The hottest day of the year so far in Greater Manchester. A real garden party atmosphere. In the Victorian tea tent WI members dressed the part serve tea and traditional cakes in and on china. Inside, the vintage and craft fair tempts us to spend. There are talks about bee-keeping and growing vegetables. Plenty for the children too – including the Teddy Bears’ picnic.
Naturally we have to sing that one. Just be warned: don’t go into those woods today.
Yes, it is soon time to pin on our purple orchids.
“Where did you buy that?” asks one lady.
“She can have one,” says Jeff. “And give her a card as well.”
The steel band is fun but soon their slot ends and it’s our turn.
The stage is small but cosy. For once we are singing with mics but after a few moments we forget they're there. They are needed. We are out in the open with a lot of competition.
“I like this stage,” says Jeff. “Can we have one?”
We sing Deep River, The We We Were, Kum Ba Yah, Let’s Do it, Love is the Sweetest Thing, Kiss the Girl, and of course Teddy Bears’ Picnic, with a finale of Wonderful World.
Later we sit eating ice-cream and watching the final act. A young man comes over to us.
“Where did you say you rehearse?”
We tell him and give him a card.
He looks as if he might be a tenor. “Which part do your sing?” I ask. “Please say tenor.”
“Well, I think I might describe myself as a bari-tenor. A baritone that’s more tenor than base.”
“That’ll do nicely.”
“It’s for my sister really. She’s an alto and looking for a choir.” Ah.
“We need you as well. Why not give it a go?”
A huge grin. “Go on then.” Result?It was a lovely afternoon. Well done Spirit of Salford and well done you guys.