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Rich Butler has been volunteering with Talking Shop since September 2012. Along with being a regular volunteer with the Saturday market team, he has organised many successful fundraising events for the project including a Jazz Night and, more recently, the monthly Quiz Nights at the Catherine Wheel. Rich tells us more about what’s involved with the monthly quiz and why he does it.

What was the first show on Channel 4? Who were the female members of Abba? Which song featured as the theme to Rocky III? What is the largest moon of Jupiter? These are just some of the things I’ve learned about recently whilst putting together the monthly quiz. Luckily I’m already a big fan of quizzes and quiz shows so I get a regular dose of facts and figures which I can draw upon to come up with the questions for the quiz.

An enjoyable challenge

The most difficult part is trying to ensure the questions offer a good range of knowledge that appeals to people of different ages and backgrounds – not too specialised or academic, not just about pop culture, not all modern. It is also a challenge to find a good balance of easy and hard questions so that everybody has a chance at answering. Something I haven’t always succeeded in doing but hope I’m getting better at!

Quizzes have been themed around music, World Cup countries and so on. When theming a night’s quiz or even just theming rounds, I’ve also had to ensure I include questions from subjects outside my areas of interest or knowledge otherwise I’d soon have run out of subjects.

The fun of fundraising

The best bit about running the quiz has been the opportunity to do something I enjoy whilst also raising funds for the project (spending time in the pub is of course an added bonus). So far the quizzes have raised over £500 – about half of which has come from the raffle.

Billy & Emma in The Catherine Wheel have been very supportive, donating prizes to the quiz in the form of drinks which meant more of the cash can go back to the project. This also allowed me to express my creativity by designing some “drink vouchers”. With the pub being so busy for most quizzes too it’s been a real win-win situation for everybody.

We’ve had some very kind support from several villagers in the form of regular donations of raffle prizes. Most notably, each month, we’ve had cakes donated by Hazel Cattell & homemade fudge from Hamish Aird.

The quiz has had some good feedback too (although the first one was probably a bit too hard!) 81 people crammed into the pub for that first quiz in May. One pub regular even said he’d never seen that many people in the pub in all his years. Glasses and chairs (as well as pens) were in short supply and everyone seemed to have a good night. That night I learned a lot about the planning and question setting which has stood me in good stead and meant the subsequent quizzes have been even better (although never quite as busy, but then summer is always a little quieter in the village as people take their holidays).

It’s been really nice seeing people from all parts of the village get together and a great opportunity for me to meet lots of new people, which in essence is one of the main points of Talking Shop. I’m really proud to have been able to support it in some small way.

The future of the quiz

Look out for more quizzes (in support of the project) in October and through the Winter. Please email contacts.talkingshop@gmail.com if you would like to be added to our mailing list.

Thanks again for all your support,
Rich

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