Wolds Diary: Carols as festive season approaches

HAVING SHAKEN off the worst effects of a cold I made it to a rehearsal for Pocklington Singers on Monday evening after a full day involving a trip to Scarborough to see my friend and visit the town centre.

The church of St Marys in Beverley.

As Christmas approaches my life is suddenly full with carols and seasonal worries. Already I’m bored to tears by the relentless Christmas advertising, the festive items crammed into shops and the pressure from everywhere to spend money. It isn’t even December yet!

On the Tuesday afternoon I was invited to speak at Rufforth to the Tuesday Club in the village hall. Arriving early I ventured into the store in the old school house next door. What a delight! This wonderful emporium is well worth a visit and I had a coffee in the tearooms there. The proprietor has taken the trouble to make the premises interesting and educational. On the wall in the cafe was a picture of a Lancaster bomber covered in a unit of the Canadian Air Force.

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I had time to look round the churchyard of All Saints Church before being welcomed by the Tuesday Club who were an excellent audience. Having given my talk I dashed home, let the dogs out and did a few chores before setting off to give another talk. This time to the Yorkshire Countrywomen’s Association at East Cottingworth Village Hall. I found these premises after an interesting walk round the village and they too were most welcoming.

The next day I’d arranged to visit a kind gentleman who had offered me a load of ties. I drove over to Knaresborough and visited the market before finding the house where this lovely man gave me a very useful tin trunk packed with wonderful ties. The market is always good and I enjoyed looking round. Knaresborough is such a friendly place.

When I got to the gentleman’s house he was downsizing, having a big clear out, and I was most grateful. I really have to do something with all the bits of ties I have. They’re getting rather bulky. I will be able to make patchwork for at least the next 50 years! I admit I have become rather obsessed by them.

On the drive back the skies were especially fine with interesting and rather colourful displays of different cloud types. Nothing shows the majesty of our world better than an interesting sky.

The Thursday was busy, dog walking, tidying the garden and going to an equestrian event at my animal feed store just outside York. I met some interesting people and found some treats for my dogs. The dogs devoured them greedily with great relish removing them from my bag in the hall before I’d even unpacked it.

On the Friday I’d been invited to speak at the annual dinner of the Londesborough Produce Society held in the Gallery at Wolds Village. We sat and ate in this fine room surrounded by spectacular art and the meal was splendid. Of course my diet had to be suspended and I didn’t even feel that guilty about it. The drive home was certainly a challenge. There was a very thick fog and it was really eerie not really knowing where I was and all I could do was drive very slowly on dipped headlights until I finally saw my turning looming up out of the mist.

I was asked to go to a concert and service of remembrance on the Saturday in the church of St Mary in Beverley. The performance of the Humberside Police Concert band was superb. Despite having had their funding taken away recently they still give brilliant performances to help the community, largely at their own expense.

I’m not a particularly emotional person but when The Last Post was played even I had a tear in my eye. There were plenty of wartime songs and memories and a lot of the audience sang along, and the Weighton Waytes sang to augment what was a fine, proud and nostalgic evening. I was so glad I had gone.

The highlight for me was Janet Bates, a serving police officer who had the voice of an angel. She had been released from duty for one hour to perform and then return to keep the peace. I was very impressed.