What a wonderful experience it was! Despite the disappointment for Chris Ellis of the failure of the amplification and generator (into which he had put so much work to provide) which was to travel on the back of Michael Gray’s trailer around the parish, we had the most amazing evening. For Lucy and I it was wonderful to see all four villages turn out in such great strength. We counted at least 50 in each village and I think that in two there may have been 70 or 80 people attending – so 250 or just under a quarter of our total population of 1300.
Thank you so much to the whole team – particularly to Maj. Gen. Tim Tyler for his enthusiastic leadership and conducting and to the singers Malcolm and Mary Hogg, Helen Wayne, Will Parry, Nathalie Paterson, Laura Hanley, Madeline, Wojtek Isabella Thomas and Anna Rakowicz – a wonderful combination of Anglicans and Catholics from the Itchen Valley community. It was astonishing that those sopranos kept the descants up all through the evening of 17 carols on a cold December night.
Thank you also to our marshals in each village: Simon Ffennell and Sara Mason, Tony Gaster, Dan Day-Robinson and Theo Mezger for keeping us all safe.
And a particular thank you in Avington for the hospitality of Nick Roach the new owner of Avington Park who kindly invited Avington villagers to mince pies and mulled wine as well as enabling the carols to be sung outside the beautiful entrance to the house.