South West : Halsway Manor
10th - 12th July 2015

Just one short week after the Priddy weekend 8 of the members found themselves meeting again at Halsway Manor in Somerset, all booked into an accordion weekend with tutors Paul Hutchinson, Murray Grainger and Jane Ward (our venerable leader). The setting is fantastic nestling under the Quantock Hills, the Manor house is beautiful, the tutors are all brilliant and the food was both superb and plentiful! What not to like for a No. 1 Lady? We all worked really hard during the workshops, but the cream on the cake (we’re back to the subject of cake again!) was that we were asked to perform a couple of our pieces at the opening of the Saturday night concert. No pressure then, playing in front of our tutors and peers! And we were missing Bernie, our all important bass accordion player. But despite that it was fantastic! We played really well, the audience was very appreciative and we had a fantastic reception and have been asked to do the same again next year.

The No. 1 Ladies are back in business!

Watch this space for details of our concerts scheduled for the autumn! - see events

South West : Priddy
3rd-5th July 2015

Just had a fantastic weekend down in Priddy with the No. 1 LAO. We met up at Jacky’s house on the Friday evening, having fought our way womanfully through the traffic on the M5, and had a lovely welcome from Jacky and Bevis, who just turned their entire house over to us for the weekend and looked after us right royally – a great big thanks to them. This was our third rehearsal weekend together since Jane took over the musical leadership and presented us all with a lovely new repertoire, all of which she has arranged especially for us. Saturday was a full day’s rehearsal of a shortened version of the new repertoire in readiness for our inaugural – albeit informal – appearance before the great unsuspecting public! We were doing a set at the Fair Trade Conference in Bristol to entertain the guests prior to the evening meal. Just getting to the hall and finding somewhere to park was quite a challenge, but most of us now know the area around the railway station quite well! The venue was demanding to say the least. We were under a low ceilinged area (mainly because we didn’t want to do a ‘concert’ style performance). But the hall was very noisy so the sound wasn’t brilliant. And we were totally upstaged by the choir of a local Junior school who were just amazing. However, for a first outing we thought it went very well. Those who could hear us were very appreciative, and we were all very happy with the way we played and the new repertoire. The meal was excellent – all produced from food which would otherwise have gone to waste - and Jacky’s band were following the meal with a ceilidh, so quite a few of us had a nice little dance around before returning to Priddy to break open bottles of wine and relax! Sunday was another full day’s rehearsal of the rest of the repertoire, interspersed with the usual lovely food and cake – Bevis had made a cake especially for us that morning whilst he was waiting for his battery to charge (well, not his, but you know what I mean) – what a star!! Altogether it was a lovely weekend and I think we all felt that we are beginning to gel quite nicely now and really liking what we are hearing.