Parish Barn Dance goes with a swing

As I write this, we’ve just come back from Sunday lunchtime at the Barley Mow. It’s a tradition (well, the second time we’ve done it, but all traditions have to start sometime). Lesley, myself, and our principle caterers, Alison and Matthew, go off for a celebratory, “We’ve survived another one” meal.

Survival might not seem like an appropriate sentiment, but it’s probably understandable. The rest of the year, we just turn up to dances we’ve been booked to play at, perform, pack up and go away. It’s generally very pleasant, satisfying, but not particularly hard, work.

When you’re involved in organising one yourself, even if it goes smoothly, there’s a lot of work and nervous energy expended. However, the rewards are far greater.

This year was the sixth time we’ve run the event and arguably the most successful. I used to fret, quite unnecessarily, about not having enough people attend. This time I was concerned about having too many. As it was, I think we were near to capacity but OK. Everyone appeared to enjoy themselves, which is all we can ask for.

All the band musicians and Kris, our caller, were from within the parish. It is very pleasing to know we have these resources made freely available. I personally find it very satisfying to see how the younger members of our parish band are going from strength to strength each year. I expect us older musicians will be able to let them get on with it and have a dance ourselves before long!

We started these off hoping to generate a community event. We seem to have succeeded. In doing so, we raised just under £900 for parish funds, but this is definitely a secondary benefit.

My thanks to everyone who helped and everyone who attended.

See you next year!

Bob Shatwell

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