Oakley Court Hotel, Sunday 24th August, 2014
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"From what had gone before this was certain to be..........A Picnic."
Sunday, September 7th, 2014
Well that was a good one, wasn't it!
The weather was spot on for the Sunday picnic and the food was the best yet. Ninety five people booked for the 2014 event and the whole day was one of the best we have had so far.
2014 was our ninth picnic in a row that we have held at Oakley Court, original filming location for The Rocky Horror Picture Show and now one of the most beautiful hotels in the UK.
As always the picnic was held on the Sunday before the August bank holiday. We had some concerns last year when the hotel was put up for sale, but fortunately Oakley Court was sold to someone who loves the place and wanted it to carry on in it's fine tradition of a excellence. We sent out messages to reassure the picnickers all was well and had a record ninety five people booked in by the day itself, taking out nearly half the rooms in the hotel just for us.
We set off on the Sunday morning, expecting the normal delays on the M25/M4 and weren't surprised when we got to park for a while on the M25. We arrived well before the check in time of 3pm, so left the bags in the car and wandered around the back of the hotel to meet up with the other early birds. A few fans had booked the Saturday night as well as the picnic (some even booked the week), so there were a few familiar faces to have a quick drink with while we waited for our rooms. As always the hotel were flying our "Transylvanian" flag that Steph had made for the events a few years back and it's always a great feeling as you pull up outside the hotel to see it fluttering in the breeze.
After check in we met up on the decking outside the back of the hotel and chatted to friends old and new as Oakley prepared the picnic itself. When we first started these events way back in 2006 we brought rugs to sit on and all fitted onto the croquet lawn. Now with over ninety of us things were a little different. Oakley Court set up several large round tables and chairs for the picnickers and the food was served around 4pm. Many commented that this was the best picnic food we had been served over all the years of the picnic. Plenty to go around for all, and with a few having seconds, or thirds as well. The deserts were a favourite of many and sitting outside our favourite building made for a perfect day. Even the weather was on our side, not too hot or sunny, but no rain and just perfect for the picnic.While we were having desert we met one of the organisers of an charity event called "Digging up the Thames". A group of novice canoeists were paddling Canadian canoes the 125 mile length of the Thames in five days to raise money for the Samson Centre for ms. They were just about to reach Oakley Court and he wondered if the fans might stand on the river bank to offer a little encouragement as the canoeists passed by. We don't think he actually warned them that we'd be there and the look on their faces as ninety plus Rocky fans in full costume cheered and waved as they passed by was priceless. They had to stop the boats for a while to make sure they weren't hallucinating. You can read more about their adventure and make a donation at www.justgiving.com/16idiots
After the picnic itself there was plenty more time for the usual photographs and for people to relax and chill out in the beautiful grounds of Oakley Court. We have always said that the whole point of the picnics was to have a nice relaxed day with fellow fans and as such we did not organise too much to happen on the day. We did however run our traditional evening event.
Around 9pm we started to gather in one of Oakley's function suites for our traditional movie screening. I never will get over the fact that we get to sit inside the house, watching the outside of the house on the big screen, while we are inside the house, etc. We've done this since 2006 and it's always a highlight of the weekend. After the traditional raffle, (with cheering and heckling included) we settled back to watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show, forty years after it as filmed in the same location. After a final Time Warp we said our thanks to the picnickers and headed off in search of a final drink or three before retiring for the night. I also did a couple of quick night photos of the building for fun.
Bright and early next morning we headed down to breakfast, well I say we, Dana being a teenager decided to pass on breakfast in favour of more sleep. The breakfasts at Oakley Court are to die for and half the fun is seeing if you can recognise the fans when they aren't wearing their Rocky garb. Some are easy, others take a while.
After breakfast, Illya went for a swim while we chatted with the fans. The usual final photo by the fountain didn't happen this year as the heavens opened and the rain was to quote Janet "very heavy". Carol did manage to get out in a break between the rain to take part in "The Ice Bucket Nominate Game", Steph also had a go albeit a toned down version as she hadn't spare clothes to change into after.
We checked out just before the 11am deadline and headed off home to see how much the cats had missed us (not at all as it turned out). Most years we also booked for the next one on check out, this year we had to wait a couple of days as the date was pencilled in a year ahead, missing the bank holiday weekend which was right at the end of August in 2015. This was sorted by Tuesday and there are already several people booked in for the 2015 event which will be our TENTH picnic show. See you all there.
For more information about the event, please see the main Picnic Show page for our frequently asked questions.
Galleries of images from the day - images online 536 Queued/Previewed 0 (Thumbnails only at this time)
Comments from the 2014 picnic - Say It!
"Well what can we say.... as born again Rocky fans after a 25 year rest .....kids..and after attending 6 shows from the 2013 tours, we are hooked,but what do we do for 2014?
"Just to say, another great picnic. Had a great time and made new friends. Dave and Steph, your hard work is appreciated. Looking forward to next year Xx"
"Would just like to say it was our first time at the picnic and it was absolutely brilliant! Thank you so
much for organising such a fantastic event and for being so welcoming! Really enjoyed meeting everybody!
"I had an absolute BLAST again. Such an atmosphere, and despite missing numerous regular visitors, made so many new friends.
Once again the TimeWarp fan club picnic at Oakley Court proved to be one of the year's major highlights.
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