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"From what had gone before this was certain to be..........A Picnic."
Sunday, December 4th, 2011
Well that was our biggest picnic so far and it was great fun! - Scroll down for the Galleries
As we arrived at Oakley Court the first thing we noticed was our "Transylvanian" flag flying from the flag pole once more. It's so nice of the hotel to fly it for us for the picnic weekend. Let's hope this year it is not stuck there for three weeks (in 2010 their rope broke when they tried to take it down).
We met up before the picnic itself from around 1pm. Chatting to friends old and new and taking in the peaceful surroundings of Oakley Court once more. The weather was having fun with us, with a few showers earlier in the day but mostly bright. There was a big shower forcast for 4pm, around the time the picnic was meant to begin, so the hotel decided to set up for the picnic in one of the function rooms instead. It turned out to be a good call as we all set off towards our room the heavens opened. So we had an indoor picnic this year, but more on that later. We had nearly ninety people at the picnic in 2011, a great turn-out.
Costumes ranged from the usual Rocky outfits to the weird and wonderful. "Eddie's Teddy" made an appearance once more, minus an eye, was he in a fight I wonder? Time also out did her Supergirl costume from last year by turning up as "The Velvet Darkness", complete with guiding star. I know, sounds strange, but when you see the photo you'll know what I mean.
While we were all chatting and milling around outside the hotel we had a visit from Richard O'Brien himself, who kindly called in to say hello, have his photo taken with everyone, chat and sign some autographs. Richard had arrived a little while before most people with his friend and neighbour, Tommy, and they spent a few hours with us all before we headed off for the picnic itself.
The picnic itself was unlike any previous years as it was an indoor one, complete with tables and chairs. It looked a little more like a wedding reception, a fact enhanced by Chrissy wearing a wedding dress as his costume this year. Everyone thought it was a great idea and the hotel did us proud once more with the food and decorations for the picnic. Of course us Rocky fans don't mind the odd rain shower, but this was a great way to get to chat to everyone as well. I still wish I'd done a best-man's speech. We stayed for around two hours eating and chatting before people started wandering off to relax, take in the surroundings, or anything else they wanted to do.
At around 9pm we started to set up for our regular screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, this time with a nice high-def bluray copy to watch. Most people were in by around 9.45pm and Illya drew the regular raffle Steph runs to give people the chance to win some fab Rocky items. Amongst the prizes this year were a RHPS lips box set, Icelandic CD and goodies, plus a copy of Mick Rock's Rocky Horror book. Dana also got in on the action with his usual compilation disc of the previous years picnic photos, projected onto the big screen to many cheers and much laughter. After a nice screening of the movie and one more Time Warp for us all there was one more surprise for the attendees as JonJo and 'Hagrid' had some souvenir coasters made as a gift to everyone at the picnic. Big thanks to you both from the fans. We also got to announce that the hotel were already taking bookings for the 2012 picnic already.
After packing up the AV kit, we retired to bed at around 00.30am, leaving others to continue to stroll the grounds, or have a drink or three.
The next morning we met up with some of our fellow picnickers at breakfast (Oakley Court's breakfast's are to die for!) and then wandered around the hotel once more taking some more images. Oakley Court looks best for photos of the main building first thing in the morning for those interested in taking some shots. We then continued the picnic tradition of meeting up with everyone around the fountain for a nice social chat and more group photos. We left around 11.45am just in time to check out and start the fun drive home along the M4 and M25.
It was so nice to see so many familiar faces and also to meet new fans, we all had a wonderful time. Here's to next year.
(TimeWarpWebmaster) August, 2011
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