehedgecreeper.co.uk
I am extra proud of my Young Sports Ambassador Dom for taking 1st place best kit under 12 months, he also scooped coveted First Place Champion Young Handler too as well as many other rosettes of 1st 2nd and 3rds in many other classes with his ferret Loki.
Dolcie another of my young sports took reserve child handler with Tikka , with many other rosettes if 1st 2nd and 3rds in many other classes.
Dom and Dolcie start their first season Ferreting this coming season, so next year watch this space they will have a working ferret trophy and rosettes to to their championship cabinets mark my words.
I am very proud of all my young sports, this ferret show is one not to be missed I tell.
Teach Them Right, Coach Them Well for TOGETHER WE CAN INSPIRE
So I opted for the hush power 4,10 shot gun, this worked very well and after a few shots the birds started to get the message, my Ole Dad joined me too, I think him and uncle spent more time chatting eating cakes and drinking tea more than helping me.
Dom learnt some valuable lessons about farming and more, Dad and Uncle took him for a tore all around the rearing sheds and milking parlour etc, he then came back and had a shooting lesson with me, this was his first time firing a shot gun, the smile on the boys face said it all, he went home smiling like a Cheshire Cat with a pocket full of empty cartridge Cases too.
I decided to give myself a kick up the backside, instead of moping around licking my wounds from a ghastly divorce and other personal trauma I was fighting in my personal life over the last few years.
I heard my Pappy's voice in my head, your a Collins I taught you to be stronger than this and lead where others will follow.
I set myself a goal to lose 10 stone, my mantra was and still is have a good PMA for dedication in myself is my inspiration, or The King Eats First as another inspirational man taught me.
Busting my backside in the gym, giving up my beloved Somersetshire Cider, still with the thought Work Hard, Play Hard, Eat Well, I will achieve my goal.
Covid slowed me up some I was stuck at 8 1/2 stone weight loss, March 2023 medical check up weigh in I was 98kg (15,432 stone) I had a word with myself and said come on boy another hard push is needed.
So in my home gym as much as I could with gruelling work commitments, eat well, leave alcohol alone or cut right down.
WOW it worked I have only gone and achieved it, at today's medical weigh in I hit the scales as half the man I was with a very proud 83kg (13.070227 stone) on the nose, that's beating my goal with over 1/2 a stone to spare.
My muscle tone is back to my fighting weight when I was 20 , so yes I am going to give myself a pat on the back with pride in myself with a big HURRRRRAGH, I done it Pap's just like you told me to do.
I am going to celebrate with a fine meal and a glass of wine, for its proven Hard Work and Dedication pays off.
Now the hard work really starts, that's keeping it off.
fingers crossed next month I will be able to write a more concise and fun article as the game season starts, but for now may I wish all my fellow whistlers, Dry Powder and Straight Barrels.
The Adventure Begins
Wildfowling Opening day 2023/24
and oh so much more
By The Ole Hedge Creeper