For the few who have not heard of The Second Friday Lunch Club (so named because it takes place on the second Friday of each month) it was formed many years ago to reach out to people who were living on their own, maybe feeling lonely, isolated or perhaps didn’t drive. We usually arrive about 12.30 pm for a 12.45 pm start.From the beginning it proved a huge success. Our members were, and still are, able to enjoy a lunch in our village hall prepared and cooked by volunteers. In the early days members paid £5 for a lunch which consisted of a fruit juice, a choice of two main courses and also a choice of two puddings. Lastly, they enjoyed a cup of coffee or tea. Nowadays members pay £10 which is still very good value.On alternate months there is an outing to a pub and as we all know, a meal out would be hard to find for £10, although this is what our members pay, and the rest is subsidised by the club.That of course means fundraising. We are fortunate that we get a very welcome boost from the annual Village Fete, and we have in the past tried several ideas to increase our funds. As well as cooking many of the lunches over the years our past Chairwoman has successfully held a nearly new stall from her home and followed it by doing the same at the Village Fete. She has also hosted coffee mornings and tea parties. Sadly, for the lunch club Susan has now decided she needs a break, and she will be much missed.Last month’s lunch was again in our village hall. As ever, everything went very smoothly.But, I wonder, do we ever stop to think just how much planning goes into making sure it is always such a special occasion.At the beginning of each year the lunch club committee get together to decide who does what. Firstly, the village hall has to be booked for alternate months of the year. Someone has to book and negotiate a deal for the pub lunch outings.Menus are discussed and volunteers then get together to decide who does what.On the day of the lunch in the village hall, husbands of the helpers turn out to put up the tables and set out the chairs. They return again after lunch is over to take down and stow away the tables and chairs.Tables are laid with cutlery and glassware and there is always a posy of fresh flowers on each table. As the lunchers arrive, they are offered a drink of juice. Once everyone is settled a helper goes from table to table to take orders. When the coffee arrives, it is time for the raffle. While all this is going on, washing up is taking place in the kitchen and it is not uncommon to be washing and wiping up for about 35 people.I am sure the helpers are not looking for praise or thanks for producing first class home-cooked food but at the beginning of another year we want them to know that their efforts on our behalf are very much appreciated.This month will be an outing to one of our favourite venues, The Giant Inn, Cerne Abbas on Friday 9 February.If you haven't already done so and would like to join everyone for lunch at The Giant, please let Bridget Hodges know (01300 345493).You do not have to be resident in Buckland Newton to join us, so even if you live in one of the outlying villages do get in touch if you would like to make new friends.
Could you help?
The team of volunteers who organise the lunch club are looking for new people to help.Once every two months the team cooks a meal for about 25 people which is served in the village hall and on the alternate months the club goes out to a nearby pub.The jobs for the village hall months are: laying up the tables; serving the food; cooking or preparing one of the dishes or vegetables; clearing the tables; washing up; tidying the kitchen; chauffeuring a member and having a good old chat to everyone there.It is a lovely way of getting to know some of the older members of our community and hearing their tales, including what life was like in Buckland Newton in their youth. So, if you have any of the skills needed and a couple of hours or so to spare on the second Friday of the month, we look forward to hearing from you.