Audlem WI Fish & Chip Supper Quiz

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I'm always delighted when our annual Fish and Chip Supper Quiz comes around because it means I can do my two favourite things — eat as well as search what little is left of my brain for the inevitable 'I know this, but I can't dig it out of my brain' moment!

I wasn't born with an innate sponge-like ability to hoover up information and regurgitate it in a competitive scenario, and sadly it shows.

Everyone loves a quiz — even those, in my experience, who claim not to — so let's give a rousing fanfare as Audlem's Quizzing Season reaches its zenith, a moment for quiz-lovers and quiz sceptics to come together and gorge on the challenges that are at the heart and soul of any self-respecting quiz.

There is only one person in Audlem who can control a group of over excited quizzers, none other than our own Ralph Warburton BEM, who last night strode into the Scout and Guide Hall with great aplomb, still standing upright until he receives his medal in two week's time when we shall all be expecting him to be bent double with the weight of his well-earned award!

Like everything the quiz questions you select always carry the risk of disappointment. There are quizzes and there are quizzes, and for every humdinger of a question that spreads its own joy throughout the room, there's the dull satsuma-at-the-bottom-of-the-stocking question that no one really cares about.

Ralph adds an extra element to his quizzes by sometimes mispronouncing words — a clever quizmaster tactic to confuse and divide teams — and occasionally giving the wrong answers to check that we are all still listening.

Last night he excelled himself as once he had set up his easel and score sheets — thank you Joe from Audlem Printers — he dashed back home as he had forgotten the question sheets. Easily done Ralph, we've all been there!

The WI team had gone to town, no tablecloths in case of red wine spillages, paper serviettes available to mop up the tears of any losing team, salt and pepper, tomato sauce and vinegar on hand for the fish and chips and a great selection of goodies to be raffled — thank you Christine, once again you did a sterling job.

Inevitably there were the odd few who knew they had to bring their own drink but assumed glasses would be provided — why they can't drink from the bottle like I do is beyond me.

Finally, Ralph arrived back with his questions, bang on time, and the battle commenced!

Thirteen teams and a dog, put their heads down and concentrated as Ralph took control. To be honest, sometimes the dog had better answers than we did, but he wisely remained silent, gazing adoringly at his owners whom he believed had the answer to everything!

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By half time, everyone was ready for their Fish & Chips which were necessary to steady the nerves as our moral compasses has become damaged by alcohol and competitiveness.

The Village Chippy did a great job churning out nearly 60 portions in less than 15 mins. Once again Ralph spent time running to-and-fro to the chippy, with the help of some of the younger quizzers — thank you all for your help, it was much appreciated.

Heads down once again, the second half of the quiz commenced. All teams could clearly see their positions on the board that Ralph controlled, and to add to the spirit of the occasion, cheers, whistles and boos were heard as team results were called out, all in good fun of course!

Finally all questions had been answered or made up, scores had been double checked by our host and the final winners would be decided by the results of the Dingbats!

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Silence ensued, challenges were made but Ralph stood firm, not to be swayed by bribery or corruption.

The 'Top Team' were Kate & John Down and Jean Cook and her husband who were duly presented with their prizes.

Once the raffle was drawn, everyone helped to put away the tables and chairs and Lin Nicholas thanked Ralph for his enormous contribution to another successful evening.

The W.I. gave Ralph a cheque for his generous assistance; he asked for it to be donated to the Charity Shop so it could be divided between several charities.