After spending the previous week listening with some anxiety to the relentless depressing
weather forecasts, by Friday things were beginning to sound more positive, and Sunday
dawned wet, after a night of heavy rain, but promising some improvement. Performing
a marching display whilst wearing wellies might have been a practical solution in
one sense, but sartorially would not of enhanced the appearance of the corps.
The day was an important one for all involved: organised by the Lions from various
locations in Surrey, it was a Family Fun Day for adults and young people with disabilities
(is there a pc wording for this?) and their carers. A host of activities are brought
together - miniature railways, model areoplanes, bouncy castle, plate smashing, donkey
and ponies and more - and throughout the day various acts, of which we were one.
As everything was organised to take place outdoors, rain would have put the damper
on it in every way.
By the time we were ready to go on, the sun was out but the ground was deceptively
soggy - after a couple of countermarches, gleaming boots had become matte beige,
and trousers had taken on a fashionable mud-speckled hue - distressed worsted will
be the new tweed perhaps but we splashed on valiantly.
We performed three spots during the afternoon: we began with a mostly static display
where guest conductors were invited to take the baton and aspiring players the cymbals
and side drums; other could join us in the marching bits. The middle performance
was more formal featuring our marching / mud spattering routine with our current
display repertoire. After this, it was out of tunics and into polo shirts, although
still in our mud-encrusted trousers, for out final “dressdown” session under a conveniently
For this last spot we were sandwiched between Elvis and the Belly dancers - I think
we all pulled equal numbers of spectators, and Elvis himself, in his Schiaparelli
pink jumpsuit came over to watch us but declined to take the cymbals. Fortunately
others were made of stronger stuff and we had a steady supply of percussionists joining
in, each of whom received a certificate for their efforts, and yes, the organisers
have asked us to go back next year. Time enough to begin casting the runes to see
what the weather has in store for us then.