On 17th December 2016, Backworth 1 team, in the North East of England, celebrated 50 years since their first meeting. This was a very special occasion as the person celebrating the mass was Bishop Paul Mason, whose parents, Jim & Maria Mason were founder members of the team! Bishop Paul was baptised in the same church, Our Lady’s and St Edmund’s church, which has been home to the Backworth team for 50 years. How many more Bishops are there whose parents were in Teams? The team is now just two couples and one widower.
The team is special in other ways: Jim & Theresa Pratt became the first Great Britain Regional Couple and they piloted the first teams in Trinidad more than 30 years ago. This was all done by hand-written letters! Also, Peggy Corrigan, after her husband John had died, piloted six teams in New Zealand whilst visiting their daughter who had emigrated.
After the mass, everyone moved to a nearby church for tea and cake as Our Lady’s and St Edmund’s did not have a hall.