Indoor Meetings about Birds and Wildlife

Social Evening 2014
with entertainment, buffet and raffle

Date: Thursday 4 December 2014 at 19:30


People at tables in a church hall

December Social and 40th Anniversary of the RSPB East Berks Local Group

Preparations began early.  By 7pm members and guests were arriving and the volunteers were just finishing setting up the hall for the meeting. 

While waiting for later arrivals and the start, some attempted the pencil and paper quiz.  Others renewed old acquaintances and swapped bird sighting news.

Forty-five people attended our December social where the meeting's theme was to be our 40th anniversary.

The RSPB East Berks Local Group was formed in November 1974 and has been raising money for wildlife, arranging talks, walks and nature reserve visits ever since. We used the social evening to take a look back over the years.
For a history of our group, click here.

Five of the previous seven group leaders were our guests, including Steve Cooke, who was an 18 year old when appointed Group Leader in 1974.  In addition, two members of the original committee were also present.

Four standing men

Brian Clews “interviewed” Steve Cooke, Tony Hawkins and David Fuller about how the group was formed, experiences in the early days and how the world of nature conservation has changed over the years.  Disclosures included incidents of wild behaviour by teenage boys, now pillars of society, and the illicit transfer of bird species which would be frowned upon today.  Forty years of changing attitudes highlighted in a very light-hearted and amusing way.
To read some of the anecdotes that are fit to print, click here.

A large cake 1974-2014 RSPB East Berks Local GroupSteve Cooke cuts the cake

We had a splendidly decorated commemorative cake complete with RSPB logo

Ceremonially cut by Steve Cooke and enjoyed by all!


Gerry Studd (our immediate past-leader) provided the entertainment for the evening in the form of very amusing ornithological and 1974 based quizzes.  So do you know how much a certain pair of binoculars cost in 1974 and what they sold for second-hand this year? Despite some technical issues Gerry was, as usual, a roaring success and we have booked him for December 2015!

The 100 Club draw, then the buffet

followed by the cake and mince pies

tea or coffee to follow.

Cake and mince pies


Table with raffle prizes


A raffle completed the evening.  Time to fill the doggy bags, tidy the hall and depart.

Feedback suggests the evening was enjoyed by all!

Many thanks to Sheila and Ken Cottam, Gerry Studd, Brian Clews and to all the other volunteers.

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to our website visitors.