Six Go Swinging!

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A short drive to Rushden tonight with David, Valerie, Jo and Janet for the Rushden & District RAFA’s “Swing’s the Thing” Concert.

We’d been invited to this fund-raising event by good friends Richard and Pauline, and being local, it didn’t take us long to get there. However, our unfamiliarity with the immediate area meant that even armed with the post-code, it still took us a while to zero-in on our destination – Park Road Baptist Church. The cramped streets of the older part of Rushden also meant that parking was a tad challenging!

Park Road Baptist Church in Rushden

We found a space for Robert and on arrival at the Church, it was clear to see that it was a well-supported event. So-much-so, that most of the seats ‘downstairs’ were pretty much occupied. We headed up the stairs and actually ended up with the perfect view! 😁

And although the view was pretty much spot-on, it was a shame about the sound (for the first half anyway). For whatever reason, the Band were far too loud – and we were furthest away! The drums, in particular, must have threatened the very foundations of the building! After a slightly confusing introduction to the evening where, after the fire exits were announced, the visiting local Mayors found themselves on the receiving end of a roll-call – there was some embarrassment all round as more than one was absent! πŸ™„

The sound problems were to continue when Katherine Mclean, the first vocalist of the evening, was drowned-out by the poor sound balance. With a 20-piece Band and a single vocalist, it was pretty clear who would win! I felt sorry not only for her, but also the local Mayors, who because of their status, were seated right at the front – they must have been deafened! 😫 Perhaps the mayoral-absentees knew something we didn’t! In fact, I think pretty much ALL those in the first six rows will have suffered. On the positive side of things though, I could see many in the audience were wearing hearing-aids, so at least they could turn the volume down! 😁 Not so, us poor youngsters though!

All-in-all, the first set featured a good blend of tunes – including some Basie and some Bond! But the event was running late, and by the time we got to the ‘8.15 interval’, it was closer to 8.35. With David and I still on our Β£1-a-day Challenge, at least we didn’t need to queue with the masses for refreshments! πŸ˜‰

Happily, the sound balance during the second-half was a lot better. Local legend Mel Peake belted out his set with professionalism and punch. Last time we saw Mel, it was for Ann’s 50th Birthday party at the ‘ill-fated’ local attraction ‘Club Diana’ back in 2011. He didn’t disappoint as he effortlessly delivered numbers from Elvis Presley and Tom Jones wowing the audience with every note. A true showman! To see the local Mayors waving their arms about in unison in time with the music, gave us all hope that even politics can achieve harmony when there’s a good tune about!

Bar the sound issues, we enjoyed the evening. Given the good attendance, it was clearly going to raise a lot of money tonight (we reckon Β£2500 just on ticket sales) and we were pleased to be part of it. With Mel still ringing in our ears, it must have close to 10.30pm when we left, but at least that meant the roads were quiet!

Palmers and Bricklayers

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Palmers Reunited

The hottest day of the year so far!

A scorcher of a day, as we headed down to Bromley to catch up with Neil, Debbie, Alfie and Frankie.

Just to make a change, rather than our normal haunt of ASK, at the top of the high-street, we chose The Bricklayers Arms, just a five-minute walk from Bromley South station. Last time we all got together was back in August last year, and it was great to catch-up with everyone’s news.

Food-wise, in my case, it was a bit under-par. Clearly the regular Chef was off today, and in his place, they’d recruited someone who works at the local Crematorium! Let’s just say my chicken-burger was very north of ‘well-done’ and if they cooked enough of them, it would have solved the local pot-hole problem! πŸ˜•

The Chef’s other job was in a Crematorium!

Luckily, the Dessert was kinder on my teeth! 😊

Better, much better!

2.15pm: Time for goodbyes as we returned to the baking heat outside. A short walk later we were on the platform. Some unlucky timing and picking the wrong platform for the ‘fast’ to Victoria meant we didn’t board until around 3pm. πŸ˜•

5.20pm: After a very sweaty journey home on the Train, we eventually arrived through the door! But perspiration waits for no-one and by 5.55pm, we were ready for our next jaunt – The Salvation Army’s ‘Concert for Ethiopia’ supporting their work there. We picked-up David and were soon parked, heading for the Kettering Citadel. It was already very busy when we arrived, and initially it was tricky finding three vacant seats – a nice problem to have though!

Concert for Ethiopia

The lack of seats meant tonight was a really well-supported affair – and the two-hour concert didn’t disappoint! For our entertainment: A Junior Brass Band (obviously), a Young Choir, a solo singer – Charlie Green and Kettering’s very own Thomas Fountain on the Cornet. It was all MCed by the Salvation Army’s ever-humourous-and-engaging Jack.

We know Thomas quite well – he played at our Wedding – and we’ve seen him in concert a few times since. With four separate musical pieces, he really made his instrument sing, and is clearly at the ‘top of his game’! In fact, everyone was simply superb in their own way tonight – and the applause confirmed it!

And so did people’s generosity! We’re happy to report that they raised over Β£1000 – and that was in addition to the ticket sales.

8.25pm: It all came to an end after the final upbeat number from the Band. As good as it was though, it had been very warm in there and we were glad to get out into the fresh air. We popped into nearby JS to pick up a few bits-and-pieces for tomorrow’s visit to Denis’s (first time EVER that I didn’t complain that the Store was too cold!) – and then headed home.

9.00pm: We sat outside, where the thermometer in the garden was still reading in excess of 30 degrees!

Phew! What a scorcher today! πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘πŸŒžπŸŒžπŸŒžπŸŒžπŸŒž