As my local readers know I have been organising a coach trip since sometime in June for us to experience the Knitting and Stitching show held at Alexandra Palace in London. I tentatively started to take names at our group to see if we could get the numbers to break even. It was going going well and next Noelle my partner in this venture, enlisted the help of the WI and other crafting groups that she knows, soon between the two of us crafters from all around Warwickshire and the West Midlands were emailing and phoning to see if places were still available and come late July we realised that we could just cover the cost of the coach and entry tickets. At this point I phoned my bank, realising that Kenilworth Knit and Natter needed a separate bank account from myself, I knew it would prove to be too complicated to have money filtering into my account. The bank came good and offered us a bank account that was without charges, which was exactly what we need.
I started to take monies in and was able to book the coach soon after. As more names came forward and paid, I breathed a sigh of relief that all costs were going to be covered and booked the tickets, with the understanding that people will get a refund of what is left. I still have to work out exactly what monies can come back to everyone, (give a girl a chance) as our trip was non profit making.
This morning butterfly’s were in my tummy as I checked I had all the necessary documents and phone numbers in hand in case of emergency. Earlier in the week I had forwarded a full list of the names to Noelle who did a grand job of putting them into alphabetical order as she is the Prefect of our knitting group (and has a badge to prove it! given by me for previous endeavors) and is wonderful at organising people. My trust in her was spot on and she did a fantastic job, those in the know must congratulate her on her methodical way of ticking people onto the coach in both directions, we didn’t lose or leave anybody. (always a relief!) Along with her witty but very informative use of the tannoy system on the coach, she did a grand job and I am most grateful for it.
Our coach was due at 8.30 a.m. and I was at our meeting point shortly after 8.00 a.m. with Noelle coming up the rear soon after. Soon after everyone arrived and we were all there before the coach came and we started off soon after 8.30 a.m. Result!
It was a slow journey, we got to Ally Pally at 11.45. Ouch!
Fortunately we are organised women and I noticed that many of our ladies had decided to lunch early on the coach, to give them maximum time shopping, wise women that they are.
We bounced out of the coach and I took one photograph of Noelle in Ally Pally’s magnificent foyer and that was the last I saw of anyone for three hours!
Even though we arrived late I have a theory in life at shows, I walk to the furthest point and work backwards. This has stood me in good stead for many shows. And I managed to see and purchase from the first three rows in about an hour… I had noticed Jane Crowfoot and said hi and when I got back to her an hour later she said to me, “is that all you have done”, “yep” I replied, “I do like to see a show” of which she laughed and agreed.
And then I continued on my quest for lovely things around the show. I bagged a few items, I will share tomorrow.
What do I think of the show? It was magnificent, truly wonderful. It is just mind blowing. It was Not a disappointment. The only problem with this show is, your stamina lets you down before your mind is ready to give in. And so many workshops which I have never even tried, because even if you came at 10.00 a.m. as the doors opened, it only gives you enough time to look around and purchase, and then to look at the wonderful pieces of art. What you really need is a two day experience to enable you to take part of some of the lovely Learning Curve workshops, which are tasters, for an hour or two and are reasonably priced.
I managed to steer myself away from the shopping to look at the art. It was tough, so little time, but I did it for you.
We left at 4.30 p.m. and got back to Kenilworth very late, the traffic was congested practically all of the way back home. Here are some of the girls, we had a coach load of 36 but as it was dark the idea of taking a lovely photograph was taken away from me and this is just a quick snap of some very happy ladies.