Forty members and friends gathered in Laurel Street for a 6pm departure to the New Drop Inn on the edge of Longridge Fell near Ribchester.

In view of the road works in Tottington (and the ability of temporary lights to move around at will!) a ‘recce’ took place in the afternoon, to ensure that all was well with the access to Laurel Street.

Although we had booked a 40-seater coach to accommodate the country lanes, a larger 48-seater arrived at short notice. Luckily no-one had parked in the turning circle at the bottom of Laurel Street and our lady driver, Helen, was able to negotiate the tight turn without any problems. She turned out to be an excellent driver – very helpful and with a ‘SatNav’ brain.

Our original route was tweaked because of the coach size, but Helen took all the twists and turns in her stride.

The sun popped out briefly, but the dull conditions did not detract from the beautiful countryside on the run up to the New Drop Inn. The Inn is in a fabulous position with panoramic views over the Ribble Valley.

On arrival we were shown to a separate bar adjoining the restaurant, where everyone organised drinks and chatted until we were ready to dine.

The dining room takes advantage of the views with picture windows and we all settled down in tables of 8 to enjoy our meals of wholesome home-cooked food. The staff were very friendly and helpful, and we were soon tucking into very substantial portions of food and enjoying the opportunity to chat with each other. Before we knew it, the clock had moved on to nearly 10pm and it was time to return home.

Helen had to use her aforementioned ‘SatNav’ brain on the way back, as parts of our intended route had been closed off for overnight maintenance work and we had to divert. We eventually arrived back in Tottington just after 11pm, with Helen kindly dropping off some passengers along the way.

On behalf of everyone, Margaret Whittaker thanked Margaret Parker and Hilary Smith for organising the evening, and Helen for getting us safely home.

Marion Sutcliffe had sent a message of love to us all and hoped we would have a good evening, which I am sure we did.

One comment made during the evening was “St. Anne’s has such a lovely Mothers’ Union”. How very true!

Margaret Whittaker