October 1st 2023
Double – Header for Silver Sunday as Wakeylele kick -off New Season at
The Ridings, Wakefield and North Featherstone surprise party. 1st Oct 2023
by Philip Barr. Photos John Sargent
Part 2 – North Featherstone Surprise Party
So, for some members of the group it was time for a brief break from proceedings before setting off for a garden on the edge of North Featherstone with David kindly saving Pop a long journey back to Leeds by inviting him back to his house for a marmalade sandwich.
For those who didn’t know, Stan the man was instrumental in arranging the gig in the garden after being contacted by a lady whose father, Ted – get it? arf arf, was celebrating his 80th birthday. She wanted a surprise element as part of his special day. Most of us parked in a field adjoining the attractive bungalow and garden which had sweeping views of the countryside. Roy took on the role of car park attendant – say no more. We were then led to the main gathering of family and friends, singing Happy Birthday, (acapella) as we arrived and set up under a gazebo under gloomy skies albeit feeling very mild for October. As the chatter from the family gathering was on a much-reduced scale to the Ridings, David was able to introduce the group and its history and so on effortlessly before we launched into the same set of songs but with one or two omissions or additions from the morning’s actually played songs. This time, we could hear all the intros including a blip on Bad Moon Rising which was a bit of a Morecambe and Wise moment except that in this case it was ‘I’m playing the right notes but not necessarily in the right key.’ Other than that, which we had a good laugh about and David occasionally having to slow down an unknown? speedster whose uke must have been close to catching fire, everything went swimmingly, helped by a very appreciative audience.
There was also plenty of eye candy on the back row with a range of colourful shirts, hats and waistcoats adding to the party atmosphere. There was time to enjoy the garden and surroundings during the break where we were treated royally with the offer of hot and cold food and drinks. To cap it all, the sun made an appearance after the break as the temperature touched 20°C, and as the final medley got under way there was even an impromptu ‘knees up’ by about 10 family members including Ted. Then to round off the afternoon David had printed off copies of Happy Birthday with chords.
For the 14 members of the band representing Wakeylele it had been well worth the effort of playing twice in a day, not least because Ted’s daughter kindly donated £100 to our charity, YAA. As we left, she was effusive in her praise for the band.
Thanks to Stan for arranging the gig, to Ted’s family for their hospitality, to John for photos and videos, and for supplementing the singing, to Jane for videoing at the Ridings and obviously to David for his leadership and all-round sterling efforts.
Next up is a YAA gig in the Ridings on Saturday,14th October at 11a.m.