Logo copyright Gwyn Gillett
THE WILD GOOSE AFFAIR
Report by Rosie Hickman
3rd & 4th March 2018
Saturday 3rd March U.N.C.L.E agents met at the Norfolk Arms Hotel for the 21st Man from U.N.C.L.E convention. This year the theme was birds with geese being the focal point.
Thirteen agents made it to the convention but due to the Thrush weather machine causing the freezing, snowy conditions, known as The Beast from the East and Storm Emma, four agents were unable to attend. Agents Ann and Rosemary from Scotland, Kendra from Ireland and Gwyn from the North of England were greatly missed. This year we welcomed a new agent to the convention, Agent Erica.
The convention opened with the U.N.C.L.E episode ‘The Shark Affair’. In keeping with the Bird theme the episode featured Sammy the budgerigar. An exciting adventure of a modern day Noah’s Ark. At least Illya had plenty to eat, though found assistance from the innocent, Elsa Barnman less then helpful.
After morning coffee an episode from The Dupont Show with June Allyson entitled ‘Emergency’ (1960) was shown. It featured Robert Vaughn as Dr Guy Collins, a young doctor who had to perform emergency surgery on his girlfriend, who also happened to be the daughter of his boss. A tense medical drama that fortunately ended well.
Twelve o’clock signalled the start of ‘The Wild Goose Chase’! Agents could form into teams or attempt the assignment as a solo operator, but the aim was for agents to find twenty one letters written on small laminated cards that were located in the hotel and the around town of Arundel. The letters would then form a well-known phrase used in the Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Before the assignment could begin we were informed that a member of the hotel staff had accidentally thrown away one of the letters; clearly a Thrush agent.
I was in a team with agents Bridget, Shirley and Gavin and, with the helpful map supplied by Agent Jac, we searched Arundel. I was impressed by the hiding places Jac had secured for the letters. I was equally impressed by the tolerance of the people of Arundel as we peered into shops and cafes searching for the letters.
The assignment was put on hold while agents convened at The Norfolk Arms for a delicious lunch. Once fortified, agents continued the Wild Goose Chase.
My team managed to find seventeen of the letters and Agent Gavin was able to work out the phrase, ‘Come with me to the Casbah’
3pm and it was time for the Quiz. Agents were formed into four teams and, with each correct answer, moved a counter around a board, much like Snakes and Ladders but the board used had a bird theme (Game of Goose). Once again the questions were fiendish and included many visual questions. Our newest agent, Erica had an impressive knowledge of U.N.C.L.E and her team which included Anne and Debbie won the quiz.
After a break for afternoon tea, the U.N.CL.E episode ‘The Jingle Bells Affair’ was shown. Quite appropriate as snow was still visible on the roof tops of Arundel. In keeping with the bird theme this adventure featured turkeys, who aided Illya and Napoleon in their escape.
Following the episode, the agents formed up for the photo session.
Agents then had free time in which to pursue other activities. I joined Agents Debbie, Michael and Ruth for a game of Trivial Pursuit. For many years agent Debbie from the USA has had to endure the British edition TP questions; this year Debbie brought the American, Baby Boomers edition questions. Debbie won the game and may I congratulate her on her victory.
The convention recommenced at 10am with the U.N.C.L.E episode ‘The Five Daughters Affair’ part one. A fast moving adventure that takes us to many different countries, as Illya and Napoleon attempt to prevent Thrush from obtaining the formula to turn sea water into gold.
Following the morning coffee break, agents formed into teams to play U.N.C.L.E Trivial Pursuit, following the rules of Trivial Pursuit but the categories were U.N.C.L.E.- related:
Films and Books
Agent Jac had prepared the devilishly hard questions and may I thank her for all the hard work she did to prepare the game. Agents had to put on their thinking caps and played until lunch was ready. The game would continue later in the afternoon.
After lunch it was time for the Raffle and Caption Competition results.
Once again many raffle prizes were donated by agents, including photos, books, badges, key rings, and the Arundel 21 logo, beautifully drawn by Gwyn, in a paperweight and a bag.
The photo for the Caption Competition this year was of Illya and Napoleon, posed side by side; Illya’s hair was coated in a white powder.
Several caption suggestions focused on dandruff and hair shampoo but the winning caption was from Agent Bridget with:
Napoleon says to Illya, “You look like you have been fighting a flock of pigeons not Thrush”
2nd place was Agent Gavin with “Looks like they tried to put Illya in the man from U.N.C.L.E cake!”
(The Norfolk Arms Hotel had joined in with the U.N.C.L.E convention by making a creamy dessert with an U.N.C.L.E inscription for lunch.)
3rd place was Agent Gwyn with “Stop moaning that you’re cold, Illya. It’s your own fault, I told you it was snowing up in Glasgow!”
Jac had maintained contact with those who had been unable to attend due to the Thrush weather machine, so Agents Gwyn, Ann, Rosemary and Kendra could still be part of the fun.
Following afternoon tea, the second part of ‘The Five Daughters Affair’ was shown. Ducks surrounding Illya in the pool at the nightclub continued the bird theme of the convention.
The U.N.C.L.E. Trivial Pursuit Game recommenced with agents once again in deep thought. Agents Bridget and Andrzej were worthy winners of the game.
Once again all good things must come to an end. Many agents had to leave for home. Agents Michael, Ruth, Debbie and myself, who were staying Sunday night, engaged in a game of Trivial Pursuit.
British questions were used by Michael, Ruth and me, while Debbie had the American set. Debbie once again won the game.
Arundel 21, The Wild Goose Affair, was a delightful occasion; a chance to meet up with old friends and welcome new ones.
Many thanks to The Norfolk Arms Hotel. The staff were very welcoming to the agents. The food was delicious and plentiful.
Many thanks to Jac for all the work she does organising the convention.
Looking forward to The Arundel Affair 22!