March Newsletter


An entertaining collection of poems were read by Carol, Tom, Wyn, Chris, Jan, Les Maskrey, Geoff and myself.  Gerald, our masterful MC, interspersed these readings with poems composed by past members (Ivy Rhodes, Fred Barnfather, Bill Prescott) and extracts from wine club pantos of yesteryear. Beer and perry flowed freely throughout the evening. The beer, Coppernob, was a pleasant light beer at 3.8% and the Swedish perry had good pear flavours. Gerald concluded the evening by reciting his party piece, “The Italian who went to Malta”, with a fitting Italian accent.

When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils;


Wine of the Evening

Dry: 1st Tom Rix, 2nd Les Maskrey, 3rd Cathy Rishman

Sweet: 1st Les Maskrey, 2nd Tom Rix, 3rd Bob Dye

Judges: Les Bates and Philip Bisson



Our AGM will take place on Thursday 2 April. The agenda and accounts are attached with this newsletter Don't forget - there is no charge for this meeting, but please bring along your own drinks. Raffle donations would also be most welcome for another bumper raffle afterwards.


Postponed until August 2020 due to coronavirus



Reminder:  Les Maskrey needs to have your menu choices and cheque by 31 March. Please also let Les know your choice of wine from the attached wine list.


Cancelled due to coronavirus


Regrettably the Open Show has been cancelled due to the coronavirus. We are hoping to run the show at a later date.


This event will be held on 4 April at St Philip's Church. Entries accepted from 9-10 am on the day of the show.

Classes: dry red and white; sweet red and white wines.    

Cancelled due to coronavirus



I love maple syrup on my pancakes. The only trouble is after Shrove Tuesday I am usually left with half a jar or so of maple syrup. Here is a suggestion for using up some of the leftovers.

Maple Pound Cake, Saturday, Daily Telegraph

225g unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 eggs, separated

225g sugar

125ml maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

250g plain flour

½ tsp salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ gas mark 4. Lightly butter a 23cm x 12cm loaf tin.
  2. Using an electric mixer or whisk beat the egg whites until light and billowy. Set aside.
  3. Cream the butter, sugar and maple syrup in a large bowl with an electric whisk until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  4. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Using a spatula gently fold in the beaten egg whites until fully incorporated.
  5. Sift together the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add to the egg mixture a little at a time.
  6. Pour the batter into the tin and spread it evenly.
  7. Bake for 1 hr and 20 to 25 mins until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool in the tin for 15 mins, then remove and leave to cool on a wire rack. 



Smuggling in Kent

Tonbridge French Circle invite us to a talk on “Smuggling in Kent” by Peter Ewart on Friday 27 March, 7.30 pm at the Oast Theatre - £5pp at the door, including welcome drink.  Please let me know if you would like to attend.


Pubs opening for an extra 2 hours to mark VE Day

Daily Mail: This promises to be the liveliest VE Day since 1945 as pubs, clubs and cinemas can stay open until 1.00 am. All premises that are licensed to trade until 11.00 pm will be given an extra 2 hours by courtesy of Home Secretary, Priti Patel, who has placed an order before Parliament to this effect. Miss Patel said: “Pubs are at the heart of our communities and this is a great opportunity to raise a glass to mark this historic occasion.”

(Article kindly supplied by Bob Dye)

Downsize to a Smaller Glass – Episode 2

Daily Telegraph: In the July 2018 newsletter I reported on the virtues of drinking wine from a smaller glass, as researchers had found that drinkers consumed up to 40% less alcohol during the course of an evening. Currently, the government is backing a similar study which recommends thatrestaurants should provide glasses of no more than 250ml to prevent binge drinking. Since the 1990’s wine glasses have doubled in size. However, restauranteurs and sommeliers said forcing them to use small glasses could destroy the bouquet of fine wines. Daniel Keeling, who runs a wine bar in Holborn, said restaurants would be providing “inappropriate glassware … as aromas account for most of what’s tasted, great wines need space to be exposed to oxygen to make them more expressive – and a mouth narrower than the widest point of the glass to prevent aromas escaping”.

Emma Underwood, manager at Darby’s in south

London said: “It should be the guest’s choice. Big bold red wines that haven’t been able to decant long enough certainly benefit from larger glasses. I can understand how that might contribute to higher consumption, but if a guest wants to drink a lot then they will, regardless of glass size”.

Christopher Snowden, head of lifestyle economics, at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: “The idea that wine consumed in restaurants has any significant impact on the number of alcohol-related deaths is just daft. Most people visit restaurants only occasionally – most alcohol is consumed at home. It is a sign of how out of touch public health campaigners have become that they think the size of wine glasses is a pressing issue that requires government action.”

A Winemaker’s Perfect Job

Sunday Times: Hampton Court Palace are looking for a keeper of their 251-year-old grape vine, currently listed in the Guinness Book of Records as being the world’s largest vine.  Salary: £26,500.


On the subject of glass sizes . . . . . . . .


Evelyn Waugh’s mother decided to limit herself to one glass of champagne a day for Lent, but her chosen glass was as big as a flower vase.

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Latest comments

02.01 | 17:16

Thank you for contacting our website. I will see if any of our members are interested in your offer. Whereabouts are you located?

02.01 | 17:00

I have 8 clear glass demijohns if anyone wants them.

07.09 | 09:09

would the lady in hildenborough supply me with a demijon i live in hilden borough

02.09 | 11:53

Hi Linda - Thank you for your kind offer. I have contacted our members and will let you know if anyone is interested. Best wishes, Cathy Rishman

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