Five public houses, one private house and a Christmas tree…. What do they have in common? We went Carol singing around them with the Penkhull Mystery singers last night.
From wassail songs, Latin carols, ancient hyms and fairytail of New York… We sang so much last night. Its becoming a local tradition to visit all the hostelries to sing to the locals and collect funds for the Penkhull Mystery play in the summer. Its a difficult way of doing it because it relies on the number of people in the pubs and we outnumbered everybody in each of the pubs. But it was fun! Singing the Holly and the Ivy in four part harmony, or Good King Wenseslas with the men and women split into parts. And we sounded good. We are becoming more balanced as a choir. More choral.
After the New Year the choir splits back up. It’s made up of members of two Choirs and other members who just get together for this. But the cameraderie will remain.
I’m looking forward to next year when we do it all again.
Looking on Facebook, memories pop up from years ago. These pictures were taken in July 2013. I’m not sure if I did all of them that year. I may have painted over an old one from a year or two before.
As on other occasions harvest was one of the themes. Also the industrialisation of Stoke on Trent, when canals were dug out and bottle ovens and kilns were built. I even had to paint a public house. (With working door!)
I’m not sure how many years I have done this for and its always a bit of a rush job, or my health hasn’t been good. But I feel so much part if my community that I won’t say no.
I would love to do more, make the flats more intricate, more like murals. But at the end of the day they are only on display for a few hours, one day in a year. Just as long as the scenery helps tell the story…..that’s what they are there for.
Penkhull Mystery play day was hot and sunny. I missed the music morning in the church, but managed to watch the flag raised on the village green. The flag was chosen from a competition that was whittled down to 4 combined designs. The flag that won had the cockerel from the weather vane on the church on it, then an oval to to represent the roads up to the green and around it.
Next came Penkhull village brass bands playing popular and beautiful music to the crowd sitting on the green in front of the church.
There was also Morris dancing by Black Dog Molly, and a Hurdy Gurdy man playing ancient tunes, and a bower of song where anyone could come along and sing or play music.
It was time to get changed and ready for the play. I snapped a shot of the scenery I have been painting, but couldn’t get photo’s of the mystery play as I was in it! It went well and we had fun singing and dancing for the entertainment of the crowd. In 20 minutes a group of children were transported back in time, became farmers, were involved in Waterloo, were injured. Had a child, were evicted and had to live in a hole in the ground. Went through the first world war, then became Suffragettes, and eventually returned to the present.
Once the play was over there was time to get changed and listen to the Penkhull ukulele band, and watch the tug of war competition (only two teams entered from the same place as the other teams were too busy watching England play in the world cup.)
Finally I saw some short playlettes written for Harper’s Titchy theatre. This was performed as readings for two or more voices. It was very entertaining apart from being drowned out by loud musuc from the pub. (Half time at the England game).
It is a great credit to the people of Penkhull to do this so well each year. I heard up to 400 people help organise and volunteer for this community arts event .
It’s no wonder everyone is so busy at this time of year in Penkhull!