Sussex Harmony: Tomorrow Saturday 10th December at Catsfield Village Hall the Sussex Harmony workshop for singers/musicians wishing to take part will start at 3 pm followed by a light supper before a Carol Concert at 7.30pm. The music comes from 18th & 19th centuries that used to be sung in country churches and chapels to the accompaniment of a village band comprising fiddles, clarinets, oboes, flutes, the odd brass instrument and even a serpent! Therefore most of the tunes are joyful folk melodies, some of which have come from Catsfield’s own manuscripts now housed in the Archaeological Society’s vaults in Lewes. Come along and enjoy carol singing – with a difference. Entrance is free and there will be a retiring collection.
More Carol Singing: The very popular and relaxed evening of carol singing will be held in the Village Hall on Tuesday 20th December. The St Laurence Church Choir will be there to lead us through all the traditional favourites, which as usual no doubt, will be sung with great gusto fuelled with mulled wine and mince pies. Everyone is welcome to drop in and out as they please between 6.30 and 8.30pm and join in this great way to celebrate the approaching celebration of Christmas. This month’s Parish Magazine and the Parish Christmas Card have details of all the Christmas church services.
Burn’s Night: To anyone who hasn’t been to the previous Burn’s Night celebrations in Catsfield Village Hall, here’s an opportunity to see what you’ve been missing. The fundraisers for St Laurence Church will be hosting another traditional three course dinner with ‘a wee dram’ on Saturday 21st January 2017 at 7pm. Tickets cost £10 each and will be available from Sandra Shoobridge on 01424 774708 and you do need to book early to avoid disappointment.
WI: The WI Christmas party on Thursday 1st December was a happy occasion to begin the run-down to the ‘Big Event’ of Christmas later in the month. The tables were all laid ready with pretty silver, glittery decorations made by our amazing Treasurer Ann (and now Vice President too) and the hall was filled with the loud chatter of ladies catching up with friends, old and new. After an enthusiastic singing of Jerusalem, accompanied by Barbara on the piano – who treated us to the ‘twiddly bits’ too - formalities were kept to the minimum, so that we could sit back and enjoy the entertainment of ‘Christmas Magic and Song’ provided by the very talented Marco Seymour.
We may have sat back, but Marco kept us on our toes too, with the wonderful display of conjuring tricks that had everyone bewildered. Despite much input from the audience, none of us, even in the front, could see just how he managed to surprise us time and time again with card tricks, balloons, ropes, metal rings and torn up newspapers that suddenly became whole once more! The most amazing to me were the ‘mind reading’ tricks when half a dozen or so people gave him different 3-digit numbers, which when added up were the same as the number that he had written on his back under his jacket. Or when given various colours/star signs etc by several different people, he produced a hand written note which, when read out by one of the audience, listed exactly all those details! He also sang some traditional Christmas songs and everyone was happy to sing along.
The committee served us with a lovely tea and we had the opportunity to vote for the best entry in the ‘Christmas Decoration in a Wine Glass’ – the winner being the multi-talented Ann Clegg again! The raffle was drawn and everyone had a present from the lucky dip before heading for home after a most enjoyable afternoon. The next meeting will be on Thursday 5th January 2017 at 2pm when Terry Stacey will speak about ‘A White Elephant?’ – sounds intriguing! Members are reminded that the annual subscription of £39 will be due and new members will be very welcome. Where else could you get such great company, interesting speakers, delicious teas and all the many extras once a month at such a reasonable price?
Anthony and Cleopatra: The cast of the panto seems have changed more often than Southern Railway’s timetable this autumn. So much so that I thought it might just be a monologue this year. However all doubts were cast aside when to the strains of ‘Night Boat to Cairo’, a talented dozen roared up the Hall in the most sumptuous costumes. Apart from the usual suspects, it was great to see some new ones and the return of some much missed ones.
The plot was pretty straightforward, Princess Cleopatra trying to get her throne back from her younger brothers enlists the help of the handsome Mark Anthony with hilarious results. The scene was set by the elegant and confident newcomer Andrea Richards as the Spirit, soon to be disrupted by Ptolemy the Even Younger and Ptolemy the Absolutely Tiny played with great naughtiness by George Brunger & Amy O’Sullivan and were really unkind to the glamorous and spirited late teenage(?) Jane Overall as Cleopatra, ably assisted by her handmaid Charmaine played with excellent comic timing by the returning Katie Jenner.
Attempting to restore order, without much success, to the Egyptian household was Dame Fatima played with great ‘damish’ relish by Keith Robertson. However with the Spirit’s timely intervention, a hieroglyphic message and selfie were sent by carrier pigeon (or was it a seagull in disguise) to the bored Mark Anthony played, as only she knows how by the irrepressible Vanessa Francis. The plot galloped on to a proper pantomime conclusion aided by several great cameos by John Search (especially as Julius Caesar) and Dave Stevens (there was something of Dame Edna in his Madame Lilliput); some really funny songs with apposite lyrics penned by members of the cast; colourful sets not forgetting an exploding pyramid; slick lighting and timely sound effects. Mention too must be made of Baz Jenkins in various roles and two more newcomers, Russell Cole and Matt Bumpass as the incompetent Palace guards with their impression of the Wilson Betty & Keppel sand dance. So congratulations to the whole team for a most entertaining evening to get the Christmas Season underway.
Sport: In a freezing wind, with only one spectator (can you guess who it was?) our footballers fought for a 3 - 3 draw at home against Orington. Once again we were unable to field our regular goalkeeper, so it was ex-captain Nigel Champion who stepped in and played very well. We are now fourth in our division, unfortunately with not many more games to play. Tomorrow we are away at Sedlescombe and the following week 17th away to Bexhill United Seconds. After that a Christmas break, when no doubt our boys will be abstaining and training!
A Special Thank You - I’d like to say a very special thank you to Ann Davey and Mike Cooper for their contributions to this column. Ann comes up with the Sports news every week, winter and summer and she also adds any topical comments about farming or other snippets of village news that come her way, throwing in the occasional witticism here and there! Mike is always ready to help out when asked with his excellent in-depth reviews of any theatrical or musical performances in the Village Hall or the Church, such as the excellent panto write up earlier. Last, but certainly not least, many thanks to all of you who take the time to read this column each week and for making nice comments about it when I see you, also for getting very indignant on the odd occasion when Catsfield Village Voice has been left out! We will be here next week and then not until after Christmas.
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