Dinton Info


Seven Stars Dinton – Florence Nightingale Quiz Result

Your Donations Help Keep the Lamp Shining **** £1,355.57 ****

Well done to all who took part in our Seven Stars Dinton Quiz recently in aid of the Florence Nightingale Hospice based at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. 
Eight teams contested over ten rounds in traditional Seven Stars mayhem with Upton Mafia just edging out Weston Wizard’s and Dexter’s Parent’s to claim the laurels of victory. 
However, on this night of extreme generosity everyone one was a winner and none more so than the Hospice itself when the final tally revealed the staggering amount of £1,355.57pence was raised by the event. 
While politicians around the world wreak chaos and confusion everywhere it is great to know that ‘normal’ folk recognise the really important things in life and readily support worthy causes in our community. 
While BREXIT, TRUMPISM, the madness that pervades LABOUR and the persistent ginger sniping of the SNP make for much divided opinion and hilarity in the pub, our community is guaranteed to unite behind the Florence Nightingale Hospice and the outstanding service, comfort and compassion it provides to so many at times of great family difficulty and sadness.
We would like to say a massive thank you to those who donated such wonderful gifts for the raffle and auction we ran during the quiz. The holiday breaks in France (Steph and her parents), the Golf (Viv Martin and friends), beauty treatments from Debbie Macklin were among the highlights and there were many many more lovely gifts to make the evening go with a swing. 
Upton Mafia donated all their winning prize money and Gary’s domino fund added further. Steph again donated all the cash collected from the half time meal and there were so many donations directly into the collection bucket both during the quiz and in the days preceding and immediately following. 
The Florence Nightingale Hospice were fantastic in their own support for our event and their certificate of achievement and congratulation now hangs proudly in The Seven Stars bar. 
We will continue to support this most worthy of causes at least annually with a dedicated quiz and there is a collection box permanently located within The Seven Stars should frequenters wish to make a donation at any time.

Again a huge thank you for all your contributions and for making it such an enjoyable quiz on the night played in the right spirit for a cause we all know touches most of us at some time in our lives – WELL DONE - Florence is very pleased and her lamp still shines mightily!!!!!!
The next quiz is on Sunday the 9th of April @7PM, to reserve a table contact Steph on 01296 749000 or email steph@sevenstarsdinton.com

Steve Diana Steph Josh

He Who Dares Wins
The 2016/17 Seven Stars Quiz Season got under way Sunday a week ago with 4 teams competing. 
Seasoned professionals, WAX ON WAX OFF, THE MIGHTY MARQUEE TEAM and defending Chumpions UPTON MAFIA eyed each other with the same love Jose demonstrates towards Pep during a Manchester derby.
 ‘Strangers in the House’ came the cry from the bar and all eyes turned towards the door as a mean, lean moustachioed and bearded hombre and his two molls entered. Eyeing the rabble already seated the stranger’s emitted an aura which made clear that the trio were on a mission and past reputations meant nothing to these cool dudes.  Announcing themselves as Dexter’s Parents they occupied seats so often the base for absent CROWN JEWELS and looking all over the natural successors. Regulars unsure who Dexter might be closed ranks and muttered obscenities. 
And so the scene was set for a deadly encounter, a battle of wills if not of whit’s with so many present only half-equipped.
The Quiz Master announced a new format with each Quiz a game in the seasonal league with points awarded depending on finishing positions each time. Absent regulars will be awarded a ‘no show’ nominal score. The usual prizes for each quiz go to the winners and losers on the night. 
Round 1, Olympic Trivia, showed us that cool dudes may have frozen brains as the season kicked off where it ended last year as Captain Dunne (with an e) inspired his misfits to an early lead with Dexter’s Parents scoring a humbling 3.
Round 2, It’s in The News, saw high scoring all round while Round 3 pushed Upton Mafia a point clear of a well polished Wax On Wax Off. 
Round 4, Connections, linked a pair of knickers with Jim Broadbent and Helen Hunt with both WOWO and Upton Mafia making the Brigit Jones connection and the two teams surging clear of the followers.
Steph served up something akin to the ‘Last Supper’ for the interval break after which Round 5 got us going again with Gardener’s Questions where the ‘Cool Dudes’ played a stunning if unexpected Joker. This dented their image a little but greatly improved their position in the quiz as The Mighty Marquee Team slipped to the rear. 
Round 6, What Happened Next, recalled the launching of the QE2, England regaining The Ashes and King Charles 1st losing his head in front of a packed audience outside Whitehall in 1649 with The Mighty Marquee Team starting to show signs of life as they edged the round.
The penultimate Round 7, Music Trivia, had the palindromic ABBA sharing some ‘rabbit’ with Chas and Dave while John Lennon marched the Beatles across Abbey Road. So, coming into the final Round 8 Upton Mafia were clear leaders from WOWO, Dexter’s Parents and The Mighty Marquee Team clearly relying upon a make or break Joker in the double points high risk Dare Round.
He Who Dares Wins but fools seldom do and those believing New Mexico has a Pacific coastline went splash while Clement Attlee and the Tonton Macoute defeated others. And so with a Del Trotter like performance The Mighty Marquee Team sailed majestically into glory while Upton Mafia were Only Fools and Horses. Dexter’s Parents looked in need of their own baby sitter and for WOWO the shine had clearly gone.
2.5 points was the margin of difference when the Picture Answers were included and all down to a 28 point swing on the Dare Round and the unlikely threesome of Rob, Martin and the Behemoth (or be he man?) that is William Bagshaw lifting the first trophy of the year.
Dexter’s Parents took the Picture Round on a countback with Upton Mafia while WOWO gracefully accepted the wooden spoon having blown up on the Dare Round and a miserable Picture Round.
Points awarded:
Mighty Marquee Team – 10 for Rounds – 2 Pictures – Total 12
Upton Mafia – 7 for Rounds – 4 Pictures – Total 11
Dexter’s Parents – 5 for Rounds - 4 Pictures – Total 9
Wax On Wax Off – 3 for Rounds – 1 Pictures – Total 4
Regular non attendees – 2 Points

So we now move on to the next Quiz on 30th October when we expect a large turn out so phone Steph on 01296 749000 to reserve a table. Will The Mighty Marquee team maintain their top spot or will Upton Mafia shake of their complacency and rise to the occasion? Perhaps multiple previous winners The Crown Jewels will challenge or B4, The Others or The Duffers stake a claim. Dark horses The Weston Witches could surprise all, or maybe Dexter’s Parents will build on their first experience and move forward. The Quiz Master already has his money on WOWO to regain past brilliance and outshine them all. Whatever the outcome be assured it will be another night of brainless chaos under The Seven Stars.
Diana, Steph, Steve and Josh



2015 Christmas Charity Fund Raising Pub Quiz Report

Hark the Herald Angels Sing
The Seven Stars Pub is Just the Thing
Drink Ye Bitter, Drink Ye Mild
All you Quizzers be Reviled
Joyful all the Teams Arrive
Can the Dare Round They Survive
Hear the Quizmaster Proclaim
Nothing ventured Nothing Gained
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
To Hell with Winter Bring onSpring!

Twas a few days before Christmas and throughout The Stars
The teams they settled in the restaurant and bars
More than 50 we counted new faces and old
To witness the coming Westlington Scrolls foretold

To honour The Marquee Fund the night was ascribed
As many attempted the Quizmaster to bribe
Round One got us off to a ‘smelly’ beginning
Frankincense so fragrant the reindeer pooh chilling

Then into Round Two, Who and Where was required
The answers far less than what was desired
Dawn French and Iceland would add points to the score
Though many a team fell flat on the floor

Through the bar room window the Moon cast it’s light
Onto Rob’s ghastly features a terrible sight
Round three ‘Connections’ proved difficult for some
They waved the white flag and cried for their Mum

The Quizmaster then came in for much stick
Unbecoming of Christmas the time of St Nick
While his helpers looked on with pity and fright
He fended of fruit, rotten eggs and much sh**e

Now Upton, Now B4, Now Mighty Marquee
On WOWO On Adders On Brain Freeze all three
To the head of the leader board rise do not fall
Dash away Dash away Dash away all

As aromas drifted pungently from Steph’s Christmas curry
Jake left for the kitchen in a furious hurry
Drink upon drink went down many a throttle
As Diana sold tickets for the Christmas raffle

Then on to Round Five we named ‘Christmas Frolics’
While Louise served good ‘spirits’ to raving alcoholics
The Quizmaster now recovered from being in the stew
Downed a full glass of his own favourite brew

School Re-union came next with Bash Street Kids to the fore
When suddenly a knock was heard at the door
Could this be the coming as told in the Scrolls?
Sadly no just a sinner cast out in the cold

Sporting Calendar then followed with a mighty roar
World Cup, Grand National, Wimbledon and more
The Tour de Yorkshire was leading the chase
While games in Glasgow kept up our great pace

And now the finale St Nick and his Pots (Chimney)
Children dreaming of Christmas asleep in their cots
From Bert, Mary Poppin’s and Water Babies galore
Merry Christmas to all who grace the Seven Stars door

And so another year in Seven Stars Quiz land was almost over. The night itself raised £336 for the Dinton Marquee Fund thanks to the generosity of those attending and the winners, “Upton Mafia”, who donated their year’s quiz and domino winnings to the collection. “B4” were worthy runners up while “Operation Christmas Tree” took the spoils for the Picture Round.
A great night had by all and an appropriate end to a year of quizzing which sees “Upton Mafia” narrowly take the 2014 championship closely followed by “WOWO”, “The Crown Jewels” and “B4”.
During the year we raised money for the Florence Nightingale Hospice in Stoke Mandeville and the Dinton Marquee Fund and hopefully provided a bit of fun and light entertainment to take you away for a few hours from the daily worldwide disasters played out in the media. 
From all of us who have so much enjoyment putting the quizzes together and then taking the abuse from contestants we wish you a very happy, healthy 2015 filled with everything you deserve (in Captain Dunne’s case – a new wig or perhaps a new ‘e’). We look forward to battle recommencing on Sunday February 8th which oddly enough is the Feast Day of St Stephen of Muret born in 1046. Now I am not suggesting the Quizmaster is a descendent but look at the facts: 

So unless I am required in Rome for an audience with The Pope we hope you all can join us once again for a new season of pure genius under The Seven Stars

Diana, Steph, Louise and, Steve




Pub Quiz report 16th November 2014

The Wolf of Wall Street

16th November 2011 - London Stock Exchange reports high risk takeover in Pub land. 
Villagers take matters into their own hands following years of declining sales at Seven Stars Dinton.
16th November 2014 SSD Ltd on brink of greatness as Seven Stars turn round challenges the Wolf of Wall Street!
Champagne flowed in the bar of The Seven Stars on Sunday as 8 teams gathered for the penultimate quiz of 2014.
A packed house with four new teams made a tin of sardines looked positively spacious as combatants jostled for the available space.There was however a notable absence – defending ‘chumpions’ Upton Mafia were confined to a remedial centre for those suffering from acute lunacy as rumours spread that Captain Dunne (with an e) had been sectioned following an unfortunate incident with a cucumber the previous Saturday.

Brain Freeze (if only they had a brain to freeze) a pairing of Beauty and The Beast looked at home in this place of massed ignorance while Silver City had the look of those who have wandered unsuspecting into no man’s (or women’s) land. Saturday Strollers, who had apparently been allowed out on a Sunday while their minders kept careful watch from the Robinson Snug, had perhaps mistaken the Quiz for a gathering of the Aylesbury Vale Narcolepsy Speed Dating Club as Goldie Locks and the Three Mares, some sort of trade off between the American TV sitcom Golden Girls and The Telly Tubbys, had obviously heard there were ‘easy pickings’ to be had at The Seven Stars.
Chew John Swelter failed to grace us with their presence but were more than compensated for by a rejuvenated The Crown Jewels who looked in the peak of condition as the rosy glow of an afternoons indulgence flushed their cheeks. B4 were absent and one can only assume that once again the pantomime season has consumed their talents as they rehearse for Snow White and the three dwarfs. The Mighty Marquee Team assumed The Mafia’s normal corner of the bar hoping some of the magic would rub off but it would take all the powers of Aladdin’s Lamp to give them any real hope as captain Giles the Pliers was otherwise engaged. The Other’s radiated their usual portent of things to come downing copious quantities of the amber nectar already drowning their anticipated sorrows while Wax On Wax Off smiled with naive contempt as clearly their plan to ‘remove’ The Mafia had worked out splendidly thanks to the ‘planted’ cucumber.

And so to Round One – ‘Darling Happy Anniversary’ appropriately celebrating the 3rd anniversary of the ‘pub coup’ with most teams failing to recognise that we should have presented Steph with a Leather gift appropriate to her 3 year tenures as most teams got off to a steady start.

Round Two ‘The Magical Number Seven’ saw newcomers Saturday Strollers and Goldie Locks and the Three Mares play unwise Jokers tripping up on Yul Brynner, As You Like It and Water Polo with The Crown Jewels and Silver City showing early pace.

Round Three ‘It Happened on This Day’ heralded 16th November 1946 when the writer of this nonsense first graced the planet. Most teams generously underestimated the author’s age possibly seeking favour in the marking although a random comment likening him to a ‘mature’ Austin Powers was not well received!

Round Four ‘Connections’ linked the Beatles final album with Sandra Bullock and Fawlty Towers in a ‘sporting’ way.
And so to the break and a further sampling of Steph’s dumplings magnificently presented as she bent over the kitchen stove. By now it was clear that The Crown Jewels, WOWO and Silver City were only ‘Three Steps from Heaven’ while Saturday Strollers, Brain Freeze and The Other’s were on ‘Mission Impossible’.

Round Five, ‘The Good the Bad and the Ugly’ indeed proved Bad and Ugly for many and none more so than Brain Freeze and The Other’s as Jokers were played with reckless abandon although Silver City scored useful double points. So swiftly on to Round Six ‘Why Do Fools Make the Headlines?’ as we examined the week’s earth shattering events including Michael Buerk’s entry into the Jungle, Andy Murray’s mum and Christian Horner’s spicy engagement to Geri Halliwell. I guess Christian, known for his brilliance in Formula One Motor Racing, hopes to find the magic Formula with Geri whereas such as Russell Brand, David Walliams, Chris Evans and Robbie Williams have all seemingly failed having trod this well worn path. 

Round Seven ‘The Dare Wipe Out – Do The Locomotion’ round broke a new record as all teams survived and WOWO and The Mighty Marquee Team made giant strides as it dawned on the newcomers just how vital this round can be in determining the outcome. Having left the Pennsylvania Station at a quarter to four, we boarded the Last Train to Clarkesville and then took the Brighton Belle to Chattanooga hoping to catch the HS2 in time for tea at The Ritz. Unfortunately we were told that HS2 was unavailable due to leaves on the line but if we could wait 30 years they expected an arrival provided the Green Party was not in government by then in which case only walking or via a Pogo Stick would be permitted forms of travel.

The Final Round ‘Happy Families’ and 4 teams strongly in contention where scoring was surprisingly high with many knowing that The Barlows went to Meet the Fockers at No 1 Coronation Street before enjoying a cosy time in Cromwell Street with Fred and Rose West while The Barrett’s of Wimpole Street joined The Walton’s and The Bennet Family in search of The Swiss Family Robinson.

It was close, so very close and valiantly The Others pipped Saturday Strollers by half a point thus avoiding the ignominy of the wooden spoon but The Strollers showed enough form to be worthy wooden spoonist’s and surely Dinton Duffers can return next time knowing their regular spot is under threat. Goldie Locks and the Three Mares delighted the house with their eccentricity matching anything previously seen and many marvelled at how medicine has advanced in recent years as the girls drove their zimmers into 6th spot. In 5th spot came Brain Freeze and given there was only two of them it was a stunning entry into The Seven Stars Quiz. Imagine what they may be like when their brain’s are unfrozen and as if further proof were needed they scooped the pictures and dingbat prize with 35 points taking the chocolates and showing Winston Churchill’s victory sign to the other teams.
Coming with a storming run into 4th after having been only half a point ahead of The Strollers after round six came the Mighty Marquee Team, top scorers in the Dare Wipe Out round and perhaps ruing the absence of Pliers about whom it emerged was at an all night Dentistry fund raiser for the toothless population of Upton.
So to the One, Two and Three – Only two points separated them and only 1 point between first and second. It would appear that round 3 was the decisive round ‘It Happened on This Day’ with The Crown Jewels getting the Quizmasters age closest (annoying!!) while perhaps Silver City and WOWO took pity. Collecting the Bronze Medal Captain Mark of WOWO asked to see the Quiz Master Birth Certificate before accepting the ‘nothing’ prize of third place. Silver City gracing our shrine for the first time, took the runners up spot perhaps unlucky not spotting the importance of the Dare Wipe Out Round in which had they played their Joker they would have been clear winners. So come forth Chew John Swelter, you are recovered and reign again supreme over Seven Stars Quiz Land and very worthy winners after the shock result of your recent IQ tests.

So another night of Quiz immortality ended. Great to see so many newcomers and hope you had a lot of fun and can excuse the abuse and take in good spirit. The next bumper Christmas Quiz is on Sunday 14th December and we anticipate a record turn out so book early for Christmas. We are informed that The Mafia are back in full force along with many of the regulars. Can The Crown Jewels hang onto their crown?, will Silver City improve on a stunning first appearance? Or will The Strollers make a recovery akin to Lazarus? The Christmas Quiz is also a bit of a fund raiser for the Marquee Group and if any of you wish to donate a prize for the raffle that would be gladly accepted.

Join Steph, Diana, Louise and Steve for another night under The Seven Stars where we predict a visit from Santa Claus himself – if Steph has had the chimney cleaned!!


Pub Quiz report 19th October - The Godmother

‘’ey Luigi who’s da wise guy with de poiple teeth?’

‘’e’s a nobody Gianni, I gonna make ‘im an offer he canta refuse!’

‘you gonna wack ‘im?’

‘Nah, I gonna tell ‘im beers ‘alf price atta Bottle an Glass, without ‘im WOWO team a bunch of ‘as bins, trust me uh’

‘whata iff ‘e only drink vino Luigi?’

‘then I wack ‘im’

Yes this was the quiet talk in the corner of the bar as teams assembled for the Autumn Quiz at The Seven Stars. After WOWO (Wax On Wax Off) had laid down the gauntlet at the previous quiz we had a bumper turn out of eight teams determined to put the Bishopstone Brigantes back in their box!

The ‘Mafia’ looked re-upholstered as Captain Dunne (with an ‘e’) got the Godmother Margaret a bag of pork scratching’s. ‘Scarface’ Gary downed a stiffener while Gianni ‘The Architect’ cast dark glances towards WOWO who entered to awed faces as befits respect for a force that has started to dominate quiz land.

A new team with the mystifying name of ‘CHEW JON SWELTER’ looked oddly familiar while The Mighty Marquee Team looked simply ‘odd’.

B4 were back in full formation with Malcolm, fresh from his Book signing tour of the known world, ready to ‘post’ another glorious victory  for the ‘Fab 4’

The ever hopefuls that make up the Dinton Duffers graced our shrine with plenty of beauty but alas not a lot of anything else, particularly knowledge.

Oft placed at the Thame Rising Sun quizzes, The Silly Adders looked full of venom and ready to strike while completing the ensemble The Others looked in need of rest and recuperation or a large G & T as it is known locally.

Captain Roger the Rotarian gave an impassioned plea for the upcoming Haddenham film festival encouraging us all to come and watch viewings including ‘Knights of The Sauna’, ‘Big Boys on Tour’ and the classic  ‘Daphne’s World of Nature’ shot in black and white during late autumn when fig leaves were clearly in short supply.

So to round one, ‘Too Many Cooks’ which should have been named, ‘Not Enough Brains’ judged by the low scoring.

Round Two saw a whistle stop tour of England’s glorious counties where the Godmother threatened to re-arrange Scarface’s nose when he insisted Hexhamshire was one of four counties beginning with ‘H’. The Godmother pointed out they are in fact ‘erefordshire, ‘ampshire, ‘ertfordshire and ‘untingdonshire’ doing a great impression of Eliza Doolittle at the same time!

Round Three, ‘Where Am I’, saw The Mafia, CHEW JOHN SWELTER and the Fab 4 all blundering badly as they entered The Crystal Palace rather than The Moulin Rouge – ‘burn baby burn, when you gonna learn’ the Moulin Rouge is in Paris. 

CONNECTIONS lead us into the break as all team managed to link Robert Redford, Paul Newman, David Lloyd, Helen Keller, Chives, Ruby Wax and a few more, where ‘BEES’ was the required answer. 

Steph anticipating a poor turn out as Quiz night had clashed with the AGM of the Upton ‘Noggin the Nog’ Appreciation Society, had to perform the miracle of the ‘Five Loaves and Two Fish’ or as it turned out ‘Five Potatoes and 2 Sausages’ as she managed to feed the 5,000 (OK 45) quizzers from the leftovers of Sunday lunch. 

As only Silly Adders had played their Joker at this point it was clear that smart clever shrewd most teams were hanging back for the Dare Round to maximise their chances. There was much study of the Haloween Dingbats and our Picture tribute to France during the break and Steph was much in demand for her ample chest (of knowledge) being of Gallic roots and her known association with the Witches of Westlington.  Silly Adders were riding high thanks to their Joker with The Others slipping down the field after copious quantities of G & T.

The feeding frenzy over we eased into Round Five ‘Current Affairs’ where Russell Brand, Andy Murray and King Harold all featured as having had affairs recently with dried grapes!

Apart from the Dinton Duffers of course, who were having counselling in the Snug, there was less distance between the teams than the width of the hairs growing out of Ed Miliband’s ears as we played the Question of Sport round reliving the past captains of the long running BBC quiz show. All teams scored well as we rekindled memories of Sue Barkers ‘affair’ with Bachelor Boy Cliff Richard.

And so to the Dare Round where Jokers came flying in faster than MP’s denials during Question Time. Gaming & Gambling was the appropriate theme where teams were asked to calculate the returns to a £5 winning treble on the horses and name the casino game that means ‘railroad’ in French – again Steph much in demand for this one. Only three teams survived the ‘dare’ making the final round on Numbers & Statistics critical to the outcome as the ‘big two’ eyed each other with ill intent.

‘ey Luigi, I tought you was gonna wack ‘im?’

‘e made me a counter offer I couldn’t refuse Gianni’


‘Fizz & Chips – Tuesday night – it’s a Steph special’

‘Godmother will kill you! – Tuesday you sleep witha fishes not eat them!’

‘She got same deal – anyway we still gonna win’


‘I made the Quiz Master an offa he couldn’t refuse!’

Mary Antoinette and Jayne Mansfield’s vital statistics were the prominent features of the final round and when the counting was done and the Dingbats and Pictures scored the result was not altogether surprising for Luigi, Scarface, The Architect and The Godmother. The Dinton Duffers excelled everyone’s expectations shattering previous records for the distance between the winners and themselves and collected the wooden spoon with their usual modesty amid knowing shakes of the head and suggestions from some that perhaps drugs can help.

In third place, after leading for much of the contest, came Silly Adders whose safe but modest score in the Dare Round proved their undoing. In second place and ruing the Fizz and Chips offer came WOWO 2 points adrift of a resurgent Upton Mafia who had staged a magnificent recovery after the Moulin Rouge fiasco. 

B4 accepted the proffered biscuits for taking the Pictures & Dingbats round and but for a fatal slip in the Dare round would have once again challenged for the ultimate prize.

As The Godmother asked Steph what size fishes she had for Tuesday night, Captain Luigi Dunne (with an ‘e’)  stepped forward to take the ‘cash’ his bald head reflecting strongly off the polished toe caps of his Italian winkle pickers. Marco Balio realizing his WOWO Cosa Nostra had been ‘mugged’ by THE MAFIA was heard to mutter ‘wait for the sequel’ as he ordered several bags of cement on his mobile phone.

And so another quiz drew to a close. THE MAFIA are BACK!!! 

Join us on 16th November, the third anniversary of Steph taking on The Stars, the Quiz Master’s Birthday (cash only please) for GODMOTHER 2 a night when many of us may end up sleeping with the fishes under The Seven Stars ☺

Thanks for making it such a great night of fun and mayhem





P.S – CHEW JON SWELTER do I hear you ask? I am sworn to secrecy but The Crown at Cuddington have been holding a Steward’s Enquiry ever since the result announced them in 7th place ☺

Pub Quiz report 14 Sept 2014 - You heard it first at The Seven Stars Quiz

First we correctly predicted England’s exit at the Group Stages of the Football (I refuse to use the word SOCCER!) World Cup, then we predicted the demise of Upton Mafia as a force in Quiz land and finally, five days before the Devil incarnate took his ball home and said he no longer wished to play with the big boys (and girls), the Dinton Quizzers unanimously and correctly predicted the result of Alex Salmond’s future as he was dumped on the bonfire of history to spend his days spitting vitriol at those who know a damn sight better than him just how GREAT Britain is as a United Kingdom – LONG LIVE THE QUEEN (and in time the KING)!!!

Of course there was one ‘Looney Tune’ who ‘Voted’ YES but as he lives in Upton it did not count.

Yes this was the stunning revelation after the latest gathering of ‘The Brain’s Trust’ and Quizzers completed the final round of :  ‘To Be or Not To Be’ in which questions probed the terror campaign of William Wallace, the illegitimacy of Robert the Bruce and the chances of Andy Murray’s mum in Strictly Come Dancing. 

I immediately phoned Alex Salmond and David Cameron to advise them to call off the referendum as Dinton/Bishopstone/Upton had spoken. Salmond was incoherent but through his drunken stupor I detected the words ‘Count’ (I assume he was asking for a re-count), ‘Bar’ and ‘Steward’ which I assume was a reference to me being in the pub and him wanting to speak to the barman. To be honest that accent of his is so difficult to understand and I do hope David provides more money to Scotland via DEVOMAX to properly educate those over the border in the Queens English.

David was charm itself as you would expect of an English gentleman and scholar. He thanked the Seven Stars for what he described as meeting his expectations from middle England and promised 50p for the poor people of Upton in the next Budget review with the proviso there would have to be cuts to the Scottish subsidy to accommodate this gesture. He then had to rush as he was required for an initiation ceremony of a new member of the Bullingdon Club.

Only three teams attended the latest Quiz but they were very large on team numbers, truly representative of all denominations, hugely diverse in worldly experiences and consistently low on IQ levels. 

The Mighty Marquee Team was long in numbers but low on brains. Sally had managed to get a baby sitter for the night leaving Ned, Jack and the brains at home while her and Rob joined the massed ignorance of the MMT.

Phil (of the shed) and Rosemary (of the kitchen) led the ‘Far Side’ of the village with their aptly named ‘Grumblies’ team including the Be He Moth (or Be He Man)? that is William Bagshaw and the demure Angie. All seemed full of spirit, obviously a long lunch time session the cause of such confidence

Bishopstone’s finest took centre stage within the restaurant and following much improved form in this year’s quizzes and having surveyed the opposition, Captain Mark’s grin lit up the entire pub as his dentures glowed in the ultra violet light emanating from the toilets.

Round One – ‘It’s In The News’ saw a cautious start with no Jokers being played and all teams mourning the death of ‘Jaws’ the previous week although someone pointed out that Jaws was blown to bits at the end of the film many years ago so it was hardly news.

Round Two – ‘Connections’ set a trap with David Beckham wrongly identified when Victoria was the required answer – the clue of course is in the beard, David no longer has one.

Round Three – ‘England at the World Cup’ relived the nightmares of Brazil and proved a high scoring round as all teams could remember we did not win a match but as Wales, Scotland and NI never made the finals we did have something to laugh at.

Round Four – ‘Pop Bits and Pieces’ a trip down memory lane featuring ‘The Wabash Cannonball’, Madonna’s bust (sometimes referred to as the ‘Wabash Cannonballs’) and that 1980’s hit for Her Majesty the Queen ‘Under Pressure’ where she was assisted by that other queen David Bowie.

Going into the break and with no Jokers yet played it was nip and tuck as the aroma from Steph’s latest creation wafted around the bar. In the absence of Jake there was ample food to go round at least twice as teams considered the Wimbledon Anagrams where ‘Variant Rival To A Man’ and ‘Anal Fear Lad’ fooled no one.

Round Five – ‘Who Am I’ and still no Jokers other than in the MMT and remarkably all teams recognised Hecule Poirot after only two clues. How Steph managed to fit into that suit and transform herself was pure genius but I guess her French/Belgium accent gave it away.

Round Six  - ‘On This Day’ put Lester Piggott, Princess Grace of Monaco and Venezuela into an unlikely threesome and once again all teams scored heavily and remained in contention. 

Round Seven became the defining round. The Dare ‘Wipeout’ challenge on which all teams piled in with their Jokers for the quadruple points potential at the risk of losing everything. Two teams recorded the dreaded ‘Nil Points’ while one sallied forth into immortality recording a sound if somewhat cautious 4 correct and 6 unanswered questions adding 16 Joker points to their tally. But who was it?

And so to the final round and the fate of Scotland and the (still) United Kingdom – ‘To Be or Not To Be’ that was the question we posed. On the one hand we have the freaky creepy figure of Alex Salmond and on the other the eloquent, some may say handsome, English gentleman. We can dismiss Cleggy, Nigel Garbage and that saliva spitting farce that leads the so called ‘opposition’ so that when you line them up can there possibly be any doubt in anyone’s mind about who offers the future generations the most? Two of them are more suited to be dummies in Doggart’s shop window, one needs to give way to his elder, better looking brother who actually has a few brain cells and normal lips and one needs to crawl back into the pit of eternal stench from which he emerged leaving us all to hail our Saviour David. And so the teams rightly concluded, apart from the one misguided sole from Upton (actually School Lane which seems to be in ‘no man’s land’ sitting as it does between sanity and utter madness or Dinton and Upton as they are known.)

When we marked the Wimbledon Anagrams and removed the veil from Martina Navratilova and Rafael Nadal it resulted in a prize for surprisingly The Mighty Marquee Team so I guess we can conclude we know where Mel and Giles spend most of July. 

So to the final marking and those who Dared and lost looked on through gritted teeth as Captain Mark accepted the Quiz Crown on behalf of Bishopstone 20.5 points ahead of TMMT who were a further 11 points ahead of the Grumblies in third, or last depending on want they want to tell their friends and family! 

Wax On Wax Off have now confirmed their place as leaders in the 2014 Quiz title race.  The once invincible Crown Jewels, the fading lights of Upton Mafia and the shrinking B4 (now B3 apparently) are all struggling to compete with this seemingly invincible force who have been compared to ISIS such is their maniacal determination to destroy the opposition.

Battle recommences on Sunday 19th October when we expect a bumper turn out as ‘regulars’ return to lay it down to the Bishopstone Army.

As I said to Alex in a note I sent to him after the ‘official’ result of the referendum was announced, there’s always the next time – he has not replied but I noticed he was having a good time at the Ryder Cup embracing the only person on the European Team who failed to gain a point – a Scotsman as it turned out, which underlines how much he should embrace the United Kingdom otherwise he could be alone with Europe when we leave the EEC ☺

Looking forward to seeing you all on Sunday the 19th of October for another controversial, thought provoking, brain numbing drunken night under The Seven Stars.

Steph, Diana, Louise, Steve


Charity Quiz on 16th April 2014

A Nightingale Sang in The Seven Stars Bar
When Quizzers assemble in the Seven Stars Bar, so the legends tell
Songbirds sing. Winter turns to spring
Every narrow lane in Dinton falls beneath the spell
I know such enchantment can be
Cause it happened one evening to me.
That certain night, the night we met
There was magic abroad in the air
There were angels dining in the Snug
And a nightingale sang in the Seven Stars Bar
I may be right I maybe wrong
But I'm perfectly willing to swear
That when you turned and downed your pint
A nightingale sang in The Seven Stars Bar
(with the greatest of respect to Songwriters Maschwitz, Eric / Sherwin, Manning)
Despite the worst recession in living memory, despite all the troubles and conflicts going on around the world and despite the certainty of England exiting the forthcoming World Cup at the Group stage we had an outstanding example of selfless generosity that exists within our community when we ran the last Seven Stars Quiz in aid of the Florence Nightingale Hospice which is located right here on our doorstep at Stoke Mandeville hospital.
The result of the quiz was in some ways irrelevant as the real winners were all of you who gave so freely to aid the work of the Hospice which does such fantastic work helping those suffering in their own final round. When we all face that final challenge, the Wipeout round, then it is good to know there will be others like all of you caring and giving and taking a little time to reflect on what really matters in life.
The event raised £613.67 – not bad for a Sunday night when many are sat at home following the omnibus edition of Coronation Street. We would like to say thank you to a number of people who exceeded in their generosity on the night:

Several of you have still not contacted Steph or Diana and me to make arrangements for your LOTS to be processed including (Tea at Hartwell, Golf, Fly Fishing, Dinner at Seven Stars) so please get in touch and enjoy the result of your own generosity.
WAX ON WAX OFF are now the reigning quiz champions and look set to be serious serial winners unless any of you know different. So come on Upton Mafia,, Crown Jewels, B4, Jake’s Mighty Marquee Team, The Others, Silly Adders, The Far Side, Flossie’s Floozies (made their debut at this quiz), We’re Still Thinking, Nessie’s Monsters and all the rest of you who are happy to make complete fools of yourself and join us under the Seven Stars this coming Sunday 4th May at 7pm (book early to avoid having to sit next to Upton Mafia and suffer the drivel they come out with).
We leave you with this parting shot from Florence’s ghostly refrain:
Quizzers to the right of them 
Quizzers to the left of them
Quizzers in front 
Answered and blundered
Stormed at with questions from hell
Boldly they answered well
Into the Final Round 
On to the final bell
The Noble Quizzers lumbered
Thanks for making it such a great night for such a great cause.
See you Sunday for another life changing event under the Seven Stars
Diana, Steph, Louise, Ross and Steve

Quiz on 26th Jan 2014

Blest Be the Tie That Binds -

Blest Be the Tie That Binds. So wrote John Fawcett (1740 – 1817). John wrote this during a break in harvesting down on his farm near Hebden Bridge not far from his birthplace of Bradford. John was a great thinker and inventor and many years ahead of his fellow farmers who spent more time rolling in the hay than keeping it nice and tidy in the barn. His blueprint for the Hay Bailer of the future was indicative of his forward thinking albeit many years later that this remarkable invention became commonly used on farms as the industrial revolution also impacted rural as much as urban ways of working. Of course a critical element of the ‘future’ bailer was some form of fastening as the bales were created in the bailer itself. Hence the invention of Bailer Twine by John although his good wife suggested it could be used for many other practical purposes and branded it as Binder Twine as they travelled the country selling this amazing product and becoming millionaires in the process.

John eventually went back to his grass roots and settled to a simple farming life and wrote his famous Hymn, ‘Blest Be the Tie That Binds’ thanking God for all the good fortune that came his way as a result of his invention.

Why this trip down an historical memory lane you may well be asking? In a word, Quiz Controversy!  (Oops, two words) Now read on.

Our first quiz of 2014 got off to an explosive start as 35 irregulars lined up in five teams for January’s starter. 2013 Champions, Upton Mafia were present in force and in fact reinforced by that behemoth of the Parish Will.I.Am Bagshaw :-)

Crown Jewels narrowly missing out in 2013, were in determined mode bristling with intent, while Wax On Wax Off (WOWO) merely bristled having used too much wax on the pate of captain Mark. The Others, from the Far Side of Dinton, had clearly feasted well over Christmas while Jake’s Mighty Marquee Team were full of beauty if somewhat lacking grey matter!

We got under way with 'Famous/Infamous People' where The Others played an unlikely Joker recording a below par 14 in what was a surprisingly low scoring round.

‘Red is the Colour’ seemed to stimulate the brains. Answers included The Bartered Bride, The Chiltern Hundreds and the motto of the Boy Scout movement ‘Be prepared’ as The Others maintained a Joker driven lead of 7 points over Upton Mafia and WOWO.

At this stage it was a nice friendly start to 2014 and no sign of the controversy yet to come!

Next came the ever popular ‘Go Local’ round with Upton Mafia playing an unexpected early Joker. The wording of the signs recently erected in the Manor Field, so often trod by the Parish dog walkers, was a potential minefield such have been the many and varied views expressed by frequenters of The Seven Stars. Such a shame so many beautiful views around our Parish these days spoiled by so much signage. As Queen Gertrude once said, ‘Methinks thou doth protest too much’ (while of course perfectly entitled to do so).

The Others continued to score well but the Mafia’s Joker gave them a 1 point lead as we approached the break.

Round four was in fact two rounds in one with a ‘Who Am I’ and ‘Where Am I’ challenge laid down. Will Ferrell was eventually answered by all teams but only the Mafia knew they were in Estonia as Will.I.AM stunned the public bar speaking some ancient Finnish dialect as he explained to us that Tallinn the capital, previously called Reval but after a lot of rape and pillage by the Danes (who else?)  was renamed Tallinn which means ‘Danish Town’ . Will.I.AM then reminded us that Dinton can be similarly translated so in fact we are ‘twinned’ with Tallinn! The congregation bowed and saluted the Behemoth and rushed to the kitchen with Jake leading the charge, as Steph served up her latest creation during the half time break!

Unfortunately The Others recorded zero not knowing who they were or where they were confirming what many have known for years

Round five Connections got us going again where we had Sir Ian Botham, Jeremy Paxman and Diana Rigg along with many other celebrities, rubbing shoulders along the riverbank as they tried to catch supper. The Crown Jewels played an astute Joker and moved into second spot but with all teams making the Fishing connection it was tight at the top of the leader board with WOWO and Jake’s Mighty Marquee Team waiting for the Dare round to play telling Jokers.

Horses for Courses came next, a potential apocalyptic challenge unless you knew about War, Famine, Pestilence and Death which fortunately all teams did and scoring was good.

And so to the controversial seventh round, a Dare challenge, involving Wine, Women and Song, a lethal cocktail for many in the past and so again on this occasion. Both remaining Jokers were played with a potential 40 points available. ‘He who dares wins’ as Del Boy so rightly reminds us.

Things were fine until the 9th question when we referred to the long ago departed John Fawcett and his entrepreneurial wife. We would have accepted Bailer Twine or Binder Twine such is the generosity of the Quizmaster but ‘Twine’ would have had poor John and his wife turning in their graves. Farmer Giles the Pliers was assertive with Bailer Twine and WOWO’s Captain Mark equally so with Binder Twine while The Crown Jewels played a safe ‘no answer’. Sadly for the front running Mafia and rear running The Others the required Bailer or Binder was missing. Will.I.Am was vocal in his berating of the quizmaster his protest awakening the dead in Hebden Bridge, while Captain Dunne (with an e ) accepted the decision with grace. WOWO and Jakes Mighty Marquee Team grabbed 32 points each, The Crown Jewels a useful 16 while The Others and The Mafia were blown away like hay on a windy day (without any Bailer Twine to hold it together). 

And now we had a rare old tussle going on between WOWO, Jake’s Mighty Marquee Team and The Crown Jewels and with each scoring 8.5 in the final round of a Quick Fire 20 questions much rested on the outcome of the picture rounds of Dingbats and Cryptic Pop Groups where again there was 1 point separating the three leaders as The Crown Jewels took the picture prize by a single point. 

The final reckoning adjusted the scores as points were deducted from teams with the greatest numbers of players such that 3.5 points separated the first three. WOWO edging closer to what must surely be a crown for the future took the Bronze while half a point separated Silver medallists The Crown Jewels from the Golden boys (and girls) of Jakes Mighty Marquee team with the Mafia still smouldering 4th and The Others gallant as ever in 5th and final place.

Jake accepting the cash on behalf of his mighty mediocrity put success down to Rob being away skiing and the welcome return of Simon who added much needed brains to his erratic squad.

And so the first quiz of 2014 was all over bar the shouting which was still echoing around the bar as the controversy raged. 

Blessed Be the Ties That Bind which is a great way to sum up Dinton, The Seven Stars and all who sail with us. 

From Steph, Ross, Louise, Diana and me thanks again for your excellent support and great banter and join us once again on FEBRUARY 23rd for another night of mystery and suspense under The Seven Stars!


Quiz on 22nd Dec 2013

FAIRYTALE OF DINTON (with apologies to The Pogues and Kirsty McColl)

'Twas Christmas Eve Steph
In the Snug bar a regular said to me: just need another one
Then Danny played his hand
The rare old double two
I turned my face away and downed my favourite brew
I sunk another one
It's on the house my son
I've got a feeling
This pubs for me and you
So Happy Christmas
we love the Seven Stars
Fourteen's gonna' be the year
when all our dreams come true

? We've got Stars in our bars
We've got bitters untold
But the Guinness goes through you
And the loo seat is cold
When you bought the first round on that cold Christmas Eve
I figured a headache was waiting for me
Dicks handsome, Viv's pretty
John works in the city, when Steph stopped serving we yelled out for more
The Snug bar was swinging the room started spinning
We fell in a heap
And all sprawled on the floor
The noise of the S.N.U.G choir were singing auld lang syne
And the bells were ringing out for Christmas day

News of the second coming had spread to all corners of the Parish and rumour abounded:

A shepherd was spotted in Ford - a Welshman in a field of sheep it was later reported in the Bucks Herald.

'Wise Men' carrying wondrous gifts were reported seen in Upton. Later that day a traveller and his pet monkey were arrested and some goods previously reported stolen from Londis identified.

The blinking 'Wandering Star' seen to the West of Dinton was unexplained although some fool suggested it may have been attributable to heavy traffic coming into Heathrow!

And lo it came to pass people gathered in Dinton for the annual ritual of seeking the heralded second coming as foretold in the Westlington scrolls. They assembled at the door of the sacred shrine known as The Seven Stars. 'Who is without?' questioned the keeper of the shrine 'we art The Crown Jewels and seek the second coming' was the response. 'And who is with you?' 'we are The Upton Mafia mush and we seek 4 pints of Wychert, a Crabbie's, one large Pinot and 3 bags of pork scratching's oh and change from a fiver!' And so they continued to enter at the inn door. B4, expectant, Silly Adders, quivering with awe, Jakes Mighty Marquee warriors, honed to new levels of imperfection, Wax On Wax Off bearing gifts of bottle tops, Tupperware and Old Spice. 'see it is the second coming all hail' came a somewhat premature cry as The Hermits led by Phil (of the shed fame) entered stage left, or was it right ?being the villains in this latest pantomime. Tambourines sounded and trumpets blasted, could this be it? Alas no, it was Jingle Bells arriving to complete the congregation. With more than 50 souls crowded within the Seven Stars we decided that while we all waited in heavenly expectation we should have a quiz to pass the time. So in the tradition of the first coming, Round One started with Christmas Crackers where we considered 'what is brown and smelly and sounds like a bell'? and how Joseph and Mary were able to determine all those years ago that Jesus was exactly 7pounds 8 ounces at birth? with Dung and Away in a Manger being the required if not the best answers. Miracles were clearly in the air as Wax On Wax Off established an early lead. Round two paid respect to the tradition of Christmas Carols but as neither Andy nor Vorderman put in an appearance it was slightly disappointing with both Silly Adders and Jingle Bells playing wayward Jokers as WOWO solidified their early advantage. Round three, Christmas Comedy, was made for those addicted to the TV channels of Gold and Dave, as 'Del Boy' was 'trotted' out along with Jim Royle representing The Queen to which a member of The Hermits was heard to remark 'The Queen my a**e'!!!!!! All teams scored heavily with the exceptions of The Hermits and WOWO who both played injudicious Jokers! Round four featured a Christmas Connection conundrum where answers ranged from Ali G to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad via Brigitte Bardot. Only the inspired Crown Jewels correctly made the connection that all have in the past delivered Channel 4's Alternative Christmas Message and in playing their Joker raced into a wide margin lead scoring a 28 point maximum!! As several of the crowd had thrown themselves on the inn floor such was their frenzy we took a much needed break and innkeeper Steph served up a festive Turkey Pie, a miracle in itself given potato had replaced the pie crust. More of a Shepherd's Pie really albeit it Turkey based except for those 'veggies' in our midst who were persuaded it was Soya despite the feathers. After the break and still no 'sign' of Him we continued with Dinton Christmas Fortunes where we asked 100 people of Dinton 10 questions in regard to Christmas themes and asked our quizzers to guess their answers. To the question 'name something you might buy Grandma for Christmas', a one way ticket to Tower Bridge was considered not within the spirit of things and to 'name something you might see in Santa's Grotto' there was a pause while several female members of the congregation were revived with smelling salts. Clearly they have not seen the movie 'Bad Santa'!! This round saw Upton Mafia making a telling move with a high score of 32 giving The Crown Jewels something to think about (as though a second coming was not enough!). With so much material within our grasp Round six focused on Christmas Smells, with Myrrh (yes Myrrh) Frankincense and Mulled Wine causing a few headaches but Old Spice fooling no one!! Scores were woeful as The Crown Jewels maintained a healthy lead but with B4, The Mighty Marquee Team and a rapidly drink befuddled Upton Mafia yet to play important Jokers. Christmas Stocking Fillers was the basis of Round Seven where The Goodies, Sardines and The Birth of Venus were not to every child's expectations in the sock!! The final Round Eight saw all 3 remaining Jokers played on a Christmas Film themed challenge with the added risk that any wrong answer meant a Zero score for the entire round but double points for correct answers!! B4 made one fatal error and recorded the dreaded 'nil points' as did unsurprisingly The Hermits. The Crown Jewels, a little cautious, recorded a lowish 8, perhaps mistaking the cattle 'lowing' in the nearby field as a sign from above to play it low, while Silly Adders managed a single answer and nine blanks confirming they do spend most of their waking hours sleeping. Jingle Bells and WOWO were similarly modest while Upton Mafia, reinforced with troops from Columbia no less, struck 7 magnificent blows and amassed 28 points as they swept aside The Crown Jewels with the Picture Rounds still to be marked. The teams were closely matched on the picture rounds with B4 catching the judges eye and taking the festive fair and an excellent effort from Jingle Bells also rewarded and with special recognition for The Crown Jewels and Upton Mafia. And so to the final reckoning, sadly we must wait another year for the second coming although some wag in the Upton Mafia was boasting of a special Christmas gift for his wife! However on this special night all were to be rewarded for their belief, lunacy and ignorance and young Harry Hawes proudly collected the Brussel Sprouts on behalf of The Hermits in eight place or last as some might say together with other festive goodies no longer required for Him. Commenting later at the bar Phil (of the shed fame) put The Hermits miserable score of 75 down to a missed training session the previous week when he had been unable to make the pub due to Christmas shopping duties.

20 points ahead of The Hermits came Silly Adders with only 3 points separating them, B4 and Jingle Bells in 7th, 6th and 5th places. All welcomed the wondrous gifts they received in recognition of their fabulous year round support. 
On 105 we had a tie for third spot between Jakes Mighty Marquee Team and Wax On Wax Off. As Giles the Pliers stepped forward on behalf of an absent Jake to accept third prize the bar stood in awe of the Christmas sweater he was sporting – it’s amazing what you can pick up in the pound shop these days!! Mark on behalf of WOWO was delighted to have made the podium remarking that the journey from the wastelands around Bishopstone with his group of wise men (and women) was not in vain although his request for his bus fare home fell on deaf ears.
So to the Quiz champions of 2013. All year they have been rivals sharing the honours evenly with grudging admiration as they took turns lifting the monthly title. And then it occurred to everyone we did have the ‘second coming’ and sadly for some it was The Crown Jewels on a magnificent 125 points with Upton Mafia victorious on 131. 
Upton Mafia, reinforced for the evening with travellers from Columbia, thoroughly deserve the accolade of Supreme Chumpions 2013. A well balanced team of experience (pensioners basically), weight, I am assured Captain Dunne (with an e) has all the Jane Fonda work out videos, low down cunning (or Gary as he is known), medical genius with some Irish eccentricity and with a soupcon of academia thrown in for good measure.
As the final prizes were handed over Captain Dunne (with an e) paid tribute to his troops saying ‘I could have done (also with an e) it on my own but I like company while I’m drinking and in regard to the Columbians he felt they epitomized the use of the word Mafia’

So a great end to the Quiz year, a fantastic turn out and great fun. From Steph, Diana Ross (that’s Diana and Ross not Diana Ross) and me we thank you all for your great support in 2013 and look forward to more ‘bonhomie’ in 2014 under the Seven Stars

A very Happy, Prosperous and FUN New Year to you all

25 Nov 2013 When the going gets tough the tough get going

Firstly we had the disaster in Brisbane; next we had the last second try at Wembley as England exited the Rugby League World Cup and finally Irish tears as New Zealand grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat in the last play at Lansdowne Road on Sunday.
Still Leeds United triumphed and Charlton Athletic sunk to 4th bottom of the Championship so not all bad news unless you are the captain of Upton Mafia.
In recent months former giants of Quiz Land, The Crown Jewels, have succumbed to the brilliance of B4 and the intellectual renaissance of Upton Mafia while The Others and even The Mighty Marquee team have taken a pot shot at them. 
Did they surrender like the England middle order? Did they cry into their Guinness? Did they blame in on the boogie?
None of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are made of sterner stuff. 
Last Sunday at the Seven Stars MOVEMBER Quiz they answered questions with the certainty of Bamber Gascoigne on speed as they demolished the opposition by a clear 15 points.
To be fair two times defending chumpions Upton Mafia were fielding a much depleted force with only Captain Dunne (with an ‘e’) and young Gary turning out yet still putting up a sparkling performance to finish second.
 B4, now engaged in pantomime season, were absent but The Others gathered in numbers as did The Hermits featuring once again young Harry Hawes. Completing a sextet of teams were The Mighty Marquee team, featuring Jake and his latest flame, and Wax on Wax off looking determined and confident but fooling no one.
Current Affairs got us going with Paul Flowers the role model for all porno loving, drug enthusiasts with a penchant for banking and the Methodist church, featuring strongly. I feel ashamed having him as an answer in the same round as WW2 hero Harold Jellicoe Percival but The Seven Stars quiz is edgy in the extremes it covers chasing knowledge.
The Others played a confident Joker in round 2 Food & Drink with Anne knowing plenty about Gin and husband Alan plenty about beer while several struggled with the drink marketed as ‘Brain Tonic’. The Crown Jewels clearly spend their lives eating and drinking as they scored a maximum 10.
Round 3 Science & Nature saw an unlikely Joker played by Wax on Wax off. The Quiz master has never considered Wax on Wax off as Scientists or Naturists but they pulled in a respectable 14 points which put them into an unexpected lead. At this point Jakes Mighty Marquee lost two team members as romance took a higher priority leaving Pliers, Mel and Simon to carry the flag into Round 4 Dinton Quiz Fortunes.  Both The Crown Jewels and WoWo scored heavily although no one anticipated the correct answer to the question we put to 100 people in Dinton ‘name a bulb you might plant in your garden’ – with Roses being  a further testament to the prevailing madness.  In answer to the question ‘name something that can be pulled’ we had to ask young Harry to leave the bar while ribald responses came flying in with many agreeing that the barmaid at The Crown was a possibility.
With Jake failing to reappear there were bucket loads of Cottage Pie remaining after the break as we entered Round 5 Connections with WoWo still front running. The Crown Jewels were on their heels however  and played their Joker  with the adroitness of a Roger Federer backhand scoring a maximum 28 points as they spotted the London Underground connection as did WoWo and also Joker playing Upton Mafia who were not relinquishing their crown without a dogfight. Unfortunately The Hermits clearly don’t travel south of Wallace Farm and recorded a forlorn 3 points L
Round 6 was a mixture of History, Geography and Religion and restored faith in our schools as The Hermits recorded a maximum thanks to young Harry’s education at Lord Bill’s while The Others also maxed out despite the alcoholic atmosphere of their table.
And so on to the Dare round with Death or Glory facing the brave and stupid. We travelled from Nutwood to The Golden Snitch via Logarithms and Smee as uncertainty faced the quizzers. 
Stupid they may be but fearless they are not and The Mighty Marquee Threesome hit a magnificent 28 and momentarily moved into second spot as The Crown Jewels played a straight bat and recorded a safe 10. Alas for The Hermits they recorded zero, was it the King of Tonga or Julius Caesar that was their undoing – ‘et tu brute’ or William Bagshaw as he is known locally.
The final round 8 was a Who am I? which offers a descending number of points depending on how many clues a team needs to identify the mystery person? Even before the Quiz Master had completed the first clue people were rushing to his ear with the answer BUT he was lenient as he made clear that the answer was not Margaret Thatcher to the clue ‘Her parents were George and Millicent Roberts’.  There was much chuntering from those who did not know who Margaret Thatcher was but even allowing for the premature answers from some teams it did not affect the outcome of the quiz. Several teams got it after the clue ‘I had a long term relationship with Ken Carson from 1961 until 2004 despite only being 2 years old in 1961’. 
And so to the final marking including the Picture rounds of Cryptic Elvis Songs and MOVEMBER faces. 4 points separated 2nd from 5th place but this was a massive 15 points behind the restored kings (and queens) of Quiz land the truly magnificent and brilliantly shining The Crown Jewels and they stepped forward to pocket the ‘cash’!! 
It was Elvis who nudged Upton Mafia into second spot, Captain Dunne (with an ‘e’) ensuring there would be no ‘Crying in the Chapel’ or being ‘Lonesome Tonight’ as he demonstrated he has no equal when it comes to knowledge of The King (he also knows a lot of Queens! ). The Other’s looked ‘All Shook Up’ as they battled bravely into third fractionally ahead of a Mighty Marquee threesome who were far from ‘Surrender’  marginally ahead of WoWO  with Captain Mark just wanting to be anybody’s ‘Teddy Bear’. The Hermits were gallant but ‘Way Down’ in 6th on 91 with young Harry reminding his parents they ‘must try harder’ or they will never get to ‘big school’.

And so onto Adelaide where surely Captain Cook will look to his namesake and go fearless into dangerous terrain taking a lesson from the ebullient The Crown Jewels and stick Mitchell Johnson right where he belongs on the roof of the grandstand!
Thanks again for another fabulous turn out to the quiz and your excellent tolerance of the questionable answers. Hope you all had as much fun as Diana, Steph, Ross and me and join us all again on Sunday 22nd of December for our Christmas Special Quiz where we expect the ‘second coming’ under the roof of the Seven Stars’ – lets all hope there will be room at the inn J
P.S it was Barbie if you are still wondering J


Thanks for all your get well messages and thanks to all those who either enquired about the rumours of me departing my mortal coil and to those of you who wished I had. Actually I am as fit as a Butchers Dog and almost as good looking :-)

Many apologies for the lack of reporting the last two quizzes the reasons for which can be laid firmly at the door of the Labour Party as all my time has been spent writing anonymous letters to Ed Balls (up) and Co telling them to lay off Georgie boy and do something useful such as sticking up some street lighting in Dinton.

September's Quiz saw an almost record turnout as 45 immortals assembled in 7 teams. An army of nine represented Upton Mafia no doubt seeking to put the previous months ‘putty’ incident behind them and put Jake’s Mighty Marquee Team back in their box. The elite of The Crown Jewels attracted strong early money in the absence of B4 and the emerging force of Wax on Wax off looked set for another night as also ran’s. The Other’s, drawn mainly from the ‘Far Side’ of Dinton, were a reminder to everyone to lock their doors at night and the Silly Adders were a reminder that education is not for everyone. The Duffers represented the smallest team and one can only admire the name they have chosen which so rightly describes their performances to date.

Round 1 and Current Affairs identified the SUN readers from those who actually went to school as The Others made the early running with The Duffers already someway off the pace.

Round 2 Middle Names proved popular as Wax on Wax off scored a maximum while The Duffers considered adding ‘Mighty’ as their middle name as they fell further behind.

Round 3 Connections started to sort the men (and women) from the boys (and girls) as Upton Mafia and The Crown Jewels recognized Take That as the connection and remarkably so did The Mighty Duffers.

Round 4 ‘Oh Dear’ was appropriately named for many as Wax on Wax off faltered while The Others crept into a challenging position. At this half way point not a Joker had been played and the scores were as tight as a Scotsman’s grip on his wallet although remarkably the round saw Silly Adders falling behind The Mighty Duffers in the quest for the wooden spoon.

During the break Steph showed off her ‘dumplings’ as they swelled magnificently in a steaming bowl of Beef Stew catching many an old man’s eye.

Blockbusters got us under way again as 3 Jokers flooded in and Silly Adders ‘maxed out’ while The Crown Jewels also scored heavily but sadly The Mighty Duffers failed to answer which  ‘B. T.’ is a Council of the Intelligent which most teams correctly answered as ‘Brains Trust’. On reflection how could The Mighty Duffers possibly know that?

The Crown Jewels were now in a clear lead 9 points ahead of The Others who, like the stalking Upton Mafia, were yet to play their Joker while defending champions Jakes Mighty Marquee Team were banking everything on the final Dare round in a bid for back to back glory.

Round 6 Genocide of a Nation – Or How the West was Won saw modest scoring apart from Joker playing The Others who closed in a little on The Crown Jewels who looked for all money heading for the victors spot on the podium. 

Round 7 Coward of the County had a ‘YELLOW’ connection to every answer and saw little change on the leader board with the final Dare round and the Picture Puzzle answers still to come.

Three Jokers were played on the Dare round, a mixed bag offering more dangers than a Jimmy Saville house warming party. Two points per question and a potential 40 with the Joker on offer for those bold or stupid enough to take the final challenge. Wax on Wax off as befits the Bishopstone invaders went for it and recorded a useful 16. Jakes Mighty Marquee Team went for it and amidst mayhem, confusion and mutterings of foul deeds to come sank into oblivion back to the bog of eternal stench from which they dared to crawl to victory previously. 

After the ‘putty’ affair one might have expected Margaret to keep her council and let others get the blame this time. None of it!! She affirmed The Fishermans Ring is worn by The Pope no less and that, together with 6 other correct answers, doubled with the Joker, gave Upton Mafia a staggering 28 point haul that swept them pass their chief rivals as The Crown Jewels recorded 10 and The Others 12 while Silly Adders posted zero on their way to ignominy. 

When the Picture rounds were added up and the final reckoning done there was disbelief as the results were announced. Against all odds and cries of “impossible” from the riff raff end of the bar The Mighty Duffers were announced as finishing 5th !!!!!!  with Silly Adders 6th and Jakes Mighty Marquee Team a miserable 7th and LAST!! 

For the individual Picture Round prize half a point separated runners up The Others from Upton Mafia as Captain Dunn accepted the chocolates. The silence descended as the final result was announced.  The Crown Jewels looked on hopefully while The Others looked expectant however on this occasion the result was clear cut with 12.5 points separating the winners from The Crown Jewels and The Others who tied for second place on 101.5. 

Queen Margaret smiled triumphantly as Captain Dunn accepted the ‘cash’ on behalf of Upton Mafia and one could be forgiven for feeling The Pope himself would be proud that the ‘Mafia’ had represented him well in this outpost of Rome. 

As the doors finally closed once again upon the Seven Stars a murmuring spread down Stars Lane, clearly some late night villager calling to his dog ‘tosser’ as the Mighty Marquee Team made the weary trek home under the stars.  


And so on to the October Quiz. With Autumn advancing, Halloween around the corner and the fantastic news that The Seven Stars had collected the prestigious award of Pub of The Year :-) we were not short of material with which to baffle the contenders.

Defending chumpions Upton Mafia were surprisingly light on numbers as The Others turned out in force for what is clearly becoming a crusade in which they must surely at some point succeed such is their endeavour. Wax on Wax off now as regular as horse muck down Stars Lane, The Mighty Duffers and a humble Mighty Marquee Team made up the compliment of teams as Ross and Steph pulled vigorously on the pumps serving the latest offerings from the Vale Brewery.  

A chance meeting in the pub the previous Friday had persuaded the Quizmaster to include a round for ‘Numpty’s’. It clearly hit the spot with 3 teams scoring maximum 10’s and 2 scoring 9 in the first round. I would like to thank Dinton and Cuddington School for supplying the questions from their range of Jack & Jill books. 

Being Sunday Round 2 ‘The Vicar of a Country Church’, was served up with due reverence to ‘Him’, with answers including the Right Reverend David Shepherd, The Vicar of Wakefield and Father Ted from whom so many of us have restored our faith although The Mighty Duffers may want to attend Sunday School a little more often judged by their 2.5 low score?

Round 3 a Connections round saw The Others, The Duffers and Upton Mafia all playing Jokers the answers being:
            • Hare
            • Alpha Papa
            • Long Jump
            • Linford Christie
            • Octopussy
            • Water Skiing
            • Eden Kane
            • Ear
            • Newfoundland

So what I ask you was the Connection? 

All 3 Jokers got it but sadly not the other two teams as Wax on Wax off slipped alarmingly to the foot of the table

Current Affairs took us towards the break where we highlighted The Seven Stars triumph as pub of the year being judged across many categories to win the outright award and being highly commended in the Food specific category. Well done Steph and team!!!!!!!!!!! 

An appropriate Chicken Curry gave off a mouth watering aroma around the bar as Jake once again demonstrated he has no equal when it comes to devouring in seconds what has taken hours of preparation as his asbestos lined mouth defied the pulsating heat of the Madras.

As we started the second half The Others looked imperious 13 points ahead of their nearest pursuer and 25 ahead of a hapless Wax on Wax off who were definitely more off than on this night!! 

We got going with an autumnal theme touching on the Spaghetti harvest in Switzerland, John Keats, who described Autumn as The Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness and the use of Pumpkin Pie as an Aphrodisiac which Terry affirmed as effective! Wax on Wax off looked in desperate need of such an aid as they sunk even lower down the slippery pole of loneliness.

Round 6 – Halloween proved very popular with all teams scoring 9 or 10 and left the two teams who had earlier in the quiz not made the Connection sadly reflecting on what should have been. 

With The Others sailing along 14 points clear we came to the precipice that is the Dare Round. Wax on Wax off had no option but to go for broke and played their Joker as did Jakes Mighty Marquee Team. We presented the teams with 20 animals and asked them to name those that are now extinct. (there were 10 extinct 10 still around today mostly in Westlington). The result marked the extinction of two previously highly endangered species as both Wax on Wax off and The Mighty Marquee Team recorded zero effectively extincting themselves from the quiz while Upton Mafia had an impressive 12 and closed to within 8 of The Others.

The final Potpourri round caused some discussion around who or what were The Chindits (no they are not a range of hills in England) but it was the marking of the Picture rounds that proved decisive as defending champions Upton Mafia hit 31 while The Others stumbled to 20 and thus turning an 8 point deficit into a winning margin of 2.5 points and defending their crown. The Duffers staggered on into third place 30 points adrift and 1 ahead of The Mighty Marquee Team who were desperately unlucky in the Dare round when challenging, leaving WOWO 10 points back 5th and LAST!

A great night, The Others so near and yet so far – perhaps more Pumpkin Pie needed? – thats how it is in Quiz land – one minute you are down and the next you are down even further. By now teams are very aware of the crafty tactics of Upton Mafia but who can stop them completing the hat trick?. As Captain Dunn set off for India in search of new answers along with our resident pub surgeon Mallick together with Anne and Eilish he strongly affirmed they would make quiz history by triumphing yet again on the 24th thus entering Quiz Land immortality. Captain Dunn also gave praise to The Mighty Marquee teams glorious failure in the Dare round stating if they had only known The Wooley Monkey was still alive and kicking and seen regularly roaming freely in the jungles of Ford they may have pulled off second place – such is the generosity of the Upton Mafia!!

Thanks again to Steph, Ross, Diana and all of you regular (and irregular) quiz fans and we look forward to seeing you all once again on 24th November when we promise another night of Brilliance once again under the Seven Stars 

Diana Ross Steph Steve


Kaolin or Putty? That is the Question Actually it was the Answer and a very decisive answer it proved to be in a packed Seven Stars last Sunday evening (4th Aug.).

After a short break, Quiz night returned with a vengeance as 9 teams graced our hallowed premises to once more bear truth to the legend that talent oozes from every nook and cranny in Dinton and its surrounding native camps (or Upton, Westlington, Ford and Gibraltar as they are sometimes referred to). Defending champions Upton Mafia turned up in force with Margaret ebullient as she rolled back the years and settled on her perch while Laurie downed his first Crabbie's of the night. Postman person Malcolm led a depleted B4 into the corner of the Restaurant and became B4 minus 2 for the evening. An influx of 'genius' from Bishopstone announced themselves as 'Wax On Wax Off' which judged by the hairy chest of their leader Mark and his slightly balding pate suggested that the Wax had gone on the head rather than the chest. The Others, led by Anne's sparkling charm, were missing husband Alan who we were informed had 'gone to the dogs' confirming what many have long believed. However their ranks included celebrities Terry and June Terry & Jill for those of you who regularly walk dogs in the Manor field I hope you share with me my respect for Terry's sartorial elegance as he commands the meadow in his wellies and shorts Silly Adders, often seen performing with mediocrity at The Rising Sun Quiz in Thame, were long in numbers and considered 'dark horses' by those who have never visited The Rising Sun. The Long Shots, apocryphal in their team name selection, settled happily at the table over-looking the Seven Stars herb garden perhaps seeking inspiration from the Sage flourishing among the dandelions. A scratch team of the 'odd-couple', Alex and Steph, combined bar and kitchen duties with attempting to answer questions and gave the scorers quite some challenges deciphering what at best can only be described as 'Frenglish' long live the Entente Cordiale!! Class is recognised in any sphere and all teams bowed their heads as multiple former champions The Crown Jewels assumed their customary seats with a look which said 'up yours', clearly the bookies favourites. Which brings us to the final entrants, Jake's Mighty Marquee Team. As always this rare collection of eccentrics were as organised as Fred Karno's army and featuring in his first Quiz Ned Carr. At 10 weeks and a few days one wondered if this might be a little early for Ned to shine? As his mum got to work on a pint of Lager young Ned was being handed round like a relay baton while still shattered dad Rob, tried to get Ned focused on the Picture Round. 50 great minds clustered together in The Seven Stars, a truly staggering blob of grey matter reminding the Quiz Master of Descartes famous assertion - 'I think therefore I am' which in the case of our contestants translates as 'I drink therefore I am'. So to Round 1 Dinton Family Fortunes (we asked a hundred residents of Dinton etc). The most creative answers came to the questions name a 'common household smell' where in the absence of corroborating evidence 'Laurie's wind problem' was a zero score and name 'someone who rides a bike' with Danny's wife outscoring Sir Bradley Wiggins with ease. Round 2 'Name the Date' revealed Alex as more than just a bearded wonder as he alone (Steph was in the kitchen stirring the curry) managed to get more correct answers than the combined scores of The Long Shots and The Mighty Marquee Team and at this point he and Steph led the contest by 5 clear points from Wax On Wax Off!!!!!! Unfortunately this was to be a 'false dawn'. Round 3 'Connections' linked a tin of Pilchards with Sylvester Stallone and Thailand with Postman Pat young Ned was seen 'nodding off' at this point but stern words from dad brought him back into the Quiz. We entered Round 4 'Slogans & Catchphrases' with no team having yet played a Joker and here Wax On Wax Off, scenting opportunity, went for the bonus scoring heavily with 18 points but perhaps naively not spotting the bigger opportunity of the Wipe-out round which most teams were clearly waiting for and ultimately shattering their thoughts of Seven Stars glory. And so to the half time break with Wax On Wax Off clear leaders from stealthy followers Upton Mafia, a fading Alex/Steph combo and with B4 2 sneaking into contention just ahead of the prowling Crown jewels. Jake was out the blocks faster than Ben Johnson in the 1988 Seoul Olympics and easily headed the queue for the pulsating 'Balti Curry' undergoing final preparation under Steph's urgings as 'mendiant moi j'ai oublie le chien abats' was heard echoing down Stars Lane. Round 5, 'A Mixed Bag', got us going again with few noticing Engelbert slip into the ranks of Jakes MMT as The Others played their Joker in what was generally a high scoring round though sadly not for The Others. Current Affairs came next and we toasted Dinton CC's great performance in reaching the semi-final of the National Village knock out where they play Rockhampton next Sunday. As a tribute a required answer was Darren Gough who made an appearance for Dinton Seconds last week and whose 2 sons are regular performers in Dinton squads. At the three quarter stage Wax On Wax Off still held sway but the pack were hunting them up with 5 Jokers still in the bag and with Upton Mafia in sniffing distance of their bums while JMMT had yet to feel the value of Ned's input (although his output was now stored in a plastic bag in the pub bin). Round 7 was a decisive Wipe-out Mixed Bag with B4 -2 and JMMT going for broke as Jokers were played with abandon. When Margaret speaks people usually listen, when she shouts they cower under bushes. Chalk and Linseed in combo, or Putty as it is called in the trade, has similarities with Kaolin. Kaolin for example absorbs toxins and other substances from the gut and helps bulk up faeces while Putty could be used to bung up a hole should there be a leak (perhaps of bulked up faeces?). Apart from that it is difficult to spot any remote connection although Kaolinite, sometimes referred to as China Clay could perhaps be mistaken for hardened Putty? Laurie who knows a thing or two about Putty declined to comment and even Captain Liam, never known to be short of a word or two, said he had trouble giving his opinion while sheltering under a bush. It proved decisive as Upton Mafia recorded zero points for the round while B4 2 and JMMT dipped their bread with The Crown Jewels and the very long shots, The Long Shots, the only other scorers in the round!!. And so to the final Round 8 another Connection Round linking Cassandra, the insane daughter of mythological King Priam of Greece, with ex Manchester City football star Rodney Marsh and Raquel Welch with Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert. Four successful Jokers were played but to no avail as the pigeons had already flown in the Wipe-out round. The Picture Rounds were then marked with Wax On Wax Off coming home clear winners in that category by 6 points as they recognised most of the BBC Sports Personalities of the Year winners and identified the authors of a selection of Children's Books. The giant box of Cadbury's Milk Tray was accepted like a Velociraptor that had not eaten for a week!! And so to the result of an epic quiz............. A spread of 33 points separated the good from the bad and the ugly and it was with great dignity that Silly Adders accepted the Wooden Spoon a single point behind The Others with the 'Odd Couple' 4.5 points ahead in 7th place having fallen away after such a promising start. The Long Shots came next with an impressive 123.5, a good enough score most times to be on the podium. Only 2.5 points separated the next 3 teams with previous winners Upton Mafia taking 5th place on 132, The Crown Jewels 4th on 133.5 and Wax On Wax Off 3rd on 135. Tension mounted , was it possible that team B4 2 (essentially B2) could have defied the odds and toppled all comers? The difference of 3.5 points was down to the Wipe-out round where Jakes MMT scored a massive 36 versus B4 2's sterling effort of 28 and even accounting for the 3 additional points received for difference in team numbers it was not enough. Jakes Mighty Marquee Team came home 3.5 points clear on a massive 141.5. B4 2 accepted the runners up wine to a highly appreciative audience as Jake rushed stepped forward to accept the 47 first prize. Upton Mafia were meanwhile left ruing their '0' score on the Wipe-out round where they successfully answered all but 1 question.... it's tough in Quizland :-) Later at the bar Pliers, speaking on behalf of Jakes Mighty Marquee Team, commented that Ned had made a significant contribution and apologised to the other teams for the aroma that had accompanied it. Asked about Upton Mafia's effort he responded 'they were Putty in our hands'! Thanks again to all 50 of you for making last Sunday such a success.

We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did and we look forward to seeing you all at the next Quiz on Sunday 15th September as once again madness mixes with eccentricity and wisdom under The Seven Stars. Diana Steph Steve

Hugh Grant in Seven Stars Drama
There was a great turn out for last Sunday’s quiz as 6 teams emerged from winter hibernation and arranged themselves in their now well established corners of the Seven Stars. 

B4 returning after more pantomime success in the West End (of Stone), Upton Mafia resurgent since Liam’s return from our colonies in USA and featuring Margaret and Laurie, Pliers and Mel back to support Jakes Mighty Marquee Team, The Hermits with increasing numbers and once again featuring 11 year old Harry Hawes and Phil (of the shed fame) to balance both ends of the ‘experience’ scale. We also welcomed ‘The Others’ who are now emerging as potential long term ‘also ran’s’ and looking supreme our reigning dual champions The Crown Jewels. 
There were a number of ‘onlookers’ tempted to join in but fearful they would be exposed as the atmosphere in the pub buzzed with tangible brilliance. Round 1 ‘Inventions’ served to reassure them that all that ‘glisters is not Gold’ and all that buzzing was just a demented early season bluebottle caught up in a cobweb.  Sir Humphrey Davy, Percy Shaw, Louis Braille and the Earl of Sandwich were just some of the required answers (who along with Alfred Mosher Butts were of course the original members of The Dave Clark Five!)
Round 2 Connections rekindled the spirit of the London Olympics and saw successful Jokers played by The Crown Jewels and B4. 
As we entered Round 3, ‘Who Am I’, the whole fate of the contest was determined by that light weight Narcissus of an actor Hugh Grant. He had decided to ‘pop in’ for a quick one on his way to the ‘Red Light District’ of Westlington. The problem was only The Crown Jewels recognised him with all the other teams mistaking him for Rob Carr. Anyway we bought him a Pink Gin and sent him on his way but the damage was done and The Crown Jewels moved into a clear lead!

Round 4 ‘Bits & Pieces’ had teams speculating as to how many ‘E’s’ there are in SCRABBLE – Upton Mafia’s cheering on stating 12 became groans and moans as it was pointed out there is only 1 ‘E’ in SCRABBLE’, however as there are no ‘trick’ questions in our Quiz we accepted the 12.
The break saw a queue form outside the kitchen longer than the dole office as contestants sought inner warmth from the biting ‘easterly’ finding its way through the timbers of our shrine. A well judged chicken curry hit the spot as teams considered the Pictures Rounds of TV Comedy & Dog Breeds.

Round 5 on Films and with 4 teams still to play Jokers it was clear they were hanging their hats on the later Dare Round which offered double points if you were stupid brave enough to ‘risk ‘ all. Alfred Hitchcock Films served as a chilling reminder never to take a shower alone and Round 6, another Connections round, saw Upton Mafia play a successful Joker while some teams slipped up guessing Harry Potter rather than J K Rowling – ‘school boy error’ as you might say J

Round 7 Dare produced markedly different scoring. ‘The Hermits’ recorded an ‘all time high’ score  scooping 38 of a possible 40 and lifting them to within binocular sight of front running The Crown Jewels. Rita Coolidge would have been so proud!!

Sadly ‘The Mighty Marquee Team’ and ‘The Others’ recorded the infamous ‘nil points’ putting them in the same category as the brilliant ‘De Spelbrekers’ and their memorable rendition of ‘Katinka’ representing The Netherlands in the 1962 Euro Song Contest. I am sure we all have high hopes for the Wales Blonde Bomber Bonnie Tyler with ‘Believe in Me’ on 18th May in Malmo. I think if she sang alternate verses in Serbian and Latvian with a sprinkling of whatever it is they speak in Montenegro then she would be in with a great shout and of course change the title to ‘Bepyje y MeHe’.

So to the final Round 8 ‘Pop & Literature’ where we considered the Old Testament preaching of ‘an Eye for an Eye’ with The Wombles ‘we wish you a Wombling Merry Christmas’ as befits a Sunday night quiz and consideration for this day of prayer, peace and goodwill to All Men (and Women).
The Pictures rounds produced something of an upset – with a spread of only 2 point across all 6 teams Jake stepped forward to seize the festive Easter Eggs prize on behalf of the Mighty Marquee Team. He was not as forthcoming as we announced the results of the Quiz in reverse order with TMMT trailing in a remote 6th and sadly in need of counselling. ‘The Others’ performed to expectations in 5th with Upton Mafia an unaccustomed 4th albeit just out of the ‘money’. ‘The Hermits Joker lifted them into an excellent third spot with suggestions of better things to come if only Harry would do more homework in preparation. So who won?

B4 finished 3 points adrift of The Crown Jewels who completed a ‘hat trick’ of wins. Hugh Grant was worth 6 points – Rob Carr is worthless of course. Personally I feel the reverse is true but ‘rules is rules’ as Steph remarked to HG when he reappeared after closing time in hopes of a ‘lock in’.
Who is going to ‘steal’ the Crown of ‘The Crown Jewels’? They have set new standards, sent out a clear message ‘the rest of you are puddings’ and sit there on their lofty perch within the pub daring others to take them on. Where are ‘We’re Still Thinking’ when needed, will Nessie’s Monsters make a rare appearance, can Upton Mafia and the once Mighty Marquee Team rediscover mediocrity which could be enough, or are the emerging forces of The Hermits and The Others ready to grab the glory? Personally I expect B4 to mount the greatest challenge and look forward to our next night of passion under The Seven Stars on Sunday 28th April 7pm sharp – let battle commence!!

Thanks to all for your continuing great support – in the end it was ‘About a Boy’



Quiz Night report 24th Feb - Return of the King

Perhaps it’s just the bleak mid winter that was responsible for the low turn-out at the latest Seven Stars Quiz last Sunday. Some teams are away on other duties (B4 up to their necks In seasonal Pantomime – Oh no they’re not!, Upton Mafia leaderless with Captain Liam back in the USA educating the natives and The Mighty Marquee team reduced to 3 with Pliers, Rob and their spouses apparently trying to catch up on the recording of England v France rugby at Twickenham the previous day. Several villagers are apparently still recovering after the drama of the fire engine on Stars Lane on Saturday as Dick & Eileen tried to burn the pub down and there are reports that Alan Weston is in line for Pope and decided he needed to take a night off and bone up a bit on the OT.

Having said we were low on teams we were possibly at the peak of excellence and quality with the gathered ensemble headed by past Champions, The Crown Jewels, The Others, mob handed under Captain Anne’s sparkling leadership and Phil (of the shed fame) looking perky as he cast a cynical eye over a depleted Marquee Team led with inspiration by an always confident Jake, Diana guesting and Martin completing with his own Isobel Barnett style of ‘posh intellectual’. Steph and her Mum offered assistance to the Marquee team and there being no objections from the two other teams who considered, if anything, this would probably bring further mayhem to that Motley Crew. – Vive l’Entente cordiale!!

Two ‘newcomers’ to the pub declined entry into the quiz and one suspects his idea of a romantic date was about to be compromised as we got underway with Round 1 ‘A Mixed Bag’. A premature enquiry by Jake as to the half time menu suggested he already reasoned there would be plenty of ‘seconds’ on offer.

The Picture hand outs of Clichés and Bond Movies seemed popular as Steph came into her own explaining she had the complete box set of Bond Films and had indeed once been auditioned for the part of a ‘Bond Girl’. By the way if you watched the Oscars over night Sunday you may have seen Minnie Driver declaring that although she had appeared in Golden Eye, she could not be counted as a Bond Girl as she never kissed him or ‘sh***ed’ anybody. We have yet to get a straight answer from Steph on this subject.

Round 2 saw the return of Dinton Family Fortunes – ‘we asked a hundred people in Dinton what they wear in bed’ etc  - top 4 answers required. Personally I have always found a Dog Collar acceptable attire but I draw the line at a Mask – once again answers attested to the eccentricity that is the lifeblood of Dinton :-). The Crown Jewels swept into an early lead providing so many Top Answers that one wonders if they spend too much time in the company of Les Dennis.

Round 3 Connections saw The Crown Jewels playing a highly successful Joker and continuing to force the pace

Round 4, was a Dare Round on Dads Army (many of whom seemed to be playing for The Others) and indeed The Others played a successful Joker keeping them close on the heels of front running The Crown Jewels who also scored high, while the less than Mighty Marquee team seemed to be having language translation problems among their international quintet (You say Potato I say Pomme de Terre and she says Aardappel (while also sounding like someone in need of a spittoon!).

The break arrived just in time for Jake and he was quicker than Usain Bolt over the 15 meters required to get him from the bar to the kitchen before returning with a steaming bowl of Chicken Korma. While most team members focused on completing the Pictures rounds during the break Jake set records for quantity and speed as his view that there would be ample ‘seconds’ proved good.

The second half commenced with a ‘Who Am I’ which amazingly all 3 teams guessed after the third clue mainly due to Isobel Barnett announcing the answer in the deep gravelly voice she was so renowned for on What’s My Line ?????

Round 6 a mix of Slogans, film trivia and news of the day saw a triumphant Jake affirm that Homer Simpson only drank DUFF beer and The Others knowing that the creator of those extraterrestrial terrors, The Daleks, had died that very day. Few had observed Silvio Berlusconi being ‘molested’ by three topless ladies at his latest political rally earlier in the day but the quiz master offered free viewings of his recording of the event.

Round 7 saw the once Mighty Marquee Team have a last roll of the dice as they played their Joker on a Connections round which matched a Fish Called Wanda with the Football League Cup and Edgar Rice Burroughs, the answer of course being Cakes which Isobel managed to guess after some hinting from a pitying Quiz Master (they were miles behind in any case!)

And so to the Final Round 8 Dare Round on British Prime Ministers where assertions that Margaret Thatcher was as Liberal as they make them would probably cause The Iron Lady to lay into a few quizzers with her handbag.

While the results of the Picture hand outs were totted up and the usual grumblings and pleas to the QM for sympathetic marking of wrong answers were attended to, there was a reminder to one and all of the upcoming AGM meeting 17th March in the Village Hall for all Seven Stars Shareholders and perhaps to join us back at the pub after the AGM for a pint or two, a drop of good French wine or anything that takes your fancy.

The result was conclusive The Kings (and Queens) had returned to their appointed place in Quiz land now vying with B4 for most outright wins and The Crown Jewels stepped forward to accept the loot and the large and beautifully wrapped chocolates (they are on offer in Morrison’s).

The Others, although putting up stalwart resistance and being large on numbers, were once again let down by being short on gray matter and settled for the runners up spot. A depleted Marquee Team pulled off a remarkable coup taking the pictures rounds where clearly Steph’s hidden prowess as a Bond Girl proven vital.  Needless to say they also came third (or last if you like) in the quiz and accepted a monster packet of crisps and a large box of chocolate Swiss rolls (also on offer at Morrison’s) for winning the pictures which Jake made short work of.

So another night of intellectual failure ended but it was clear the gauntlet was now well and truly laid down as we witnessed The Return of the King.

Next quiz has been set for Sunday 24th March at 7pm when we are promised a full complement of The Mighty Marquee Team, the return of Upton Mafia, a hopeful presence of B4, with The Others, The Duffers, defending champions The Crown Jewels together with the random waifs and strays that are being attracted to our now legendary Sunday night of weird stuff.

With Spring in the air, the prospect of the much hyped Ashes Cricket Test Series and the speculation of Squeaker Bercow’s wife going to jail for Tweeting about Lord McCalpine  we have all the necessary ingredients for another date with fate Under The Seven Stars.

Look forward to seeing you all




The Seven Stars Dinton February Quiz Result  – An everyday tale of ‘simple’ (very) country folk
The Duffers Stun Allcomers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In 1967 Foinavon stunned the horseracing world as he was the only horse to successfully jump the 23rd fence in the Grand National and went on to an historic victory at 100 – 1. In 2012/13 season Bradford City stunned the footballing world claiming the scalps of 3 Premier League clubs Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa to become the first club from footballs fourth tier to reach the League Cup final since 1962.
On Sunday 3rd February 2013 a feat even more heroic, more earth shattering and frankly the stuff of fiction writers took place under the hallowed timbers of The Seven Stars Dinton. In an epic battle unlikely to be repeated in most of our lifetimes, The Duffers threw mud in the eye of The Mighty Marquee Team, despatched a stunned Upton Mafia with the disdain of Chris Huhne lying to the highest authority in the land and cast fear, doubt and dumbness aside as they lifted the honours in the latest Seven Stars Quiz. 
The record books are well and truly re written. The Duffers are to Quiz Land what Jimmy Saville was to Neighbourhood Watch. The Duffers are the most unlikely winners of anything that may involve brain cells. They are as unlikely as France’s hopes of lifting the Six Nations this year, as unlikely as the Pope getting married and as unlikely as Jake to pass on the interval break for food. (a magnificent Beef Madras Curry that Steph knocked up from her local Romanian suppliers)
So how did it come to pass?
Well we just got going when the same hapless couple who turned up on the night of the Christmas Quiz entered in search of food, took one look at the assembled teams uttered something along the lines of ‘not fizzing Quiz Night again’ (I think they said fizzing) and promptly left.
It must be said the Gods were with The Duffers. Upton Mafia made a complete pig’s ear of their Joker played on a Sporting Dare round as they had no clue that in the previous days football match between Hartlepool & Nott’s County, the two scorers for Hartlepool in their 2 – 1 victory were Hartley and Pool!!!!!! The Mighty Marquee Team under Jake’s Captaincy, which at times was taunting in their ridicule of the other teams, were cruising in front and well ahead entering the final two rounds with their own Joker still to play!! The Mighty Marquee team though, as so often commented on in previous reports, are not renowned for vast quantities of the gray matter and managed to score zero in the final Dare round and their reasonable Joker was not enough to save them.
So with The Duffers plodding along in their usual mediocre way THEY were still in with a shout as the decisive Pictures & Dingbats were totted up. Upton Mafia requested a special mention in the report as had their answer Down River been accepted as a reasonable Dingbat answer to the picture shown, or had they not guessed that the dog that found the 1966 World Cup was called Nipper rather than the correct answer of Pickles,  then they would have emerged winners albeit very unworthy winners.  
It’s Down By The Riverside by the way  as no doubt all readers are struggling with J They got this wrong despite the Quiz Master all night humming where he ‘met his little bright eyed doll’ 
As the final scores were reckoned by Steph, herself a study of concentrated mathematical genius as she flicked the abacas beads back & forth, word was circulating that a momentous result was at hand. The Quizmaster in disbelief checked the maths, rechecked and then sought a further recount. There was no doubting the result and 1.5 points separated first from third. In fact there was no third as two teams tied for second place. 
In the Picture & Dingbats Round, The Duffers scored 2.5 more than Liam’s invading Upton forces and 5 more than Jakes rabble which was enough to confirm them victors by one and a half points with Upton Mafia and JMMT tied in second. 
So not only did The Duffers win the outright Quiz to scoop the loot they also took chocolates and Jaffa Cakes for the P & D round. There were prizes of Prosecco, Christmas Puddings and Chocolates for the 2 runners up along with more Jaffa Cakes. Jakes appetite was far in advance of his eyesight as he ripped into the Jaffa Cake boxes while failing to spot the sell by date was long past but as there have been no reports of casualties in any team I think we can safely assume all ended well.
So have we seen a once in a lifetime event or are The Duffers emerging as a new force? I know where my bets are going and so we leave you with this thought ‘if The Duffers can triumph against the odds then so can anyone’. So come on B4, Come on Crown Jewels come on We’re Still Thinking and surely Upton Mafia and The Mighty Marquee Team will bounce back.
Join us next time Sunday February 24th for the next instalment of The Twilight Zone Under The Seven Stars

Happy New Year

With scenes reminiscent of The Oscars Ceremony, crowds gathered outside The Seven Stars as teams arrived for the final quiz of 2012. Upton Mafia, fielding a team full of diversity and madness despite the absence of veterans Laurie and Margaret, and with Captain Liam looking fitter than a butcher’s dog, settled into their accustomed corner of the bar while B4, restored to full complement, were giving off an aura of silent genius from within the restaurant.

Crown Jewels made a very welcome reappearance quashing rumours that they had gone into terminal decline and attracting the ‘smart money’ at the bar. The Hermits, an unknown quantity drawn from the extremities of Dinton, featured the youngest ever contestant with 11 year old Harry Hawes making his debut. To balance this youthful approach Phil, of the ‘shed’ fame, struck a blow for the ‘oldies’ as he lowered his somewhat portly frame onto a groaning chair and cast two fingers at the opposition.

‘The Others’ added to the contingent nestled in the restaurant with Captain Anne’s twinkling eyes threatening mischief. Jake’s Mighty Marquee team made up the sextet of teams gathered for the right to become Christmas Quiz Champions 2012 and with ‘Pliers’ back and Rob not having touched a drop of the amber nectar for at least 48 hours they looked to be back with a vengeance. Captain Jake’s vain attempts to bribe the Quizmaster shows the depths to which they have tumbled since their last win back in June.

We got under way with a round dedicated to December 25th when bizarrely 3 (Wise?) strangers appeared at the Inn Keepers door and 40 heads turned towards them in hushed awe. However there was no room at the Inn (or food on a Sunday night) and they departed stage left (see later) cursing their misfortune.

Round 2 Christmas Connections followed and Jokers were played by The Butchers Dog, B4 and Crown Jewels, with a possible maximum of 28 points at stake. Upton Mafia smugly announced they had the Connection after the first question but then complacency cost them decisive points as they mistook ‘Old Maid’ for ‘Find the Lady’. Crown Jewels and B4 maxed out while The Hermits started to appreciate that life on the ‘Far Side’ of Dinton had not prepared them well for the ‘slings and arrows of outrageous Quizland’. ‘The Others’ also queried the ‘Old Maid’ answer and it would appear we all play different versions of ‘Find the Lady’ – as always Quiz Masters decision is final even though B4 eventually suffered unfairly under this strict rule

Round 3 ‘A Christmas Stocking’ demonstrated the decline in traditional Christmas games versus watching the East Enders Christmas Special as few teams knew how people are killed in a game of ‘Murder in the Dark’.

Round 4 got the party mood going as teams had to solve Christmas Cracker Jokes including, ‘What do you call a chicken in a shell suit’?  (An Egg) and what is an ‘Ig’? (Eskimo house without a toilet). Of course there were various ‘coarse’ answers coming from Upton Mafia as you might expect particularly in relation to what you call a Deer with no Eyes  (No idea) when they added a Deer with no Eyes and no reproductive capability – I will leave the answer for your conjecture. A special prize was awarded to young Harry during this round for the No Idea answer and each team also received a substantial chocolate Half Penny as befitted the occasion.

The Half time break was full of Festive Spirit as Steph served up a Beef and Dumplings Stew that thoroughly tested one’s constitution. Most people remarked on the ‘ample’ size of Steph’s dumplings and indeed the Quiz Master has long been an admirer. Jake, as we know, eats for his team and quickly devoured several offerings announcing that as he is now a ‘member of the kitchen staff’ he gets a discount and could use his ‘influence’ to get us all some extras if we wanted.

Round 5, Christmas Traditions, got us under way again with 3 teams yet to play their Jokers and it became clear the Spirit of Christmas was flowing well down many a throttle as the Quiz Master became concerned that some answers were not for the ears of tender age participants. This was particularly true in the case of ‘What is traditionally hung on a Christmas Tree to represent The Garden of Eden’? A pair of Golden Balls was considered an inappropriate answer. The Others made a forward move scoring heavily as they played their Joker with aplomb.

The party spirit continued with Round 6, Christmas Comedy recalling those magical moments that make Christmas such a special time as we reflected life on earth 2000 years ago. The poignant moment as Del Boy’s stripper gram wife, Raquel, touched our hearts in the Only Fools and Horses Christmas special and Mr Hankey’s portrayal as the ‘Christmas Poo’ in South Park bringing home to us all the true meaning of Christmas. Five teams scored heavily but alas for The Hermits their chosen name was proving apocryphal with their low scores perhaps suggesting years of isolation had cast them adrift from society.

And so on to Round 7, Christmas Family Fortunes, a round guaranteed to kick start the first Christmas rows. We surveyed 100 people in Dinton asking questions such as ‘Name something you might see on the front of a Christmas Card’ (Top Answer - A Wind Turbine), and ‘Name something a man might buy his wife for Christmas’ (Top Answer – Plastic Surgery).  The Round saw Upton Mafia and Crown Jewels pull clear of the field and we do hope Mrs Dunn enjoys her surprise Christmas present (well done the Butchers Dog!!).

We entered the final Round 8, a Dare round of Christmas Potpourri. A muttering Mighty Marquee Team (all was not going well) and The Hermits played last ditch Jokers and indeed Jake’s men (and women) rallied to the call scoring a remarkable 36 points against an average score of 11.5 for the round. This however was the round of Quiz Master misery as a question in regard to Pantomime protocols and on stage entry points for Pantomime Villains sent B4 into seething incandescence as their answer (later proven to be correct in a Scottish Court) was summarily dismissed by the senile Quiz Master. B4 for the uninitiated are themselves a formidable Pantomime team performing annually in the prestigious local amateur dramatics of the season with Captain Malcolm noted for his portrayal of Cinderella’s Glass Slipper and doubling up as The Pumpkin Coach such are the demands on the man’s talent. The ‘error’ possibly cost them 2nd or 3rd place so their ‘official’ place has been adjusted by the average of the round which then places them on a tie for 3rd place with Jakes resurgent MMT and honour hopefully restored.

What proved ultimately decisive as the scores were totted up were Upton Mafia’s somewhat disappointing scores on the Pictures and Christmas Anagram Round while Crown Jewels scored heavily although pipped by 4 points by B4 who claimed the Christmas Champagne for that particular Spot Prize. However showing consistency throughout the rounds and embracing the true spirit of Christmas which is about ‘giving’ rather than ‘receiving’, Crown Jewels gave the other teams a thorough Christmas Basting as they took the Christmas Cash by a clear 16.5 points margin. The Mighty Marquee Team came an honourable third but wringing their hands over an abysmal performance in the Christmas Family Fortunes Round but at least smiles on Mel’s and Sally’s faces as they contemplated what ‘Pliers’ and Rob might have put in their Christmas Stockings! (ultimately disappointing we heard a few days later!)

Thanks to The Others and The Hermits for making the Quiz a night of ‘firsts’ and to young Harry who for sure will one day carry off the supreme prize now he has experienced the thirst for Quiz success.

From Steph, Diana and me thanks for supporting us throughout 2012 and we look forward to renewing our own personal commitment to mayhem, madness and controversy as we start 2013 with the next extravaganza on Sunday 3rd February Under The Seven Stars.

Happy New Year to you all and much Good Health, Happiness, Fun and all things that you wish for in 2013.