With military precision, the working party moved in to Shelley Village Hall on the morning of Sunday 17 June: their mission to decorate the building inside and out, with bunting and Union flags. This entailed long ladders and steely nerves! A great transformation took place. Preparations were being made for a Vintage Tea Party like no other.
Tables were laid with the prettiest of embroidered and crocheted cloths; a colourful assortment of crockery adorned the tables, with small vases of flowers – and, of course, beautiful cake stands, laden with home-made goodies. There was no rationing here – that was obvious.
The scene was set to welcome the eager visitors; they arrived dressed in their best summer attire and duly took their places. The programme was launched with a rousing rendition of the National Anthem, complete with drum roll from Harry Wood. All settled down to listen to the HD8 Voices entertain the audience with a programme of well-known songs from yesteryear, which were very well received: ‘Get Happy’, ‘Goodnight Sweetheart’, ‘Hit the Road Jack’, ‘What a Wonderful World’ and ‘Black Hills of Dakota’.
Two guest soloists in the first half demonstrated that it was not just a Choir event. Sally Byrne, the Choir’s talented accompanist, sang a lively and emotional version of ‘That Ol’ Devil called Love’. Not to be outdone, Elizabeth Priest, the Choir’s conductor and inspiration, performed with great success ‘I’m in the Mood for Love’.
While the Choir took a break, the guests were treated to a delicious afternoon tea, when the Prosecco flowed as liberally as the conversation. A team of Choir ladies, entering into the spirit of the ‘vintage’ atmosphere, sported pretty floral dresses and white aprons and ensured that all the tables were well-supplied with tea, Prosecco and plenty of cakes.
Following the interval, the Choir sang ‘Beyond the Sea’, ‘Secret Love’, and the Peggy Lee favourite ‘Fever’. Two further soloists stepped up to the ‘mike’; first Adam Priest with the beautiful song ‘A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square’; who would have known he was facing his GCSE Biology the following day? Lastly Simeon Wood treated the audience to the evocative and wistful tune from Breakfast at Tiffany’s – ‘Moon River’, played on the flute.
The HD8 Choir’s final helping at this musicfest was ‘Fly me to the Moon’, followed by ‘We’ll Meet Again’, during which the junior HD8 Angels joined in enthusiastically waving Union flags, whilst the audience joined in the chorus.
A generously-supported raffle also raised a substantial amount and many visitors left with arms full of prizes.
The feedback was most rewarding: “delicious cakes, fantastic atmosphere, excellent singing, the obvious enjoyment on the choir’s faces, a great success”.
This excellent entertainment was a fundraising event for the Alzheimer’s Society and Cancer Research UK: the two charities nominated by the HD8 Choir members. A huge total of £2,175 was raised that afternoon – and heartfelt thanks to all who attended and those who worked so hard to make the day such a success.