This is story of the 40th Birthday Party
Planning this momentous weekend took a dedicated small team many months with so much to consider: weekend venue, Saturday tours, booking coaches, Sunday venue, seeking out pubs (a bit of testing was required!), food options for all meals and most important, finding the best teams to join us!
Mixed emotions dominated the run up “ from anxiety to panic to elation when it all went so well in the end! It wasn't an easy ride but well worth the many hours spent either at the computer, on the phone or on the road working out the logisitics.
Disbelief, that arriving at the campsite, it rained quite heavily after weeks of hot sunshine and nothing else. However, it stopped before over 100 guests started rolling in and was kind for the rest of the weekend. Relief when all the carefully laid plans rolled out , the greeting gazebo, the efficient organisation of the camping, the feeding of the 5000 (well, it felt like it) on Friday evening, the early morning run to Asda for freshly baked bread and croissants, tours, Saturday evening meal and socialising, the cake, Sunday breakfast and Sunday lunchtime dancing , and they all worked! All in all a great Persephone team behind it all with everyone helping out in some way.
Delight at receiving all the lovely comments from our guests , without whom, of course, it wouldn't have worked at all!
The anticipation of the weekend - getting the site ready, team tents up , taping areas for parking and camping, notices up, yellow and green of course, bunting in the club house, food in the kitchen for Friday evening , to welcome our guest sides from the far north Hexham and as far south as Jackstraws from the deep south. The first folks arrived by half 3 and the last past 9 with supper still available for the late arrivals. Our celebratory 40th weekend had begun.The first dance spot on Saturday – arriving in Halifax, walking up the steps, past the library, into a narrow entrance which then opened out to the amazing vista- a vast piazza of magnificent proportions and the amazing architecture of the newly renovated Halifax Piece Hall.
The sun shone,
an audience appeared, sitting on the steps around the square, to witness the
dancing of Chinewrde, Hexham Lasses and Morris, Strictly Clog, Jackstraws, Mutineers
and the host side Persephone. The music resounded around the Piece Hall, the
sun shone, the teams danced. It was wonderful.
Three teams at a time went around the corner to dance at the newly opened Industrial museum, to take refreshments, venture in the shop and shelter in the shade.
The lunch break followed with many relaxing in the Square Chapel Café Bar passing a very pleasant lunch hour indoors in the cooler temperatures tasting the real ale and craft beers.
Pleasantly refreshed we clambered on our coach to be transported to other dance venues at Norwood Green, Hipperholme and Heath .
The Heath Tour
Our intellectual skills were tested with quizzes on Language in the Raw -Yorkshire phrases to puzzle over, a Yorkshire quiz and a rare scholarly document on the origins of Persephone.
Best bit of the weekend for me was dancing in the piece hall. Also the final dance spot at the mining museum was memorable. Great seeing all the teams dancing in one place. Loved the whole feel of the weekend.
On Friday it was all hands to the pump At Sandal Rugby Club for setting up, welcoming our guests (at the gate - under the gazebo to keep out of the sun !), in the Club, and serving food. Unfortunately we could not use the big room because there was a Golf Club buffet.
Steve was doing an excellent job guiding campers and caravanners into becoming a well organised campsite.
One room became a socialising room and in another a session started (both with bars).
On Saturday after a light breakfast and clearing away the three tours set off - two to the refurbished and im-pressive Halifax Piece Hall first before splitting up and touring around the area, dancing mainly outside pubs. The third tour (including the 2 teams who unfortunately could not dance in the Piece Hall because they wear irons) started in Huddersfield and visited other local towns and villages.
The Irons Tour
The Piece Hall Extravaganza
At the last place we danced Persephone were 'adopted' by a newly-wed bride! We of course invited her to join Percy as a team member
On arrival back
at the Rugby club tea and biccies were served before the evening festivities.
These started with an excellent buffet provided by the Club. A Do -It -Ourselves
ceilidh was set up afterwards in one of the rooms. Due to the heat of the day
many people were outside for much of evening but still socialising.
On Sunday bacon and veggie sausages were cooked and served by Dave and Ann - helped where possible by Percy members (and non-members) and also a light breakfast was available. After clearing up and leaving the club tidy we set off for the Mining Museum where the teams all danced and gradually set off for home.
Mining Museum (Sunday)
And of course a multi-team "Celebration"
to have a very welcome tea or coffee in a cool room - bliss!)
A very hot weekend and thanks to all (members, non-members and volunteers) who organised, worked and helped to make the weekend enjoyable and very successful.