The Sun Shone On Joe And Connie Calling

Yet again we were blessed with a beautiful sunny day on Saturday 14th May 2016. Allithwaite Community Playing Fields were alive with visitors of all ages. The atmosphere was calm and relaxed with parents and children enjoying the entertainment.

The entertainment had a brilliant start with Grange Youth Operatic Society singing a variety of songs from different shows. We were privileged to listen to the whole group and soloists singing their hearts out for the delighted audience. Grace Heap also made the effort to travel up from her music school in London to sing for us.

The Elite School Of Dance followed and impressed the audience with their wonderful moves. The youngest members looked very cute in their pink ensemble while the older members sparkled in their fantastic shorts. It was wonderful to see both the audience and the dancers enjoying the entertainment.

The Cumbrian Retirement Band played a variety of music beautifully. They managed to play their brass instruments delicately and made you feel moved by the music. The music ranged from nostalgic to Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs. Children danced around the Maypole to the Floral Dance.

After the sedate band, Dance Attik boosted our energy with their high impact contemporary dancing. They even danced to ‘Fat Sam’s Grand Slam’, from Bugsy Malone, which I am sure delighted the year six pupils from Allithwaite Primary School.  The dance troop was well synchronised and obviously enjoy making shapes on the dance floor.

Chuck Fish and The Dust Bowl Dare Devils started off the band’s sessions with a variety of music including songs that appealed to the children. We had lots if little, ‘man cubs’, dancing to The King Of The Swingers from The Jungle Book. Chuck and his band set the standard for a great nights music festival.

Braxton Hicks followed with their rhythm and blues set. Their cover of, ‘Mercedes Benz’, was particularly memorable. Kev Kendal graced us with his charismatic stage presence and will no doubt gather a new set of little fans.  Dave Kay treated us with his talented and great vibes.  The Bare Bones experience did not disappoint and got everybody moving to the beat.  Ulpha 590 got us all into the groove while the Underdogs rocked us into the night.  The bands were a fantastic success and we are very grateful that they donated their time and didn’t take any payment for their appearance.  We were very lucky to have our own music festival in little Allithwaite.

Local businesses were generous again this year and filled our table with wonderful raffle prizes.  Nikki Pocklington walked all over the local area with blisters on her feet collecting prizes from the following businesses; Treatment rooms, The Paragon shop, EmJ’s Hair Studios, Jenna Daggett -nails (At EmJ’s.), Denise Muir -feet. (At EmJ’s), Nichola Spedding -beauty practitioner .(At EmJ’s), Red Pepper shop (Unsworth’s, L’Enclume, The Flower Stop, Crompton’s, Higginson’s, The Larch Tree, Sticky toffee pudding shop, The Priory Hotel, The Kings Arms, Cartmel Coffee Cafe, Robinsons, Butterfingers, The Keg & Kitchen, Ratty Railway at Eskdale, Ullswater Steamer, Flower shop, The Pheasant Inn, Lancaster Shoes, Hales chocolate Shop, Specsavers Lancaster and many more. Thank you to the locals who also donated raffle prizes.  Joanna Hartley donated a week in her luxury Spanish apartment as an extra special prize. Nicola Elson and family did a sterling job of keeping the raffle in control.

Wonderful Gill Pocklington and Heather Wilson kept everyone refreshed by serving tea, coffee and juice all afternoon. Behind the scenes, these wonderful ladies gifted the use of the hall to us and help us to do the nitty gritty administrative tasks.  Yet again we were inundated with beautiful cupcakes, thanks to Colin Doran from the Hazelmere and loads of wonderful local bakers.  They were yummy and served by a lovely bunch of teachers from Allithwaite Primary school; Mrs Stanway, Mrs Pearce, Miss Nicholson and Mrs Hodgson.  For the adults, a well-stocked bar was provided by the Pheasant Inn Allithwaite, we are sure that this helped everyone to relax.

Outside we had Bouncy Castles and Bubble Football from Barrow, Owls from Corio Raptor, rabbits and guinea pigs from Lamberts Pet Shop Grange Over Sands.  David Matthews Spit ‘n’ Crackle provided sustenance for everyone. We had face painting, popcorn, candyfloss and fairground rides.  Mickey Mouse also made a star appearance. Bae Systems provided First Aid support and thankfully we didn’t need to use their services.

Many people helped behind the scenes and we couldn’t have run the event without them.  A great big thank you to; Ian Rimmer and Bare Bones for their technical expertise, Grange football team for dealing with the marquee, The Young Farmers for lending us the hay bales, Sarah Swift and Karen Bradshaw on the gates, the Holdsworth family for helping with the raffle and bouncy castle, Robert Pocklington for moving around heavy things, David Hamer for collecting the money, standing in as photographer and counting the money with Adele and Luke Hamer.  There were many more people who helped that I haven’t named all we can say is thank you for everything you did.

Joe and Connie and all of the children had a wonderful time and all of the children present played so well together.  The atmosphere was relaxed and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.  The community spirit reflected the essence of Butterfly Hugs.  We must not forget that the whole event would not have happened if it wasn’t for Rachel’s drive and determination. Rachel, of course, is too humble to take all of the credit but we all know otherwise.

The event raised £3000 after all of the costs were taken off.  This means that so this year we have raised £300 each for; Reversing Retts, Jigsaw Hospice and The Kendal Flood Fund.  We will be fundraising all year round and putting initiatives in place that will make going out with restricted mobility easier to organise.  We are not sure if we’ll be doing a Joe and Connie Calling next year – we’ll just have to see whether Allithwaite wants another music festival next year.

Once again thank you very much for supporting us – it is wonderful to see such kindness in a world that is so unsettled at the moment.

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