Web log from Barry McGee
We duly boarded the coaches at Kirby’s yard and were introduced to our coach Marshall who in our case on coach 1 was Terry Beckett.
It was Terry’s first attempt at being Marshall.
As he is still serving his apprenticeship, he received plenty of advice from all those on board and considerable help from our concert manager.
Just as we were departing Robin White woke up and realised his uniform was still in his car so, a quick emergency stop and an even quicker dash by Robin to the car, and we were then away.
The journey was uneventful and we duly arrived at the Travelodge, Poole, around four o’clock.
A quick check in, well as quick as could be, as only one lift was working – the other one was out of order – according to the notice it was having a bad day or two due to a “few ups and downs”!
At six o’clock, half the choir took the opportunity of a coach trip to the Isle of Purbeck, the remainder visited the night life in Poole.
Later in the evening many of us reconvened in the bar of the Travelodge; a few hardy drinkers stayed there until the wee small hours and the remainder toddled off to bed. Some unfortunates listened to the road works until the wee small hours (we would have been better off staying in the bar!)
After breakfast we boarded the coaches to The Lighthouse Centre for the competition.
We managed to witness one or two choirs performing before we were ushered through to the rehearsal /Holding room and, to our astonishment one choir had folders!
Then it was our turn so, off we went, single file in silence through a maze of passages, then on to the stage led by yours truly having had full instructions from our Marshal, Alistair.
We performed all four pieces, including the dreaded Dana Dana.
Janet gave us the thumbs up, Kay gave us a big smile and that was it – all over.
After the results were announced at three o’clock, it was back to the hotel for a quick change and then back for the joint rehearsal .
The Bournemouth MVC Director was in charge and he was walking about in MULTI coloured socks! That was bad enough, but the KILLER was that the majority of the other choirs were ALL using FOLDERS even for the Turtle Dove – and to cap it all, the Welsh Lads sang Gwahoddiad in Welsh and ALSO had folders.
So we can be proud and hold our heads high because we had NO folders and had learnt all our words.
The concert as far as massed choirs were concerned was fantastic but there was a troop of dancers, some very young indeed, which was a bit too much, and the three placed choirs, plus Bournemouth MVC, all had to perform three pieces each.
It all made for a very tiring evening, especially as we only sang seven or eight joint numbers, but those joint numbers were amazing, they really sent tingles down the spine.
At the end of the concert the usual thanks were were given to all who had helped make the event a success and it had raised a considerable sum for Bournemouth Hospital.
After which, having stood for a considerable time while all the of this was taking place, the evening came to an end. Some of us creaked our way back to the coaches and the Travelodge to enjoy a well earned drink or two in the bar with our fellow choir members. A number of hardy souls stayed in the Lighthouse centre with some of the other choirs enjoying the camaraderie that only comes from like minded people.
On the Sunday we departed from Poole but not before keeping to our tradition of singing to the staff, as well as to some members of The Epsom MVC, who also were staying in the same hotel .
On route we stopped at Winchester for a pleasant couple of hours, finally returning to Kirby’s yard at about five-ish to find the cars covered with a coating sand and dust.
The entire weekend was successful and enjoyable, even if we were not in the top three .
As said previously we can hold our heads high we sang without folders throughout and in my humble opinion we did ourselves proud .
From Tony Warren: “And that’s why I am so proud of our wonderful choir. In the competition class called “THOSE CHOIRS WHO PERFORMED FAULTLESSLY WITHOUT NEEDING MUSIC SHEETS”, we clearly came first, so well done LOMVC!”
And finally – from Chairman John
“Huge thanks to everyone who sang, to our lovely supporters, to our choir and coach marshals and to our Music Team, Jan, Kay and Liszi.
Once again, the Leigh Orpheus family at its very best. It wasn’t just the day in Poole on Saturday competing, rehearsing and singing in the Gala Concert.
We can rely on the concert manager to arrange added experiences like the trip to the picturesque Isle of Purbeck, across the chain-operated ferry and seeing the simply stunning Corfe Castle. And I thoroughly enjoyed stopping off at Winchester on our return journey, with a walk round the Cathedral and then up the hill to see King Arthurs round table (not a McDonalds wrapper in sight) and the amazing bronze statue of Queen Victoria who was not amused or even pleased to see me . As you’d expect we’ve had some lovely feedback.
The staff at Travelodge were dead chuffed that we sang to them, and other guests who were having their breakfast, just before we left.
We understand that they are proudly sending a video round to all the other Travelodges in the UK.
And maybe what possibly sums up our weekend very well is a Facebook post from Con Parker’s daughter:
A big thank you to you all. We had a wonderful night listening to all your amazing voices.
I would have liked less dance and more of your combined singing but brilliant nevertheless.
The Welsh hymn you sang at the end is now my favourite! Just beautiful!!
A special thank you to the lovely gentlemen who look after my dad (Con Parker), his dresser and Minders. Thank you for making it possible for him to continue to do something he loves.
Hope to catch one of your concerts when I’m next in Essex.
I live near beautiful Christchurch/Bournemouth.
Hope you all got back safely and weren’t too tired. xxxxx
Isn’t that nice? (by the way, if you weren’t there, it wasn’t us doing the dancing she refers to!).”
Some pictures from Chris Jenkins