The Collingwood Society tried a new experiment this year, a Pickle Night, which as far as I can tell is mostly an excuse for getting drunk – nominally it’s a commemoration of the arrival of the Pickle in England with the news of the victory at Trafalgar.
It was held in the main room at Trinity House, which made a lovely setting, and the food was really good. And everyone had to dress up – most people had just gone in stripy tops as sailors, but a few had made a real effort (and apparently we rather baffled the Tesco across the street, as people kept popping over!). And there were various bits of silliness through the night, a thing where the table had to all gather round a small model cannon and shout BANG, and sea cadets come to teach the hornpipe, and ‘turns’ from each table, and other odds and ends of games and forfeits for going wrong.
It was a very enjoyable evening, but it did seem to be mostly aimed at people who knew each other already, which of course a lot of people did from other local groups – there were none of the team challenges or things that you tend to do if you’re trying to mix people from different backgrounds, and really no chance to interact with people from other tables at all – and the forfeits were more often fines than anything other people could laugh at, as well as sometimes being for things people had done in another context. So maybe not quite as social as it could have been, for a social event, but still good fun.