Hooray for Ansdellwood

The longest night of the year saw the red carpet premier of the Ansdell Lodge No 3607 Hollywood themed Summer Ball. And what a fabulous night it was. The stars of the show were undoubtedly the master of the lodge Ray Pinkstone and his lovely wife Valerie, who chose a fetching gown to wow her admiring supporters.

Brian Collins (right) responds to his ‘Oscar’ for Lifetime Achievement, with particular reference to raffles.

Brian Collins (right) responds to his ‘Oscar’ for Lifetime Achievement, with particular reference to raffles.

The event was advertised as the Diamonds and Divas Summer Ball. Amusingly, on the night, it was renamed ‘The Ansdell Oscars.’ The venue for this novel and exciting event was one of Blackpool’s hidden gems, the superb Dahlias Kitchen, on Cropper Road. Many Ansdell Lodge and South Fylde stars turned out in a fine array of dazzling costumes. They certainly came out to sparkle and shine in the glitzy lighting and balloon festooned tables.

Entrance was via the red carpet with a champagne and canapé reception, after which the diners sat down to an a la carte banquet consisting of several choices of starter, mains and sweets, at exquisitely themed tables, each of which was named after a Hollywood diva from yesteryear.

Jim Dunn (left) comments on his award for ‘Ritual Improvisation’.

Jim Dunn (left) comments on his award for ‘Ritual Improvisation’.

As ever, at an Ansdell Lodge function, the food and entertainment were second to none. There was an entertaining surprise laying in wait for the guests, however the social committee had devised and hosted a hilarious Oscar ceremony with categories such as ‘Best overacting at an Ansdell Lodge meeting’, ‘Best supporting actor’, ‘Best supporting actress’ and ‘The Lifetime achievement award’. All the winners received a replica Oscar statue after delivering an unrehearsed, off the cuff and often amusing acceptance speech. Much mirth was generated by the frivolity of the heckling and the speakers’ reactions thereto.

The ‘Sparkle Sisters’ provided the live entertainment for the evening. These ladies have an excellent reputation from performances at vintage-themed events and displayed an excellent repertoire. They were greatly enjoyed by all, with dancing continuing until midnight. In time-honoured fashion, breakfast was served on request before the revellers took to their carriages for the home run.

At the end of the evening it was announced by the master of ceremonies John Nicholls, that the amazing sum of £431 had been raised on behalf of Huntingdon’s Disease, the charity nominated by the master’s wife, Valerie. This was regarded as the ‘icing on the cake’ of a very well organised and enjoyable evening.

Pictured clockwise from top left, are: Pam Nicholls accepts her Oscar for owning a magnificent pair of pedigree Dachshunds! Ruth Bradley enjoys her reward for her portrayal of the ‘Vicar of Dibley’ in an Ansdell Christmas production. John Burgess (right) receives his Oscar from John Nicholls for being the ladies’ No 1 pin-up. Bill Hembrow (front left) opposite his wife Ann eagerly awaits their first course with other members and guests. John Bradley (front left) opposite his wife Ruth heads the table. John has obviously drawn the straw to sell raffle tickets!

Pictured clockwise from top left, are: Pam Nicholls accepts her Oscar for owning a magnificent pair of pedigree Dachshunds! Ruth Bradley enjoys her reward for her portrayal of the ‘Vicar of Dibley’ in an Ansdell Christmas production. John Burgess (right) receives his Oscar from John Nicholls for being the ladies’ No 1 pin-up. Bill Hembrow (front left) opposite his wife Ann eagerly awaits their first course with other members and guests. John Bradley (front left) opposite his wife Ruth heads the table. John has obviously drawn the straw to sell raffle tickets!