Thursday, 7 June 2012

from Romford Road to the Wharfedale Festival

It rained and rained in London. I got lost as I got off the bus, entered the New Stratford Centre, finally managed to find an exit, for which there were no signs! I had entered the Brave New Shopping World, and there was no escape. [Could you only leave on production of a receipt, evidence of money spent?] In the rain I set off the wrong way. . . . [and one very wet hour later] . . .

I think that the stair carpet of Hotel X might once have featured on an investigative programme about infestations, but my room was clean and cheerful, and had a tele. I watched Morse till I dried off and fell asleep. Next morning featured the bare trees of Forest Gate as they rose before me and I headed for a daytime Stratford, King's Cross and back to Leeds.

That same weekend Cockburn High School became the latest Leeds school to own a set of steel pans when Rick collected their new tenor basses from Grafton. While the van was down there we had tuned a set of cello pans that had been languishing in the store at the West Park Centre.

And as Sparrows, Doves and East Steel have relocated to the West Park Centre, I can now put the cellos back to good use. They are too big for any school to house, but West Park was built when rooms were rooms.

One Thursday evening it's the wonderful Quarry Mount Yr 6  steel band playing their International Evening. Melting your hearts and eating them out!

With the untimely death of Davy Jones from the Monkees, I have been mostly teaching I'm A Believer, which I did with my ArtForms  colleagues on May's training day. Sixty massed musicians to teach. What a treat! Daisy had her final degree performance for which she needed a green wheelie bin. Here she is with her mates heading on down Moorland Avenue with said bin.

Then suddenly it's mid May and  the Wharfedale Festival. Ilkley Kings Hall is well-placed just opposite the railway station. Wanda brought her band from Cookridge Primary School, Natalie brought Seacroft Grange, Nat, Carrie-ann and I brought the Steel Siblings from City of Leeds, also the Silver Robins hastily reconvened themselves and reprised Land of the Silver Birch. Sparrows and Doves did their Music For Youth thing; then all bands togther played Price Tag; then we removed one ton of metal from the stage, repacked the van, bought chips and took photos of each other at the railway station. Doves entered non-competitively but accidentally won a cup! Hmmm! [And as you can see, our hoodies and t shirts have not yet arrived. That saga will get a post all to itself!]

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