Fifty-one years and still going strong – 29 September 2021

“God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December” – J. M. Barrie

Wednesday nights have always been the highlight of my week, during AYR WRITERS’ CLUB seasons, but last night was something extra special.

A chance to applaud competition successes from 2020-21, a celebration of the Club’s 50th Anniversary – plus an extra year – not to forget that we were meeting one another, face-to-face for the first time in eighteen months: this was a night to remember!

With two large rooms in the Savoy Park Hotel magnificently decorated (thanks mainly to Marion Husband), a table heavily laden with trophies, a generous selection of raffle prizes, and an anniversary cake – in the shape of a book, of course – plus an archive display, reflecting published successes over 50 years, there was so much in which to delight.

Masked members arrived, providing an unexpected game of guess who, followed by shrieks of delight when identities were revealed. Friendships were reignited, and new members, only familiar to us in head and shoulder ‘portraits’ online, were there to meet in flesh and blood, including Jean, all the way from Coll.

Jeanette, our President (starting her second term), provided a warm welcome and introduction to the evening, which flew by.

Long-time member, Helena Sheridan, started the proceedings with the first of her two specially commissioned poems, The Legacy of Ayr Writers’ Club, which touched perfectly on just what has made the Club so special and successful over the years.

As we chose from the menu, and ate the delicious food, time allowed members to chat, and browse the Archive collection between courses, with a little drink too, so that we were all relaxed and happy to cheer members receiving awards! With Nigel on hand to photograph these achievements, we will have more evidence for our archive of an extra special year.

Raffle time prompted holding of breath, hilarious disputes about the colour of tickets in the dim lighting, and lots of happy faces, delighted with their luck – even though my husband did end up with a lovely purse!

With our celebration cake ceremoniously cut by Nigel Ward, the evening was perfectly rounded off with Helena’s second commission, a more light-hearted, and very pertinent piece of poetry, entitled A Write Dilemma. I will not give away the punchline, but it certainly generated a groan of recognition from our cacophony of writers!

A final, lovely touch was the opportunity to purchase a copy of this poem, in the form of a tea towel, ably illustrated by our own Maggie Bolton, with funds going to the club coffers. Such a generous idea – thank you, ladies.

With votes of thanks completed, suddenly it was time to pack up prizes, pieces of cake, and raffle rewards, before heading for home.

If you were there, then I hope, like me, you left with the warm glow of friendship, and a surge of pride to belong to such a special, successful club.

If you did not manage along, you were missed.

Here’s to meeting in person regularly, soon, and to the next 50 years.

Carolyn O’Hara

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *