Summer spectacular at the first Epwood Festival

A highly entertaining and successful summer fayre which became denominated as the inaugural Epworth Country Festival was held in the grounds of Ray Moorcroft’s home. Ray is the current master of the Woodend Lodge No 5302 which meets at Liverpool Masonic Hall. The idea for the festival came into being when brethren from Liverpool Epworth Lodge No 5381 visited the Woodend Lodge installation and a number of conversations took place around the festive board about what could be done in the summer month’s to keep in touch.

Pictured left: Carl Futter starts the boules competition. Pictured right: The three Quayle sisters catch up on the gossip.

Pictured left: Carl Futter starts the boules competition. Pictured right: The three Quayle sisters catch up on the gossip.

Ray mentioned his place was available and he would be delighted to host a joint event for the lodge’s, and so the name Epwood came into being for the event. Such was Ray’s enthusiasm that he even went into town to purchase a trophy to be awarded to the winner of a then yet to be decided upon type of event, the Epwood Trophy was thus born.

The well attended event started mid-afternoon with drinks and vol-au-vents on arrival and a chance to circulate and meet friends old and new within the garden and with the glorious weather on the day a nice glass of Pimm’s seemed to be the favourite of the ladies. Each person was also requested to fill in a name card and place in an open box, the purpose of which was soon to be revealed when the cards where drawn out to form a number of six person teams.

Each team moved around the garden and paddock playing a number of games and scoring points, the highest scoring team to receive the Epwood Trophy. The games were quite simple, darts, boules, mini-golf, tower building, throwing bean bags at a target and the most difficult of all, throwing ping pong balls into glass jars. Then to the final game and which proved to be the most entertaining and hilarious of all, limbo dancing in the Caribbean Cabin.

Pictured left: Decision time at the limbo contest. Did she do it right or not? Pictured right: Centre of attraction, the Caribbean Cabin hosts the limbo.

Pictured left: Decision time at the limbo contest. Did she do it right or not? Pictured right: Centre of attraction, the Caribbean Cabin hosts the limbo.

After all the points had been added, the announcement for the games eventual winning team was greeted with great enthusiasm, (well by some anyway), being the Mollington Marauders consisting of captain Tracie Tucker with Linda Cuthill, Graham Ledsom, Brian Christie and Arthur Foster. On being passed the trophy the manner of receiving it soon became reminiscent of Wembley 1966 with Linda Cuthill performing an outstanding caricature of Nobby Stiles.

Throughout the event the participants were kept well fed and watered, courtesy of a magnificent barbecue and bar laid on by Ray and his wife Janine with great support from their family and friends. As the day started to give way to dusk the bonfire was lit attracting quite a few to the ever growing flames rising up. After a time everyone retired back to the Caribbean Cabin for the last drinks of the evening where the two masters, Ray Moorcroft of Woodend Lodge and George Christie of the Liverpool Epworth Lodge took the opportunity of thanking everyone for their support for the event which hopefully may turn into a regular event. Indeed it has been rumoured that certain individuals have already gone into training, particularly for the boules and darts, perhaps a handicap system may need to be introduced for next time.

Pictured left: The winning team, from left to right, are: Graham Ledsom, Linda Cuthill, Brian Christie, Tracie Tucker, Arthur Foster (with mum Sarah) and mine host Ray Moorcroft. Pictured right: The bonfire starts to draw in the crowd as the sun sets.

Pictured left: The winning team, from left to right, are: Graham Ledsom, Linda Cuthill, Brian Christie, Tracie Tucker, Arthur Foster (with mum Sarah) and mine host Ray Moorcroft. Pictured right: The bonfire starts to draw in the crowd as the sun sets.