A very cold end of the year Stock Take.

The temperature was a bone chilling 1⁰ C  this Saturday morning (16th) when we attended to do the “End of the trading year stock take” at the Association Shop at Hasland..

It started out with myself getting the time of the meeting wrong and I arrived 45mins early hardly the weather for hanging about in and unheated steel container, so I had put the kettle on for a warm drink ready for when the team of workers started to arrive. However, after a half hour of inactivity and losing the feeling in my extremities, I think I could be forgiven for wondering where everyone was and had the meeting been cancelled and I had not heard the announcement, I was now chilled to the bone. I decided to go and sit in the car to hopefully get warm from the cars heater, however before the engine had started to get warm, Dave Stanford arrived and said ”Get that kettle on”“ to which I replied  “It has been on for a while now so It should be about ready to make a brew!”

When we got into the shop, and we were expectantly looking forward to a hot cuppa. The gas container for the stove was as cold as I was and although by now the kettle had been on for about forty minutes it was barely warm as the flame had only the energy to creep out of its container.  Dave bravely volunteered to put a spare can of gas inside his coat next to his heart to warm it up – this he did with huge success and the kettle received a good flame under it instead of the minimal almost non-existent one we started with.

Steve Shearwood arrived with the promise of some mulled wine for later on (which due to being too busy we forgot)  Our President, Dave Whitmore called in with some display equipment he had assembled and he also contributed some lovely warm mince pies.

The day was now looking up and our Treasurer - Mike Richards on arriving, offered a tot of malt whisky for our drinks – that is when they eventually arrived. After about ten minutes, the kettle was soon doing what I was designed for now it had a warm gas supply, and when it whistled It was the sign almost for the kick off, that was of course after we had consumed our first hot drink and a tot. Our Secretary – Robin Bagnall arrived to attend to the show equipment n the second container and he took no  argument to join us in a warm cuppa.

Now we had warmed up internally  it was time to start the job on hand the counting and the recording of the sales stock.

Steve started counting out of every piece of stock, with a large variety of types of frame parts having to be recorded singly. This in some cases ran to huge numbers of parts and this was some task together with the sheets of each of the types of wax foundation, all of which had to be manhandled and then the count recorded by Mike.  Steve in his usual enthusiastic, effervescent and energetic manner never seemed to tire. Dave saw to customers who had arrived to buy some jars and then counted the boxes of various jars and lids ready for Mike to check. Everything was soon going well.  As a decrepit oldie, I had a simple job in confirming the count as Steve counted the parts out and importantly I kept the warm drinks coming.

After adding all the sundries to the count, the job was done - it had taken exactly two hours of hard work!  A relieved treasurer was soon off home for a hot lunch.

After locking up, the shop staff prepared to part company wishing each other the usual ”Seasons Greetings”. This was after finding out each others’ plans for the next few weeks .

Dave informed us he was off in the first week in January on a cruise from Southampton to the USA. His first port of call being New York, then to Fort Lauderdale in Florida and then down and through the Panama Canal, up to San Francisco in California taking in a tour of Alcatraz the famous prison in the bay, then home again. Bon Voyage Dave. What a rubbish way to pass several weeks – NOT!  Steve is away for his regular New Year holiday in Cornwall .

Speaking for myself, I am not jealous of those two at all !   I am looking forward (not) to a load of redecorating in the first weeks after Christmas, however if either Dave or Steve would prefer to come and help me with my decorating instead of pursuing their hedonistic plans, I would be most grateful.

Can I remind you of the next social night is on Monday 8th January where we have a greatly experienced speaker Adrian Belton who spent many years at FERA .  Also, we are having a raffle with a great beekeeping prize.

Well ‘Beefolks’, the “Bee Year 2017 ” may have almost drawn to close now, so all there is to do is to wish you all a “Wonderful  Christmas”  and a “Successful Bee Year in  2018”.

Take care.

Graham Robinson 

Please note the shop will be open again in March. 

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