Saturday, 29 December 2018

Lakeside - a legend right on my doorstep

High time I wrote something here so – what comes to mind?

First off, Happy New Year to you! Never before can I remember such a start to a year, when we as a nation hardly know what to wish for any more. For Parliament to have broken up for their Christmas recess has left us with the biggest, most complex end of chapter cliffhanger - and who knows how this political saga will unravel?
Closer to home - for me at least – I thought I’d just drop you a note about an article I wrote for the January issue of Surrey Life.  It has been in the shops since around 20 January and can still be found in Waitrose and a few other discerning Surrey shops   Or, you can subscribe online. 
You may know I used to write a regular column for the magazine on people who breathe life into villages and help to bring small communities together – separate incidentally, from the Surrey Community Heroes awards where achievements are slightly different. It was a fabulous theme for me, getting out and about unearthing and helping to acknowledge salt of the earth types, some of whom have indeed gone on to gain further recognition and awards. You can find all of these in the Surrey Life archives under the title Notes from a Small Village. 
I guess it ran its course and after a couple of years this wound up but then I was able to pitch for longer features. I wrote an article on Surrey choirs in August which made quite a splash on the pages.
The Tardis comes to mind - inside, the cabaret suite is HUGE!
The one in January is about Lakeside Complex in Frimley Green and the life and times of its founder and owner, Bob Potter OBE, who has just celebrated his 90 birthday. I won’t tell you what this is about exactly as this would spoil what holds a few surprises for the average reader. Need I say more?
Just this - it was tricky to write because of the timing. Bob Potter and his team were waiting to hear from the British Darts Organisation for confirmation that they would be hosting the January 2019 championship –  as it has for the past 33 years. For legal and contractual reasons to do with TV coverage they were prevented from talking to me until word was officially out and up on their website. 
The editor only wanted the article to go into January issue if they had this Darts contract to give it a topical hook.  After a few failed interviews, where people did not materialise  – which at the time I could not quite understand – I saw Bob the day before the editor's deadline date. By this time I had virtually written the article!!
Anyway, it all turned out OK in the end – so I hope you enjoy reading it, especially those who live in the area.  My husband and I, and son who happened to be visiting, were invited to attend a show – which was Anita Harris. It was a class act – with excellent supporting musicians. The only sad thing was that there were so few people in the audience. I hope next time I go there will be more of a crowd – this club that had its heyday in the 1980s still has a lot to offer. For me – within walking distance. How could I have missed it all these years? I could kick myself!
By another strange and most unlikely coincidence, in early December my husband and I were on the cabaret stage where so many big stars of yesteryear have trodden the boards, performing 16 songs with Camberley Rock Choir.  Supported by family and friends of a large choir this had a better attendance!
I do hope more people will delve into the Lakeside programme and perhaps find an event that might tempt them to get a table together with friends for a night out in the village!