Well, we wondered if it would work two years running but it did! Abba Chique returned to the stage at Caterham School for another stupendous Fundraising evening organised by the Lions Club – the Frida and Agnetha lookalikes opened with “Hello Caterham!” The audience of around 280 replied with gusto! The first half of the evening contained many of Abba’s hit songs whilst in the second half there were some less well remembered ones, which didn’t stop about one-third of the audience descending to the dance floor in front of the stage to boogie and sing along enthusiastically. The general consensus amongst those making their way back to their cars or travelling down the hill in the Shuttle Minibus was “A great evening -thank you Lions!” And thank you to everybody who, with lots of hard work, made this event possible, including, of course, Caterham School for the use of their magnificent theatre. Lion President Tony listed the organisations currently benefitting from the Club’s donations, which included the Air Ambulance, St. Catherine’s Hospice, Caterham Food Bank and Clockwork, a newish charity which helps our school-age children with their mental health problems, which sadly are so much worse since the trauma of the pandemic lockdowns.

Our next Fundraising event will be a Trivia Quiz on the 15th June but at the time of writing spaces for teams were going fast. Telephone Lion Tony on 01883 335945.

The Lions Club has been running in the Tandridge area since 1978 and one of the things which is a lasting legacy is their formation in 1981 of the Talking Newspaper “What’s a Talking Newspaper?” do we hear you cry? A Talking Newspaper provides regular audio newscasts of really local news to people with impaired vision who could not read the standard newsprint. Talking Newspapers exist all over the country and provide pleasure to many thousands of Listeners. Of course, back in 1981 cassettes and cassette players were used – technology over the years has advanced enormously and the Talking Newspaper is now provided on USB Memory Sticks to be played on a boom box (provided) or the Listeners laptop or other device. Vision Impaired people are able to access the internet and send emails, etc., with the aid of large print or talking computers and maybe download most newspapers but many prefer proper human voices to give them a regular update on what’s going on locally. It is run entirely by volunteers - a team of Editors selects suitable articles from printed publications for the Readers and a Sound Engineer masterminds the recording which takes place in the Studio in Caterham. The Tandridge Lions Talking Newspaper also provides a Magazine of infinite variety, recorded by around 20 volunteers in a rota. For over 40 years the Talking Newspaper was a weekly publication but the Pandemic closed everything down – no newspapers - no local news in fact. The Studio Manager Steve and Chairman and Magazine Editor Diana organised three bumper extra-long magazines over the three months of the summer of 2020, which it was hoped would ease the loneliness and isolation often felt by vision impaired even without a lockdown. With the easing of restrictions, the Talking Newspaper roared back with fortnightly editions – 2 Readers instead of 4 and at present has a Listenership of around 50. The fortnightly Newscasts and Magazines are eagerly awaited by our Listeners, and arrive in yellow plastic wallets through the post under “Articles for the Bind”. The Listener reverses the address label and posts the wallet back in order to receive the next edition. If you would like to know more and how you might be part of this important exercise, you could phone Diana on 01883 7472708. Even more importantly, should you know anybody with impaired vision, please tell them about the Tandridge Lions Talking Newspaper. (The Talking Newspaper Federation used to run a national competition for the Best Talking Newspaper – Tandridge won it three years in a row and was discreetly asked not to enter again to give somebody else a chance!! It keeps that high standard today…)

Looking ahead to Godstone Fete on August Bank Holiday Monday, the Club are seeking volunteers to boost their number on Godstone Green helping to erect marquees, flip burgers and sell products to the many thousands that attend. If you could help, contact Lion John on 01883 74268