November 21, 2017

Women’s Institute – April Meeting

Thursday evening saw a large turnout (over 30) for our musical evening as the Claxton & Sand Hutton ladies were joined by members from other WI branches.

George Horne, the very popular local singer regaled us with amusing stories from his musical life which started at the age of 8 years when he sang in a church gang show. After National Service, George became a teacher near Doncaster and joined the local Amateur Dramatic group who were (as he quickly discovered) woefully short of men.

We heard about one production of The Pirates of Penzance which was going so well until the curtain wouldn’t rise. But as we all know, the ‘show must go on’ so the cast sang their song from behind the curtain – to great applause from the audience who seemed to think it was all part of the show!

We also heard about a wonderful performance of The Desert Song where all 8 men of the cast had to play both Arabs and Legionnaires – extremely quick changes being the order of the night!

Later when he moved to York, George joined the York Amateurs and extended his repertoire with shows such as Show Boat, The Music Man, Oliver and Fiddler on the Roof.

Interspersed with his trip down memory lane, George sang a number of his favourite songs including “I won’t send Roses” (Mac & Mabel), “Unforgettable”, “Wonderful World”, “The Lady is a Tramp”, “Leaning on a Lamp post” (with audience participation) and finished with a rousing rendition of “Sweet Caroline”.

After the music, we had a special visit from Rachel Hirst (of Knit & Natter fame) to talk about and encourage us to take part in a special knitting event called ‘Heartsease’. There are 1.5 million children suffering from neglect and abuse in the UK. Kids Company (a London based charity) works with 36,000 of these young people – 6,000 of them are small children. We were asked to knit a small heart shaped bag for one of these little people which the Kids Company team will then use in therapy session with those children they are working with. The bags will contain messages of hope and the ‘pockets’ can hold small keep-sakes and treasures. Rachel also gave out knitting patterns for the bags.

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