Ninety-three quizzers packed into the hotel ballroom to decipher puzzles and answer questions on a range of subjects including TV sitcoms, natural history and geography. The evening began with a delicious meal before everyone settled down for the brain-teasing evening.

Regular Quizmaster, retired Air Commodore Ricci Cobelli OBE, set the questions that had visual prompts and clues. Ricci, a retired RAF pilot who has flown Jaguar, Tornado and ‘F1 11’ aircraft, has been Question Master for the Variety Wessex quizzes for ten years and the events have raised around £40,000 in total. Ricci got involved with Variety after attending a Bournemouth Air Festival Ball where he met Frances Cornelius, chair of Variety Wessex. Before that, he says:

I had no conception of the life some children had. Children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) or require DMDR therapy are in such a challenging situation. I had no idea that families had to buy their own wheelchairs. I discovered how amazing children who are carers are and know that every pound raised or donated to Variety goes to help the children. I am delighted to help Variety to keep funds coming in.

The Quiz evening was sometimes quite vocally competitive but remained very good-humoured. At the end of the evening Sprittlewood, a team from Linwood School, were declared overall winners and Quizical were runners-up. The raffle raised £450 and funds were boosted by a very generous anonymous donation of £1,000 from friends of Variety.

Frances Cornelius, chair of Variety Wessex said:

Thank you everyone who took part in this entertaining evening, particularly our wonderful Quiz Master Ricci Cobelli and committee members Barry, Judy, Lorraine, Ruth and Beverley who helped on the night. Thank you to the people who donated to the raffle prizes and the staff and chefs at the Marsham Court Hotel who looked after us so well.