Brighton 18th-20th March

What a fabulous weekend we have just had! Very intensive but so rewarding.

We all met up on the Friday night in the Chimney House pub, just round the corner from Ruth’s, where we were rehearsing and being royally fed – the food was amazing! Saturday morning we were back there again – rehearsing some new pieces in the morning and then the full repertoire in the afternoon. The evening saw us in the Exeter Street Community Hall for our first concert of the weekend. We had a small but select and enthusiastic audience – the hall had done us proud with fairy lights strung along the walls and a bar at one end. And again it was lovely to meet so many of the audience in the interval and have a chat with them.

Sunday morning we were rehearsing in Patcham Memorial Hall which was a tad on the cool side, so we were all wearing our coats and hats and scarves! But Bernie’s was by far and away the best – now we all want one! As usual much hilarity was had by all – we realise that in the orchestra we now have a floating bottom, a bouncing bottom and a missing bottom! We will leave it to you to decide which label belongs to whom! The afternoon concert was in the Methodist Church Hall in Shoreham, again a really lovely venue. We knew we were going to be all right when the punters started coming in and went straight for the tea and cakes before we had even started! The hall was full, everyone was so enthusiastic and obviously having a lovely time. All were keen to meet the Ladies and try out the accordions and there was hardly a piece of cake left over at the end.

A few of us who were staying over were lucky enough to have a wander around Shoreham and along the river to admire the ingenuity and imaginative design of all the house boats! One even had a bus grafted onto the top!

Altogether a memorable weekend and our heartfelt thanks go to all the people at the different venues who were so welcoming and helpful, all the behind the scene volunteers who put posters up and spread the word around, but particularly Ruth, for doing all the organising necessary to make it all run smoothly and, last but definitely not least, Mike – her husband – who was a star! Not only did he man the ticket sales at both concerts, but most of his weekend seemed to be spent shopping and preparing food and doing all the washing up single handedly whilst we drank wine! Definitely now an honorary member of the No.1 LAO!