We meet at 2 pm on the fourth Tuesday of the month at the Congregational Church, Kilwardby St, Ashby.
There is normally a guest speaker or, in December, musical entertainment.
This is followed by tea, coffee and biscuits and a chance to meet and talk with other members.
|Tue 28th Aug||Cream Tea served by the Committee||none||none|
|Tue 25th Sep||Ann Featherstone||The baby-killer and the thief - Victorian crimes|
|Tue 23rd Oct||Alan Gray||'You cannot be serious' - an ex-Wimbledon umpire|
|Tue 27th Nov||Roger Hailwood||The National Memorial Arboretum|
|Tue 11th Dec||Christmas Event||TBA||Musical entertainment|
|Tue 22nd Jan||John Winter||Intercare - Medical Aid to Africa|
|Tue 26th Feb||William J French||A Butler to Royalty|
|Tue 26th Mar||Ralph Jerram||The history of Desert Island Discs|
|Tue 23rd Apr||Paul Newsham|
Tea Rota, Meeters & Greeters, Reporting Groups
|Month||Tea Group||Meet & Greet||Reporting Groups|
|Tue 28th Aug||The Committee||The Committee||No groups reporting|
|Tue 25th Sep||Liz Banns & Mary Jager||Supper and Trips & Outings|
|Tue 23rd Oct||Jean Preece, Brenda Dummer, Cynthia Wells and Sandra Fox||Walking and Arts & Crafts|
|Tue 27th Nov||Jenny & Pete Slawson, Bridget & Jim Fairway||Bird Watching & Bridge|
|Tue 11th Dec||The Committee||No groups reporting|
Subject: The Variety Hall
Speaker: Mark Walsh
We started with our Annual General Meeting chaired by treasurer Colin Ellis in the absence of Tony Smith, our Chairman.
As well as the various Chairman's, Treasurer's and Group Coordinator's reports (details will follow later) Colin thanked Dorothy Chapman and James Bloor for their service to the Committee now that they are standing down. To replace them, 4 new members were elected to the Committee: Colin Woodland, Val Reed, Bill and Avril Wilson as was Iain Banns who was co-opted onto the Committee earlier this year to assist and then supersede Dorothy in the role of membership secretary. Anne Donegan, Isobel Salt and Colin Ellis were re-elected for a further 2 years. Kevin Green was confirmed as auditor. Colin W will be taking on the role of Groups Coordinator, posts for the others will be discussed at the next committee meeting.
After the AGM, Colin introduced our speaker Mark Walsh.
Mark, despite his seemingly impossible youth, has been in the entertainment industry for 19 years having started with the Danny La Rue Revue at the age of 13 as a ukulele player and singer. After his audition, Danny asked him to perform 4 songs in the show but Mark pointed out that he only knew two! He was told to go away and learn 2 more including "My old man said follow the van" which he learnt by listening to his gran's vinyl records.
Mark started by giving us some of the history of music hall which is reputed to have started in the back of a pub in London in 1837. He also explained some of the well-known sayings related to Music Hall. In the theatre the audience is called 'the house' and in the early halls there was always a bar at the back where many of the audience would congregate. If an act was particularly good, they might draw 'the house' down to the front to listen, in doing so they would 'bring the house down'!
Mark also gave us many anecdotes about the many famous variety performers such as Marie Lloyd, Dan Leno, Arthur Askey, Tessie O'Shea and George Formby whilst also giving us a wonderful impersonation of Max Miller and his sometimes risque jokes. Mark is a virtuoso ukulele player and treated us to several tunes on his two rare and precious ukuleles. These had belonged to Billy 'Uke' Scott who had performed on stage from 1937 to 2004 and who had invited Mark to perform with him on his last ever performance. At the end of the show he gave one ukulele to Mark and gifted him the other in his will on his death just a few months later. As Billy Scott was considered to be the Larry Adler of the uke, and Mark was then only 18, it shows the quality of Mark's playing and the esteem in which he was held. Not that the very modest Mark would have told us that.
We were treated to an outstanding performance by Mark. His story telling, his jokes and above all his ukulele playing were wonderful. An excellent hour's entertainment.
Our meetings normally include reports from one or two of our groups and this time it was due to be the Recorder Group, however they decided to give us a short performance instead, not knowing that they would have to follow Mark Walsh. Nonetheless the trio gave us an excellent set consisting of a variety of short pieces very well performed. Well done.