Events in 2005

The Society would welcome suggestions from members for future events.
Click here if you wish to suggest a location.

Nottingham Malcolm Saville Evening

26th February 2005

Snow and ice did not deter some members for the first of these meetings. Instead of our usual weekends away in a book location, the Malcolm Saville went to Ruddington village hall just south of Nottingham for the evening. This gave the opportunity to meet other members, including some of the committee, and to look at or buy books. Richard Griffiths gave a 'virtual tour' of where the Lone Pine books were set. Accompanied by refreshments and conversation, this made for a pleasant time together.

Ruddington Village Hall

Members chatting

Annual Gathering at Exeter

15th-17th April 2005

Over 80 members descended upon Exeter to celebrate 50 years since the first publication of Saucers Over the Moor. The Crossmead Conference Centre proved an excellent base and had accommodation for most of our members to stay on site for the weekend.

On Friday evening Paul Rendle from the Dartmoor National Park gave us a taste of Dartmoor in his illustrated talk. He covered something of the moor's grim history and literary connections.

Paul's talk having whetted our appetite, the coach tour on Saturday took us around Dartmoor to Dartmeet, Prince Hall (Kings Holt) and Princetown where the fictional action took place. The weather played its part and we were able to actually see Dartmoor in sunshine. Previous events in this area led us to believe that it always rained here. We returned to our conference centre base to relax for a couple of hours before having our annual dinner or, as Dickie would call it, a fabulous feast. The evening was concluded by a light-hearted, fun quiz in which teams fought to the death.

Light rain on Sunday morning meant that no-one was looking longingly out of the window during our Annual General Meeting. Having caught up on Society developments and deciding that we should go to Whitby next year, we returned to the main business of the weekend - meeting and making friends, conversation and good food.

A surprisingly large proportion of the members were enjoying the area so much that they decided to stay on longer and some informal and unplanned activities took place before we reluctantly returned home on Monday or later.

Crossmead Conference Centre

Start of Saturday coach tour

Prince Hall

The Winners

Treasure at the Mill Weekend

25th-26th June 2005

The film Treasure at the Mill was shot on location around Dedham and Ardleigh in Essex. We showed the film in Ardleigh village hall as our Saturday morning pictures. Over the weekend we were fortunate to be accompanied by Merrilyn and Hilary Pettit who starred in the movie and lived at Spring Valley Mill where most of the action took place. The current owners of the mill, Mr and Mrs Vosper, were also able to tell us of the fascinating history of the mill. We then decamped to Dedham where 'Old Wilson' had his shop in the story. This village is little changed from when the film was made in 1956. It also gave members a chance to explore 'Constable Country' and see Flatford Mill.

On our Sunday morning walk to Spring Valley Mill we had the bonus when passing Hull Farm of being invited to view their medieval barn. The owner told us that a sword dating from the civil war was discovered in the thatch when the barn was re-roofed in the 19th Century - this was an unexpected link with Malcolm Saville's story. Mr and Mrs Vosper kindly allowing us access to the mill and to see where the treasure was hidden was a fitting climax to an exciting weekend.


The Pettits

Spring Valley Mill

Guildford Malcolm Saville Evening

15th July 2005

The evening provided an opportunity to meet other members. For many people this was the first event that they had attended. This delighted the event organisers as this was the reason that these shorter events have been introduced in to the Society programme.

As well as conversation, Richard Griffiths gave a presentation on the Lone Pine locations.

There is another opportunity to see this presentation in Coventry in November.

Book sale


Shropshire Walking Weekend

27th-29th August 2005

In response to members' requests for more challenging walks, we arranged this event. On Saturday the route went up Ragleth hill that gives great views of the eastern side of the Long Mynd and Church Stretton. After a picnic lunch we continued around the Acton Scott area before returning to Church Stretton.

The youngsters in the stories so often travel from Witchend to Seven Gates. In order to reproduce this journey we gathered on Sunday at The Bog Centre. A coach took us to Hamperley where the walk back to The Bog began. This took us over the Long Mynd before lunch at The Horseshoe at Bridges. Refreshed we continued over the Stiperstones passing the Devil's Chair. We agreed that Malcolm Saville made these place appear closer than they are in reality! The sunny but not hot weather was ideal for a good day's walk.

On the Long Mynd

Lunch Time

The Devil's Chair

Southwold Bonfire Weekend

5th-6th November 2005

Around 35 members explored the locations in Sea Witch Comes Home including Southwold pier and Blythborough church (shown right).

Southwold Pier

Blythborough Church

Malcolm Saville Evening - West Midlands

19th November 2005

Atrocious weather - freezing fog - deterred many members from attending this evening event at Curdworth near Sutton Coldfield. However, a few intrepid souls came along for an illustrated talk about Lone Pine Locations and it was good to see some new faces as well as familiar ones.