LX Lakes Tour

Cockermouth 14-16th June

Cockermouth, gateway to many lakes and one of the most attractive little market towns in England, is a great base for a tour. This year as last there was the added attraction of a visit to the island in the middle of Derwent Water Lake. Where on Friday evening we were splendidly entertained by Fiona and Doug Barnes. Here we enjoyed excellent food and an abundance of drinks. And what a setting: an imposing country house surrounded by beautiful gardens with panoramic views across the lake to the peak of Catbells. We are enormously indebted to Fiona and Doug for their hospitality.

Late Saturday morning and it was time for hockey at the local school. There were two hard fought games against Cumbrian opposition, with a draw and a win for LX (full reports to follow). There was much quality hockey played and in good spirit, a spirit that was carried on afterwards over lunch and a variety of Jennings’ Ales at the Conservative Club. Meanwhile the ladies were engaged in one of two vigorous walks organised by Dot Patton, the reward followed in the guise of a Cream Tea hosted by Fiona on the island. By 6.30pm most of the party was drinking again, wine organised by Mike Patton as part of a collective visit to Wordsworth House. William and Dorothy lived their as children, their father being a local agent for Lord Lowther. The tour of the house conducted by National Trust Guides brought many aspects of the 18th Century vividly to life, from the surprisingly comfortable beds, the elegance of female dresses and details of domestic accounts including the ordering of ‘pillow beers’ or as we would say pillow cases. The tour ended with more drinks and we returned next door to dinner at The Trout. The Trout is another positive of this tour, a comfortable hotel superbly located by the river with excellent food and service. These qualities were well to the fore on Saturday evening when the hotel served some sixty people, LX’ers, partners and some guests with a great meal in the Trout’s elegant dining room.

First Game Saturday morning

Sunday morning was a repeat of Saturday – two good quality hockey matches, one loss and one win for LX. This was followed by another good lunch at the Conservative Club and for those not driving home more Jennings’. Most departed by 3.00pm or so, though a hardy group stayed on for more indulgence at The Trout. The weekend was superb so our great thanks go to Mike and Dot for their brilliant organisation: by Sunday they even got the weather right.


Second Game on Sunday

Reporter.  Alan Dures

LX Red v Keswick Vintage 

Following an enjoyable and convivial evening at The Trout, LX Red drew the short straw with the first match on Sunday Morning. However, LX showed no signs of a hangover and started brightly. After only five minutes, Nigel Spencer-Knott thumped the ball into the opponents’ circle and Graham George coolly defected it past the Keswick ‘keeper for a trademark goal.

This should have settled LX, but sadly the opposite happened and they conceded two sloppy goals. The first came from a PF when a shot from a PC was stopped on the line by foot rather than stick and the second from a goalmouth scramble during which the ball should have been cleared at least three times. 

LX brought on some fresh legs in the second half and a hard-fought, skillful contest ensued. Unfortunately it was Keswick who made the breakthrough with a well-worked third goal. LX continued to work hard for each other and were rewarded with a vintage strike from the evergreen Gerald Wilkinson. From a PC, Nigel Spencer-Knott slipped the ball to John Grinham, who rolled it invitingly into Gerald’s path. With great aplomb Gerald clipped it firmly into the far corner.

LX might have got the equalizer in the last minute when David Durrans set Graham George free with an astute pass. His shot was well-struck, but too close to the ‘keeper, who made a good save to preserve Keswick’s 3-2 advantage.

The splendid tour concluded with well-earned drinks and an excellent curry at the Conservative Club. Our heartfelt thanks go to Mike and Dot Patton and to Doug and Fiona Barnes for their hard work and generous hospitality throughout a most enjoyable weekend.

First Game Sunday Morning

ReporterGraham George