Cranleigh Lions
The Cranleigh Lion Tamers at their Christmas Bazaar

The Cranleigh Lion Tamers

The Cranleigh & District Lion Tamers were formed soon after the Cranleigh Lions Club was chartered in 1974. It started as a social club for the wives/family of the 'Lions' as a means of getting to know each other. From those early days we have now progressed to becoming an organisation in our own right and although we still have social events, our main activity is fund raising. Our membership is now open to any lady wishing to join and help.

To avoid any problems with baby sitters, the Cranleigh Lions meet on the 1st Monday of a month, and our meetings are held on the 2nd Monday of the month at 7.30pm in the St John Ambulance Station HQ on Littlemead Industrial Estate. We don't meet in August. In December and July we go out for a meal. We also have various other social events in the form of dog racing, theatre, wine tasting etc.

We hold our voting meeting in June when we elect a Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, two Activities Chairmen, Welfare Chairman and Entertainments Chairman. The Vice President takes over after the July meeting/social. Annual subs are £10.00 which goes to St John for the use of the hall and is payable in September. When a new lady has attended 3 meetings she is asked whether she wishes to join and if so sold a badge at a cost of £5.00 to be worn at all meetings. We all try to wear matching outfits at our sales but these are optional purchases.

Please Note: We are not an official Ladies Lions Club, nor a Lioness Club, who have to pay subs to the Lions Headquarters in the USA and are much bigger organisations with rules and formalities to adhere to. Ladies can of course become Lions.

Money raised is distributed in much the same way as the Lions but on a smaller scale by giving financial help to the elderly, the schools, local clubs/organisations, social services, the health centre, individuals and any other requests which are brought to our attention. We sometimes join forces with the Lions on specific projects.

Every year in Cranleigh Village Hall, we raise money by having sales on Thursday mornings in the side room. We also run a Christmas/Autumn Bazaar and a Spring Fayre in the hall where we sell 'tables' to other organisations or individuals to sell their own crafts.

Apart from our Village Hall Sales we also attend the Cranleigh Lions Carnival & Fun Day and also the Classic Car Show where we run Tombola and book stalls. At the Carnival we also provide refreshments in the form of homemade cakes and freshly filled baguettes. At the Lion's Classic Car Show we also sell homemade cakes and drinks and run the Lion's Tombola.

We help the Lions where possible on Bonfire night but this is not our fund raising event.

We are always looking for new members so if you would like to join us why not come along and meet us at our next business meeting on or ring Dot Withers on 01483-273680

Brenda Beeson

The Cranleigh & District Lion Tamers are sad to announce that their longest standing member of the club has decided to retire. Brenda Beeson joined the club at its formation 40 years ago when meetings were a social get together and a chance to get to know each other as wives of the newly formed Lions Club. Brenda's husband Ray is still a Lion and is one of the original charter members along with Lion Phil Tilbury. As well as keeping up the social side, it wasn't long before the members started doing their own fundraising and finding that there are always several causes requiring additional funding whether it be an individual, school, health centre or youth organisation.

Our social events were often in the form of family entertainment as several of us had young children or young grandchildren and they were all included in the Lions activities.

Brenda was always seen at the annual bonfire celebrations with Ray dressed as John Bull leading the torchlight procession.

Brenda and Ray have always been in the thick of it and have over the years, given up their home and garden as storage for our equipment and our items for selling from books to bric-a-brac. We often had 'wash up' sessions in her garden. Ray has always helped us with loading and unloading at all our sales.

In recent years Brenda has been responsible for and has organised the Tombola at our Christmas Fairs, the Spring Sales and Carnival Days. She collects all the prizes throughout the year, tickets them all up and then spends the day running the stall. She is always one of the first to arrive and one of the last to leave at all our events.

She also helps the Lions and runs their Tombola at the Classic Car Show and was this year selling raffle tickets at the Lions Easter Egg Hunt.

During her 40 years she has held several positions in the club. She is a stalwart of the club and will be missed by us all. We're sorry to see you hang up your 'whip' Brenda (bad luck Ray) and we all wish you well in your retirement. Thank you for everything you have done, look after yourself and don't forget to pop in for a cuppa.