Sarah from Barnardo's contacted the ArtForms Office on Friday, let down last minute by a steelband, found Sparrows in internet, could they do anything on Tuesday? On Tuesday? As in in four days' time? Yes. Well, with a little help from Foxwood, yes we could.
Barnado's are celebrating Mandela Week by making edible pictures, and it seems to involve hand painting. We decide to decorate our scruffy guitar pans while we are at it - see pic.
Anyway, despite a few players in the run up to A levels, AS levels and GCSEs we manage to rustle up Millie S, Chloe, Claudia, Naomi, Bella, Remeice with teachers/Foxwood players: me, Bex, Bart, Natalie and Tim.
The West Indian centre brings back a lot of memories for me, quite mixed but mostly happy. I had my 40th and 41st birthday parties here, sharing them with Jenny, a then Foxwood colleague. Then in 1997, at our first attempt at a combined Music College/Music Service steelband, here Dudley and I were awarded our first [and, as it turns out only] trophy. After that a lot of Carnival Celebration evenings, including one with yourself, Debs. But, of course increasingly aware that my and our contribution to the promotion and development of steel pan in Leeds was not entirely welcome. No more trophies, no pictures on the wall of fame, no thank yous.
So, when Barnado's asked us to step in at the last moment, I agreed, but with mixed feelings. As it turns out, the guys we met had enjoyed the Foxwood pop up at Savile Park, and we felt extremely welcome. The band played its socks off, and the atmosphere was great. I cried buckets reading the Long Walk to Freedom so anything Mandela is good with me.