King’s Croft, Pontefract – “It’s Christ – mas!”. by Phil Barr
A goodly number of brave souls from our band, (including it has to be said a certain Mr Peter Joule who was sadly omitted from the credits in the last gig) turned up on a slate -grey December afternoon and were directed to a glass pavilion in the attractive grounds of King’s Croft hotel. After much to – ing, fro-ing and shuffling of chairs arranged on either side of a mysterious red carpet and a vain attempt by staff to get heat to vent from the ceiling we were almost ready to start. A couple of emergency electric heaters were provided to supplement the underfloor heating but this didn’t prevent the chattering of teeth and, in some cases, top coats being worn throughout.
Despite these setbacks the playing began in promising fashion with a well rehearsed medley and then things got even more interesting when a man in red appeared out of nowhere and took his place on a special seat flanked by two reindeer! Our leader, having made a number of exploratory visits to the site beforehand and therefore prepared for anything immediately turned to plan B and cleverly switched to a seasonal theme.
Meanwhile a smiley assistant on the door ensured that fresh (arctic) air was circulating at regular intervals as per covid regulations. By this time of course Santa was receiving children accompanied by their parents and grandparents. How they must have felt entering an arena consisting of senior citizens on either side of them playing ukuleles is uncertain although Richard did spot one youngster legging it round the edge of the pond chased by his grandma and a polar bear.
This festive atmosphere continued after the interval – the audience swelling considerably as friends and family arrived to appreciate the magic of the season. In the short intervals when Santa wasn’t rushed off his feet he was seen to be tapping his hand in rhythm to the varied song list and revealed to us that he also is a member of a band – a trumpet player no less.
It was altogether a magnificent effort by the band at a trying time for us all and David gratefully received a donation of £50 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
(Maybe the line from the old time medley should at present read as follows