Walton Open Garden Festival 3rd July 22

In the shade and in the sun at 38 School Lane. Walton

Wakeylele Headline on Petunia Stage at Walton Open Gardens! 

by Phil Barr

3rd July, 2022

Showing little sign of tour fatigue, the band arrived at the first of two gardens, a very pleasant green and partly shaded area in front of the owner’s house off School Lane in Walton  in a positive mood which  matched the sunny, if rather blustery, July weather, in a range of outfits which only added to the laid back feel of the day. The ladies looked resplendent in a variety of colours while Linda opted for a cool hand Luke look. Some of the men decided on uke emblazoned t – shirts while others chose brighter attire with Richard sporting a cream cap to add a bit of class to proceedings. David meanwhile decided on a chord chart t – shirt – the danger being that he would be swamped by the group if an F# cropped up. 

Rob Davies set to go with Bracelet and Map

  And so the band moved smoothly through the very well rehearsed first set, the only minor hiccup being caused by the increasing breeze. Fortunately I had my peg bag with me and was able to bale out those struggling with flyaway music sheets. Meanwhile visitors to the garden drifted in and out making favourable comments with some deciding to sit for a while and take in the music and atmosphere. ( Incidentally, the inkling that I had for the song Enjoy Yourself to be consigned to the  Songs We Sang catalogue proved unfounded as it was belted out once more and it may even soon appear in a Songs we sing at least Twice a Week file, who knows!) 

 Our leader, attuned as always to the timing of live events, brought the first set to an end after uplifting  songs such as Honolulu Baby, I Wanna dance with You and the ever popular Green Door. It was now time for lunch and the band left our host Jane’s garden with grateful thanks for inviting us.

There was now plenty of time before we needed to make our way to the second garden and so the group split up either to boost the coffers of the New Inn or to buy one of the tasty sandwiches from the village hall made by our own Maria who as a seasoned chief caterer within Walton, quietly sacrificed her ukulele prowess for one day only. (Thanks also to my better half, Jane, who helped Maria in the kitchen as well as contributing a large chocolate cake decorated with smarties – tried and trusted over the years.

Mike S, Mike H (sitting),Stan, David and Rob on the “grassy area by the tall hedge”

 So … to the second venue, a garden at 23 Greenside which was on two levels including an attractive upper decking with a view onto the fields of barley. At this stage , ( I may be mistaken), there was a suggestion of sharp elbows as the exhibitionists in the group scrambled for a place on the upper level leaving the rest to settle for a grassy area next to a tall hedge. In fact the former group soon realised that the canny group below had worked out that they were sheltered from the now near gale force wind which threatened to seriously disrupt proceedings. Indeed throughout the otherwise successful and very enthusiastically received second set, superglue would have been more useful than pegs with cement for the music stands. I attempted to use David as a windbreak but to no avail;Linda though, nonchalantly continued as if nothing had happened when her stand suddenly took off, and there were numerous instances of music sheets Blowing in the Wind. It is a measure of the band’s progress that there were no outward signs of panic when a sudden gust caused a sheet to curl over but it wasn’t ideal.

“Sharp elbowed exhibitionists on the upper level with the rest on the grassy area next to a tall hedge”

  Another special mention must be made at this point for John Bailey – Sargent who made light of wearing a sling following his dislocated shoulder to provide us once again with a range of videos and photographs which gives us all a chance to assess how we sounded and looked after the event.  

Urban Spaceman in the lovely garden at 23 Greenside

After a final rousing Old Time Medley, one of the Open Garden Organisers, Jim Gervasio, thanked us effusively for the infectious ( non covid) enthusiasm we brought to the day and  made a note of David’s request to see to it that there is no wind next time. We departed, this time with thanks to kind hosts Margaret and John. Pop made his way out onto the street with his shopping style trolley,an aid to overcoming back problems allegedly caused by watching too much Wimbledon on tv; it  looked to contain enough extras to make for an impromptu version of the Generation Game although I didn’t spot a cuddly toy. Pop, by the way, was one of the groundlings who just complemented the impressive line up of the two Mike’s,  Rob, Steve and Stan. 

 Thanks to David as always, especially for his various essential inputs online as well as keeping us in order (and time)!  Gird your loins for a repeat performance at Newmillerdam on Friday at 7p.m.


5 Comments on “Walton Open Garden Festival 3rd July 22

  1. Once again my sincere thanks to all the “Sunday Gardeners” for turning out and performing so well in unusual settings and, often, trying circumstances.
    I have received only positive comments regarding our two sessions and was elated to hear that, overall, the event raised in excess of £11K! I’m happy to think that we, in our own small way, contributed to the success of the occasion.
    Special thanks again to our news team. Phil you have mined another rich seam of experience, separated it all out and produced a veritable gem.
    John .. thanks for the visuals, despite your infirmity they are brilliant! ( Just one plea though…no more shots of me from behind that expose the real trichological costs of my leading the band! On reflection though it probably is my better side)

  2. Well done again Phil…the bard of Walton! As always you looked and sounded great…sorry I missed it but duty called.

  3. A lovely day playing ukulele in nice sunny gardens. I really enjoyed it all .Nice seeing the choir as well as nice food in the village hall.Nice write up Phil. Thanks to David leading us.😎👍

  4. I appreciate the comments regarding the blog although I’m a mental wreck after trying to fashion something amusing!

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