DERT '98 - Ryton, Gateshead
An Organiser's View

by Ednie Wilson

Sunday before DERT '98 - All calm on the Eastern Front, no obvious problems, everything booked and paid for, money in! and we seem to have broken even (if all the T-shirts sell).

Monday before DERT '98 - Exhibition OK, Children's event all checked, going away for two days, what can go wrong now?

Wednesday before DERT '98 - ten more people coming, can the accommodation cope? Ryton club want us out an hour early (give that one to Ricky). Black Bull can't open for the Saturday 'warm-up' - need to re-site four teams.

Thursday before DERT '98 - Ten more people coming to sleep over - need new accommodation hall - Ryton Community Centre say yes!!!, Ricky explained the situation to the club and we are alright until 5.30 on Saturday. The Geordie Ridley can take the teams on Saturday a.m. and do food. E-mail from one team needing to be with another for rehearsal purposes. Alterations to information sent out to teams means I have to make eleven phone calls - finally contact all teams by 11.30 pm.

Friday before DERT '98 - Keys for halls collected, pubs checked and warned of numbers. Cash collected and shopping done. Small problem with back door keys at Ryton Community Centre - but who cares at this point?

Saturday 21st February - DERT (D-Day). Children's competition a success, 9 teams took part with enthusiasm and energy. George and Phil from Spen judged very diplomatically. Chris and Steve played for all of them very sympathetically and Ricky Forster and Derek Atkin watched as the young ones showed off their hard work. Blaydon Library was packed and the Press call went well. The 'warm-up' pubs were all O.K. - thanks to The Bisley, The Geordie Ridley, The Runhead, The White Swan and The Fox & Hounds, the dance-offs were very friendly. The Short Circuit floor was well and truly tested.

The competition went with a wizz. I wish I could have seen the teams dance but I could hear the applause! The judges were heroes, working under pressure - thank you to Alastair Anderson, Arwen Heaton, Sally Wearing, Derek Atkin, Dave Pearson, Peter Brown. Ian on the scoring deserved nothing but praise. It kept the pace up and there were no anti-climaxes. What a shame there were no novice entries!

As for the evening, the silly games broke the ice and everyone entertained themselves very well. At least I'm told they did, I fell asleep in various corners of the lodge. Thanks to ‘the girls’ – Hazel, Jean, Alex and Alice – I was with you between snores! We still don't know what really happened to George Welch but a truly repentant ‘G’ keeps sending me flowers at work (could there be a connection?).

Sunday 22nd. February '98 (D-Day+one) - The Sunday Bus Trip - did set off only a little bit late and a good time was had by all, thanks to George for his contribution and to the Black Horse for putting on sandwiches (nice one!). I am indebted to all the cleaners on Sunday morning and to the incredible team work of High Spen and Short Circuit and their ability to work together over the whole event. Also thanks to Addison for their assistance on Saturday night and to Kathleen and Margaret for hours in the kitchen.

Monday 23rd February '98 (D-Day+two) - Only one question still remains unanswered. Why is Phil Heaton still here?