“During gloomy January, a group of LETS
members met at Pizza Express in Wallingford for supper together, before going on to the Corn Exchange to see Cinderella.
This was the Sinodun Players 70th annual
pantomime and was acted and sung with
delightful relish by the whole cast. The rock and roll sounds of the 1950s and 1960s were the background to a re-imagining of the old story of Cinderella, complete with Buttons, Ugly Sisters
and of course the traditional Principal Boy (with
great legs, and thigh slapping!) as Prince Charming and a lovely young Cinderella.
We were lucky to be amongst the first to enjoy a performance in the newly refurbished auditorium. The shocking pink seats gave an additional festive swirl to a really fun evening.”

“More than a testimonial, this is a note to express my gratitude towards LETS organisation.

This is more or less when I decided to get rid of my old car that I joined LETS and it made it very easy. There were many trips to the tip, back and forth to the train station and especially people picking us up after some gigs for our daughter, when there are no buses any more. In our times of ecological threat it feels good to be able to contribute in the reduction of carbon emission, by taking the bus whenever possible and rely on LETS when it is not.

There were also precious help and advice about computer matters, garden, electricity…

At the time of leaving this region, again it is so useful to trade the furniture and things we can’t take with us and make it a fruitful income that will be precious for the help definitely needed for the final clearing and cleaning of the house and garden.

I really hope I will be able to find another group as dynamic wherever I go!”

“I think a lot of people feel they don’t have any skills or experience that would be useful or that they will be asked to do things all the time. Maybe it would be good to stress the way it actually works.

I think it is brilliant!”

“Having been a member for 3 or 4 years, I have found LETS immensely useful in so many ways: pictures mended and hung; small sewing jobs done; curtain rail and small cupboard put up, to mention just a few things.

Details of the stable
Details of the stable

And – really special – Ian  made me a stable to house a set of French nativity figures that belonged to my parents but never had a home. A lot of imagination was also used in making the various accoutrements one would find in a stable

My crib- with the light

– cart wheels, rake, hay rack and hay – and it even has a light.

Best of all, some of these kind people have become friends and I have been able to help them, too. When one moves to a new area, as I did to Ewelme in January 2010, it’s such a help to join a friendly organisation like LETS. One soon has a nucleus of acquaintances, and bumping into them around the local area induces a good feeling of belonging.”

“Join LETS. Go on, do it!

My decision to join LETS was based largely on having cupboards full of tools, a passion for fixing things and a little more spare time than had previously been the case—but I was also aware that there were new faces to meet and, on both counts,  LETS has kept me pleasantly amused for several years.

Being in a minority within the group—by which I mean a chap—has its advantages but it would be a fine thing if more men joined the scheme. Nevertheless, LETS has been a most enjoyable way of keeping various skills current and has let me draw services that lady members invariably do better, such as curtaining, clothing repairs, ironing, advice and help with interior design and decorating; even assistance with keeping an unruly garden on the straight and narrow. I mustn’t forget a very welcome rescue mission when I had a plumbing emergency.

Social activities have (dare I say this?) exceeded expectations, although I must attribute this to one or two members who have a genius for this sort of thing: such is life. They know who they are but I’ll spare any blushes. This is an extra way to earn castles, two per person attending, as well as a way to build trust for giving you house keys to someone for a few days’ watering and puss care.

This year we are looking forward to useful swaps, but also walks, gastronomic adventures, a week’s mucking-in holiday and… well… more decorating. Still, you can’t have it all.”

LETS holiday

For the last few years, LETS have boldly been on holiday! Everyone is free to do as they please, lolling, walking, exploring, or not. This year’s was in a large house in Shorwell,  West Wight

Comments from holidaymakers:

“Northcourt House was a holiday let on a truly grand scale, with generous rooms, some of which were simply vast, and a range of facilities that was difficult to fault. I can’t recall ever before having taken a bath in a room the size of my
lounge! The grounds were as varied as they were extensive and I would be happy to return. As ever, the island is charming and delightful, although a Force
6 gale made hard work of exploring The Needles. We found good food and interesting corners wherever we went—even if we occasionally rode in the wrong direction for want of familiarity with the bus services. It appears that Anna H. deserves most of the credit for pulling this LETS venture together and I’m immensely grateful for all her hard work.”                                                                        Ian Wheeler

“This year was my initiation into the now traditional LETS holiday. I was introduced to the arcane rituals of room allocation, sharing kitchen duties and shopping rotas. This year LETS ventured overseas…. to the Isle of Wight. We hired a wing of Northcourt House in Shorwell. It is an ancient pile built in 1637. It is family owned and they let out various wings for holidays. The grounds are
extensive and were well worth a walk round. You may remember May and June provided a lot of hot weather, but not the week we were there. We managed to avoid most of the rain, but it was very windy. But it didn’t stop us having group outings to Carisbrooke Castle and Osborne House which was built for Queen
Victoria. It was also my first, and last, experience of sailing. Five of us went out on the Solent in a 38ft yacht in a force 6 wind. I was seasick for which I apologise to my shipmates. I’m sticking to the ferry in future. All in all, it was a very enjoyable holiday with good company and some excellent walks and scenery.”                                Simon Wallis