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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The last resident seaside orchestra

I commented last week (or at least mentioned the fact) that BBC Radio 3 had a Light Music weekend.

I will admit that I was a bit sniffy. I'm not really certain why but I was.

Last Saturday I heard a bit of Music Matters when they were discussing why Light Music died out and they mentioned that there are still some albums available including soe on the Hyperion Label. I have to admit listening to the extracts was a real return to my childhood and trips to Harlow Town Park

Last Saturday I tuned into the Great Masters of Light Music concert. And you know what?

I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Oh I will admit it lacks the depth of the great masters of Classical Music but the likes of Mozart and Haydn understood the importance of a good tune and produced pieces that could be defined as Light Music. And anyway in the same way that sometimes Fish & Chips is preferable to haute cuisine sometimes you just want to tap your toes!

On the Sunday I listened to the Tea Dance concert they did which featured music that the bands like Ted Heath, Geraldo and Joe Loss played. Dad would have loved it!

And in this months bunch of purchases alongside the Elgar, some baroque pieces etc are some light albums - one is on now.

HOWEVER I am waffling what prompted this blog was the programme on the Scarborough Spa Orchestra - the last seaside orchestra!!

Years ago every seaside town had an orchestra. When Mum and Dad were just married(in the 50's), when you went on holidays you went to a town like Great Yarmouth, Torquay, Eastbourne, Clacton and yes Scarborough. You stayed in a guest house that chucked you out after breakfast and you were not expected to be back until your evening meal. Folks often didn't drive so the towns had to provide the entertainment. So lots of cafe's, amusement arcades, place to sit, pleasure gardens and there would be a bandstand where an orchestra would play the like of Ronald Binge and Eric Coates. My parents used to love listening.

The bandstands are still there but the resident summer season orchestras have long gone or so I thought, but the one at Scarborough still survives.

Every week during an extended summer season, the Spa Orchestra plays no fewer than nine concerts - mornings from Sunday to Thursday, and Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Every programme is different, and the Orchestra's repertoire is so vast that pieces are rarely repeated within five weeks.

Weather permitting, morning concerts are held in the idyllic setting of the Sun Court Enclosure, with the sea as the backdrop, and music on the lighter, brighter side. Evening performances are presented in the concert hall, with guest vocalists and specially themed gala concerts on Thursday evenings.

Now I am in Yorkshire soon and Scarborough has a church in the book I want to visit...... and yes you know what if the weather is nice I might sit and wallow in a touch of nostagia. I might buy a bag of chips and eat them on the sea front. Wonder if photos are allowed?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bit warm isn't it!

It's a bit hot out there!!

Was at Dad's this morning it was lovely sitting in the garden nattering enjoy a cuppa and a peace of cake.

After a nice lunch I headed to Rye Meads. There was nothing unusual about but it was good to get out and feel the sun on my back. To be honest I prefer a temperature of about 70F/21C but mustn't grumble!

Tufty having a preen.

He doesn't look too impressed at the invasion of privacy.

Gadwall chicks

Terns in flight - this one ringed.

Tern on nest wanting food!

Must get to the Forest next Saturday.

Busy week this week. NEC Birmingham Wednesday and no I'm not staying over. Covent Garden Friday.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Back to Rye Meads

I looked out of the curtains this morning and promptly went back under the duvet.

Just before 10 I headed to Rye Meads. It was all very quiet but the Kingfishers have had a 2nd brood.

Lots of young birds about. Little Grebes, Tufty Ducks, Canada Geese, Swans, Coots and mallards (naturally).

I was wandering out of the hide when i espied this little chap - young Reed Warbler

I presume this is a Bank Vole?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Come on Auntie!

There are many things about the media I don't understand and here are a couple of them.

Now regular readers will know that I am a fan of the BBC but a few things they do I just don't get.

One of these is scheduling. For instance the BBC will schedule a sporting event for BBC2 and something else on BBC1, a British player will make the final and then they change the schedules around. Why? Everyone can get BBC2! Anyone remotely interested in watching it will know its on! Why is it when they do this there is something on I want to watch.....

And another thing....

The BBC has have a celebration of light music on Radio 3. Now there is a big concert on this Friday and it is being broadcast simultaneously on BBC Radio 2 and 3. Again WHY?? Are Radio 3 listeners to posh to tune to Radio 2? Or Radio 2 listeners to be put off becuase it's on Radio 3??

Sorry but they shouldn't be wasting the air time! There's plenty of music they could play at the same time.

Curiously one programme in the Radio 3 series looks at the big bands who made light music popular in the 40's and 50's. I was intrigued to see a name I recognized, Joe Loss.

In my childhood (70's) Harlow council used to put on a Sunday Concert free in the town park. One of the big name acts were the Joe Loss Orchestra, of whom Mum and Dad were fans so I got to see them and similar acts quite a few times.

Ah memories.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Hardwick Hall

We went to Chesterfield this morning, nice market.

For me it was all about

787, St Mary and All Saints, Chesterfield

Then onto Hardwick Hall

Hardwick was the home of Bess of Hardwick, she lived in the 16th century and built loads of houses (Chatsworth was one of hers - although now much changed) and had 4 marriages and founded a few dynasties. A remarkable woman.

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