Nov 19

Grand Appeal Total

The Grand Total for our Gromit fund raising has been boosted by a brilliant £2400 raised by the Rotary Club of Chipping Sodbury for their ‘Along the Edge with Gromit‘ event.

This means that our total raised is £7450 and many, many thanks to all who contributed, great and small. A memorable amount from a memorable summer.

Along the Edge‘ organisers John and Barry accompanied me to the Children’s Hospital to handover the cheque to Sarah Vipond of the Unleashed team. We had hoped the leader of our BBQ teams could have been with us for the handover but it wasn’t to be – more news on Lady Hyacinth in our next blog.

In the meantime please enjoy the accompanying pictures showing me (wearing my 19 years old Christmas Beaufort jumper), Barry, John and Sarah along with our letter and certificate.

Click image to enlarge ….

Nov 14

Kilcott Experience 2013

Our final fund raiser of 2013 was for our dear friends at PROPS and it involved us teaming up once again with the Hogweed Trotters for their annual ‘Kilcott Experience’.

The event was smaller this year but we still managed to raise £154.50p for PROPS – just over £120 from the BBQ (funded by the Beaufort) with the balance from the raffle (prizes donated by the Hogweeds [mostly] and the Long John Silver Trust).

Many, many thanks to the Hogweeds and most of all Lady Hyacinth and the rest of our BBQ team, I did manage to get a thank you in to everyone at the end but here’s another just in case.

This year the proceeds went directly into an inclusive project PROPS have been working on for some while at Tormarton – producing logs and kindling.

The team needed a new concrete plinth for wheel chair access and the funds went to that, please see pictures below.

PROPS are having a bit of a supply problem at the moment as they can’t cut them quick enough, but if you’re interested they’re £4 a bag and £7.50p for a box of kindling. Enquiries via PROPS from their web site –

Great stuff one and all!
Click an image to enlarge:

Oct 19

Harmony Gromit’s Update

Having Harmony Gromit with us triggered a lot of generosity from all of our friends and especially Harmony’s artist, Marie Simpson.

The first pressie we received was a lovely plush Gromit from Mary and this was swiftly followed by a knitted version from Maggie – both very touching in their own way.

On top of this, Marie then very kindly painted us our own Harmony to get over the disappointment of not being able to buy him at auction, this we’re sharing with Hawkesbury’s Rainbow’s.

All of these will now be treasured along with Dilly’s donation bucket which we accidentally purloined after writing Gromit on it with a permanent marker.

Anyhoo, many thanks one and all, superb souvenirs from one of the best things we’ve ever been involved with.

Incidentally, regarding the money the Beaufort has helped raise for Bristol’s Children’s Hospital, thanks to Chipping Sodbury Rotary’s ‘Along the Edge with Gromit’ sponsored walk, our figure now stands at an amazing £6,000 plus, with a few more pounds to come in.

Click image to enlarge ….

Oct 10

Bingo at the Beaufort!

bingoGet your ‘wings’ out ready, its Bingo at the Beaufort!

Hawkesbury’s Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes (the Buffs) has organised a night in the Beaufort Skittle Alley come Function Room.

It’s this Sunday, the 13th of October 2013, with an 8pm start.

All proceeds are going to Cancer Research UK so please come along if you fancy it.

Two fat ladies, clickety click!

Oct 04

Gromit Unleashed Trail – Grand Auction

Gromit-CutoutLast evening (3rd October 2013) saw the culmination of the Gromit Unleashed Trail with a Grand Auction at the Mall in Cribbs Causeway. 

Myself and Fiona represented the Beaufort and we were delighted to meet (and accompany) Harmony Gromit’s artist Marie Simpson. The venue was packed but still Nick Park (Gromit’s creator as if you didn’t know) made time for everyone and auctioneer Tim Wonacott was on top form.

Harmony had made so many people in Hawkesbury happy we were determined to try and get him (her?) back to stay with us in the pub.

Our little orphan  was lot 46 and we bided our time, the lowest price up until then was £16k and we crossed our fingers that Harmony might stay within our grasp.

Lot 45 was ‘Watch out Gromit’ by Gerald Scarfe (one of my favourites) and it fetched £50k and my heart was pounding when Tim turned to ours.

He kindly let me open the bidding but within seconds my bid was swamped by internet bids, £13k, £16, £20k and before we knew where we were, £23k and sold…. Not to us. Deflated we carried on watching the event with Tim, and the Gromits, in sparkling form.

A massive £2.357,000.00p was made for Bristol’s Children’s Hospital and huge thanks must go to all the people involved, but most of all Nick Park, Peter Lord, Dave Sproxton and all of the other artists involved. I don’t think they can begin to imagine the great joy these pooches have brought to everyone.
Click an image to enlarge ….

Oct 03

Gromit Auction Latest

Hawkesbury’s Rainbows have been busy doing their Guiding Gromit badge by doing various events and activities centred around our own Harmony Gromit.

Last week they did a Jumble Sale in aid of the Grand Appeal for Bristol’s Children’s Hospital and last night they made biscuits, designed their own Gromit and did a ‘find and seek Gromit’ – pictures of Harmony were spread around their meeting place and they had to find two each (they were allowed to keep one of them).

They kindly sent me one of the Gromit biscuits (please see below) and gave my wife Fiona, ‘Badger’ to the Rainbows, a special little envelope containing assorted good luck tokens for when we go to bid for Harmony tonight at the ‘Gromit Unleashed Auction’ at the Mall in Cribbs Causeway.

Girls, we’ll do our best and many thanks for everything.Good luck Gromit biscuit 001

Sep 27

Harvest Home Auction 2013

Saturday, 14th September saw our annual Harvest Home and even though numbers were down, we still managed to raise £560 for the Senior Citizens Fund in the village.

Terry Trip was our ace auctioneer and he did such a good job we had to slow him down! As ever, produce and generosity from the village and Beaufort regulars was amazing and we had plenty of goodies to go around.

I can’t begin to thank everyone who contributed and bid enough, but I will single out Lady Hyacinth once again who despite being poorly did a fantastic job again with her ploughmans and puddings.

Lots of others contributed as well, including Dave and Ann, Biggus Dickus and Fiona, Chris and Sal, Josie and Keith, Brian Noble, Derek Watts, Lizzie’s luscious plumsand a host of others (but please forgive me if I missed you out – my memory’s not what it was).

Terry was helped by Fiona selecting the goods and Big Dave collecting the money and Sam and Liz kindly did the raffle (thanks team).

I was determined to win the Wallace and Gromit lunchbox but if it wasn’t for Julie Blackwell letting me buy it at the end it wouldn’t be resplendent on our top shelf where it is now.

Huge thanks to everyone who came along, bid, and had a bit of fun. Another memorable night.

‘Ace Auctioneer Terry Tripp in action’

‘Ace Auctioneer Terry Tripp in action’

“Marvellous Martin from Badminton walks off with his goodies”

“Marvellous Martin from Badminton walks off with his goodies”

“Top shelf Wallace and Gromit Lunchbox (thanks Julie)”

“Top shelf Wallace and Gromit Lunchbox (thanks Julie)”

Sep 27

Annual ‘Kilcott Experience’ 2013

Sunday 29th September sees our Annual ‘Kilcott Experience’ with the famous Hogweed Trotters and PROPS – the latter, as you may know, is a Fishponds based special needs charity near and dear to our hearts.

Please see poster below, if you don’t fancy anything energetic, just come along anyway for a value burger especially prepared for us by Lady Hyacinth and her team (Barbie will be going from noon to about 1.30pm).

Hopefully see you Sunday…


Sep 24

Gromit Cake (?)

Seen here is a Gromit cake(?) not only featuring the brilliant ceramic Gromits, but also Bert and Chef, two characters from Yate based A C Services (Southern) Ltd, who have been tracking everything connected with the Gromit Unleashed Trail and kindly keeping the Beaufort informed.

It’s nice to put names to faces and they certainly look at home amongst the Gromits – thanks for all of your support lads …



Sep 21

The Greatest Dog Show on Earth!

Fresh back from the sponsors night at “The Greatest Dog Show on Earth!” we managed to check up on Harmony Gromit and make sure all was well.

Located at the ‘Gromit Unleashed ‘Pup Up’ Gallery’ (in the old Habitat building in Bristol) we found our precious pooch on the first floor nestled in amongst the ‘Nature’s Best Dogs’ category looking a little bit concerned, please see piccie below.

Dogshow Harmony

It’s a cracking exhibition and anyone trying to make it there won’t be disappointed, extended opening hours are proposed for Saturday and Sunday and, due to public demand, the exhibition is going to stay on for an extra day on Monday before the all of the Gromit’s are packed off in readiness for auction in October.

Whilst there me and my wife Fiona met several old friends, including Royston Griffey and Bob McKeown from the Long John Silver Trust (representing the Matthew, host to Newfoundland Gromit) and Bristol Mayor George Fergusson, resplendent in his red trousers as usual and cock-a-hoop at the success of the Gromit Unleashed Trail.

We joked with him about Bristol’s successor to Gromit and while Royston was keen on Unicorn’s, George was all for pirates, he could envision a stack of Long John Silver’s around the city and I was with him all of the way.

I then spent my entire weeks wages on Gromit merchandise including a brilliant new book ‘The Art of Gromit Unleashed’ – get’em while you can…