Monday, July 28, 2008

Englefield flower show

Our last engagement before the summer break: the Englefield flower show, held in a field behind the primary school, Andrew McBirnie conducting.

A well arranged venue for the band - we were under an awning in the middle of the field with the various stalls arranged around us in a ring: a large captive audience!

We opened with the glorious Hootenanny, and closed, upbeat, with the Dambusters.

Charlie left soon after the interval, telling us he “only had time for one” - so we played One once with him.

Warm and sultry, it was a great afternoon for the band to play, and for people to sit and listen as they supped their tea and cake, reading their bookstall haul.

Not many hats on the band this time, but as you can see, Lynn sported a fine boater.

The flower show’s competitive entries were in a marquee off to the side, and it was pleasant indeed to wander round afterwards and see the enormous gladioli, colourful sweet peas, assorted cakes, perfect vegetables, varied garden designs, and fine photography.

Decidedly warm though.

(Click on pics to enlarge).

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Isabella Welfare

Hello everyone. A child is born, 2 weeks early as it turns out! After a long labour (23hrs from arriving at hospital, but “only” 14hrs from the gas & air stage), Jo gave birth to our first child at 2.41 this morning – a little girl who we have named Isabella Agnes Lesley (middle names after both grandmothers!), weighing in at 7lb 10oz.

Isabella needed a little assistance to come out from forceps as she was the wrong way round, but everything is perfect – although her head is a little bit pointy at the moment (like her dad), but she does have a lot of hair (unlike her dad). Anyway, mother and baby are doing well and here’s a photo to be going on with. Dad is currently assembling a buggy and carseat but will be going back to visit the girls very soon, and hopefully they will both come home tomorrow.

So I won't be at Englefield and will return to playing with the band in Summer 2009. Sure I will be along before then, though.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Hey - look at the link at the bottom of the left hand side, to access all the wonderful photos that the Thatcham Photography Club have taken over the last three weeks!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Band on the Rec 2008

There was a beer tent, photographers’ tent, barbeque and band for this year’s “Band on the Rec”.

As we started playing, people brought out their chairs and umbrellas and settled down to enjoy themselves.

Hootenanny made for a vibrant start, and we moved on to Oklahoma, the Dambusters march, Colonel Bogey, Les Miserables, Vaughan Williams’ Folk Song Suite, and more.

From time to time it rained and drizzled, but having started we carried on.

Ann Zebedee played her euphonium crouched under a large umbrella; Robert conducted under a broad rimmed floppy hat; and some wore coats; but others seemed oblivious to all but the music.

Perhaps we tempted fate by stopping for an interval, because soon afterwards the sky darkened, the rain set in in earnest, and the second half edged out to next year. Well, it was good while it lasted!

Meanwhile, under their brollies, our phlegmatic audience carried on eating their picnics, quaffing their beer and champagne, and playing on the swings. What’s a bit of weather?

Then it was off to the Six Bells - the favoured haunt of band members late on a Friday evening.

My music, which is hanging pegged out over the bath, seems to have dried now, although it is no longer smooth or flat. In years to come, as it undulates over someone’s music stand, each sheet will be a testament to the spirit of the Beenham Band, 2008.

Well done, Simon!

(Click on pics to enlarge)

Friday, July 18, 2008


New players
We are actively seeking players to fill the gaps in the band. Do talk to everyone you meet! We are particularly searching for percussion, trumpet, oboe and tuba. Oh! and French Horn!

Future Events
Please put these in your diary!

Major concert of 2008
We are aiming to book the Corn Exchange in spring / summer. We are looking for an audience draw and are considering several options:
A joint concert
A celebrity
A soloist
Making it a charity concert

Englefield Flower Show Saturday 26th July
Arrive 2pm – fete is 2.30 – 4.30.
Black bottoms and white tops please

Falkland Memorial Chapel Sunday 23rd November 2008 4-5.30
Charity concert in aid of Englefield School and Falkland War Memorial Chapel
Rehearsal 2pm the same day.
School first half – 30 minutes
Second half – Beenham Band 45 minutes
Finale: consider yourself joint with school

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Band on the Rec

Start time: 7.30pm
Set up: from 6pm (to help the photographers put up the Marquee)
Dress: white tops, black bottoms
Encourage your friends and family to come!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Invasion of the Bodysnappers

Now I’ve had a chance to look at my latest haul of pics from last Friday’s session at band, I notice something very strange, for I see from the photos that we were not alone.

From the hall’s corners and sides - and I can only think they must have been flitting around the hall all night - are pointed bodysnappers.

Surprisingly, no one seems to notice them!

The question is, was this the long foretold visitation from the Thatcham Photographic Club?

Had they come to snap Andrew McBirnie’s departure to the nether reaches of the USA?

One day, I guess, we will find out …

(Click on photos to enlarge).