What I'm really here to tell you about is the Carol Singing on Christmas Eve. As I said, we managed to get a mini-bus from Mr Kingsley; here it is outside the Chapel before we set off:
It was raining quite steadily when we started, and it got heavier as we soldiered on. Then it turned to sleet, which was driven at us by a wicked wind for a while. But hey-ho, that's life I suppose.
Probably as a result of the bad weather, we didn't have any children to cope with, which was also probably a good thing, really. Although there weren't very many of us, we were all reasonable singers, and being adult, we weren't wasting time by clarting-on (Colloquialism: Clarting-on = messing about and generally being a nuisance to the others) while getting on and off the 'bus. We started off three ladies and six men, and were later joined by a lad from Eighton Banks with a lovely tenor voice (after he'd finished work) and a younger girl. We sang quite well, even if I say so myself.
used to be part of our merry band of singers, but that was probably the thick end of forty years ago, how time flies!
The weather eased a lot, and while it was still bitterly cold, at least the rain abated. Which was just as well, as, when two of the ladies and one of the men had to leave at about 11 o'clock, we were joined by my two daughters and my 7 year old granddaughter! Little Isabella (being a Girls Brigade Explorer) was quite an asset voice-wise, and she also took charge of the collecting tin. (Her 'cuteness' might have accounted for an extra few bob!) At the same time my brother-in-law went back to the Chapel to put the mince pies in the oven and make the tea etc for our return when we'd finished.
We actually finished our last carol (O Holy Night) bang on 12 o'clock midnight, and then dashed back to the Chapel where the hot pies (and pease pudding and beetroot and pickled onions and sweet mince pies etc) were ready for devouring!
Uncle Roy counted the night's cash takings, which amounted to £424. We were quite pleased with that! I don't know yet what the final amount will be that is passed on to "Action For Children", as there were several 'telephone' customers in far-away places who hadn't yet paid when I last heard, and the collection from our annual Monday evening Community Carol Service (somewhere around £150) is also to be added on. Hopefully, the final figure will be pushing £600, which I know isn't a fortune, but I wouldn't like it on the end of my nose for a wart!!!!
So there it is, children, a story of every-day simple folk starting their celebration
on the night before their Saviour's birth. Thanks for joining us, I expect I'll be in touch after the New Year begins, tarra!