Sunday 7th October 2012



For today's breakfast we had all ingredients delivered to our chalets ... it was all there: bacon, eggs, croissants, beans, bread, tea, coffee ... etc.

We had a lovely time cooking it and then eating ...






The plan for today was a trip to Bury St. Edmunds for which there were three double-decker busses 









Our bus driver thankfully had a good sense of hunour ... we had fun singing and collecting things for the treasure hunt ... "Has anyone got a spare pair of knickers to put in this bag? And a message from a loved one and a lighter and a mint ..."

To quote the tourist office:

"Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk is a unique and dazzling historic gem. An important market town with a richly fascinating heritage, the striking combination of medieval architecture, elegant Georgian squares and glorious Cathedral and Abbey gardens provide a distinctive visual charm."









We were met by a tour guide and had a lovely and informative tour round the Abbey. 



We soon made the town look red and purple and many of us vanished in the cafes, because it was pretty cold. 

Others, like the Debonaires, were walking with the tour guides and listening to the history of this old town.






This is part of the old Abbey - well what's left of it ...




This was the place where Cardinal Langton and the Barons started the process that lead to the ratification of the Magna Charta









Our guide, Daphne, telling us all about the Abbey and the building of the Cathedral. Astonishing that the cathedral was only really finished in 2005.



And while the others went to get warmed up and have a coffee, I wanted to see the largest west-window in the UK and the other windows in this lovely church. It is St. Mary's Church where Mary Tudor (Henry VIII's sister) is buried.









The window was donated by the local farmers in 1849 in thanks for a good harvest



After the sight-seeing, we all collected in front of the Athenaeum for a photograph. The photographer climbed the balcony and took it from above.








And this is the resulting picture.

Click here for the article in the press.




After the picture was taken, we all went in for more pictures and a traditional tea in the hall.







We will hopefully get some more pictures from the photographers, so watch this space!





The Debonaires ready for some tea ...









The Queen Bee and the Mayor and her party at the VIP table



After tea, we all wait for the busses to take us home, via the Wyken Gardens.








.. after some more photographs - here the Queen Bee Dorry is posing - the busses arrive.










on the bus Ninelle is checking the bag from the treasure hunt to see if everyone got all their things back and Betty is watching ...





We went in the shop at the Garden Center and then we just sat and enjoyed the day!

Eileen is checking the poem we wrote for the Batty Bees "Thank You" present we will give them tonight!







Soon we were back at Centre Parcs and I am on my way to the cabin with my hired "geriatric go-cart", which turned out to be a real blessing!




In the evening we enjoyed a BBQ and there was plenty of food!


And soon there were nearly 200 happy hatters munching away.








There was always fresh tea and coffee to be had









Then, after a loud, fun sing-a-long....









 the Bardwell Batty Bees  performed some really funny little sketches!


Even the Queen had dressed up  ...



The evening, like the previous two, was a lot of fun and nobody really wanted to go to bed that night ...









So now The Hat  - seen here in its new box - is passed to "The Scintilating Sophisticats" to host "Swanning around Stratford" in 2013








Monday 8th October 2012

On this last morning I got up early and packed my things and then I had to take my scooter back. I decided to take the camera with me and have a last look round.

This is the cabin I shared with the German "Red Hat Power Ladies" and with Queen Opal, but it isn't so different from the other cabins. They are all nestled in amongst the tall pines. 










A path leads to the adjoining cabins. And there are foot paths all through the park. The only sharing pedestrians have to do is with cyclists.












Every where there are maps, so you can find your way around the park. 






There are play areas for the kids ...





... and big kids











The lake looks tranquil this morning, but in the day time you can take part in all manner of water sports here. 











If you look closely, you can see a cable way for water ski






We met for a last breakfast at Hucks. 







There is water everywhere ...

We lingered afterwards, as none of us was in a real hurry to leave this lovely place and the weekend we had sooooo enjoyed.





But we had to leave eventually.



And after a few hours drive and an unscheduled d-tour through Cambridge, we wanted to have a break. So we stopped at Coventry Services ... and look who had also stopped there!



Betty is a member of the Absolutely Fabulous Ladybirds of Thornbury

We had to have a coffee together ...











So for me this weekend ended in a Danish pastry and Pumpkin Spice Latte ... with cream ... 





We had a wonderful time and want to thank Queen Dorry and the Bardwell Batty Bees for all their hard work, for their friendly reception, for all the fantastic ideas and all the work that went into organizing and running this convention and for the brilliant performance on the last night!

We had a ball ... and we can't wait for the next convention...

Now where have I put my money box?