Another year and its another Clotted Lard, the fifth such event since the club decided to hold a day with the Too Fat Lardies to enjoy playing multiple games using Lardy rule sets with club members joined by other Lardy fans from around the UK all in support of charity, with this year's contributions going to the Devon Air Ambulance.
The popularity of Clotted Lard has seen the need to find a larger venue to provide more space for more games and players and this year the event moved to the Lympstone Village Hall, in the beautiful historic East Devon village of Lympstone, sat on the banks of the River Exe with glorious views out over the Exe estuary towards Exmouth.
|Our brand spanking new venue for Clotted Lard this year, Lympstone Village Hall|
Our new venue is light and airy with fantastic modern facilities, including a fully kitted out kitchen, including a dishwasher, which came in handy after the afternoon cream team, complete with air conditioning, should the need ever arise and plenty of large tables without those annoying raised edges, and just perfect for displaying wargames terrain and cloths on.
|It's 08.00 and the games start setting up in the Community Room|
The morning began as usual with arrivals at 08.00 or as close as, to get the tables set up with a plan to get started at 09.30 and allowing for two games to be played on each table, one in the morning and, with players changing over to play on another table, another game in the afternoon.
|Likewise, next door to the Community Room the Main Hall was abuzz with conversation as the games for the day took shape|
I was hosting a Kiss Me Hardy game ably supported by Mr Charley Walker, who kindly offered to gamemeister for me in the afternoon so I could get some time to wander around the three separate rooms and stage to get some pictures for the blog.
|No space left unused with the stage providing ample room and a great addition to the Main Hall|
This year saw us hosting twelve games, featuring nine sets of rules (Infamy II, Dux Britanniarum, Sharp Practice II, Kiss Me Hardy, Through the Mud and the Blood, Bag the Hun, O-Group, I Aint Been Shot Mum and Chain of Command.
In addition, including game runners, we had sixty three participants in this year's show, more than underlining the need for our larger venue and the comfort the extra space provides; and although we perhaps don't want to have the meeting being much larger, which will add other complications to the organising of the event, we still have the capacity should it be needed to cater for potentially another two games, which is a nice place to be.
Thus with all the games set up and the required Fire Safety announcement made we all observed a minute silence in memory of our late Queen Elizabeth II and gathered at the end of the Main Hall for this year's team photo.
|The Runners and Riders at this year's Clotted Lard|
As in previous years I took the time to walk around the venue to try and capture the look of the various games and the obvious enjoyment of simply playing the game with like minds eager to celebrate the rules we like to play, and so I have arranged the pictures in room order.
Infamy II? Richard Clarke (doing a bit of playtesting with the perhaps next incarnation of Infamy, Early Romans v Punics)
Will Arthur Halt the Saxon Horde? Mike Cloake
King Phillip's War; New England 1675 - Stephen Luscombe
A Little Trouble in Big China - Colin Murray
Normandy 44 O-Group - Ian Toogood & Stephen Land
Assault on Kirovograd, Eastern Front, January 1944 - Jeff Davies
Breaking the Panzers, Rauray 1/7/44 - Jenny Owens & Phil Turner
On the Oosterbeek Perimeter at Arnhem - Nick Skinner
From Vallee du Malheur, St-Mere-Eglise, June '44 - Neil Bosher & Dominic Fielder
Sercey off Sumatra, September 1796 - JJ & Charley Walker
If you are interested in reading an AAR of the game I ran in the morning session, you can follow the link below to JJ's Wargames.
|JJ's Wargames - All at Sea, Sercey off Sumatra at Clotted Lard|
By about 17.30 the afternoon games had reached their conclusion and thoughts turned to clearing up and a bite to eat and the odd beer.
The car park was full up and soon filled with folks returning Really Useful Boxes and cloths to various car-boots as the day drew to a close.
As with all events like these, they don't just happen, and a lot of emails, conversations and lists have to be drawn up, arranged and had to make sure venues are booked, attendees are notified, accommodation is secured and everything is done to allow the day to run smoothly.
As chairman of the club I am blessed with people who are able to take responsibility for club projects such as this and are expert at 'Cat Hearding'. One such person is Mr Bob Connor who has been our Lard Facilitator and Cat Hearder Extraordinaire for the previous five Clotted Lards since we started and I know I write for everyone involved when I express my sincere thanks to Bob for all his hard work and commitment over the last five years to make Clotted Lard the success it has become, and the fun we have had being involved with them. Thanks Bob.
In addition, I would also take this opportunity to publicly thank the management team of the Lympstone Village Hall for providing their fantastic facilities for us to run this charity raising event in support of a very important local charity, the Devon Air Ambulance, that relies heavily on public donations to support its vital work in providing emergency recovery and support to badly injured people, visitors and locals, throughout a very large county together with a lot of remote rural areas.
Thanks to everyone who took part in this year's Clotted Lard, and here's looking forward to 2023.