In the beginning…….an unreliable memoir
Following a celebration, and I cannot for the life of me remember what it was, six of us sat down in The Elmdon Dial, to have a quiet drink together. We put the world to rights and one of the subjects was how to get more people to use the pub . We threw around suggestions and then carried on drinking. I remember asking our little group for suggestions for a book to read, having come to the end of my current reading matter. Various suggestions were made, and we thought it wouldn't be a good idea to have a "little" book club. We then called over Chris Crane and asked if we could meet in the pub to discuss books and have a meal together. Thereby bringing people in to use the establishment. He said he would make a one-pot meal for a "fiver". He asked if we could have the club on a Thursday as that day was usually very quiet in the pub.
We decided to put an article in The Gazette to see if anyone was interested but we really only expected our group of 6 to turn up. In the article we suggested that if anyone was interested they should read our first book suggestion of The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd and our first meeting would be early October 2011. Clare Kay and I agreed to run it as the other 2 in our group were moving away from Elmdon in the near future. We named the group ELMDON BOOKWORMS.
Clare and I arrived at the pub on that October evening expecting just our little group and, if my memory serves me correctly about 18 people arrived. Clare and I casually agreed on a format. We thought if we just asked people if they liked the book, the discussion would soon be over. Therefore we thought it best to ask specific questions. We also decided that we would prefer our members to choose book titles, but we have always ensured that these suggestions remain anonymous.
Clare and I ran the club for a couple of meetings but felt we needed more help. Our third member came to the rescue in the form of Jane Guy. Jane has a fantastic memory and is extremely well read. We soon fell into three areas of natural expertise. Sheila does most of the administration, Jane writes the pieces for The Gazette and website and Clare runs the actual meetings.
Our Bookworms is very much a social event. We meet on a Thursday evening every other month and first of all we chat together. We then have a bring and share meal, which is always of a very high standard. Wine flows and eventually we discuss the book, usually in quite a lot of detail.
We now have about 28 active members. We are pleased to say that the pandemic did not stop us. Our club has continued to thrive thanks to the help of Zoom. Naturally some members have not felt able to deal with Zoom but we are sure they will return to Elmdon Bookworms once we are again meeting face-to-face, which we hope will be very soon.
................................. this is somewhat of a ramble.
Sheila Jones June 2021