Saturday, 13 July 2013

Buxton Fringe

It’s that time of year again. Well Dressing, Road Race, Carnival, Festival and Fringe Festival. We’ve won an audience in the past because people have been glad to get indoors away from the rain. This year they might have wanted to get out of the heat. We conjured up good weather as well this time.
It’s almost becoming a tradition now that we start off singing at the Palace Hotel. “Ah, yes.  You’ve been here before, haven’t you?” they say when I call to ask if that is still all right for this year. There’s a handy alcove in the reception area. It snuggles into the stairwell. The sound is good there.  If you look up during Blue Skies you think you are staring at the heavens.
From here we can be heard in the bar, the lounge, reception and even outside. A few onlookers are curious and take a leaflet. We spend about forty minutes singing. It’s a good warm-up for the main event.
We have quite a bit of free time this year and several of us find a shady spot in the PavilionGardens to eat our picnic and to go over the words of Board Walk again. We allow ourselves plenty of time to get to St Mary’s Church, Dale Road. On the way, we give out our few remaining leaflets to those people who looked as if they would like to escape the heat or the noise of the Carnival. Later, we think we recognise some of them in our audience.
At two o’clock, the church is open. We quickly line up and run through a few bits and pieces. Then we set out the cakes we’ve brought along. We’re helped by people form the church. They look after us so well at St Mary’s. They’ve even put some Buxton water in the fridge for us. “You’re our longest-standing Fringe customer,” they tell us. Well, that’s something to be pleased about.
Soon, we have to scurry “backstage” as our audience begins to arrive.
There’s a respectable number of them and they are appreciative. The hour goes by incredibly quickly. After five songs we might wonder how we’re going to fill the remaining half hour, and then Jeff pulls out another one and another one. This time he links them in threes: three American ones, three spirituals and just three that go together. Suddenly the clock says five to four and it’s time for our last number.
We’re very privileged to be able to sing in two acoustically splendid buildings in one day.
It’s time for the all-important cake, home-made by our members. It is a good spread, enjoyed by audience and choir alike. There’s just a respectable amount left over for church members tomorrow.
It’s been good to be in Buxton again. It is good to relax, too, at the Fallow Deer on the way home where quite a few of us enjoy a very reasonably-priced meal. They look after us well, too.  
So thanks to all: Buxton Fringe, Fallow Deer, Palace Hotel, St Mary’s Church and of course the choir and Jeff.                

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