2017 – Balchin Family Gathering – Alfold Village Hall

We arrived in sunshine and began with coffee or tea and pastries or biscuits, which included apple crumble biscuits that Rob Balchin had made.

After Lord Lingfield had welcomed us we had an update from Anne Chapman on the ongoing saga of the Campanula Balchiana, and Jenny Dixon told us about a modern brewery run by a Balchin.

We had a fascinating talk by Tom Balchin about his resolve after a stroke when he was only twenty-one not to be in a wheelchair, but by trying different exercises and movements he forced his muscles to work again.  It was a marvellous inspiring story of trial and success.

After the AGM we had a delicious lunch of cold meats, cheeses, salad, new potatoes, rolls and open savoury pies, followed by apple pie and/or stewed fruit and cheese and biscuits.  Many thanks were given to Tina and Rob Balchin for their wonderful catering.

After lunch David Balchin photographed Balchin artefacts that members had brought in so that these artefacts can later be used in the newsletters or on a calendar.  The artefacts include an Edmund Balchin gun, war medals, milk bottles and several Nigel Balchin novels.

Then, after Diana Beamish had recounted her mother’s holiday with a French family in 1937, the story of Edmund Balchin, gunsmith, was told.  The research had been done by Jenny Dixon, Rob and Tina Balchin and René Bullas, and they presented their very comprehensive findings. Tom Balchin also spoke about the gun.

After tea and more cakes we returned home with good memories of another great gathering.

Diana Beamish

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